Astronomy & Space

FIRST MAN: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong – Official Biographer Dr. James R. Hansen

Dr. James Hansen
Dr. James R. Hansen is the writer of the book “First Man: The life of Neil A. Armstrong”. He was Neil Armstrong's one & only authorized biographer, obtaining 55 hours of audio recordings and 800 emails during his interviews with Neil (plus a few rounds of golf along the way). First Man has been adapted into a movie, with Dr. Hansen serving as a consultant, releasing October 2018 by Universal Pictures. The movie is directed by Academy Award winner Damien Chazelle and stars Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong.

Dr. Hansen is the Professor Emeritus of History at Auburn University in Alabama. He’s an expert in aerospace history and the history of science and technology.

For more info about Dr. Hansen, visit http://www.auburn.edu/~hansejr/

For more info about the movie, visit https://www.firstman.com/

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Behind the Sun with Dr. Nicky Fox, Heliophysics Division Director at NASA HQ

Dr Nicky Fox

Dr. Nicky Fox is the Heliophysics Division Director at NASA Headquarters. She earned her PhD in Space Physics from the Imperial College of Science in London and has worked for both APL and NASA over her 20 year career. She’s worked  on such projects as the NASA Polar spacecraft and the International Solar Terrestrial Physics Mission. Most recently Dr. Fox is heavily involved with the Parker Solar Probe, which launched on August 12, 2018. In this episode she describes the goals of the probe, as well as her advice to parents for encouraging their children to pursue a career in the science field. We also feature video and hi-fidelity sound from 4 miles away from the launchpad as the Solar Probe lifted off on its way to study the Sun.

“Behind the Sun” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers used with permission from Warner Bros. Records.

For more information on the Parker Solar Probe visit http://parkersolarprobe.jhuapl.edu/

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ECOSTRESS – Monitoring Plants from Space – Dr. Joshua Fisher, JPL

Dr. Joshua Fisher

Dr. Joshua Fisher is the Science Lead for the ECOSTRESS Mission, a mission designed to study the Earth’s climate. Dr. Fisher is a Scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I was fortunate to first meet Dr. Fisher recently at Cape Canaveral to witness the launch of ECOSTRESS aboard the SpaceX CRS-15 resupply mission to the International Space Station. The ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) will measure the temperature of plants and use that information to better understand how much water plants need and how they respond to stress.

For more information about ECOSTRESS, visit: https://www.ecostress.jpl.nasa.gov

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Dr. Eugene Parker – The Mysteries of the Sun & NASA’s Parker Solar Probe

Dr. Eugene Parker is the solar astrophysicist who developed the theory of the supersonic solar wind and predicted the Parker spiral shape of the solar magnetic field in the mid-1950s. In this episode Dr. Parker joins us by phone to discuss his incredible theories about the Sun and NASA's Solar Parker Probe mission. Dr. Parker was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1967 and has received numerous honors throughout his career.  Most recently he was awarded the Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research by the American Physical Society for his fundamental contributions to space physics, plasma physics, solar physics and astrophysics for more than 60 years. NASA recently renamed the Parker Solar Probe after him, the first time in history that a spacecraft was named after a living person.

For more information about the Parker Solar Probe, visit: https://www.Nasa.gov/solarprobe

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(Photo of Dr. Parker courtesy University of Chicago)

From Coffee Shop to Space Station – Death Wish Coffee

The amazing story of Death Wish Coffee – how it went from the basement to Space. In this episode, we speak with The Incredible Jeff and The Amazing D-Man, hosts of Death Wish Coffee's weekly podcast series “Fueled by Death Cast” as they tell the amazing story of how founder Mike Brown's idea of making the world's strongest coffee led to its recent launch to the International Space Station. We were at the launch firsthand of SpaceX Falcon 9 as CRS-15 blasted off, along with a supply of Death Wish Coffee, to the ISS.

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

Check out our appearance as a guest on the Fueled by Death Cast:

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How Artificial Intelligence is Changing the World – Bret Greenstein, IBM’s Global VP for Watson IoT Offerings

Bret Greenstein, IBM Watson IoTArtificial Intelligence (AI), IoT, Machine Learning & IBM’s Watson are changing the world. In this episode, Bret Greenstein, IBM's Global Vice President for Watson IoT Offerings, discusses the future of AI as well as the capabilities and impact of Watson, IBM's supercomputer.

I had the pleasure of meeting Bret recently at Kennedy Space Center for the launch of the SpaceX CRS-15 resupply mission to the International Space Station. On board the spacecraft was CIMON, an orb-shaped device with a digital face that was jointly developed by IBM, Airbus and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). CIMON uses the power of IBM’s Watson to provide Artificial Intelligence aboard the space station. In today's episode Bret also discusses how Watson helps CIMON provide AI for the astronauts and what the future of AI looks like.

For more information about Watson, visit www.ibm.com/watson

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Andy Weir, Bestselling Author of The Martian, Releases Artemis, a story of science and suspense on the Moon

Andy WeirAndy Weir built a two-decade career as a software engineer until the enormous success of his first published novel, The Martian, allowed him to live out his dream of writing full-time. Andy is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of such subjects as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics and the history of manned spaceflight. In this episode Andy discusses his background as well as his latest novel, Artemis, an adventurous and suspense story which takes place on the Moon.

For more information, visit http://andyweirauthor.com/

Artemis: A Novel

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Mars is Coming! Here’s what to expect with Jon Bell, Hallstrom Planetarium Director

Jon BellThe planet Mars is making its closest approach in 15 years during the summer of 2018. Here's what to expect by Jon Bell, the planetarium director of the Hallstrom Planetarium and professor of Physical Sciences at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Florida. Jon is also the host of the radio program SKYWATCH. In this episode Jon discusses how to get a good look at the red planet as it approaches opposition on July 27, 2018 (before and after), and what to do if you've caught the astronomy bug and are looking for a telescope.

For more information about the Hallstrom Planetarium, visit www.irsc.edu
For information about the Treasure Coast Astronomy Society, visit http://treasurecoastastronomy.org/

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NASA CRS-15 Behind the Scenes of SpaceX Falcon 9 Resupply Mission to the ISS

Here's a recap of our journey to the launch of SpaceX CRS-15 mission at Cape Canaveral on June 29, 2018, as part of the NASA's Social Media group. We were treated to behind the scenes look at NASA buildings, rockets and laboratories as well as the scientists and engineers who had a part in this mission. Truly an amazing experience! We feature not only video from the launch and behind the scenes photos, but also hi-fidelity sound of the launch! PLUS, we share some EXCITING news for our future!

WARNING–Launch sound is LOUD! I supplemented the launch video with audio recorded from my H4N Zoom to show just how loud launches are.

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Dust Storms on Mars, Opportunity Rover Status & the Future of Human Space Exploration – Dr. Jim Rice

Dr Jim RiceThe Opportunity Rover, which has been surviving on Mars since January 2004, is struggling for its life during the dust storms on the red planet. In this episode, Dr. Jim Rice, the senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, discusses the current dust storms (the worst ever recorded) and how Opportunity is being affected. Dr. Rice is the co-investigator and geology team leader on the Mars Exploration Rover Project, which includes Spirit and Opportunity. He also has mission experience working on the Mars Odyssey Orbiter and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Projects.

For more information on the current status of the Mars rovers, visit https://mars.nasa.gov

If you would like to book Dr. Rice for a speaking engagement you can contact him at: moon2mars@gmail.com

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