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

#117: Things Bumping Against Other Things

February 11th, 2020 · 42 minutes

Boeing's Starliner issues run deeper than it first appeared, CHEOPS is operation and the Solar Orbiter is on its way to our start. That, and a look at the White House's proposed NASA budget for 2021.

#116: Remembering Challenger

January 28th, 2020 · 70 minutes

On January 28, 1986, seven astronauts lost their lives aboard the space shuttle Challenger, including teacher Christa McAuliffe. This week, Jason and Stephen talk about the disaster, its causes and how it changed NASA, after discussing the current House NASA Authorization Bill and more.

#115: A Mannequin is Not an Astronaut

January 14th, 2020 · 59 minutes

2020 is here, as are updates on the James Webb telescope and SLS. NASA has inducted some new astronauts and the star Betelgeuse is getting weird.

#114: A Pentagon of Storms

December 17th, 2019 · 47 minutes

2019 is coming to a close, but the news rolls on: NASA is close to having a new budget, Commercial Crew makes another step in the right direction and Jason ends things with a holiday message.

#113: Barbecue Freezer

December 3rd, 2019 · 52 minutes

Commercial Crew is moving forward, Vikram's crash site has been found, and there's a big black hole in the news. There are also claims of a new particle, but questions surround the announcement.

#112: Apollo 12

November 19th, 2019 · 45 minutes

Apollo 12 forever lives in the shadow of the mission before it, but it shouldn't. Pete Conrad, Dick Gordon and Al Bean made plenty of their own history, with some terror and plenty of laughs along the way.

#111: Escape of the Mole

November 5th, 2019 · 54 minutes

Commercial Crew continues to grind forward, while InSight struggles to dig on Mars. Then, some SLS upper stage news, reflections on the Galileo probe and a spoiler-free review of "For All Mankind."

#110: A Consensual Hallucination

October 22nd, 2019 · 53 minutes

Insight is back up and running, and the ISS has hosted the first all-female spacewalk. Back here on Earth, NASA is making purchases for Artemis, even as Congress threatens the agency's 2024 plans.

#109: An SLS in the Garage

October 8th, 2019 · 49 minutes

This fortnight: NASA works to get its InSight lander digging again, while the SLS program moves forward with training using a replica core stage and some have suggested Planet 9 may not be a planet at all. Oh, and Elon Musk and Jim Bridenstine have been feisty on Twitter.

#108: Hungry for Artemis Details

September 24th, 2019 · 52 minutes

This week, Stephen and Jason discuss a recent exoplanet discovery, NASA's ordering of additional Orion capsules and what Jim Bridenstine can do to ensure ARTEMIS is a success, even beyond his tenure.