1. Monday, April 30, 2018; 2-3:30 pm PDT (4-5:30 pm CDT, 5-6:30 pm EDT): We welcome back DR. TOM JONES, retired astronaut. Find out more about our guest at astronauttomjones.com. Topics include NASA’s proposed return to the moon, lessons learned from Columbia on flight safety, planetary defense, the 50th anniversary of 2001, & the flight of Apollo 7, and John Young’s legacy.
2. Tuesday, May 1, 2018: 7-8:30 pm PDT; 9-10:30 pm CDT; 10-11:30 pm EDT: No show today due to travel.
3. Wednesday, May 2, 2018: Hotel Mars. See Upcoming Show Menu and the website newsletter for details. Hotel Mars is pre-recorded by John Batchelor. It is archived on The Space Show site after John posts it on his website.
4. Friday, May 4, , 2018; 9:30 am -11 am PDT, (12:30 -2 pm EDT; 11:30 am -1 PM CDT): No show today due to travel.
5. Sunday, May 6, 2018: 12-1:30 pm PDT; 2-3:30 pm CDT; 3-4:30 pm EDT. No show today due to travel.
On Sunday, Blue Origin flew an un-crewed New Shepard fully reusable rocket vehicle to 107 kilometers (351,000 feet or 66.5 miles), well above the internationally recognized border to space. Before reaching apogee the system split into two parts – the booster and the crew capsule. The booster used its rocket engine to make a soft touchdown on a landing pad while the crew capsule floated safely to the ground with parachutes.
This was the 2nd test flight for this particular vehicle, the third version of the New Shepard design, and the eighth flight overall. The company, owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, plans to carry out several more test flights to prepare for flying employees by the end of the year. If all goes well, in 2019 they will begin making routine flights to space with six public ticket-owners on board at a time. (Sign up here to receive ticket info when it becomes available.) In the meantime, they will be flying a diverse manifest of scientific and technology experiment payloads for paying customers.
Here is a new video from NASA JPL about a plan to return a sample of Martian soil to the earth:
And here is a video of a recent public lecture at the SETI Institute giving an overview of Mars research plans:
Three SETI Institute planetary scientists who have dedicated their career to the study of the red planet will tell us what we have learned from those studies, and what the next steps are in the exploration of Mars with the next generation of rovers. Janice Bishop will introduce the candidate landing sites for upcoming martian rovers. She will focus on the mineralogy determined from the CRISM spectrometer at Mars and what that can tell us about Mars’ early environment. Ginny Gulick will describe the fluvial morphology/water history of these sites as seen by the HiRISE and CTX cameras. Finally, Pablo Sobron will address the instruments scheduled for the Mars2020 and ExoMars rovers and how SuperCam, Sherlock and the ExoMars Raman/LIBS instrument will be used to explore mineralogy and organics at the future landing sites.
In 2014 the European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe went into orbit around Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and spent a couple of years studying it. Jacint Roger Perez combined a series of 33 images made during a 25 minute period as the probe flew about 13 kilometers from the comet and the resulting time lapse creates the dramatic scene below:
Although it looks like a blizzard, the white dots and streaks are a mix of stars in the dark background plus dust and ice particles, as well as radiation going through the imager. The comet’s surface at the time was stirred up from the heat of the sun.
More about the animation and the Rossetta mission: