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

#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.

#148: Space Suits as a Service

April 19th, 2021 · 48 minutes

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.

#147: Astronaut To Be Named Later

April 8th, 2021 · 66 minutes

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.

#146: Reverse Origami

March 23rd, 2021 · 57 minutes

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.

#145: Sad Mole

March 9th, 2021 · 41 minutes

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.

#144: Elon Being Elon and the Early Days of SpaceX, with Eric Berger

February 23rd, 2021 · 52 minutes

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.

#143: The Perseverance Landing and "For All Mankind" with Ron Moore

February 19th, 2021 · 52 minutes

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.

#142: Not To Sound Like a Parent, But...

February 11th, 2021 · 55 minutes

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.

#141: Apollo 14

January 26th, 2021 · 60 minutes

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.

#140: The End of the Year Means Next Year

January 12th, 2021 · 48 minutes

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.