NASA Social

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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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)