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.
With its Ingenuity Mars Helicopter's first flight compete, NASA has made history, opening the door to missions beyond landers and rovers. Also: what SpaceX's Human Landing System contract means for the SLS and the future of NASA leadership.
This fortnight, Jason and Stephen discuss traffic management at the International Space Station, upgrades to KSC's ground systems in preparation for SLS and the instruments that will fly with Europa Clipper.
The SLS has completed a full-length hot fire test and NASA is on the verge of having a new administrator, all while SpaceX continue to move ahead with its Starship testing.
March is here, and it brings with it a lot of space news. On Mars, Perseverance is busy with a lot of firsts, even as Insight says goodbye to an old friend. In Texas, SpaceX keeps churning out test vehicles as the SLS program readies for a second hot fire test. Elsewhere, China and Russia join forces to build a lunar space station.
Jason and Stephen are joined by Eric Berger to discuss his new book Liftoff, which covers the origins of SpaceX. Eric is the Senior Space Editor at Ars Technica and the book comes out on March 2. The guys also discussed the landing of Perseverance, the Starship test flights and who may be the next NASA Administrator.
On this bonus episode, Jason and Stephen speak with Ron Moore, co-creator, writer and producer of For All Mankind. Topics covered include the challenges writing for a parallel timeline and a bit about episode 1 of the new season after a spoiler warning is given.
Jason and Stephen are getting back to the news, and talk about Alan Shepard's golf balls, the state of NASA's programs under the Biden administration and what NASA would do if the SLS program were ended. Lastly, they discuss the upcoming Inspiration4 mission.
Less than a year after the disastrous Apollo 13 mission, the program returned to flight when Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa and Edgar Mitchell landed on the moon in February, 1971.
Jason and Stephen start 2021 by picking some things they are looking forward to in what promises to be a very busy year in space.