Big Picture Science – NASA or What?

by Gary Niederhoff on November 8, 2011









“Making space for everyone” could be NASA’s motto. But as commercial spaceships get ready to blast off, that populist idea is being tested. Space cowboys in the private sector say they’re the ones who can provide unfettered access to space, for tourists and scientists alike.

Meet a scientist who already has a ticket to ride on SpaceShip Two and discover what he hopes to learn about asteroids during his five minutes of weightlessness.

Plus, NASA in motion: it’s back to the moon as the GRAIL mission probes the interior of our lovely lunar satellite. Also, can you dig it? The rover Curiosity can. It’s headed to Mars to hunt for clues to alien life … with a jackhammer.

Also, as the Hubble Space Telescope shuts down, the James Webb Space Telescope revs up. Or does it? The telescope is designed to study the birth of galaxies and hunt for evidence of water on far away worlds. But will Congress pull the plug?

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: GRAIL
Part 2: Curiosity
Part 3: NASA missions
Part 4: exo-NASA Experiments
Part 5: Commercial Space Flight
Part 6: James Webb Space Telescope
Part 7: Politics of the JWST

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

avatar Jed Sutherland November 9, 2011 at 10:36 pm

I listened with a great deal of interest to this podcast, especially the segments about commercial space flight and the cost of the new space telescope.

These fellas: http://www.copenhagensuborbitals.com/ have interesting approaches to a) getting into space and b) doing it very cheaply.

You might find this interesting.

Best
Jed

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