Archive | Missions

Ep. 458: The Science of Cassini

And now Cassini’s gone. Smashed up in the atmosphere of Saturn. But planetary scientists are going to be picking through all those pictures and data for decades. Let’s look back at some of the science gathered up by Cassini so far, and we can still learn from this epic journey. We usually record Astronomy Cast […]

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Ep. 457: Why Did Cassini Have To Die? In Memoriam

It’s time to say goodbye to an old friend, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which has been orbiting within the Saturnian system since 2004. But why does a seemingly healthy spacecraft and mission need to come to an end? Today we look back at the mission, some of the amazing discoveries, and why its finale was necessary. […]

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Ep. 451: When Can I Buy My Ticket To Space?

Like most of us, you probably want to know what it would be like to travel to space. Maybe not to live, but just to visit. You want to be a space tourist. Good news, there are a bunch of companies working hard to give you the opportunity to fly to space. How long until […]

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Ep. 450: Inflatable Habitats

In order to live in space, we’ll need to live in a habitat that simulates the temperature, pressure and atmosphere of Earth. And one of the most interesting ideas for how to do this will be with inflatable habitats. In fact, there are a few habitats in the works right now, including one attached to […]

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Ep. 449: Robots in Space!

When you think of a robot, you’re probably imagining some kind of human-shaped machine. And until now, the robotic spacecraft we’ve sent out into space to help us explore the Solar System look nothing like that. But that vision of robots is coming back, thanks to a few new robots in development by NASA and […]

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Ep. 447: Animals in Space Pt. 3: Dogs, Monkeys and More

For the final episode in our 3-part episode about animals in space, we look at the largest animals to go to orbit. And I’ll just warn you now, this is going to be a really sad episode. We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 1:30 pm PDT / 4:30 pm EDT/ 20:30 PM UTC […]

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Ep. 446: Animals in Space Pt. 2: Mice and Other Small Animals

Last week we talked about how the smallest creatures behave in space, but now we move up in size a little to small animals, like mice. What missions have they flown on, and how does microgravity affect their biology? We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 1:30 pm PDT / 4:30 pm EDT/ 20:30 […]

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Ep. 445: Animals in Space Pt. 1: Insects and Arachnids

We’ve talked about animals traveling to space in the past, but it’s time to take another look, with many other creatures making the trip to the void. Today we’re going to talk about the spineless insects and arthropods, and those tough-as-nails waterbears – tardigrades. We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 1:30 pm PDT […]

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Ep. 420: FIRE!

One of the most dangerous things that can happen inside a spacecraft is fire. Seriously, it’s NASA’s worst nightmare, and for good reason. Fire acts differently in space, and astronauts are always on alert. Here’s why. Download the show [MP3] | Jump to Shownotes | Jump to Transcript (more…)

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