Liftoff is a fortnightly podcast about space, the universe, and everything. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand the latest developments as explained by enthusiastic space fans Stephen Hackett and Jason Snell. Hosted by Jason Snell and Stephen Hackett.
The recent announcement of phosphine being detected in Venus' atmosphere could have a major effect on future scientific missions, so Jason is excited about space blimps again. Then, Stephen walks through NASA's most recent Artemis roadmap, and the guys discuss what the future of the program could look like if the White House changes hands next year.
In the Utah desert, Northrop Grumman has tested a full-sized SLS SRB, while the future of work in low-Earth orbit is being debated. On Mars, InSight's troubles continue and 17 billion light years-away, two black holes have collided.
It's a busy week on Florida's Space Coast, and supernovas are in the news. Thankfully the two won't cross paths. Neither will Earth and an asteroid the day before Election Day in the United States.
Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley have splashed down after their historic mission to the ISS, and SpaceX's finally gotten a Starship test article to hop in Texas and the OSIRIS-REx team is gearing up for their sample return flight. Also: Ceres' bright spots, government contracts and an update on the SLS.
Mars 2020 is set to launch in just a few days, and should be followed by the splashdown of the Commercial Crew Demo-2 mission. Elsewhere, Virgin Galactic has shown off the interior of its space tourism craft, and we remember Rene Carpenter.
There are three missions bound for Mars launching this month, and Jason walks through them each. Then, Stephen gives a NASA budget update and the two get into some space law ... and guidelines.
This week: black holes doing weird black hole things, a progress report on the SLS and a discussion of how some of NASA's facilities should be renamed.
The crew of Demo-2 are likely working on orbit until August, while here on the ground, COVID-19 is taking its toll on NASA schedules. Also: a conversation about CLPS and Gateway, as well as NASA's new Director of Human Spaceflight, Kathy Lueders.
The age of Commercial Crew has arrived, with Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken arriving at the International Space Station safely after riding a Falcon 9 there this weekend. Also: tiny CubeSats can do big things and Tom Cruise may be taking a trip.
The Artemis Accords have been unveiled, but will their adoption be hurt by their rollout? Could Starship be more useful as a refueling station than a lander? Jason and Stephen get into these questions and more this fortnight.
NASA has unveiled its plans to source a lunar lander for the Artemis program, while Hubble celebrates its 30th anniversary.
May seems to be the Month of Commercial Crew! Also: NASA is working from home, an exoplanet may be no more and a look at a future Mars sample return mission.
In the spring of 1970, NASA launched what would be the third mission to walk on the moon, but almost nothing went to plan, putting the crew in peril until the moment they splashed down.
The entire space industry is reeling from effects of the current global pandemic, and NASA remembers Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden.
Mars 2020 has a name, Voyager 2 can't call home and SpaceX is doing SpaceX things. Then, results from the initial Starliner investigation and a look at VIPER.
Little satellites are helping larger ones, InSight's mole is causing problems, the SLS is slipping and Venus is up for a mission as a Hot Jupiter may be being ripped apart. Just another fortnight of space news!
Boeing's Starliner issues run deeper than it first appeared, CHEOPS is operation and the Solar Orbiter is on its way to our start. That, and a look at the White House's proposed NASA budget for 2021.
On January 28, 1986, seven astronauts lost their lives aboard the space shuttle Challenger, including teacher Christa McAuliffe. This week, Jason and Stephen talk about the disaster, its causes and how it changed NASA, after discussing the current House NASA Authorization Bill and more.
2020 is here, as are updates on the James Webb telescope and SLS. NASA has inducted some new astronauts and the star Betelgeuse is getting weird.
2019 is coming to a close, but the news rolls on: NASA is close to having a new budget, Commercial Crew makes another step in the right direction and Jason ends things with a holiday message.
Commercial Crew is moving forward, Vikram's crash site has been found, and there's a big black hole in the news. There are also claims of a new particle, but questions surround the announcement.
Apollo 12 forever lives in the shadow of the mission before it, but it shouldn't. Pete Conrad, Dick Gordon and Al Bean made plenty of their own history, with some terror and plenty of laughs along the way.
Commercial Crew continues to grind forward, while InSight struggles to dig on Mars. Then, some SLS upper stage news, reflections on the Galileo probe and a spoiler-free review of "For All Mankind."
Insight is back up and running, and the ISS has hosted the first all-female spacewalk. Back here on Earth, NASA is making purchases for Artemis, even as Congress threatens the agency's 2024 plans.
This fortnight: NASA works to get its InSight lander digging again, while the SLS program moves forward with training using a replica core stage and some have suggested Planet 9 may not be a planet at all. Oh, and Elon Musk and Jim Bridenstine have been feisty on Twitter.
This week, Stephen and Jason discuss a recent exoplanet discovery, NASA's ordering of additional Orion capsules and what Jim Bridenstine can do to ensure ARTEMIS is a success, even beyond his tenure.
The Chandrayaan-2 lander seems to have met its end on the lunar surface as SpaceX inches forward with its Raptor testing program. Then, NASA's plans for commercial lunar landers and how the agency prepares Kennedy for hurricanes.
The first SLS is taking shape, as are Starhopper and Europa Clipper. Stephen struggles with a name and then Jason introduces a new segment.
Stephen and Jason report in after their field trip to Space Center Houston and Johnson Space Center, which included seeing several spacecraft and visiting the restored Apollo Mission Control room.
As 2024 gets closer and closer, NASA is hard at work on SLS and Orion, but is also partnering with several companies to move several projects forward in parallel. Stephen and Jason then mark the passing of NASA's first Flight Director, Chris Kraft.
50 years ago, humans first set foot on the moon. The work of the crew of Apollo 11 has inspired people for five decades, and their legacy continues to shine on today. In this episode, Stephen and Jason discuss three aspects of the mission that aren’t as well known, including Neil Armstrong’s brush with death in a training exercise, the science performed by the crew during their lunar EVA, and the astronauts’ less-than-glamorous welcome back to Earth.
Orion and the Mobile Launch Platform are making progress, InSight's struggles continue and NASA is sending a 8-rotor drone to Saturn's moon Titan.
The Artemis Budget is becoming more and more real, as NASA promotes the number of companies involved in building its hardware. Elsewhere, ESA is preparing to go to Jupiter with the JUICE robotic mission and Bigelow has big plans for the ISS.
Jason and Stephen discuss the debate around Starlink and its impact on astronomy, cover the latest GAO report and talk about the importance of Commercial Moon Landing Services.
In May 1969, Tom Stafford, John Young and Gene Cernan took their Apollo spacecraft within 48,000 feet of the lunar service.
This fortnight: checking in on the SLS' test procedures and the on-going planning to return to the moon in 2024, and then a dose of planetary defense.
Stephen and Jason talk the news, from blackholes to Beresheet, and spacesuits to backronyms. Then, a bit about the Crew Dragon anomaly.
Rocket Lab has a new satellite platform, while methane cycles have been measured on Mars. Elsewhere, NASA continues to work through the details of its new 2024 lunar goal and 2007 OR10 needs a name.
Vice President Mike Pence has challenged NASA to return to the moon within five years.
The guys talk through a few stories that didn't make Episode 95, including what's going on with Boeing's Starliner and Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser, as well as Bennu's habit of spewing material into space.
Stephen and Jason get into the details of the proposed 2020 NASA budget, the future of the SLS rocket, then review the film *Apollo 11.*
In March 1969, Jim McDivitt, Dave Scott and Rusty Schweickart were the first astronauts to fly the Lunar Module, proving that this vital spacecraft was ready to take a crew to the moon — and help bring them home.
Jason and Stephen catch up on the news, then talk about the Pioneer and Ranger programs.
This fortnight, Jason and Stephen mark NASA's Day of Remembrance, discuss layoffs at two private space companies and wish for a mission to Uranus.
China has big plans for the moon and SpaceX has a new test vehicle. Oh, and things got weird with Russia.
China's latest lunar mission is about to touchdown on the far side of the moon, and New Horizons has completed its flyby of Ultima Thule.
In December 1968, Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders became the first human beings to travel to the moon, circling our nearest neighbor and making history while doing so.
The end of 2018 is proving to be busy: InSight has landed, OSIRIS-REx has rendezvoused with Bennu, SpaceX is breaking records and the CLPS program is here, for what that's worth.
There was a false alarm concerning Opportunity, and drama about the SLS' future. That, and a conversation about Rocket Lab and a preview of InSight's landing.
NASA says goodbye to two spacecraft and Stephen and Jason review *First Man.*