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



Latest Episodes

#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.

#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. SpaceX keeps churning out test vehicles as the SLS program readies for a second hot fire test.

#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.

#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.

#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 Inspiration4 mission.