Videos: TMRO SpacePod reports on Nov. night sky and the mystery of KIC8462852

A couple of recent SpacePod short reports from

* What’s up! November 2015 – SpacePod 10/30/15

* The Mystery of KIC8462852 – SpacePod 10/23/15

The programs are audience supported:

TMRO Space Pods are crowd funded shows. If you like this episode consider contributing to help us to continue to improve. Head over to for information, goals and reward levels. Don’t forget to check out our weekly live show campaign as well over at

Videos: Talks given at NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Fall Symposium

The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) office funds studies into all sorts of leading and beyond leading edge ideas for space development. This past week NIAC held its fall symposium in Seattle, Washington –

Many interesting talks were given and you can see them in the archive at 2015 NIAC Fall Symposium on Livestream.

Some examples:

* Keynote Address Greg Bear, Science Fiction Author

* Four talks by:

  • William Engblom, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Virtual Flight Demonstration of Stratospheric Dual-Aircraft Platform
  • John Graf, NASA JSC, Thirsty Walls – A new paradigm for air revitalization in life support
  • Michael Hecht, MIT Haystack Observatory, A Tall Ship and a Star to Steer Her By
  • John Lewis, Deep Space Industries, In-Space Manufacture of Storable Propellants

*  Four talks by:

  • Larry Paxton, Johns Hopkins University, CRICKET: Cryogenic Reservoir Inventory by Cost-Effective Kinetically Enhanced Technology
  • Joel Sercel, ICS Assoc., APIS (Asteroid Provided In-Situ Supplies):100MT Of Water from a Single Falcon 9
  • Adrian Stoica, NASA JPL, WindBots: persistent in-situ science explorers for gas giants
  • Nelson Tabirian, BEAM Engineering for Advanced Measurements Co., Thin-Film Broadband Large Area Imaging System

* Three talks by:

  • Melville Ulmer, Northwestern University, Aperture: A Precise Extremely large Reflective Telescope Using Re-configurable Elements
  • Joseph Wang, Univ. Southern California, CubeSat with Nanostructured Sensing Instrumentation for Planetary Exploration
  • Marco Pavone, Stanford University, Spacecraft/Rover Hybrids for the Exploration of Small Solar System Bodies

SpaceIL books trip to the Moon + Video: Seminar on lunar elevators

The SpaceIL team in the Google Lunar X PRIZE is a volunteer, not-for-profit Israel-based organization that just became the first participant in the GLXP to get a verified booking on a rocket: Israeli Google Lunar XPRIZE Team Is First to Sign Launch Agreement For Private Mission to the Moon On SpaceX Falcon 9 – Google Lunar XPRIZE.

The team’s lunar explorer will get into space via a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in the second half of 2017.

Check out their latest newsletter: We Have Been Waiting for this Moment for Five Years!

This video describes how they came up with the new design for the lander, which will use its propulsion system to hop to other spots on the surface:


Someday spacecraft and cargo may go from an in-space transport node down to and back up from the Moon’s surface via a lunar space elevator. Here is a talk about how such an elevator could be built: Lunar Elevator – Seminar at NASA Ames.

For more details, see Lunar Elevator – LiftPort Group.

Video: Andy Weir – “The Martian: How Science Drove the Plot”

In a good sign that there are likely to be more space movies with realistic-style plots in the coming years, The Martian continues to rack up solid box office numbers – currently at $392,038,124 worldwide. Author Andy Weir has given lots of talks and interviews, many linked from here, but there is always room for another, especially for someone like Weir who gives such entertaining presentations. This video is from a talk this past summer at NASA Ames and was titled, The Martian: How Science Drove the Plot