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.



Latest Episodes

#158: A Bad Roommate

September 7th, 2021 · 44 minutes

It's a real roller coaster this week, except for the Astra rocket that went ... sideway off the pad. Other stories include Inspiration4, the James Webb Space Telescope and dual-core stars.

#157: It's in the Slushie Now

August 24th, 2021 · 45 minutes

Boeing is returning the Starliner capsule to the factory, while Cassini continues to teach us about Saturn from beyond the grave. Then, Stephen and Jason give good and bad news about Artemis.

#156: You're Stealing My Rocks

August 10th, 2021 · 64 minutes

Jason and Stephen are back, catching up on the news. Topics include SLS flight computers, Starliner's continued struggles, the recent incident at the ISS and a lot more.

#155: Apollo 15

July 27th, 2021 · 63 minutes

As the first J mission, Apollo 15 marked a new era of broader discovery and scientific work on the lunar surface. David Scott, Alfred M. Worden, James Irwin worked to further our understanding of the moon, and were the center of a bit of a scandal after splashdown.

#154: 💼 🚀 💰 💸

July 16th, 2021 · 44 minutes

Jason and Stephen check in on the Hubble's progress to return to normal operation and talk about Russia's upcoming ISS plans. Then, a discussion of billionaires in space and how the Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin missions are changing the world of space travel.

#153: Hubble Trouble

July 1st, 2021 · 36 minutes

Jason and Stephen catch up with several commercial space companies before reviewing footage of Zhurong on Mars and talking about the issues currently plaguing the Hubble Space Telescope.

#152: It's Under Our Control, with Dr. Ed Lu

June 15th, 2021 · 42 minutes

After catching up on a couple of present and future robotic missions, Stephen and Jason talk with former astronaut Dr. Ed Lu about his work at the B612 Foundation, which is focused on protecting Earth from large asteroid strikes.

#151: Off to the Arctic Circle With You

June 1st, 2021 · 42 minutes

It's budget time, and Stephen is here with the numbers. He and Jason are both excited about the final steps before the JWST launches. That, and a bunch of news updates this fortnight!

#150: Worming It Up

May 18th, 2021 · 40 minutes

This fortnight, Jason and Stephen catch up on what NASA's new administrator has been saying about the future of the agency, and China's actions in space, both near and far away.

#149: $5,999,999,999.99

May 6th, 2021 · 50 minutes

There's a new boss at NASA, and he already has a mess to deal with in the contested Human Landing System contract with SpaceX, which is seeing success in Texas with Starship testing. Then, an update on Mars missions and a goodbye to Michael Collins.