Bill Spetch, Manager of the ISS Vehicle Office at NASA, joins me to discuss the operational considerations of docking and berthing ports on the International Space Station, the recent traffic jams we’ve seen on station, why certain vehicles and systems use one port over the other, how to fit large cargo through docking ports, and what the future of ISS port operations look like in the era of commercial space station expansion.
Marshall Smith, Senior Vice President of Space Systems of Nanoracks, joins me to talk about Starlab, their commercial space station which recently won a contract award from NASA as part of their Commercial LEO Destinations program.
Brian Weeden of the Secure World Foundation joins me to talk about the technical and political fallout of Russia’s recent anti-satellite weapons demonstration, the history of anti-satellite weapons and testing, the geopolitical situation surrounding the topic, and what the future of space debris tracking and management looks like.
Jake and Anthony are joined by Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian to talk about Russia’s latest endangerment to the ISS—their anti-satellite operationthat resulted in a huge debris field—and about how Jonathan does all the excellent work he does tracking launches, satellites, and where everything in space is going.
Russia recklessly carried out an anti-satellite operation on a large, defunct satellite in one of the most heavily-used and most important sections of Earth orbit. I share my thoughts on the operation, Russia’s status in the space industry at large, and what the technical and political fallout may be coming out of this.
Commercial space station mania! Blue Origin, Sierra Space, Boeing, and Redwire announced Orbital Reef, while Nanoracks and Lockheed Martin announced Starlab, all in the run up to the expected awards as part of NASA’s Commercial Low-Earth Orbit Destinations program.
I took a half-hour ride out to the National Aerospace Training and Research (NASTAR) Center to take a tour with Glenn King, (COO, Director of Advanced Pilot & Space Training, and recent Netflix star) about their training, what they’ve been up to lately in this busy season of people going to space, and what the future may hold for spaceflight training. We tour their altitude chamber, spatial disorientation device, and high performance human centrifuge along with its various cockpits.
Jake and Anthony are joined by two returning favorites, Loren Grush and Miriam Kramer, to talk about Loren’s time away from the space news grind, and Miriam’s excellent podcast following Inspiration4.
Ryan McDevitt, CEO of Benchmark Space Systems joins me to talk all about what Benchmark has been up to lately, what mobility-as-a-service means for the industry, and their partnership with Orbit Fab.
At a town hall this week, NASA announced that the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate will be split in two: the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate, led by Jim Free, and the Space Operations Mission Directorate, led by Kathy Lueders. I discuss what this change might mean for the future of NASA’s human spaceflight program, and why I think it’s not something to worry about if you’re a Kathy Lueders stan.
Last week, Firefly made their first flight attempt of Alpha, and Astra launched their latest vehicle, LV0006. Though both ended in failure, it’s a good time to check in on them and other small launchers that will debut soon like, ABL’s RS1 and Relativity’s Terran 1, and how they may all compete with each other.
Jake and Anthony are joined by Joe Barnard of BPS.Space to talk about what he’s been working on lately, what it’s like being a creator online these days, and various other topics like Firefly’s first launch, Virgin Galactic’s Kobayashi Maru, and what Chuck E. Cheese has been up to during the pandemic.
Eric Berger of Ars Technica returns to the show to talk about the recent crewed suborbital flights by Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, Blue Origin’s Project Jarvis and their future work, and what the chaotic arrival of Nauka means for the future of the ISS and international space politics.
Jake and Anthony are joined by Chelsea Gohd from Space.com to talk about the rarest of space events: double hot drama! Nauka, after a tumultuous week of its own, almost destroyed the ISS, and Blue Origin wrote an open letter while simulatenously losing its protest.
Richard Branson flew to space aboard SpaceShipTwo on Virgin Galactic’s Unity 22, and Jeff Bezos flew to space aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard 16. I share my thoughts on the flights, the vehicles, and how I’m currently looking at suborbital tourism and why it does or doesn’t matter.
Marcia Smith of SpacePolicyOnline.com joins me for a round up of space policy news, including how the Biden and Nelson administrations are doing so far, things that are being overlooked or sidelined, the Senate’s NASA Authorization bill, NASA’s Human Landing System contract and the battle for funding, the space tourism learning period, and we finish with a quick look at what China and Russia have been up to lately.
Jake is moving, and has left Anthony alone with the keys to the show. Chris Gebhardt of NASASpaceflight and Jason Davis of the Planetary Society return to the show to talk about our newest Venus armada, China’s new space station, and the space politics cold war of Artemis vs China & Russia’s International Lunar Research Station. And bizarrely, an entire segment about Ares I-X.
I’m joined by Matt LaPointe, Technical Director at Redwire’s Deployable Space Systems, and Andrew Rush, COO of Redwire, to talk about the newest upgrade to the International Space Station: the Roll-Out Solar Arrays that are currently being deployed over the course of several spacewalks.
Phil Bracken, Vice President of Engineering at Spaceflight, joins me to talk about their past, current, and upcoming missions, the Sherpa program, and to dive into the technical details of it all.
This month, Anthony and Jake are taking it bit easier. It’s summer, everyone is excited about getting back in to the world again, and space news will be winding down a bit.
It’s just the two of us, and we go through a potpourri of topics from random space stories that have caught our attention, some stray conspiracy theory talk, then talk shop about our plans for the show, our work, our lives, and more.