space exploration

MOON to MARS – Behind the Scenes at NASA Glenn Research Center

MOON to Mars event at NASA Glenn Research Center

America is going back to the Moon! Go behind the scenes of the NASA Glenn Research Center as we go onsite to speak with the incredible team members and discover some of the cutting-edge technology that will help send American’s back to the Moon and then to Mars and beyond.

In this episode we recap our recent visit to the Moon To Mars event which was held in March by various NASA facilities throughout the U.S. For our trip to NASA Glenn in Cleveland, Ohio, we highlight some of the highly-skilled team members and discuss the incredible technologies that NASA is developing at this facility to get back to the Moon. Topics include GVIS (Graphics & Visualization Lab), ISRU (In-Situ Resource Utilization), advanced power systems and electric propulsion.

For more information on the Moon To Mars program, visit:

http://nasa.gov/moontomars

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The New Vulcan Centaur Rocket – Mark Peller, ULA Program Manager for Major Development

Mark Peller
Mark Peller

Mark Peller is the program manager for major development at United Launch Alliance (ULA), and in this position is responsible for development of Vulcan. Mark is with us today to discuss ULA’s future launch system, the Vulcan Centaur rocket.

Vulcan is ULA’s future launch system that builds upon ULA’s extensive Atlas and Delta heritage to provide a competitive product offering to serve a broad spectrum of markets. As the program manager, Peller has overall responsibility for developing the launch vehicle and the supporting capabilities required across the supply chain as well as ULA’s production and launch operations to meet the program’s objectives.

Peller began his career with Rockwell International in 1990 as a propulsion engineer supporting the Space Shuttle program. He joined The Boeing Company in 1996 when it acquired the aerospace and defense businesses of Rockwell. Peller moved to the Delta program in 1997 and held various technical and program management positions throughout the development and initial fielding of the Delta IV launch system.

Peller continued his work on the Delta program at ULA after the company was formed in 2006. In 2009, he was appointed the product line chief engineer for Delta, where he had overall technical responsibility for the Delta II and Delta IV launch systems. During this period he oversaw 24 successful Delta launches, including the first launch of the Delta IV Heavy configuration from the West Coast. In 2013 Peller transitioned into the role of the director of the ULA Hardware Value Stream where he was responsible for managing the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) contracts with the U.S. Air Force, and leading the product teams supporting launch vehicle development, procurement, and production.

Peller holds a Bachelor of Science degree in applied mechanics from the University of California, San Diego, a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of California, Irvine. He is a licensed mechanical engineer in the state of California.

For more information, visit https://www.ulalaunch.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/

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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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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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The Time Has Come To Go To Mars – Dr. Robert Zubrin, President & Founder of The Mars Society

Dr. Robert ZubrinThe Time has come to go to Mars! Dr. Robert Zubrin is the founder and President of the Mars Society, as well as a member of the organization's Board of Directors.  Dr. Zubrin is also President of Pioneer Astronautics, an aerospace R&D company located in Lakewood, Colorado.  Formerly a Staff Engineer at Lockheed Martin Astronautics in Denver, he holds a Masters degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Washington.

Dr. Zubrin is the inventor of several unique concepts for space propulsion and exploration. He's known internationally as one of the most creative engineers working in the aerospace industry today. He helped design the “Mars Direct” mission architecture, and was a co-inventor of the magnetic sail, as well as a nuclear rocket engine that can use CO2 as propellant, allowing a vehicle so powered to have virtually unlimited mobility on Mars.

For more information about The Mars Society, please visit MarsSociety.orgThe Mars Society

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Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto – Dr. Alan Stern

If you wanted to design and fly a robotic spacecraft on a 9-year voyage 3 billion miles from Earth, the farthest journey of exploration our species has ever attempted, HOW WOULD YOU DO IT?

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. A planetary scientist, space program executive, aerospace consultant and author, he has participated in over two dozen scientific space missions. Dr. Stern is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2016 Carl Sagan Memorial Award of the American Astronautical Society, and has twice been named to the Time 100.

In this episode, Dr. Stern discusses his new book, “Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto”, including details on both successes and struggles during the mission, and upcoming plans to awaken the New Horizons spacecraft from hibernation in June through preparations for its rendezvous with Kuiper Belt object MU69 on New Year's Day 2019. 

Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto is available now at Amazon.com

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