Hey, everyone! Welcome to the weekly wrap up for The Space Shot, where I go through and round up my favorite content from the week. Be sure to listen to the podcast to get space science, history, and pop culture content in your podcast feed every day.
On Monday, October 16th, a Progress resupply ship docked with the International Space Station, delivering consumables like fuel, air, water, and food for the crew. NASA’s High Definition Earth-Viewing System or HDEV showed fantastic live footage of the docking. I enjoy leaving the live stream on with some music in the background when I’m reading or writing. It’s like having your own personal window out the space station. The orbital sunsets and sunrises are my favorite.
Check out this link over your next lunch break or downtime. You’ll be glad you did. https://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/ESRS/HDEV/
Russian Cargo Ship Docks at International Space Station: https://www.space.com/38470-progress-68-cargo-ship-space-station-docking.html
On Tuesday I took a little departure from the standard content for the podcast to talk about an aerospace history topic. Air ambulances have evolved a lot over the past century, moving from biplanes to sophisticated helicopters and jets. Check out Episode 156 to learn more.
Episode 156: https://thespaceshot.fireside.fm/156
Wednesday was the launch anniversary of the Galileo spacecraft. Launched on October 18th, 1989, the spacecraft took a long and meandering route to Jupiter, as I explain further in Episode 157. The Challenger disaster meant that NASA changed what would fly in the cargo bay of the Space Shuttle, which in turn left Galileo to be propelled by a less powerful upper stage.
The Galileo spacecraft brought back incredible science, before being intentionally crashed into Jupiter’s atmosphere, a fate similar to Cassini’s. Check out this link for the podcast episode and some great links related to the Galileo mission.
Episode 157: https://thespaceshot.fireside.fm/157
Thursday’s episode allowed me to catch up a bit. The frenetic pace of writing a script, recording a podcast, and releasing one every day, plus the normal reading I do each day, means that I look forward to the occasional quiet day in space history. I talked about some space news that day, and the four stories that I linked to in that episode are available below.
SpaceX adds mystery “Zuma” mission, Iridium-4 aims for Vandenberg landing: https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/10/spacex-zuma-iridium-4-aims-vandenberg-landing/
Iridium-4 switches to flight-proven Falcon 9, RTLS at Vandenberg delayed: https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/10/iridium-4-flight-proven-falcon-9-rtls-vandenberg-delayed/
S.S. Gene Cernan: Space Station Resupply Ship Named for Last Man on the Moon: https://www.space.com/38503-astronaut-eugene-cernan-orbital-atk-cargo-ship.html
Musk offers more technical details on BFR system: http://spacenews.com/musk-offers-more-technical-details-on-bfr-system/
Friday the 20th was a fun episode. STS-73 was an unusual mission. After suffering six scrubbed launch attempts, the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia finally headed into space. This mission also performed some experiments on Potatoes. Mark Watney would be proud.
Friday’s episode was also when I was able to talk about the news that Blue Origin has successfully test fired their new BE-4 engine. This massive engine still has a lot of testing ahead of it before it’s flight qualified in 2018. Blue Origin is working on the BE-4 as a replacement for the Russian-made RD-180 engine that the United Launch Alliance has been reliant on for so long.
Here’s a link to Blue Origin’s website on the BE-4: https://www.blueorigin.com/be4
Give Episode 159 a listen if you haven’t already: https://thespaceshot.fireside.fm/159
On Saturday I talked about the Missile Gap. The event that spurred me to talk about this was the anniversary of the 4th Presidential Debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon on October 21st, 1960. It’s also been announced that files about the assassination of Kennedy are due to be released here soon, so it will be interesting to see if there are any new revelations with the release of these documents.
I found this article on The Space Review about the Missile Gap to be interesting reading, check it out.
Of myths and missiles: the truth about John F. Kennedy and the Missile Gap: http://www.thespacereview.com/article/523/1
Check out Episode 160; it was a fun one to research: https://thespaceshot.fireside.fm/160
Sunday’s episode of The Space Shot talked about the LAGEOS 2 satellite. This golf ball looking satellite is used by scientists to measure things like how much Earth’s crust moves over time. I must admit; it’s probably one of the coolest looking satellites I’ve seen. It almost looks like the Fesarius, a fictional ship in Star Trek: The Original Series.
Lastly, today I’ve been relaxing a bit, catching up on some things at home, and most importantly taking it easy. In the first half of November, I will be recording the December episode of The Cosmosphere Podcast. December’s episode will look at some Apollo history as well as the work that’s done at the Cosmosphere for artifact restoration. I’m truly looking forward to recording those episodes. I will be sure to share the pictures and audio from my time there, so make sure you follow me here and on Twitter and Instagram.
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