Liftoff is 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

#131: Windex for Rockets

August 25th, 2020 · 45 minutes

It's a busy week on Florida's Space Coast, and supernovas are in the news. Thankfully the two won't cross paths. Neither will Earth and an asteroid the day before Election Day in the United States.

#130: A Salted Almond in Space

August 11th, 2020 · 40 minutes

Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley have splashed down after their historic mission to the ISS, and SpaceX's finally gotten a Starship test article to hop in Texas and the OSIRIS-REx team is gearing up for their sample return flight.

#129: Dirt in a Soccer Ball

July 28th, 2020 · 38 minutes

Mars 2020 is set to launch in just a few days, and should be followed by the splashdown of the Commercial Crew Demo-2 mission. Elsewhere, Virgin Galactic has shown off the interior of its space tourism craft, and we remember Rene Carpenter.

#128: Summer of Mars

July 14th, 2020 · 52 minutes

There are three missions bound for Mars launching this month, and Jason walks through them each. Then, Stephen gives a NASA budget update and the two get into some space law ... and guidelines.

#127: Wormy Space Coin

June 30th, 2020 · 46 minutes

This week: black holes doing weird black hole things, a progress report on the SLS and a discussion of how some of NASA's facilities should be renamed.

#126: Astronauts are Really Good at Moving

June 15th, 2020 · 40 minutes

The crew of Demo-2 are likely working on orbit until August, while here on the ground, COVID-19 is taking its toll on NASA schedules. Also: a conversation about CLPS and Gateway, as well as NASA's new Director of Human Spaceflight, Kathy Lueders.

#125: A Sparkly Dinosaur

June 2nd, 2020 · 49 minutes

The age of Commercial Crew has arrived, with Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken arriving at the International Space Station safely after riding a Falcon 9 there this weekend. Also: tiny CubeSats can do big things and Tom Cruise may be taking a trip.

#124: Space Koozie

May 19th, 2020 · 43 minutes

The Artemis Accords have been unveiled, but will their adoption be hurt by their rollout? Could Starship be more useful as a refueling station than a lander? Jason and Stephen get into these questions and more this fortnight.

#123: Lunar Camper

May 5th, 2020 · 51 minutes

NASA has unveiled its plans to source a lunar lander for the Artemis program, while Hubble celebrates its 30th anniversary.

#122: Get an Exoplanet; Lose an Exoplanet

April 21st, 2020 · 49 minutes

May seems to be the Month of Commercial Crew! Also: NASA is working from home, an exoplanet may be no more and a look at a future Mars sample return mission.