Worrying the minimum amount about your speech. The difficulty of quoting noisy radio transmissions.
Because it is haaaahd
Recognizing the small temporal distance from the first powered flight to the first moon landing. The cutting edge of the early space program. Test piloting. Gemini.
The edge of space
Defining the edge of space. The “Karman Line”: transition from atmospheric lift to orbital velocity. Complications and redefinition of where “space” begins. Geopolitics, ruining everything since forever.
The “right stuff”
Badass engineer pilots. Moving fast and breaking things. Selection testing. Giving prospective astronauts ice-water wet willies. The importance of simulation in the early space program and the difficulty of simulating things we haven’t actually ever done or seen up close.How hard it really is to stay conscious under high-g stress.
Monocular depth cues. Light and shadow, unfamiliar objects, and depth perception. Equatorial noon on the equinox when stuff looks creepy: Lahaina Noon.
Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment
Retroreflectors and really really powerful lasers. Tiny photonic returns: 1 out of every 10¹⁷ photons shot at the moon mirror make it back for our detection. Multi-mile laser beams. Confirming relativity ftw.
… from the moon! And some regolith to boot. Vacuum transport for moon samples and how we work with them on Earth’s surface without contaminating. The difficulty of maintaining a a very strong vacuum vs nonreactive gasses. Detecting the provenance of proposed moon rocks. NASA’s moon-rock cataloguing system.
Viewership numbers. NASA’s custom video encoding and the incredibly analog conversion methods employed to bring it to television.
What: Robots fighting, and then a robot planet fighting earth which may also be a robot planet somehow, it’s hard to tell. Directed by: Michael Bay Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel
What: A race of highly-intelligent tailless Navi are left without a planet and survive across space and time until they can rebuild their homeworld. Also there are two humans. Directed by: Luc Besson Starring: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen
What: 💥💥💥 Blue collar everymen drilling a HUGE asteroid and then space explosions 💥💥💥 Directed by: Michael Bay Starring:Bruce Willis, Michael Clarke Duncan, Liv Tyler, Owen Wilson, Steve Buscemi, Billy Bob Thornton, Ben Affleck
What: The story of a team of African-American women mathematicians and their contributions to the early American space program. Directed by: Theodore Melfi Starring:Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kirsten Dunst,Kevin Costner, Aldis Hodge
Featuring guest co-host Joe Ruppel, history nerd and our co-bff
I was a guest on our friend Liam‘s show! And here it is. We talked about the movie Hidden figures. So if you haven’t heard his show, please give this a listen and then subscribe to his show at Voice From L5 for new and interesting takes on humanity in space. 🙂
(PS: after we were done recording the things Liam wanted to talk about, I realized there was a lot more here to say in our wheelhouse. So keep an eye out for our own episode on the matter soon!)
What: Interstellar gives us lots to talk about again! Here we discuss the second part of the movie: the part with all of the physics! Directed by: Christopher Nolan Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Ellen Burstyn, John Lithgow, Matt Damon, Michael Caine, Casey Afflek, Wes Bentley