The New Horizons mission revealed Pluto's jaw-dropping vistas and geophysical mysteries. One listener wanted to know why the spacecraft didn't go into orbit around Pluto. Tom Spilker, interplanetary travel expert, tells us the answer.
In part 2, engineers who worked on the Galileo probe discuss what it was like when the probe entered Jupiter's atmosphere. This episode includes a bonus story about Pioneer Venus.
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the successful deployment of a probe into Jupiter's atmosphere, this episode is a series of interviews with the engineers who worked on this challenging, historic mission.
Dr. George Privon talks about what galaxies are and what happens when two galaxies merge.
Dr. Dan Petrizzo explains what isotopes are, and what isotopes in water can tell scientists about ancient climates. He also explains how he made Mars rocks in the lab.
Professor Amy Lovell talks about listening in on radio waves coming from comets, as well as the particular challenges of using the world's biggest radio telescopes.
Professor Bethany Ehlmann discusses how to pick a landing site for NASA's next Mars rover, Mars 2020. Over a particularly good beer, we also cover looking for life on Mars, and she answers the thorny question: why look for life on Mars, which has little
Dr Bonnie Buratti talks about Pluto's big mystery: What is the source of energy that is causing all the active geology seen by New Horizons?
Dr. Jessica Watkins talks about enormous landslides on Mars that are millions of years old.
Dr. Michael Busch talks about the strange, low gravity surfaces of asteroids, and the challenges a visiting astronaut might face.
Dr. Britney Schmidt tells us about how she can learn about they icy, watery moon Europa by exploring giant Antarctic ice shelves with submarines.
Dr Jeff Rich talks about where elements come from, and the famous phrase, "We are all made of star stuff".
Dr. Linda Spilker discusses the Cassini Spacecraft; what it looks like, what it has discovered, and plans for the conclusion of the mission.
Emily Lakdawalla talks about UnmannedSpaceflight.com, a place where everyday people explore the solar system by processing images from robotic spacecraft.
Dr. Amy Mainzer discusses how she and her team calculated how many asteroids are out in space, waiting to be discovered.
Dr. Barbara Cohen discusses craters on our moon, and how they will be explored by a new NASA mission called Lunar Flashlight.
Dr Paddack, one of the discoverers of the YORP effect, tells some funny stories from his time at NASA.
Brent Barbee discusses how he figures out which asteroids astronauts could fly to, and the fun of solving problems using computers.
Dr. Nancy Chabot tells us about the MESSENGER mission, which explored the closest planet to the sun.
Rob Landis talks about operating the Hubble Space Telescope, and the time he had a front-row seat to a dramatic interplanetary collision.
Dr. Kirkpatrick talks about stars so cold you could touch them without getting burned.
Dr. Sarah Noble talks about the LADEE mission and an epiphany she had in graduate school.
Dr. Abby Fraeman talks about Phobos and Deimos, the mysterious moons of Mars.
Dr. Joseph Masiero talks about the "secret" property of light, and how astronomers use it to learn about exoplanets and asteroids.