Tuesday December 01, 2015

Episode 23: The final frontier

Up to the stars we go.

Up to the stars we go. (Dave Watson)

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Houston, we have a podcast! This week Podcast Playlist takes one giant leap for mankind and shares tales from outer space.

Find out what happens when you put a 22-year-old rookie in charge of a NASA space craft and if freeze dried ice cream hits the spot. 

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The Sound of Science Podcast

​"People think they're hearing cars, or whales or wind. But, they're not." —Rose Eveleth on The Sound of Science Podcast. 

Outer space is usually thought of as vast, infinite and silent. As there are no molecules to vibrate in space, scientists have always believed no sounds can be heard there either. But, that's not technically true. NASA has many recordings of space sounds. From the sound of the Earth spinning to the crackle of lightning on Saturn. In this episode of The Sound of Science Podcast, Rose Eveleth shares some of the best sounds from the galaxies and explains how they were made. 

You can hear more sounds from space on NASA's Soundcloud page here.

This Podcast is provided by Scienceline, a project of New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. 


The Story Collider

​"I had to miss my ultimate frisbee tournament because of Jupiter." —Victor Hwang on The Story Collider.

How stressful would you say your job is? Landing at the top of Forbes Magazine's list for most stressful professions you'll find firefighter, soldier, pilot and police officer.

But what if your job involved being in charge of a three hundred and thirty million dollar spacecraft? Would that make you break a sweat? On The Story Collider, 22-year-old NASA rookie Victor Hwang describes the ultimate stress-inducing "oops" moment at work.


Stuff to Blow Your Mind

"To make it sound cute, he called it lunar dust hay fever...but the actual situation isn't so cute." —Joe McCormick on Stuff to Blow Your Mind.

It's impossible to have an episode about space without talking about the Mars One mission. There's a long-list of candidates who are competing for a chance to go to Mars and never come back. But, it's not as easy as just hopping in a space elevator and pressing "Mars." Stuff to Blow Your Mind  has a full run down of how travel to the red planet and the environment of Mars itself would impact a person's health. Radiation and microgravity are just a few of the obstacles in the way of inhabiting Mars. Not to mention the lower gravitational pull which slowly wears away bones and muscles. Yikes.


Futuropolis

​"It's crunchy. It's chewy. This is supposed to be ice cream?!" —Breanna Draxler on Futuropolis.

Space food doesn't have a reputation for being very tasty. Dehydrated mystery bars, lunch from a squeeze tube, and thermo-stabalized turkey dinners all sound pretty disgusting. Futuropolis reminds us of where space food started, and more importantly where it's headed. 3D printed apple pie could be something future astronauts have to look forward to, and it sounds much nicer than a sad glass of Tang. 


Paper Radio

"I spoke a little bit of Russian. I hadn't spoken Russian in like, 30 years." — Maggie Iaquinto on Paper Radio.

In the early 90's, Soviet Cosmonauts would go aboard the space station Mir for 6 months at a time. It turns out though, that being up in space for stretches of half a year, can get a bit boring. So to fill their time, the Cosmonauts would chat with earth-bound HAM radio operators who locked into the station's frequency.

Australian based podcast Paper Radio has an amazing story from a HAM radio enthusiast who was determined to speak to the Cosmonauts. So determined, that she set up an antenna in her kitchen and left it locked into that frequency 24 hours a day. Then one day, out of the blue, she made contact.


The Star Spot

"I fell in love with the stars, just doing stargazing at night, when summer nights I would sleep outside and look at the night skies." —Anousheh Ansari on The Star Spot.

Going to space can seem like an impossible dream. The Ansari X Prize aimed to remove that obstacle for ambitious wannabe space travellers. It's a space competition that offered a 10 million dollar prize to the winner. Toronto based radio show and podcast The Star Spot spoke to Anousheh Ansari, an American-Iranian engineer, and a title sponsor of the Ansari X Prize.

But Anousheh Ansari wasn't just interested in seeing other people go to space. She had every intention of going there herself.


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