Spacecast sampling for November 2016

If you are off work for the Thanksgiving holidays, you might want to catch up on space podcasts and video reports of interest, especially while sitting down to absorb a giant meal. Here is a sampling of recent spacecasts:

The Space Show with David Livingston:

By the way, Leonard David has a posting about some intriguing analysis of data from the Spirit rover: Did the Spirit Mars Rover Find a Biosignature of Past Life? – Leonard David

This Orbital Life – Voices from L5

  • The History Of Space Policy – “Kicking off another mini series, we have friend of the show Michael Listner this week to discuss the social and political landscape around space policy through the ages – We discuss what shaped important bills and what that might mean for the future.”

John Batchelor Show:

Planetary Radio 

  • To Mars! With National Geographic | The Planetary Society – “The National Geographic Channel’s “Mars” miniseries has begun. Mat Kaplan attended a kickoff for the ambitious docudrama last summer. You’ll hear from series technical advisor Bobby Braun, author of “The Martian” Andy Weir, Cosmos creator Ann Druyan and more. It took two years, but Emily Lakdawalla has completed an important visual document focused on Mars rover Opportunity. Bill Nye steps aside for Planetary Society Director of Space Policy Casey Dreier with a look toward Donald Trump’s NASA. One listener will win a spectacular new Pluto globe in the What’s Up space trivia contest.”
  • Inside Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo | The Planetary Society – “Host Mat Kaplan traveled to California’s Mojave Desert for a tour of Virgin Galactic’s The Spaceship Company, where the second SpaceShipTwo was built and is undergoing flight tests. TSC Executive VP Enrico Palermo was his guide. Emily Lakdawalla provides a taste of this busy month throughout the solar system. NASA has reached an important milestone according to Bill Nye the Science Guy. And “The Honeymooners” are Bruce and Mat’s special guests on Whats’ Up.”

TMRO Space Pods

  • NASA Seeking Orion Capsule Alternatives – SpacePod 11/16/16

  • How to Breathe in Space – Space Pod 11/10/16

Cassini to graze Saturn’s rings and view moons close up in its mission finale

Cassini spacecraft during its final year at Saturn will make some death defying dives bear the edges of the rings:

Now in its final year of operations, on Nov. 30, 2016, NASA’s Cassini mission will begin a daring set of ring-grazing orbits, skimming past the outside edge of Saturn’s main rings. Cassini will fly closer to Saturn’s rings than it has since its 2004 arrival. It will begin the closest study of the rings and offer unprecedented views of moons that orbit near them. Even more dramatic orbits ahead will bring Cassini closer to Saturn than any spacecraft has dared to go before.

More at Cassini: Mission to Saturn: NASA Saturn Mission Prepares for ‘Ring-Grazing Orbits’ – NASA JPL

Video: TMRO 9.38 – Low Earth Orbit Airships

The latest episode of the weekly program is now available on line:

We are joined by John Powell, founder of JPAerospace. 6 years ago we interviewed John on Spacevidcast (now TMRO) and it is fun to see the progress since then. […] John has an interesting idea for what could be one of the safest ways to get humans to Low Earth Orbit. If he can get balloons moving fast enough!

Space news topics discussed:

Ariane 5 and Soyuz Launches
Goes-R Upcoming Launch
Shenzhou 11 crew returns to Earth
MESSENGER data finds massive valley on Mercury
SpaceX tests Fuel Tanks for ITS at sea
New evidence supports a subsurface ocean in Pluto
Vector Space raises additional funds

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