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November 12, 2019
Next year brings a quartet of missions heading from Earth to Mars, including one from the Chinese National Space Administration. Freelance journalist Andrew Jones, a specialist in Chinese space, joins Jake to talk about the mission, Huoxing-1, and what to expect leading up to China's first Mars mission. We talk China, Space, and Huoxing-1 Huoxing-1 mission objectives and science payloadsYF-77 Test FiringHow not to land an orbital rocket booster (SpaceX)China's Mars Technology is Ready for 2020 Launch (IEEE Spectrum) Follow Andrew Jones Andrew Jones Twitter (@AJ_FI)Andrew's Space News Author PageAndrew's Space.com Author PageAndrew's Planetary Society Author PageAndrew's Sky and Telescope Author Page Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com)Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians)WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com)Twitter (@we_martians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit)Off-Nominal PodcastMost Recent Episode: "Jim-Adjacent" The WeMartians Season 3 Mission Patch This is the Season 3 (2018) commemorative WeMartians Mission Patch. We’ve partnered with space fan and talented graphic artist Beth Kerner to put together a custom, 4-inch, sew-on embroidered patch. It’s limited edition, with a print-run of just 100. And you can get one for yourself starting today! They’re just $17 USD, and shipping is free anywhere on Earth (Mars is extra, though). If you’re a Station-level or higher patron, your permanent store discount applies, too! The patch captures the broad narratives of our third season of podcasts. It includes the Falcon Heavy inaugural flight, the InSight launch and landing, and the global dust storm that ended the Opportunity mission. WeMartians theme music is “RetroFuture” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) and arranged by Jake Robins with Public Domain NASA audio and WeMartians interview samples. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
October 30, 2019
The 70th International Astronautical Congress descended on Washington, DC this week, with 6300 delegates from around the world coming together to talk about space technology, policy and more. Jake is on site to report on the happenings, and connected with a range of people on robotic missions and human architectures. Guests include Walter Cugno from Thales Alenia Space, Khaled Ali Al Hashmi from the United Arab Emirates Space Agency, and Gary Napier from Lockheed Martin. We talk ExoMars, Mars Hope, and Human Landing Systems ExoMars Parachute WoesMars Hope nears completionBlue Origin announces National Team Follow our Guests Thales Alenia Space TwitterUAE Space Agency TwitterGary Napier Twitter Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com)Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians)WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com)Twitter (@we_martians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit)Off-Nominal PodcastMost Recent Episode: "What is the protocol for this?" The WeMartians Season 3 Mission Patch This is the Season 3 (2018) commemorative WeMartians Mission Patch. We’ve partnered with space fan and talented graphic artist Beth Kerner to put together a custom, 4-inch, sew-on embroidered patch. It’s limited edition, with a print-run of just 100. And you can get one for yourself starting today! They’re just $17 USD, and shipping is free anywhere on Earth (Mars is extra, though). If you’re a Station-level or higher patron, your permanent store discount applies, too! The patch captures the broad narratives of our third season of podcasts. It includes the Falcon Heavy inaugural flight, the InSight launch and landing, and the global dust storm that ended the Opportunity mission. WeMartians theme music is “RetroFuture” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) and arranged by Jake Robins with Public Domain NASA audio and WeMartians interview samples. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
October 8, 2019
On September 28th, 2019, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk presented an update to the Starship architecture. To talk about what has changed and what hasn't, Jake is joined by podcast partner Anthony Colangelo from Main Engine Cut Off in a two part conversation between the two shows. You can listen to part 2 of the conversation on the MECO feed or by clicking here. We talk SpaceX & Starship Starship's WebsiteSpaceNews coverage of Starship UpdatePart 2: T-135 Jake Robins on Starship Follow Anthony Colangelo Main Engine Cut Off Podcast & BlogMain Engine Cut Off Twitter Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com)Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians)WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com)Twitter (@we_martians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit)Off-Nominal PodcastMost Recent Episode: "What is the protocol for this?" WeMartians Meetup in Washington DC! On October 20th, we'll be meeting up with Anthony Colangelo from The Main Engine Cut Off Podcast as we head to Washington DC to cover IAC 2019. You can join us as we visit the Udvar Hazy museum and see Space Shuttle Discovery, then come have beers with us at Dacha Beer Garden in the city. We'd love to meet you - this is going to be a big event and we can't wait to talk with all our listeners. Check out the details at our events page. The WeMartians Season 3 Mission Patch This is the Season 3 (2018) commemorative WeMartians Mission Patch. We’ve partnered with space fan and talented graphic artist Beth Kerner to put together a custom, 4-inch, sew-on embroidered patch. It’s limited edition, with a print-run of just 100. And you can get one for yourself starting today! They’re just $17 USD, and shipping is free anywhere on Earth (Mars is extra, though). If you’re a Station-level or higher patron, your permanent store discount applies, too! The patch captures the broad narratives of our third season of podcasts. It includes the Falcon Heavy inaugural flight, the InSight launch and landing, and the global dust storm that ended the Opportunity mission. WeMartians theme music is “RetroFuture” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) and arranged by Jake Robins with Public Domain NASA audio and WeMartians interview samples. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
September 24, 2019
SpaceX has been requesting HiRISE images from an area called Arcadia Planitia as potential landing sites for their Starship vehicle. Dr Ali Bramson, a planetary scientist at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Lab and expert on the region, joins Jake to talk about what's going on there and why SpaceX might be interested. We talk SpaceX, Starship, and Arcadia Planitia SpaceX requests landing site candidate imagesSome textures of Arcadia PlanitiaAn example of "Brain Terrain"Polygonal terrain in CanadaPlanetary Society piece on Terraced CratersThe SpaceX Landing Site Candidate HIRISE requestsInteractive DTMs for Terraced Craters - explore them in your browser!PAPER: Widespread excess ice in Arcadia Planitia, MarsPAPER: Exposed subsurface ice sheets in the Martian mid-latitudes Follow Ali Bramson Ali Bramson's Twitter (@alibramson)Ali's profile at LPLAli's profile at Purdue (starting Fall 2020)SWIM ProjectSWIM Project Twitter (@RedPlanetSWIM)Be a student at Purdue! Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com)Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians)WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com)Twitter (@we_martians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit)Off-Nominal PodcastMost Recent Episode: "What is the protocol for this?" WeMartians Meetup in Washington DC! On October 20th, we'll be meeting up with Anthony Colangelo from The Main Engine Cut Off Podcast as we head to Washington DC to cover IAC 2019. You can join us as we visit the Udvar Hazy museum and see Space Shuttle Discovery, then come have beers with us at Dacha Beer Garden in the city. We'd love to meet you - this is going to be a big event and we can't wait to talk with all our listeners. Check out the details at our events page. The WeMartians Season 3 Mission Patch This is the Season 3 (2018) commemorative WeMartians Mission Patch. We’ve partnered with space fan and talented graphic artist Beth Kerner to put together a custom, 4-inch, sew-on embroidered patch. It’s limited edition, with a print-run of just 100. And you can get one for yourself starting today! They’re just $17 USD, and shipping is free anywhere on Earth (Mars is extra, though). If you’re a Station-level or higher patron, your permanent store discount applies, too! The patch captures the broad narratives of our third season of podcasts. It includes the Falcon Heavy inaugural flight, the InSight launch and landing, and the global dust storm that ended the Opportunity mission. WeMartians theme music is “RetroFuture” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) and arranged by Jake Robins with Public Domain NASA audio and WeMartians interview samples. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
August 27, 2019
We talk the 9th International Mars Conference Tweet thread on Methane from Justin Cowart Content from the MEPAG meetingContent from 9th Mars Presentations Follow Nina Lanza Nina Lanza's Twitter (@marsninja)Nina back on Episode 11 Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com)Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians)WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com)Twitter (@we_martians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit)Off-Nominal PodcastMost Recent Episode: The Dark Lord The WeMartians Season 3 Mission Patch This is the Season 3 (2018) commemorative WeMartians Mission Patch. We’ve partnered with space fan and talented graphic artist Beth Kerner to put together a custom, 4-inch, sew-on embroidered patch. It’s limited edition, with a print-run of just 100. And you can get one for yourself starting today! They’re just $17 USD, and shipping is free anywhere on Earth (Mars is extra, though). If you’re a Station-level or higher patron, your permanent store discount applies, too! The patch captures the broad narratives of our third season of podcasts. It includes the Falcon Heavy inaugural flight, the InSight launch and landing, and the global dust storm that ended the Opportunity mission. WeMartians theme music is “RetroFuture” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) and arranged by Jake Robins with Public Domain NASA audio and WeMartians interview samples. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
August 13, 2019
We talk Relativity Space 3D-printed rockets Telesat signs with Relativity SpaceRelativity signs contract to build launch padRelativity to build rocket factory at Stennis Follow Jordan Noone and Relativity Relativity Space WebsiteWork for Relativity!Relativity Space TwitterJordan Noone TwitterRelativity Space Instagram Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com)Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians)WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com)Twitter (@we_martians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit)Off-Nominal PodcastMost Recent Episode: Carpet-Bombing Venus Upcoming Seattle Meetup! Join us in south Seattle on August 31st for another meetup at the charming Airways Brewing Taproom. They've got Blue Origin themed beers and a great atmosphere. Check out the details at our events page, and note this one is a little earlier 'cause the taproom closes at 7PM! The WeMartians Season 3 Mission Patch This is the Season 3 (2018) commemorative WeMartians Mission Patch. We’ve partnered with space fan and talented graphic artist Beth Kerner to put together a custom, 4-inch, sew-on embroidered patch. It’s limited edition, with a print-run of just 100. And you can get one for yourself starting today! They’re just $17 USD, and shipping is free anywhere on Earth (Mars is extra, though). If you’re a Station-level or higher patron, your permanent store discount applies, too! The patch captures the broad narratives of our third season of podcasts. It includes the Falcon Heavy inaugural flight, the InSight launch and landing, and the global dust storm that ended the Opportunity mission. WeMartians theme music is “RetroFuture” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) and arranged by Jake Robins with Public Domain NASA audio and WeMartians interview samples. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
July 30, 2019
We talk the MAVEN mission MAVEN Reveals Speed of Solar Wind Stripping Martian AtmosphereMAVEN atmospheric escape simulation video Follow Gina DiBraccio and MAVEN The MAVEN Mission PageDr Gina DiBraccio on Instagram Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com)Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians)WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com)Twitter (@we_martians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit)Off-Nominal PodcastMost Recent Episode: Carpet-Bombing Venus The WeMartians Season 3 Mission Patch This is the Season 3 (2018) commemorative WeMartians Mission Patch. We’ve partnered with space fan and talented graphic artist Beth Kerner to put together a custom, 4-inch, sew-on embroidered patch. It’s limited edition, with a print-run of just 100. And you can get one for yourself starting today! They’re just $17 USD, and shipping is free anywhere on Earth (Mars is extra, though). If you’re a Station-level or higher patron, your permanent store discount applies, too! The patch captures the broad narratives of our third season of podcasts. It includes the Falcon Heavy inaugural flight, the InSight launch and landing, and the global dust storm that ended the Opportunity mission. WeMartians theme music is “RetroFuture” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) and arranged by Jake Robins with Public Domain NASA audio and WeMartians interview samples. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
July 16, 2019
It's been 50 years since Apollo 11, and while there's still a lot to celebrate about the whole Apollo era, it also begs the question, "why haven't we gone back?" Michael Robinson, historian and host of the podcast Time to Eat the Dogs joins Jake to dig in to what motivates people to go to deep space and Mars in an attempt to understand how to make it happen again. We Talk Motivations for People to Explore Mars and Deep Space Planetary Radio Space Policy Edition feat. Roger Launius Time to Eat the Dogs interview with Catherine Newell, author of Destined for the StarsMichael's essay on Motivations for Mars"The Tweet" about Why Sending Humans to Mars Follow Michael Robinson Time to Eat the DogsSome select episodes to try:Apollo in the Age of AquariusShould We Colonize Mars?Living on the International Space StationAn American in Soviet Antarctica Part 1 & Part 2The Mars Curiosity RoverThe Falcon HeavyTime To Eat the Dogs Twitter Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com)Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians)WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com)Twitter (@we_martians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) The WeMartians 2018 Mission Patch This is the Season 3 (2018) commemorative WeMartians Mission Patch. We’ve partnered with space fan and talented graphic artist Beth Kerner to put together a custom, 4-inch, sew-on embroidered patch. It’s limited edition, with a print-run of just 100. And you can get one for yourself starting today! They’re just $17 USD, and shipping is free anywhere on Earth (Mars is extra, though). If you’re a Station-level or higher patron, your permanent store discount applies, too! The patch captures the broad narratives of our third season of podcasts. It includes the Falcon Heavy inaugural flight, the InSight launch and landing, and the global dust stormthat ended the Opportunity mission. Apollo 11 Celebration Discount Code! Use the code APOLLO11 to get 11% off any order with two or more items! It wouldn't be a 50th anniversary celebration without some sweet merch, including the patch above! Pick them up in our shop today until July 23rd. WeMartians theme music is “RetroFuture” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) and arranged by Jake Robins with Public Domain NASA audio and WeMartians interview samples. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
June 6, 2019
NASA is sending people back to the Moon, or so they say. A human deep space program is easier said than done. The Planetary Society's Casey Dreier returns to the show to talk about politics, policy, and balancing skepticism with excitement. We Talk NASA's Moon Plan, Artemis Mars Wars by Thor Hogan (free pdf)What can we learn from a Failed Return to the Moon?A Crash Program or a Modest Proposal?NASA awards PPE Contract for GatewayA Look at NASA's Budgets Follow Casey Casey's TwitterCasey's Profile on The Planetary SocietyThe Planetary Society's Space Advocacy Page Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com)Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians)WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com)Twitter (@we_martians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit)Seattle Meetup on June 29th! The WeMartians 2018 Mission Patch This is the Season 3 (2018) commemorative WeMartians Mission Patch. We’ve partnered with space fan and talented graphic artist Beth Kerner to put together a custom, 4-inch, sew-on embroidered patch. It’s limited edition, with a print-run of just 100. And you can get one for yourself starting today! They’re just $17 USD, and shipping is free anywhere on Earth (Mars is extra, though). If you’re a Station-level or higher patron, your permanent store discount applies, too! The patch captures the broad narratives of our third season of podcasts. It includes the Falcon Heavy inaugural flight, the InSight launch and landing, and the global dust stormthat ended the Opportunity mission. WeMartians theme music is “RetroFuture” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) and arranged by Jake Robins with Public Domain NASA audio and WeMartians interview samples. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
May 7, 2019
Getting data back from our Mars spacecraft requires some pretty robust communications technology. But the infrastructure that rovers like Curiosity relay their images through is aging, and scientists are starting to worry about what would happen if they fail. NASA JPL's Michael Staab joins Jake to talk about a new idea to reinforce that infrastructure and keep those data flowing back each and every sol. We Talk Mars Communications MAVEN lowers orbit to facilitate communications Follow Michael Michael's Twitter (@AstroStaab)NASA JPL Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com)Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians)WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com)Twitter (@we_martians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) The WeMartians 2018 Mission Patch This is the Season 3 (2018) commemorative WeMartians Mission Patch. We’ve partnered with space fan and talented graphic artist Beth Kerner to put together a custom, 4-inch, sew-on embroidered patch. It’s limited edition, with a print-run of just 100. And you can get one for yourself starting today! They’re just $17 USD, and shipping is free anywhere on Earth (Mars is extra, though). If you’re a Station-level or higher patron, your permanent store discount applies, too! The patch captures the broad narratives of our third season of podcasts. It includes the Falcon Heavy inaugural flight, the InSight launch and landing, and the global dust stormthat ended the Opportunity mission. WeMartians theme music is “RetroFuture” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) and arranged by Jake Robins. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
April 16, 2019
NASA's BASALT program (Biologic Analog Science Associated with Lava Terrains) has been working on understand how to do real science on an EVA since 2016. Jake is joined by NASA Astronaut, planetary scientist and program participant Stan Love to learn the challenges imposed by a Red Planet Spacewalk and what kinds of things the agency is trying to overcome them. We Talk Mars, EVAs, and Science Astrobiology Special Issue on BASALTIntro by Stan LovePaper overview by PI Darlene LimOff-Nominal Podcast Episode 17 (Jake's Pick was BASALT) Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com)Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians)WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com)Twitter (@we_martians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) The WeMartians 2018 Mission Patch This is the Season 3 (2018) commemorative WeMartians Mission Patch. We’ve partnered with space fan and talented graphic artist Beth Kerner to put together a custom, 4-inch, sew-on embroidered patch. It’s limited edition, with a print-run of just 100. And you can get one for yourself starting today! They’re just $17 USD, and shipping is free anywhere on Earth (Mars is extra, though). If you’re a Station-level or higher patron, your permanent store discount applies, too! The patch captures the broad narratives of our third season of podcasts. It includes the Falcon Heavy inaugural flight, the InSight launch and landing, and the global dust stormthat ended the Opportunity mission. WeMartians theme music is “RetroFuture” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) and arranged by Jake Robins. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
March 27, 2019
Jake is on-site at the 50th annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference to report on Mars science results and the shift to the Moon. Fifty years from Apollo's first landing, lunar samples are still having an incredible impact on all planetary science, and as we look to the future, we have so much more to be excited about. Three special guests join Jake to talk about this exciting topic. We Talk Mars and Apollo Lunar Science InSight pauses Mole deploymentHP3 Heat Flow Probe results AbstractDLR Blog on Heat Flow Probe with Team UpdatesAPSS (pressure sensor) results AbstractWeird weather results from InSight (Ars Technica)Mars Weather Report from InSightJack Schmitt's keynote lecture (video)50 Years of Lunar Science Talk Track (video)50 Years of Planetary Science Talk Track (video) Follow our Guests Louise ProckterThe Lunar and Planetary Institute TwitterGordon Osinski TwitterGordon Osinski's Website Our Travel Grant Winner Áine O'Brien wins the 2019 WeMartians Travel GrantÁine's Talk: Carbon in Martian MeteoritesÁine's Poster: Diversity in Student Space Activities in the UKÁine O'Brien Twitter Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com)Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians)WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com)Twitter (@we_martians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) Introducing the WeMartians 2018 Mission Patch This is the Season 3 (2018) commemorative WeMartians Mission Patch. We’ve partnered with space fan and talented graphic artist Beth Kerner to put together a custom, 4-inch, sew-on embroidered patch. It’s limited edition, with a print-run of just 100. And you can get one for yourself starting today! They’re just $17 USD, and shipping is free anywhere on Earth (Mars is extra, though). If you’re a Station-level or higher patron, your permanent store discount applies, too! The patch captures the broad narratives of our third season of podcasts. It includes the Falcon Heavy inaugural flight, the InSight launch and landing, and the global dust stormthat ended the Opportunity mission.
March 5, 2019
Curiosity recently drove down from the Vera Rubin Ridge, its home for the last year and a half, into a new clay-rich area called Glen Torridon. Planetary Scientist Kristen Bennett joins Jake to talk about what this new area is like and what questions we hope to answer in the next chapter of this rover's mission. We Talk Curiosity and Glen Torridon Curiosity says Farewell to Vera Rubin Ridge360 view of Vera Rubin Ridge as Curiosity DepartsCuriosity Computer troubles Follow Kristen Kristen's Twitter (@planetkilobravo) Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com)Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians)WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com)Twitter (@we_martians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) Rosalind Franklin ESA recently announced that the upcoming ExoMars 2020 rover will be named for the pioneering British DNA scientist, Rosalind Franklin. Just as Franklin sought to understand the smallest signs of life, so too will her titular rover as it explores Mars. We're celebrating this announcement with a new t-shirt design, which you can get in our shop now! WeMartians theme music is “RetroFuture” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) and arranged by Jake Robins. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
February 11, 2019
WeMartians visits Arizona to attend the 2019 Women in Space Conference, an interdisciplinary event covering science, engineering, and policy with a reimagined, humanized perspective. Jake and guests discuss some of the science as well as the social challenges women and other marginalized groups face as they try to explore space. We talk the Human side of Exploration WISC 2019 Conference ScheduleSex Differences in Body Composition, Physical Activity, and Total Energy Expenditure When in a Challenging and Novel Environment (Sarma, M. S.)Space Ethics and Our Expanding Vision for Exploration: Core Conversations (Grier, J. A.)All other WISC AbstractsWISC Keynote Speaker Profiles Follow Mallika, Jennifer, Tanya and Sara Mallika Sarma on Twitter (@skyy_mal)Mallika's Research SiteJennifer Grier on Twitter (@grierja)Tanya Harrison on Twitter (@tanyaofmars)Tanya's websiteSara Mazrouei on Twitter (@SciCommSara) Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com)Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians)WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com)Twitter (@we_martians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) Rosalind Franklin ESA recently announced that the upcoming ExoMars 2020 rover will be named for the pioneering British DNA scientist, Rosalind Franklin. Just as Franklin sought to understand the smallest signs of life, so too will her titular rover as it explores Mars. We're celebrating this announcement with a new t-shirt design, which you can get in our shop now! The Rosalind Franklin design WeMartians theme music is “RetroFuture” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) and arranged by Jake Robins. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
January 22, 2019
The fourth season of WeMartians has begun, and we bring in our friends and regular guests Brendan Byrne and Emilee Speck to talk about rockets, rovers, and Mars in pop culture. We talk Mars in 2018 and in to the future Sounds of Mars from NASA's InSight Previous Conversations with Brendan and Emilee Episode 18 - State of Mars 2017Episode 35 - State of Mars 2018Off-Nominal Episode 6 (feat. Brendan Byrne) Follow Emilee and Brendan Emilee on Twitter (@EMSpeck)Emilee’s Space Coverage (ClickOrlando.com)News 6 WKMG Facebook (Facebook.com)Brendan on Twitter (@SpaceBrendan)Are We There Yet Podcast on Twitter (@AWTYMars)WMFE Space (wmfe.org) Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com)Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians)The WeMartians Travel GrantWeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com)Support the Travel Grant Here!Twitter (@we_martians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) Come have a beer with me I will be at McFate Brewing Company (South location) in Scottsdale, Arizona at 6PM on Friday, Feb 8th. It's an open invitation to any listeners in the area who want to hang out! More details here!
January 11, 2019
Happy New Year Martians! It's been 1 year since we launched the Red Planet Review weekly news roundup for our $3+ Patreon supporters. To celebrate, we thought we'd kick off 2019 with a fresh new show that's available to ALL listeners. If you like what you hear today, consider joining the hundreds of other listeners over at Patreon. With a pledge of $3 or more, you can get a show like this every Friday, a great way to keep up on the news! Plus, you'll help support things like the WeMartians Travel Grant, for which applications are now open! Headlines this Week Valles Marineris - Not a Glaciated Place!SpaceX's Starhopper Test Article comes togetherMars Express celebrates 15 years at MarsINSIGHT UpdateSEIS levels itselfSEIS Tether slack releasedMSL UpdateSols 2279-2280Sols 2281-2283Sols 2284-2285MER UpdateMER-B December Update at Planetary.org Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com)Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians) The WeMartians Travel Grant WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com) Check out the new PLANETARY design in support of the grant! Twitter (@we_martians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) Get your own Red Planet Review Shirt! Support the show by wearing the RPR logo loud and proud! Get one today at the WeMartians Shop!
December 26, 2018
In a quick holiday update, Jake shares an update on the podcast announcing the WeMartians Travel Grant, looking ahead to our next Patreon Goal and content for 2019, as well as two upcoming conferences and Podcast Meetups! We talk 2019 Podcast News Introducing the WeMartians Travel GrantOur Next Patreon GoalMeetup Schedule (stay tuned!) Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com)Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians)WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com) Check out the new PLANETARY design in support of the grant! Twitter (@we_martians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit)Listener Survey 2018 New Shirt Design! In support of the WeMartians Travel Grant, you can pick up our new PLANETARY T-Shirt design. 100% of the proceeds of this shirt support an early career scientist travelling to LPSC to share their work about Mars. We also accept direct donations to the grant through the store link. WeMartians music is “RetroFuture”, “Electrodoodle”, and “On My Way” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
December 11, 2018
NASA has selected the next landing site for its future Mars rover, Mars 2020. Jezero Crater is an incredible ancient river delta spilling in to the side of a crater. But what really makes it special, plus how and why did NASA pick it? Jake is joined by planetary scientist Tim Goudge, who led the advocacy of Jezero through the process, to explain its charm. We talk NASA's Mars 2020 rover and Jezero Crater NASA Announces Jezero Crater as Landing Site Mars 2020 Rover Previous Coverage of the Mars 2020 Rover Episode 10 - Science meets Engineering on the 2020 Rover (feat. Sarah Milkovich) Episode 20 - Mars 2020 Landing Site Candidates Episode 48 - Zooming in on Mars (feat. Melissa Rice and Elsa Jensen) Follow Tim Goudge Tim's Website Tim's Twitter (@timgoudge) Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com) Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians) The WeMartians Travel Grant WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com) Check out all the new merchandise out in time for the holidays! Twitter (@we_martians)  Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) Listener Survey 2018 New Merchandise! We've got a whole bunch of new merchandise in our shop! Check out the new designs, including Off-Nominal gear! Our Sponsor WeMartians is sponsored by MOVA Globes. Visit the site and use the code WEMARTIANS for 10% off your order of one of these really great looking pieces shipping to the Americas. They rotate without cords or batteries! Patrons, check your Patreon account for a special Patron-only discount code. Thanks to MOVA Globes for helping us explore Mars together. We wanted to feature a cool globe this episode. Given that Voyager 2 made the news this week when it entered the Interstellar Medium, we thought it appropriate to feature the Neptune design. Neptune has only ever been visited by Voyager 2! Check out that Small Dark Spot!   WeMartians music is “RetroFuture”, “Electrodoodle”, and “On My Way” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
December 4, 2018
On November 26th, 2018, NASA successfully landed the InSight spacecraft on the surface of Mars. It was their 8th successful landing, went picture-perfect, and seemed to defy the common thought that Mars landings rarely work. Jake recounts the landing, provides historical context to the events, and asks the question of whether NASA's entries, descents, and landings are as failure-prone as some make it out to be. We Talk InSight and Entry, Descent, and Landing Viking Press Kit Mars Pathfinder Press Kit Mars Polar Lander Press Kit Mars Exploration Rovers Press Kit Mars Phoenix Press Kit Mars Science Laboratory Press Kit InSight Press Kit InSight L-1 Briefing Paper on Drag-assisted entry at Mars Summary of Mars EDLs Previous Coverage of InSight Episode 36: Systems Engineering InSight (feat. Farah Alibay) Episode 41: Thirty Years to the Centre of Mars (feat. Bruce Banerdt, Philippe Lognonné, and Tim Linn) Episode 50: The Journey to Mars is Hyperbolic (feat. Mark Wallace) Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com) Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians) The WeMartians Travel Grant WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com) Check out all the new merchandise out in time for the holidays! Twitter (@we_martians)  Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) New Merchandise! We've got a whole bunch of new merchandise in our shop! Check out the new designs, including Off-Nominal gear! Our Sponsor WeMartians is sponsored by MOVA Globes. Visit the site and use the code WEMARTIANS for 10% off your order of one of these really great looking pieces shipping to the Americas. They rotate without cords or batteries! Patrons, check your Patreon account for a special Patron-only discount code. Thanks to MOVA Globes for helping us explore Mars together. Check out this antique celestial globe! It's a reprint of Globo Celeste, by Giovanni Cassini in 1792 (no, not that Giovanni Cassini). WeMartians music is “RetroFuture”, “Electrodoodle”, and “On My Way” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
November 13, 2018
NASA's InSight lander arrives on Mars on November 26th. It is an exciting event that ends the 7 month cruise phase since its launch on May 5th. But how did it get there? NASA JPL's Mark Wallace, the Lead Trajectory Analyst for InSight's, joins Jake and explains how to plan a journey across the solar system. We Talk InSight's Trajectory Porkchop Plots InSight Press Kit Previous Coverage of InSight Episode 36: Systems Engineering InSight (feat. Farah Alibay) Episode 41: Thirty Years to the Centre of Mars (feat. Bruce Banerdt, Philippe Lognonné, and Tim Linn) Follow Mark Wallace Mark Wallace Twitter Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com) Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians) The WeMartians Travel Grant WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com) Check out all the new merchandise out in time for the holidays! Twitter (@we_martians)  Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) The Off-Nominal Podcast Episode 14 with Gary Napier from Lockheed Martin New Merchandise! We've got a whole bunch of new merchandise in our shop! Check out the new designs, including Off-Nominal gear! Our Sponsor WeMartians is sponsored by MOVA Globes. Visit the site and use the code WEMARTIANS for 10% off your order of one of these really great looking pieces shipping to the Americas. They rotate without cords or batteries! Patrons, check your Patreon account for a special Patron-only discount code. Thanks to MOVA Globes for helping us explore Mars together. Check out their Moon globe! They did a great blog post featuring five of its prominent features, and also a sweet eclipse-primer last year that has the best GIF ever. WeMartians music is “RetroFuture”, “Electrodoodle”, and “On My Way” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
October 23, 2018
NASA continues to advance it's Moon-first strategy, and commercial companies are starting to hop on board. Along with international interest, it all forms the backbone of NASA's Moon to Mars strategy. Space consultant and founder of Astralytical Laura Forczyk returns to the show to talk with Jake about what this all means for Mars. We talk Moon and Mars Blue Origin signs agreement with OHB and MT dearMoon Airbus/Blue Origin backed Moon Race NASA's Moon to Mars strategy Previous Coverage of Mars Strategy Episode 34 - Moon vs Mars (feat. Laura Forczyk) Episode 46 - Keeping Mars Alive (feat. Rick Davis) Follow Laura Laura's Twitter Account Astralytical's website Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com) Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians) The WeMartians Travel Grant WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com) Twitter (@we_martians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) The Off-Nominal Podcast Episode 13 with Elizabeth Howell Our Sponsor WeMartians is sponsored by MOVA Globes. Visit the site and use the code WEMARTIANS for 10% off your order of one of these really great looking pieces shipping to the Americas. They rotate without cords or batteries! Patrons, check your Patreon account for a special Patron-only discount code. Thanks to MOVA Globes for helping us explore Mars together. Learn how MOVA worked with Cassini scientist Alexander Hayes to put together the incredible Titan globe!   WeMartians music is “RetroFuture”, “Electrodoodle”, and “On My Way” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
October 2, 2018
NASA's upcoming flagship mission Mars2020 will send a state of the art rover to the surface of Mars. Along for the ride will be an impressive camera called Mastcam-Z which will unveil Mars in a way never seen before. Planetary scientist Melissa Rice from Western Washington University and instrument operations manager Elsa Jensen from Malin Space Science Systems join Jake to talk all about the new camera, how it's put together and what questions it might help us answer. We talk Mastcam-Z and NASA's Mars2020 Rover Planetary Society's Mastcam-Z Outreach content NASA's page on Mastcam-Z Malin Space Science Systems Previous Coverage of Mars2020 Episode 10 - Science Meets Engineering on the 2020 Rover (feat. Sarah Milkovich) Episode 20 - Landing Site Candidate Overview Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com) Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians) WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com) Twitter (@we_martians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) The Off-Nominal Podcast Our Sponsor WeMartians is sponsored by MOVA Globes. Visit the site and use the code WEMARTIANS for 10% off your order of one of these really great looking pieces shipping to the Americas. They rotate without cords or batteries! Patrons, check your Patreon account for a special Patron-only discount code. Thanks to MOVA Globes for helping us explore Mars together. Learn how MOVA worked with Marc Rayman from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to put together the Vesta globe using data from the Dawn Mission! WeMartians music is “RetroFuture”, “Electrodoodle”, and “On My Way” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
September 18, 2018
The Opportunity Rover hasn't been heard from since June 10th, and things are starting to look dire. NASA recently released a new plan to recover the intrepid Mars explorer but the plan hasn't convinced everyone of its merit just yet. Engineer and former rover driver Mike Seibert returns to the show to talk about the plan, how it compares with Spirit's recovery, and why some may not be as excited about it as others. We talk NASA's Opportunity Recovery Plan NASA's Press Release on the new Opportunity Rover Plan Is NASA's Opportunity Mars Rover Doomed? Planetary Society's August Deep Dive Deep Space Network's DSN Now Previous Coverage of Opportunity Episode 29: A Teenage Rover (feat. Mike Seibert) Episode 44: Ashes to Ashes, Clay to Dust (feat. Mark Lemmon) Follow Mike Seibert Twitter (@mikeseibert) Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com) Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians) WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com) Twitter (@we_martians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) The Off-Nominal Podcast New Episode feat Loren Grush! Our Sponsor WeMartians is sponsored by MOVA Globes. Visit the site and use the code WEMARTIANS for 10% off your order of one of these really great looking pieces shipping to the Americas. They rotate without cords or batteries! Patrons, check your Patreon account for a special Patron-only discount code. Thanks to MOVA Globes for helping us explore Mars together. WeMartians music is “RetroFuture”, “Electrodoodle”, and “On My Way” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
August 21, 2018
NASA may have pivoted to the Moon, but Mars remains a horizon goal. Keeping the different departments at the Agency focused and working together towards this goal is no small task. Jake is joined Rick Davis, Assistant Director for Science and Exploration, to talk about how NASA is working to send Humans to Mars. We Talk Humans to Mars NASA's Mars Human Landing Sites Study Previous Coverage of NASA & Humans to Mars Episode 1: The Waxing Interest in Mars (January 2016) Episode 24: Risks & Rewards (feat. Leonard David, May 2017) Episode 34: Moon vs. Mars (feat. Laura Forczyk, December 2017) Episode 42: A Culture of Safety (feat. Holly Griffith, May 2018) Follow Rick Davis Red Planet Rick Twitter Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com) Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians) WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com) Back to School Sale details! Twitter (@we_martians) Facebook (@wemartians) Instagram (@wemartians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) The Off-Nominal Podcast WeMartians music is “RetroFuture”, “Electrodoodle”, and “On My Way” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
July 31, 2018
Missions to Mars don't happen by accident. A ton of planning goes in long before the spacecraft is even selected. Understanding the consensus wishes of the scientific community is critical to putting resources into the right missions, and one group that helps gather that consensus is the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group. Jake is joined by Jeff Johnson, planetary scientist from Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab and the current MEPAGC hair to talk about how MEPAG works and everything that it does. (note: in the interview, you may hear Jeff mistaken identify himself as the Goals Chair. He is in fact, the MEPAG Chair) We Talk Mars Program Analysis and the Decadal Survey The MEPAG Goals Document (2015) The 2013 Planetary Sciences Decadal Survey Previous Coverage of Mars Policy Episode 27: The Policy of Mars (feat. Casey Dreier) Follow Jeff and MEPAG Jeff's Profile at JHUAPL's Website MEPAG Website (JPL) MEPAG Committee Members Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com) Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians) WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com) Twitter (@we_martians) Facebook (@wemartians) Instagram (@wemartians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) The Off-Nominal Podcast WeMartians music is “RetroFuture”, “Electrodoodle”, and “On My Way” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Get a Shirt! The storm may be huge and terrible, but it’s time is limited. If you’ve been following along, you’ll know it’ll be over…soon! Get the shirt on our shop! Or, support Opportunity as she hunkers down through the worst of it in her typical, extra-nominal way.
June 26, 2018
There's a serious Global Dust Storm happening right now on Mars. Several regional storms have kicked up a tremendous amount of dust into the skies, blocking out the sun and jeopardizing the Opportunity rover's safety. But despite the threat, this is a great chance to do some science on Mars weather. Jake is joined by Space Science Institute's Mark Lemmon to discuss these storms formation and what we're learning from them. We Discuss Mars Dust Storms and the NASA rover Curiosity and Opportunity Most recent JPL news release on the Global Dust Storm Curiosity, starting at the Sun through the dust A look out across Gale Crater through the Storm The last photo taken by Opportunity on June 10th Follow Mark The Space Science Institute Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com) Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians) WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com) Twitter (@we_martians) Facebook (@wemartians) Instagram (@wemartians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) The Off-Nominal Podcast WeMartians music is “RetroFuture”, “Electrodoodle”, and “On My Way” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Get a Shirt! The storm may be huge and terrible, but it's time is limited. If you've listened to the episode, you'll know it'll be over...soon! Get the shirt on our shop! Or, support Opportunity as she hunkers down through the worst of it in her typical, extra-nominal way.
June 12, 2018
We've got plenty of evidence of liquid on the surface of Mars today. Lakes and channels indicate a past life abundant with water. But despite the evidence, scientists have had trouble modelling an ancient Mars climate warm enough to support the theory. Was the past warm and wet like the geology shows, or was it cold and icy like the climate models suggest? Brown University's Ashley Palumbo, a Martian climatologist, joins Jake to talk weather, rain and mathematical models of the Red Planet's mysterious history. We Discuss Mars Past Climate Ashley's LPSC Abstract Follow Ashley Palumbo Ashley's Website Brown University's Planetary Science Website Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com) Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians) WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com) Twitter (@we_martians) Facebook (@wemartians) Instagram (@wemartians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) The Off-Nominal Podcast WeMartians music is “RetroFuture”, “Electrodoodle”, and “On My Way” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Get a Shirt! Evidence of Mars' past is plainly visible thanks to the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter creepin' over every inch of its surface. Now you can be that creepy, too! Get the shirt on our shop!
May 22, 2018
Before sending people in to space, space agencies like NASA or commercial companies like Boeing & SpaceX must take stock of risks to crew and vehicle and do their best to mitigate them. But how does this process actually work? How do you quantify risks to people? And most importantly, how do you determine that the risk is acceptable before you fly? Jake is joined by Holly Griffith, an engineer on the Safety team for NASA's Orion Spacecraft, to talk about risks and to have a candid conversation about what's at stake when making these kinds of decisions. We Discuss NASA's Orion Spacecraft and the Culture of Safety CAIB Report (NASA.gov) Previous Coverage about Human Spaceflight Risk Episode 24 - Risks and Rewards (feat. Leonard David) Follow Holly Griffith Twitter (@absolutspacegrl) Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com) Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians) WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com) Twitter (@we_martians) Facebook (@wemartians) Instagram (@wemartians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) The Off-Nominal Podcast WeMartians music is “RetroFuture”, “Electrodoodle”, and “On My Way” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
May 9, 2018
NASA's InSight mission, a lander to study the interior of Mars, lifted off from California on May 5th, 2018. For the scientists working on this geophysics mission, it's been a long time coming. Jake travels down to Vandenberg to "see" the launch, and gets behind the scenes to hear the true story of this mission, thirty years in the making. Jake is joined by InSight Principal Investigator Bruce Banerdt, SEIS instrument Principal Investigator Philippe Lognonné, and Lockheed Martin Deputy Project Manager for InSight, Tim Linn. We Discuss NASA's InSight Mission The InSight website The Verge Science Launch Video 1991's Mars Global Network Mission Paper (incl author Banerdt) 1992's Intermarsnet (incl authors Banerdt and Lognonné) 1999's Netlander (incl author Lognonné) 2003 Planetary Sciences Decadal Survey 2010 Mission Concept Study, Mars Geophysical Network 2010 MGN Options Study (InSight was originally option "G") 2013 Planetary Sciences Decadal Survey 2011 Discovery Finalists Announced (incl. GEMS, which became InSight) 2011 JPL Changes name of GEMS to InSight 2012 InSight selected as Discovery 12 2015 SEIS leak delays launch of InSight Previous Coverage of InSight Episode 2: Every Twenty Six Months (covers InSight's delay from 2016) Episode 36: Systems Engineering InSight (feat. Farah Alibay, Payload Systems Engineer) Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com) Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians) Learn about the Orbiter Level ($1/month) Learn about the Lander Level ($3/month) Learn about the Rover Level ($5/month) WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com) New InSight design GOOD VIBES Twitter (@we_martians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) WeMartians music is “RetroFuture” and “On My Way” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
April 17, 2018
Mars One captured the world's attention when it announced its intentions to colonize Mars by 2023. But since that milestone announcement back in 2012, the organization has faced funding difficulties, delays, and accusations of fraud and misdirection. Meanwhile, the Mars 100, the hundred candidates currently hoping for a seat on the first mission, are left waiting and wondering. Cambridge University PhD student and Mars 100 candidate Ryan MacDonald joins Jake to discuss his experience, the money situation, and Mars One's future. We Discuss Mars One Original Mars One Press Release (March 2012) All Mars One Press Releases Ryan's Application Video The Mars One Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign MIT Press Release for Feasibility Study Elmo Keep's Piece on Josh Richards Elmo Keep's Piece on Joseph Roche Rae Paoletta's Piece on Mars One Mars One Revenue Projections Document Follow Ryan Twitter (@MartianColonist) YouTube (MartianColonist) Past coverage of Mars One Episode 1: The Waxing Interest in Mars (January 2016) Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com) Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians) Learn about the Orbiter Level ($1/month) Learn about the Lander Level ($3/month) Learn about the Rover Level ($5/month) WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com) New InSight design GOOD VIBES Twitter (@we_martians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) WeMartians music is “RetroFuture” and “On My Way” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
March 28, 2018
Every year, upwards of 2,000 planetary scientists descend upon a suburb of Houston to discuss the latest findings, share the work, and learn something new at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC). A lot of Mars happens at these conferences, so WeMartians decided to attend it in person! Jake catches up with old friends, makes some new ones, and explores Mars like never before. This year, we explore the fascinating use of Earth Analogs to help us better understand the science happening on Mars. We discuss #LPSC2018, Earth Analogs and their value at Mars What a Sinuous Ridge looks like on Earth What a Sinuous Ridge looks like on Mars Ben Cardenas' Abstract for his LPSC talk Dante Lauretta's Abstract - Pretending Earth was another world Jordan Knuth's abstract on Cold Springs in Utah Paul Knightly's abstract for his poster on Mars 160 experiments Paul tours the Mars Society Habitat in Devon Island Canada (FMARS) VIDEO Apollo 17 45th Anniversary Live Stream NASA BASALT Video Catheryn Ryan's Poster Abstract on LIFS Past coverage of LPSC Episode 21: LPSC2017 (March 2017) Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com) Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians) Learn about the Orbiter Level ($1/month) Learn about the Lander Level ($3/month) Learn about the Rover Level ($5/month) WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com) Twitter (@we_martians) Facebook (@wemartians) Instagram (@wemartians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) WeMartians music is “RetroFuture” and “On My Way” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
March 6, 2018
Behind every successful space mission is a talented team of support staff back on Earth, guiding the astronauts along the way. When we go to Mars, it will be much the same. But how can we practice these valuable skills? Mars analogues are a great way, and recently, the Austrian Space Forum completed a three week simulation called AMADEE 18. Project Manager Sophie Gruber and Flight Director Reinhard Tlustos join Jake to talk about the mission to the Oman Desert, and what it takes to get the astronauts to succeed. We Discuss Habitats, Science, and International Collaboration The Austrian Space Forum Twitter  Instagram AMADEE 18 Website AMADEE 18 Press Kit Other Analogue Coverage Episode 7 - Sitting in a Tin Can (feat. Casey Stedman), covering the NASA HERA Analog mission Episode 12 - Mission to sMars (feat. HISEAS IV), covering the NASA HISEAS IV year-long mission in Hawai'i New Products in the WeMartians Shop Opportunity's 5000 sols celebration design, EXTRA NOMINAL The Falcon Heavy TWENTYSEVEN design, now in a pullover hoodie! Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com) Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians) Learn about the Orbiter Level ($1/month) Learn about the Lander Level ($3/month) Learn about the Rover Level ($5/month) WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com) Twitter (@we_martians) Facebook (@wemartians) Instagram (@wemartians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) WeMartians music is “RetroFuture” and “On My Way” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
February 13, 2018
After years of delays, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket has finally flown, sending a test payload of a Tesla Roadster with a mannequin called Starman to interplanetary space. With the launch, it becomes the most powerful rocket in the world. Jake, along with Anthony from the Main Engine Cut Off podcast, travelled to Florida to watch the launch from the Kennedy Space Center Press Site and returns to talk about the history, development and future of this fantastic launch vehicle. We Discuss SpaceX, Falcon Heavy and BFR SpaceX launches Falcon Heavy Rocket James Corden talks SpaceX on the Late Late Show Launch of STS-114, Return to Flight Early SpaceX Press Release, announcing Falcon 9 Heavy (2005) Space.com article (by past guest Leonard David) covering the SpaceX announcement Official Falcon Heavy Press Conference (2011) The Original Falcon Heavy Animation (2011) Robert Zubrin adapts Mars Direct Red Dragon Discovery-class Mission Proposal The first announced delay Delay Tracking Chart from Reddit ViaSat trades in launch for Ariane Musk talks at ISS R&D about development difficulties Post-Launch Press Conference Making Life Interplanetary SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch Video Jake and Anthony reaction video of the launch Other Coverage of Falcon Heavy Episode 31: The Interplanetary Business Case (feat. Chantelle Dubois) Off-Nominal Podcast 5: The Volume of Anti-Starmanism Get the Falcon Heavy T-Shirt from our Shop TWENTYSEVEN T-Shirt for Men and Women Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com) Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians) WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com) Twitter (@we_martians) Facebook (@wemartians) Instagram (@wemartians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) WeMartians music is “RetroFuture” and “On My Way” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Additional clips from the Walt Disney Corporation, RCA Records, CBS & SpaceX used under Fair Use. Clips from NASA used under public domain.
January 30, 2018
This year is a Mars launch window, and NASA is taking full advantage of it with their Discovery-class InSight mission. This little lander will launch in May and land on Mars in November. Farah Alibay is a Payload Systems Engineer on this mission, and she joins Jake to talk about InSight's objectives, integrating the instruments with the spacecraft, and the MarCO technology demonstrator. We Discuss NASA InSight and MarCO NASA's InSight Landing Page InSight's Wikipedia InSight unfurls its solar panels ahead of launch Past Coverage of InSight Episode 2: Every Twenty Six Months (February 2016) Episode 18: The State of Mars 2017 (January 2017) Episode 35: The State of Mars 2018 (January 2018) Follow Farah and JPL NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Twitter and Instagram Farah's Instagram Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com) Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians) WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com) Twitter (@we_martians) Facebook (@wemartians) Instagram (@wemartians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) WeMartians music is “RetroFuture”, “Electrodoodle”, and “On My Way” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
January 16, 2018
It's a new year, and another trip around the sun exploring Mars. Emilee Speck & Brendan Byrne return to the show to continue a new tradition of covering the year that passed and the year that will be. From robotic exploration of Mars rovers and spacecraft to the endless saga of NASA's human spaceflight program, we take a step back and examine everything going on. Miss last year's Sate of Mars 2017? Check it out here! We discuss Mars, Robotic, Human and Otherwise Methane Bursts on Mars (The Verge) Opportunity survives 8th winter (Space.com) Recommended Episode to learn more: Episode 29: A Teenage Rover (feat. Mike Seibert) Curiosity's Wheels Breaking Down (Space.com) Curiosity celebrates 5 years, rock drill still out (Space.com) Recommended Episode to learn more: Episode 28: Five Years of Being Curious (feat. Emily Lakdawalla) InSight launching in 2018 (nasa.gov) SLS Delayed (The Verge) Mars is very expensive (Ars Technica) Recommended Episode to learn more: Off the Cuff "Should SLS Be Cancelled?" (for $1+ Patrons) Deep Space Gateway Plans Announced (Ars Technica) Recommended Episode to learn more: Off the Cuff "NASA's Roadmap to Mars" (for $1+ Patrons) NASA Pivots to the Moon (Inverse.com) Recommended Episode to learn more: Episode 34: From the Moon to Mars (feat. Laura Forczyk) National Geographic's MARS series renewed (Deadline.com) Follow Emilee and Brendan Emilee on Twitter (@EMSpeck) Emilee's Space Coverage (ClickOrlando.com) News 6 WKMG Facebook (Facebook.com) Brendan on Twitter (@SpaceBrendan) Are We There Yet Podcast on Twitter (@AWTYMars) WMFE Space (wmfe.org) Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com) Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians) WeMartians Shop (shop.wemartians.com) Twitter (@we_martians) Facebook (@wemartians) Instagram (@wemartians) Jake's Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) WeMartians music is “RetroFuture”, “Electrodoodle”, and "On My Way" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
January 5, 2018
Hello Martians! Last month we announced some changes to our Patreon goals and rewards. One of the exciting new things we announced was the Red Planet Review, a short new weekly series that will cover the Mars headlines of the week. It's a fun way for Jake to explore more topical things happening at Mars without filling up the intros of the main episodes with updates. Going forward, RPR will be available exclusively to our Patrons who contribute $3 or more per month on Patreon. But for the first episode, we'd like to share it with everyone and give them the chance to see what being a Patron is like. So for this one time, you'll hear it here in the main podcast feed. So go ahead, check it out and let us know what you think! If you like it, consider joining the dozens of others who help keep this show going by contributing financially. Headlines for January 5th 2018 NASA to train astronauts in Mexican Desert (Riviera Maya News) Methane on Mars continues to spur questions (Science Magazine) ExoMars CaSSIS to get upgrade image compression software (@ExoMars_CaSSIS on Twitter) Curiosity exits its holiday plan to continue exploring Vera Rubin Ridge (AGU Blog) Opportunity waits for Orbital data at a fork in the road (NASA) American Girl releases "Girl of the Year", 11-year old Chilean Luciana Vega who wants to go to Mars (azcentral) Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com) Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians) (Remember, $3+/month gets you weekly access to more Red Planet Review) Shop (shop.wemartians.com) Twitter (@we_martians) Facebook (@wemartians) Instagram (@wemartians) Jake’s Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit)
December 22, 2017
Hopefully everyone is having a great holiday break. I wanted to take the opportunity during this downtime to share some of the cool stuff we just launched! This podcast is the audio version of the blog posts we put out early this week for the listeners who don't follow along on the website or our social media. We think the message is too important to wait, and this way we don't have to clutter up our first episode with 10 minutes of housekeeping! New Patreon Rewards and Goals Introducing the WeMartians Shop Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com) Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians) Shop (shop.wemartians.com) Twitter (@we_martians) Facebook (@wemartians) Instagram (@wemartians) Jake's Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) Happy Holidays! WeMartians music is “RetroFuture” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
December 5, 2017
The US Vice President Mike Pence announced that the United States would be returning to the Moon. But for NASA, this is a change from the "Journey to Mars". So what does this mean for human spaceflight, especially for the goal of getting people on the Red Planet? Space Consultant Laura Forczyk, founder of Astralytical, joins Jake to discuss the moving goal posts of the space community and what it means for Mars. Hopefully, we'll get to the bottom of this ever-present debate. We discuss the Moon and Mars NASA's switch from Mars to Moon, after Vice President Mike Pence's announcement at the first National Space Council meeting The response from space companies, like SpaceX and Blue Origin The role of international partners like ESA, CNSA, Roscosmos and more What's next for Mars and what to look for in the future Follow Laura Laura's Twitter Account Astralytical's website Follow Jake & WeMartians Website (www.wemartians.com) Patreon (www.patreon.com/wemartians) Twitter (@we_martians) Facebook (@wemartians) Instagram (@wemartians) Jake's Twitter (@JakeOnOrbit) WeMartians music is “RetroFuture”, “Electrodoodle” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
November 15, 2017
Mission designs for human trips to Mars are common, but Lockheed Martin's "Mars Base Camp" is something fresh. That's because it's a collaborative, orbit-first, science-focused approach, so it means the plan is a realistic path forward from NASA's Deep Space Gateway. Complete with a habitat, a laboratory, propulsion, power and two Orion capsules, it's a complete beachhead for a human trip to the red planet. It's even got a lander! Listen to engineers Danielle Richey & Steve Jolly join Jake to talk about the idea and how it might become real. Links Key Twitter Follows Danielle Richey (@dmrichey) Rob Chambers (@marsbasecamper) Tim Chichan (@timcichan) Lockheed Martin (@lockheedmartin) Mars Base Camp Hashtag (#marsbasecamp) You can reach Steve via Email if you have questions Official Lockheed Martin Content The Mars Base Camp site Some high-res B-roll video of the concept Lockheed Martin's Mars Base Camp Flickr The IAC Update White Paper Promo Video for Mars Base Camp The IAC Presentation Video WeMartians music is “RetroFuture”, “Electrodoodle” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
October 24, 2017
The plains of Meridiani Planum, where the Opportunity Rover is currently exploring, is home to many surface features, but none are as stunning and the wind-formed dunes and ripples. How do these features form, and what significance do they have on the overall climate and history of Mars? The SETI Institute's Lori Fention, an aeolian geomorphologist, joins Jake to talk all about these sandy structures and share the beauty of their past and present.
October 3, 2017
Episode 31 - The Interplanetary Business Case (feat. Chantelle Dubois) by
September 19, 2017
Without GPS, keeping track of our Martian explorers is no easy task. Data management for the thousands of photos, especially their locations, is in fact a full time job. Fred Calef, JPL's "Keeper of the Maps" joins Jake to talk all about how we build a base map for Curiosity to help scientists get the right context for their geologic studies.
September 5, 2017
For over 13 years, NASA's Opportunity Rover has been exploring Meridiani Planum on Mars. The determined spacecraft has faced a lot of challenges through its mission, not least of which is continuing to operate in the harsh Martian environment. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Mike Seibert joins Jake to talk about all the intricacies of operating a spacecraft another world away. Links Mike's Twitter Account (@mikeseibert) Opportunity's 13th Birthday Video Planetary Society's latest update on Opportunity Breakdown of Curiosity's Sampling Subsystem, which Mike works on now WeMartians music is "RetroFuture", "Electrodoodle" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
August 15, 2017
It's been five years since NASA's Curiosity Rover touched down on the surface of Mars, and it's been doing all kinds of science as it climbs the slopes of Mt. Sharp ever since. Taking a step back, what have we learned from this flagship mission so far? The Planetary Society's Emily Lakdawalla joins Jake to discuss how Curiosity has pushed the limits of spacecraft engineering, operations, and science.
July 25, 2017
Despite a growing influence of private organizations in the space industry, government still holds a lot of power in the direction of exploration. Space policy is a messy, complicated and mysterious affair. The Planetary Society's Casey Dreier, Director of Space Policy, joins Jake to talk about the current affairs of Mars exploration, from the robotic side to the human side.
July 4, 2017
Episode 26 - Remembering Pathfinder by
June 13, 2017
Europe's ExoMars program has already kicked off with the Trace Gas Orbiter, currently manoeuvring downward to its final science orbit. But ExoMars is not limited to a single mission. By 2020, ESA hopes to launch the first European rover to the Red Planet. Abbie Hutty, a Lead Spacecraft Structures Engineer, comes on to talk about what it takes to design, test and build a rover chassis, from wheels to mast, and what this rover means in the broader view of Mars exploration and international cooperation. Links Abbie's Twitter Account ESA's ExoMars 2020 Mission Overview (check sidebar for more) Animation showing surface operations An older test showing the flexible metal wheels of ExoMars The opening of the Mars Yard at Stevenage, featuring Abbie herself WeMartians music is "RetroFuture" and "Electrodoodle" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
May 23, 2017
All the obstacles in spaceflight can theoretically be broken down in to subsets of risk. Whether personal risk, programmatic risk, financial risk or professional risk, these are the things holding back individuals and organizations from accomplishing goals. What does this mean for Mars and how can we overcome it? Jake sits down with award-winning journalist Leonard David to explore this topic and try to understand what steps must be taken next to continue towards the objective of putting people on the Red Planet.
May 2, 2017
On Earth, geologists are pretty familiar with the concept of an esker, a snake-like ridge formation left behind by a receding glacier. Across our planet they can be found in areas where glaciers once dominated the landscape. The same is true on Mars, but eskers also require a time when glaciers could melt. Frances Butcher, a PhD student from the Open University, talks with Jake about these special kinds of Martian eskers that indicate a warmer, wetter environment than we once thought. Links Mars Timekeeping from the Planetary Society The Martian Calendar from the Planetary Society Frances' abstract from the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference HiRISE image of the esker system Frances is studying Analgyph version if you've got 3D glasses Further Listening Don't Panic Geocast has some great episodes on eskers if you want to delve in to more of the science behind them. Episode 51 goes over them in detail. WeMartians music is "RetroFuture" and "Electrodoodle" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
April 11, 2017
In a mashup episode that combines the formats of The Orbital Mechanics, a great weekly spaceflight podcast, and WeMartians, Jake, Ben and David explore a variety of Mars topics. Delve in to history as we mark the 37th anniversary since Viking 2's batteries gave out and learn about the spacecraft and its mission. Ben walks us through NASA's new Road Map to Mars, a flight plan for SLS and Orion leading all the way to the 2030s. Then, we explore SpaceX's Red Dragon mission and learn about the four candidate landing sites being considered when the Hawthorne-based company makes its first landing on the Red Planet in 2021. You'll also hear some of the great segments from The Orbital Mechanics, like #ThisWeekSF, upcoming spaceflight events, and space news. Note: If you are already a subscriber of The Orbital Mechanics, their episode 104 will be mostly the same content with some different introductions, ie. the same episode appears in both feeds. Links The Orbital Mechanics (subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher) Website Twitter Patreon #ThisWeekSF (This Week in SpaceFlight History) - Viking 2 Apollo Applications Program Voyager Mars (Photo 1 and Photo 2) Camera System (Weird Photo of imaging team) Astrobiology Instrument Schematic Jake's KSP History Post on Viking 2 (from his past life) Spaceflight News NASA's Mars Road Map (SLS/Orion) Lunar Orbit Types Blue Origin Developping Moon Lander Questions, Comments and Corrections Reddit - Insight into Falcon 9 Octoweb Construction Red Dragon & its Landing Sites Space News Article Jake's Landing Site Map Red X = Crashed/Failed Landing Green Circle = Successful Landing Yellow Question Mark = Candidate sites for Mars2020/ExoMars Space "X" - Red Dragon Landing Site Candidates Deuteronilus Mensae (Photo 1 & Photo 2) Phlegra Montes (Photo 1 & Photo 2) Utopia Planitia (Photo 1 & Photo 2) Arcadia Planitia (Photo 1 & Photo 2) WeMartians music is "RetroFuture" and "Electrodoodle" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
March 28, 2017
Every year, upwards of 2,000 planetary scientists descend upon a suburb of Houston to discuss the latest findings, share the work, and learn something new. A lot of Mars happens at these conferences, so WeMartians decided to attend it in person! Jake catches up with old friends, makes some new ones, and explores Mars like never before. Links History The original Lunar Science Conference poster from 1970 Pre-Conference Microsymposium 58 Website Oral Session Highlights What the heck is a yardang? Isaac Smith's abstract using dessert to model Mars Polar Layer Deposits (yes, you read that right) Polar Layer Deposits NASA Night Livestream of the event Smallsats for Planetary Science Press Release CAPS Meeting Agenda Poster Sessions Justin Cowart's Abstract Lauren Mc Keown's Abstract Human Exploration Lockheed Martin's Mars Base Camp Concept Harrison "Jack" Schmitt's Abstract WeMartians music is "RetroFuture" and "Electrodoodle" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
March 7, 2017
Ahead of the science, the surface operations, the tricky landing, interplanetary cruise, & launch of a NASA flagship class rover like Mars2020, the difficult decision of where to send the mission must be made. For the successor of Curiosity, this process is nearing completion as the 3rd workshop has narrowed the remaining candidates to three. Jake takes a long look at the mission requirements, landing site criteria, and Mars mapping techniques before exploring Jezero Crater, North East Syrtis and Gusev Crater to see what secrets might lie beneath the regolith. Links The Mars2020 Mission Landing Site Workshop Page Science Objectives Landing Site Criteria (Bottom of page) Mapping Mars Mars Quadrangles Airy Crater Image with Mariner 9, Viking 1, and Mars Global Surveyor images Airy-0 The Landing Sites Google Mars KMZ file to explore the landing ellipses on Google Earth Jezero Crater Jezero HIRISE image SETI Talk with Tim Goudge (53:37), who led the Jezero team's presentation North East Syrtis NE Syrtis HIRISE Image Gusev Crater/Columbia Hills Columbia Hills HIRISE Image Spirit's Traverse Why Return to the Columbia Hills? by Alex Longo WeMartians music is "RetroFuture" and "Electrodoodle" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
February 14, 2017
A surface mission to Mars will involve a lengthy stay in a harsh environment. Many have argued that this could be a psychologically draining experience as astronauts are forced into confined spaces with no light, perhaps underground away from harsh radiation. But architects Kelsey Lents and Jeffrey Montes don't believe that's necessary. They and their teams helped design the Mars Ice House, a 3D-printed ice dome that caught the eye of NASA and became a feasibility study to build a surface habitat. LINKS (Mars Ice House) Mars Ice House - The initial concept and first place winner of NASA's Centennial Challenge Video on Mars Ice House Mars Ice House - NASA Awards Announcement (1st place winner) LINKS (Mars Ice Home) Clouds AO Project Page NASA Article on Feasibility Study LINKS (Clouds AO) Clouds AO Website Clouds AO Twitter Clouds AO Instagram LINKS (SEArch+) SEArch+ Website SEArch+ Twitter SEArch+ Instagram SEArch+ Facebook WeMartians music is "RetroFuture" and "Electrodoodle" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
January 24, 2017
The year 2016 was a big one for Mars, and 2017 might be even bigger yet. We're joined by two space reporters from Orlando to talk about the highlights of last year in Mars exploration, and look ahead to 2017, which promises to take us closer to the Red Planet. Brendan Byrne is a reporter from WMFE Orlando and the host of "Are We There Yet?", a podcast about space exploration. Emilee Speck is a reporter from WKMG with a passion for planetary missions.
December 13, 2016
NASA currently operates two rovers on the surface of Mars, but in the next five years that population could more than double as JPL prepares its third rover, and space agencies in Europe and China look to create their own footholds. That's why creating a pipeline of talent that can plan, target, drive and otherwise operate these rovers is so important. Enter CanMars - an anlogue mission run by the Canadian Space Agency using real rovers here on Earth. I caught up with Eric Pilles, the planning lead for CanMars 2016, to find out how he and his team of scientists from universities across Canada are learning the ins and outs of rover ops, and how the science drives their goals.
November 29, 2016
Living and working in a remote place requires more than just food, water, shelter and air. If we're serious about maintaining the health of our future Martian astronauts, we'll need to pay close attention to the mental health, and we'll need to figure out a way to make food sustainable. The idea of farming on Mars isn't new, but the ideas of Morgan Irons, founder and Chief Science Officer of Deep Space Ecology, certainly push them forward. Her "three-zone model" promises to create a closed ecological system that won't collapse under pressure. Morgan joins us to tell us all about her startup and the way she sees future habitats working.
November 15, 2016
Some call water the "oil of the solar system" because of its importance in our eventual exploration of other planets. Finding new sources and learning about how to access it plays a key role in our future. Using the SHARAD instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Cassie Stuurman and a team at University of Texas at Austin discovered a massive deposit of ice in the northern plains of Utopia Planitia. Cassie joins us to tell the tale of its discovery, characterization and importance. Links Cassie's paper: "SHARAD detection and characterization of subsurface water ice deposits in Utopia Planitia, Mars" Cassie's blog Cassie's Twitter Account The SHARAD Instrument (courtesy of the Italian Space Agency) A SHARAD Radargram WeMartians Theme Song is "RetroFuture" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
November 1, 2016
The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter's primary mission is to hunt down sources of trace gasses in the orbiter and characterize them. Chief among these chemicals is Methane, and when it is isolated on the surface, we're going to want to know what that place looks like. Enter the Colour and Stereo Surface Imagine System, a state of the art instrument that can take stereo images of the surface, allowing us to see Mars in 3D. Nicolas Thomas, Principal Investigator of the instrument, joins us to tell us all about this fascinating device, including its operations, how it targets science and why finding methane is so important. Links The CaSSIS website (University of Bern) YouTube - How the Instrument was built ESA - CaSSIS Overview WeMartians Theme Song is "RetroFuture" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
October 4, 2016
Elon Musk has now bore his heart (of gold) to the world. His plans for making humans multiplanetary have been shared with us, including his incredible 42-engine reusable booster, his 100-person interplanetary spaceship, and his vision for colonizing Mars. Together they form the SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System, and they are nothing if not bold. I'm joined by Anthony Colangelo from the Main Engine Cut Off Podcast to talk more about this vision, including some of the realities of making it possible, the challenges they'll face, and how to bring partners like NASA on board for the ride. Links Main Engine Cut Off Website Main Engine Cut Off Twitter YouTube - Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species YouTube - SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System Article - Mashable - "Don't dismiss Elon Musk's plan to colonize Mars" Article - Space.com - "Feasible or Fantasy? SpaceX's Mars Plan Draws Expert Reactions" WeMartians Theme Song is "RetroFuture" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
September 20, 2016
Understanding human social behaviour under conditions of remote isolation, close quarters, and constrained resources will one day be critical to successfully executing a crewed mission to Mars. Analogues and simulations provide a useful tool to learn these tactics. HI-SEAS IV (Hawaii Space Exploration Analogue and Simulation) is one such experiment, and six crewmembers recently exited after an entire year in a dome on the slopes of a Hawaiian volcano. We spoke with all six members of the crew and learned a lot of valuable lessons, not least of which is the power of the human spirit and ability to make anything possible.
August 23, 2016
The Mars Curiosity Rover has an impressive suite of instruments, but none incite as much excitement as ChemCam, a laser/camera combo that vaporizes rocks and analyzes their components. ChemCam is firing more than it ever has before, and Nina Lanza, a staff scientist on its team, is helping make some pretty remarkable discoveries with it. On this episode, Nina tells us about a high concentration of manganese recently uncovered that tells us a lot about Mars' past, and suggests that it might have been complete with a lot more oxygen than we initially thought.
August 2, 2016
NASA's next flagship Mars mission will put the generation of their rovers on the surface of Mars. With the working title of Mars2020, the rover will improve upon the Curiosity design that so far has been wildly successful. But putting together a rover, even one with a borrowed design, is not easy. Sarah Milkovich, a Science Systems Engineer with JPL, tells us about the challenges of bridging the gap between science and engineering on a $2 billion rover.
July 21, 2016
Electric vehicles aren't just taking over our roads - they're taking over our orbits, too! Solar electric propulsion is a cutting edge technology that allows spacecraft to change velocity up to an order of magnitude more efficiently than traditional chemical rockets. Joe Cassady from Aerojet Rocketdyne and Explore Mars talks with us about how this propulsion works, it's power requirements, the development status, and how we'll use it to eventually send cargo to Mars in support of human exploration.
July 1, 2016
Increasingly, Mars is appearing to us as a living, breathing world with dynamic features. One such feature that has captivated planetary scientists around the world is the occurrence of Martian Gullies, channels carved into the surface as if by water, in a world where flowing water is not exactly common. We talk with Tanya Harrison, a planetary scientist and geologist from the University of Western Ontario. She tells us all about gullies on Mars, how they might be formed, and what scientists are doing about it to learn more in the search for life on Mars.
June 10, 2016
NASA and other space organizations have used mission analogues to simulate various aspects of space travel since the dawn of the space age. As humanity steps closer to deep space and eventually Mars, new analogues are being developed to represent the new challenges we'll face. HERA (Human Exploration Research Analogue) is one such mission, and crew member Casey Stedman gives us an inside look at the exciting challenges he faced while stuck inside a habitat for 30 days. Audio Links from the show Charlie Bolden's Recruitment Video Human Spaceflight Analogues with Joe Neigut and Ronita Cromwell Other links and further info Casey Stedman's Twitter Account Casey Stedman's Instagram Casey Stedman's blog WeMartians Theme Song is "RetroFuture" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
May 30, 2016
Mars reached opposition (when it, Earth and the Sun form a straight line) on May 22nd. It's closest approach (today, May 30th) is another important astronomical event. All of these work on a 26-month cycle. Astronomers around the world have their eyes trained on the blood-coloured planet, tracking its retrograde motion, supreme brightness, and near-approach with great interest. We went on site with Kyle Dally of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada to learn about what these events mean, why they are important, and how someone like you or me can get involved with amateur astronomy without spending thousands of dollars on equipment and training.
April 28, 2016
Habitation in space will become a very important topic as we venture out into deep space and eventually to Mars. Turning space from a place to travel through to a place to live will be a prime objective of technology development in the near term. In this episode we'll explore the history of habitation, from the earliest Skylab and Salyut stations to the modular Mir and ISS designs. Then we'll talk about Bigelow Aerospace, its NASA roots, and the commercial impact on the industry as it sets its sights on Mars.
April 3, 2016
In the fourth episode of the WeMartians podcast, we explore the growing problem in Planetary Science - there's too much data! With the dawn of the digital age, the volume of data coming back to Earth from planetary missions is increasing exponentially. We'll talk with Michael Aye, project scientist for Planet Four. Planet Four is a Citizen Science project which lets everyday people participate in planetary science by classifying features on the surface. It helps scientists like Michael get through the massive amounts of imagery from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and lets people like you do science on Mars! Audio Links from the show: Chris Lintott on the Galaxy Zoo Other Links Planet Four Planet Four: Terrains Zooniverse Michael Aye's Twitter Account The team's poster from Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2016 WeMartians Theme Song is "RetroFuture" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
March 29, 2016
In the third episode of the WeMartians Podcast, we learn a little bit about the 1877 perihelic opposition of Mars, during which many famous astronomers, Giovanni Schiaparelli included, made crucial discoveries about the Red Planet. Then, we'll explore how this affects us today and for the launch of ExoMars. To help explain the massive process that goes in to building and launching a spacecraft, we're joined by Assembly Integration and Test Engineer Michael Coarezza of Thales Alenia. He shares some stories about meeting deadlines, working with the historical Proton rocket, and the importance that international collaboration plays in space exploration today. Audio Links from the show: ExoMars LiveStream Archive ExoMars Launch Footage Michael Coarezza's Twitter Account (@MichaelCoarezza) Other Links Learn more about historical observations of Mars from the book The Planet Mars: A History of Observation and Discovery, available for free online here. WeMartians Theme Song is "RetroFuture" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
February 5, 2016
In the second episode of the WeMartians Podcast, we explore the topic of Launch Windows, answering questions like "why do they happen?", "when do they happen?", and "are any windows more important than others?" From there, we'll talk about Mars' windows specifically. Then follow along as we explore the two mission profiles in the upcoming launch windows in March - the delayed InSight mission from NASA and the European Space Agency's ExoMars 2016 mission, including the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and Schiaparelli Entry and Landing Demonstrator. Audio links from the show Bruce Banerdt - Von Karman Lecture Series on InSight Scott Hubbard, joint press conference with Planetary Society and Mars Society (courtest of the New Atlantis) Walter Cugno and Alvaro Giménez on ExoMars Giancinto Gianfiglio on ExoMars Thomas Walloschek on ExoMars Loïc Trompet on NOMAD Antonio Gracia Berná on CaSSIS Other links ESA's ExoMars 2016 Mission Page A Sensitive Search for Methane on Mars NASA audio used under public domain. All others used under fair use policy. WeMartians Theme Song is "RetroFuture" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
January 20, 2016
In this first episode of the WeMartians podcast, we explore the fundamental question facing all space exploration but especially those seeking to travel to Mars - why go? Why spend the money and take the risk on this important endeavour? We'll hear from industry experts and visionaries as well as my own opinions. Then we explore a 2015 Year in Review, covering topics from NASA's Evolvable Mars Campaign (using the Orion capsule, Space Launch System rocket, and more) as well as efforts from the private industry including Elon Musk and SpaceX. We'll talk about pop culture influences like Mars One and The Martian and ultimately show that 2015 was an amazing year for Mars - we want to go, and we're making real progress to get there! Audio Links from the show: Buzz Aldrin with Euronews Dr. Robert Zubrin at NASA Ames Barack Obama at Kennedy Space Centre Elon Musk with CNN Orion Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1) Elmo on Orion NASA Telecon following Orion Key Decision Point C SLS Solid Rocket Booster Qualification Test NASA Marshall's SLS Booster Information RS-25 Development Test #7 Space Launch System (SLS) post Critical Design Review NASA Astronaut Recruitment Video with Charlie Bolden Orbcomm-2 Launch and Landing Webcase (courtesy SpaceX) Bas Landorp on DailyMail The cast of The Martian interview ISS crewmembers Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren The cast of The Martian test a prototype Mars rover Matt Damon on the importance of The Martian Jessica Chastain and Tracy Caldwell Dyson on The Martian NASA audio used under public domain. All others used under fair use policy. WeMartians Cover Art Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech WeMartians Theme Song is "RetroFuture" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
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