Liftoff is a fortnightly podcast about space, the universe, and everything. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand the latest developments as explained by enthusiastic space fans Stephen Hackett and Jason Snell.

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Latest Episodes

#107: Build a Lunar Zipline

September 9th, 2019 · 38 minutes

The Chandrayaan-2 lander seems to have met its end on the lunar surface as SpaceX inches forward with its Raptor testing program. Then, NASA's plans for commercial lunar landers and how the agency prepares Kennedy for hurricanes.

#106: One Robot Closet

August 27th, 2019 · 66 minutes

The first SLS is taking shape, as are Starhopper and Europa Clipper. Stephen struggles with a name and then Jason introduces a new segment.

#105: Hallowed Ground

August 13th, 2019 · 63 minutes

Stephen and Jason report in after their field trip to Space Center Houston and Johnson Space Center, which included seeing several spacecraft and visiting the restored Apollo Mission Control room.

#104: A Beautiful Rocket Butterfly

July 31st, 2019 · 58 minutes

As 2024 gets closer and closer, NASA is hard at work on SLS and Orion, but is also partnering with several companies to move several projects forward in parallel. Stephen and Jason then mark the passing of NASA's first Flight Director, Chris Kraft.

#103: Apollo 11

July 16th, 2019 · 37 minutes

50 years ago, humans first set foot on the moon. The work of the crew of Apollo 11 has inspired people for five decades, and their legacy continues to shine on today. In this episode, Stephen and Jason discuss three aspects of the mission that aren’t as well known, including Neil Armstrong’s brush with death in a training exercise, the science per…

#102: Important Business Meetings

July 5th, 2019 · 47 minutes

Orion and the Mobile Launch Platform are making progress, InSight's struggles continue and NASA is sending a 8-rotor drone to Saturn's moon Titan.

#101: Behind the Back Fence

June 20th, 2019 · 37 minutes

The Artemis Budget is becoming more and more real, as NASA promotes the number of companies involved in building its hardware. Elsewhere, ESA is preparing to go to Jupiter with the JUICE robotic mission and Bigelow has big plans for the ISS.

#100: There's Nobody in Charge

June 6th, 2019 · 52 minutes

Jason and Stephen discuss the debate around Starlink and its impact on astronomy, cover the latest GAO report and talk about the importance of Commercial Moon Landing Services.

#99: Apollo 10

May 21st, 2019 · 36 minutes

In May 1969, Tom Stafford, John Young and Gene Cernan took their Apollo spacecraft within 48,000 feet of the lunar service.

#98: The Moon is Having a Moment

May 7th, 2019 · 48 minutes

This fortnight: checking in on the SLS' test procedures and the on-going planning to return to the moon in 2024, and then a dose of planetary defense.