Astronomy & Space

Is Faster Than Light Travel Possible? The Science of SciFi with Dr. Erin Macdonald

Dr. Erin Macdonald - Astrophysicist

Is faster than light travel possible? Dr. Erin Macdonald joins us to discuss the current theories–and how they relate to science fiction. She is an astrophysicist, science fiction consultant, aerospace engineer, and host of the online series, “Dr. Erin Explains the Universe”. Her specialty is in general relativity, having worked previously searching for gravitational waves in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. She has since found her home in science fiction, consulting with writers, teaching STEM through popular culture, and fulfilling her life goal of becoming a warp drive expert.

For more information, visit https://www.erinpmacdonald.com/

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Ultima Thule Part 2 – BRIAN MAY, Queen Lead Guitarist & Astrophysicist

Brian May, PhD

Brian May is a founding member of Queen, a world-renowned guitarist, songwriter, producer and performer, also a Doctor of Astrophysics, 3-D stereoscopic photographic authority and a passionate advocate and campaigner for animal rights.

It's been an exciting year for Brian and 2019 is going to get a great start. Brian is the executive music producer for the new Bohemian Rhapsody movie, which has been nominated for the Golden Globes. He also released his book MISSION MOON 3D, offering the first 3D images of the Apollo missions to the Moon. He's also getting ready to release his first new single as a solo artist in over two decades, titled “New Horizons,” inspired in part by Dr. Alan Stern, the principal investigator for the New Horizons spacecraft mission.

In our latest episode Brian discusses his passions in music, space & photography, and announces how he plans to kick off 2019 by giving “New Horizons” a world premiere directly from NASA Control center in Maryland at 12:02 a.m. EST on January 1st, 2019, as the spacecraft zooms past the Kuiper Belt's Ultima Thule, which is located a billion miles beyond Pluto.

For more information, visit BrianMay.com

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Ultima Thule Part 1 – Dr. Alan Stern, New Horizons Principle Investigator

Dr Alan Stern

Dr. Alan Stern is the principal investigator of the New Horizons mission, leading NASA’s exploration of the Pluto system and the Kuiper Belt. Today he joins us to discuss New Horizon’s upcoming close approach to Ultima Thule this New Year’s Day. Ultima is an object in the Kuiper Belt about 4 billion miles away, the most distant object yet ever to be explored by a spacecraft. 

In this episode we also feature a sneak preview clip of “New Horizons”, a new song to be released on New Year's Day commemorating this mission by legendary Queen lead guitarist & astrophysicist Brian May. Brian will join us on our next episode Part 2.

For more information about the New Horizons mission, visit http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/

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Apollo 8 – 50 Years Later – What really happened during the Space Race to the Moon

In this episode Dr. James Rice, the senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, discusses Apollo 8—the first manned mission to the Moon, which occurred 50 years ago in December 1968. Dr. Rice talks about what led up to this historic mission, and how close the space race really was with several lesser-known facts about NASA's competition.

For more information on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo missions, visit: http://www.nasa.gov

For more information on Dr. Rice, visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-james-rice-822a1764/

FREE DON PABLO COFFEE GIVEWAY CONTEST!

Enter for your chance to win some delicious coffee from Don Pablo! To enter, simply SHARE THIS EPISODE on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter before 12/31/2018 (Continental U.S. only; winners selected randomly)
Contest rules: https://www.onlinecoffeebreak.com/contest/contest-rules-limitations/

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ANGELA CARTWRIGHT: The Original “Penny Robinson” talks Lost in Space, Sound of Music

Angela CartwrightBorn in Cheshire, England, Angela moved with her family to Los Angeles, California and started her acting career at the age of 3 playing Paul Newman’s daughter in the movie Somebody Up There Likes Me. At the tender age of four Angela was cast to play Linda Williams for 7 years on the hit television series The Danny Thomas Show as Danny’s daughter.

Angela was then cast as Brigitta von Trapp in the legendary film The Sound of Music.  Shortly after she was offered the role of Penny Robinson the iconic television show, Lost in Space. Angela has guest starred in numerous television shows, commercials and movies over her six decade career in show business.
She married in 1976, raised two children and is a Grandmother of three.

As an author Angela’s award-winning coffee table book Styling the Stars: Lost Treasures from the Twentieth Century Fox Archive offers never before seen photographs and a behind the scenes exclusive glimpse inside Hollywood’s Twentieth Century Fox Studio archives. Now available in paperback.

Continuing to pursue her passion for art and photography, Angela's art is collected around the world. Her books Mixed Emulsions – Altered Art Techniques for Photographic ImageryIn This House: A Collection of Altered Art Imagery and Collage Techniques, and In This GardenExplorations in Mixed Media Visual Narrative, explores her original hand-painted photography and her unique altered art techniques. Angela also conceived and collaborated on The Sound of Music Family Scrapbook.

Angela's art is collected around the world and she has pioneered and produced a clothing and jewelry line, Angela Cartwright Studio, which incorporates her hand painted art.ography images on art.wear, jewelry and accessories. She travels the world with teaching her art techniques and leads a unique trip to Salzburg, Austria sharing her Sound of Music behind the scenes experiences.

Angela and her Lost In Space co-star Bill Mumy collaborated on a pictorial memoir, Lost (and Found) In Space, which offers photographs and personal tales while filming the show for 3 years.

Her latest project, On Purpose, a fantasy adventure novel Angela wrote with her co-star Bill Mumy, includes twenty-three of her illustrations to accompany the book that was released in 2018.

She enjoys her children and grandchildren and makes her home in California with her husband Steve. Angela has found her purpose is to love, laugh and always create.

For more information, visit:

http://www.angela-cartwright.com

FREE COFFEE GIVEWAY CONTEST!

Enter for your chance to win a free bag of Fire Department Coffee! (must enter by 12/25/2018) To enter, visit https://www.onlinecoffeebreak.com/contest

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Mars InSight, Mars 2020 Rover Landing Site & Opportunity Rover Update with Dr. James Rice

Dr Jim RiceDr. James Rice is the senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Arizona. He is also the geology team leader on the Mars Exploration Rovers Project (which includes Spirit and Opportunity), as well as Co-Investigator on the Athena Science Instruments onboard these rovers. Dr. Rice is joining us today to discuss the recent landing of Mars Insight, provide an update on the status of the Opportunity Rover, and examine why the Jezero Crater was recently selected as the landing site for the Mars 2020 rover.

Related episode: Dust Storms on Mars, Opportunity Rover Status & the Future of Human Space Exploration

For more information on Mars exploration, visit: https://mars.nasa.gov

For more information on Dr. Rice, visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-james-rice-822a1764/

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The Planetary Society’s CASEY DREIER discusses National Geographic’s MARS Season 2, LightSail 2 & the U.S. Space Force

Casey Dreier, The Planetary SocietyCasey Dreier is the Chief Advocate & Senior Space Policy Adviser at The Planetary Society, the world’s largest independent space outreach organization. In this interview we discuss season 2 of National Geographic’s Mars TV series, as well as The Planetary Society’s Lightsail 2 project and the United States Space Force.

As Chief Advocate & Senior Space Policy Adviser, Casey leads the strategic planning and implementation of The Planetary Society's policy and advocacy efforts. This includes working closely with other policy representatives in the space community, educating legislators and congressional staffers and organizing Planetary Society members to become active space advocates. He also educates the public about space policy and history through writing, his monthly Space Policy Edition podcast and unique online course offerings such as Space Advocacy 101.

In 2015, Dreier led The Planetary Society’s Humans Orbiting Mars initiative, which explored the potential for a step-wise, long-term mission to send humans to the surface of Mars. The report provided important information and analysis for NASA’s Mars planning and helped influence thinking for lunar and Mars exploration efforts.

Dreier is a trusted source for space policy analysis for journalists and has been featured as a source in many general interest publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, Scientific American, Vox and The Verge, to name a few. He is committed to demystifying the politics and policy of space for all audiences and has been an invited speaker at conferences such as The Atlantic's Washington Ideas Week and Politicon.

He is also an instructor at Western Washington University, where he teaches the occasional class on space history and policy.

Casey is one of the “Big Thinkers” for National Geographic's Mars series, along with Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Andy Weir, Robert Zubrin, and more. Season 2 premiered on November 12, 2018 and shows what life in a Mars colony will be like after human settlement.

For more information, visit:

MARS SEASON 2: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/tv/mars/
The Planetary Society: http://www.planetary.org

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Rainbows, Halos & other special things – John Ventre, Cincinnati Observatory

John VentreRainbows are gorgeous! But there are better times and places to look to increase your chances of seeing them. In this episode we go onsite at the historic Cincinnati Observatory with John Ventre, where he discusses the beauty & causes of phenomena such as rainbows, halos and sun dogs.

For more information, visit https://www.cincinnatiobservatory.org

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MARS INVASION: 80th Anniversary of Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds radio broadcast – interview with Erika Dowell

80 years ago, Orson Welles caused a panic with his broadcast of “War of the Worlds”. This broadcast, on Sunday evening, October 30, 1938, was realistic enough that some listeners actually thought the Earth was under attack by Martians.  Erika Dowell, the associate director and curator of modern books and manuscripts at Indiana University’s Lilly Library joins us to discuss the impact of this broadcast. Recently the Lilly Library used cutting-edge technology to digitize the original recording of Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast.

For more information, visit https://orsonwelles.indiana.edu

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Lady Astronaut Sci-Fi Series Writer – Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary Robinette Kowal is a writer, professional puppeteer and an incredible narrator. She is also cast member of the award-winning podcast Writing Excuses and a three-time Hugo Award winner. Mary Robinette is with us today to discuss the Lady Astronaut novels, an amazing science fiction series that takes us on an alternate timeline after a meteor strike in the 1950s threatens the future of humanity.

In this interview we also discuss Mary Robinette's experience as she joined me for the launch of the Parker Solar Probe in August 2018 and how this will impact her future writing.

For more information, visit https://www.maryrobinettekowal.com

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