Archive | Space Flight

Ep. 507: From Fiction to Fact : Ion Drive

Ion engines are a mainstay of science fiction, featured in both Star Trek and Wars. But this is a very real technology, successfully used on several missions out there in the Solar System right now. How do they work and what are the limits? We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 3:00 pm EDT […]

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Ep 485: Docking, Refueling, and Transferring

This episode was recorded on Wednesday, March 21 at 6:30 pm EDT / 3:3 pm PDT / 22:30 UTC. It’s one thing to get to space. But once you’ve made it there, what do you want to do? You’ll probably want to dock with another space ship, deliver cargo, refuel. Today we’ll talk about how […]

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Ep 484: Transfer Orbits and Gravitational Assists

This episode was recorded on Tuesday, March 20 at 8 pm EDT / 5 pm PDT / 0:00 UTC Wednesday. If you want to get around in the Solar System, you’ll want to take advantage of natural gravitational speed boosts and transfer orbits. Whether you’re heading to the outer Solar System or you want to […]

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Ep 483: Stopping in Space

This episode was recorded on 3/8/2018 at 4:00 pm EST/ 1:00 PST/ 21:00 UTC! It’s one thing to get from Earth to space, but sometimes you want to do the opposite. You want to get into orbit or touch down gently on the surface of a planet and explore it. How do spacecraft stop? And […]

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Ep 482: Alternative Ways to Space

Getting to space is all about rockets, but people are trying to figure out other methods that could carry payloads to orbit and beyond. Railguns, airplanes, tethers and more. Today we’ll talk about alternative methods of spaceflight. We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 3:00 pm EST / 12:00 pm PST / 20:00 UTC. […]

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Ep 481: Rockets pt. 3 – Going Faster, Higher, Farther after Fairing Separation

We’ve seen rockets blast off from here on Earth. But that’s only half the story. Rockets have additional stages to push them into trajectories, like transfer orbits and various orbital maneuvers. Let’s talk about what happens after the rocket is long gone, beyond our sight. We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 3:00 pm […]

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Ep 480: Rockets pt. 2- Multi-stage Boosters

The vast majority of rockets are multi-staged affairs. Why is this? What makes this kind of rocket so successful? Today we look at the ins and outs of multi-stage rockets. We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 3:00 pm EST / 12:00 pm PST / 20:00 UTC. You can watch us live on here […]

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Ep. 479: Rockets pt. 1- What Does “Single Stage To Orbit” Really Mean?

To celebrate the launch of the Falcon Heavy, we figured it was time for an all new series, this time on the rockets that carry us to space. Today we’re going to talk about why single stage to orbit rockets are so difficult to carry out. We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 3:00 […]

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Ep. 478: Apollo 8 with Paul Hildebrandt

On Christmas Day, 1968 Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders became the first human being to see the far side of the Moon. Their mission, of course, was Apollo 8, the first time human beings had ever left Earth orbit and seen the far side of the Moon. Today we talk all about Apollo […]

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Ep. 477: State of Exploration: Once and Future Moon

It’s been decades since humans set foot on the Moon. Well, it’s time to go back, in theory. Of course, we’ve heard this all before. What are the plans afoot to send humans back to the Moon this time. What hardware will we use, and what other strategies are in the works to make this […]

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