Archive | Space Flight

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. 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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M81 in ultraviolet. Image credit: NASA

Ep. 414: Navigating Far

In our last episode, we talked about what it’ll take to navigate across the Solar System. In this episode we scale things up and speculate how future civilizations will navigate to other stars and even other galaxies. Download the show [MP3] | Jump to Shownotes | Jump to Transcript (more…)

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Ep. 350: Space Ship One

SpaceShipOne is the spacecraft created by Scaled Composites to win the $10 million Ansari X-Prize in 2003. It was the first privately built spacecraft to reach 100 km in altitude, twice in two weeks, carrying the equivalent of 3 people. It’s the prototype of the upcoming SpaceShipTwo, created for Virgin Galactic to carry paying passengers […]

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Ep. 349: Mercury 7 and How the US Picked the First Astronauts

Before the Apollo Program, there was the Gemini Program, and before Gemini came the Mercury Program. 7 elite astronauts chosen from a pool of military test pilots. How did NASA choose these original 7 men? Download the show [MP3] | Jump to Shownotes | Jump to Transcript (more…)

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Ep. 348: Places with Numbers: 2 Independence Sq (NASA HQ)

Although NASA is spread across the entire US, the headquarters is based right in Washington, DC. And the headquarters building is known as Two Independence Square. This is where past and future space policy for the agency was developed. Ep. 348: Places with Numbers: 2 Independence Sq (NASA HQ)Download the show [MP3] | Jump to […]

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Ep. 340: Wernher von Braun

When the United States helped defeat Germany at the end of World War II, they acquired the German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun. He had already developed the German V2 rocket program, and went on to design all the major hardware of the US rocket program. This week, we talk about von Braun’s life and […]

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Ep. 318: Escape Velocity

Sometimes you’ve just got to get away from it all. From your planet, your Solar System and your galaxy. If you’re looking to escape, you’ll need to know just what velocity it’ll take to break the surly bonds of gravity and punch the sky. (more…)

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Ep. 300: What We’ve Learned in Almost 7 Years

We created Astronomy Cast to be timeless, a listening experience that’s as educational in the future as it was when we started recording. But obviously, things have changed in almost 7 years and 300 episodes. Today we’ll give you an update on some of the big topics in space and astronomy. What did we know […]

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