nasa

Ryan Gosling First Man space launch backdrop

First Man: moon rocks, moon lasers, and the edge of space

One Small Step

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.

Moon landing

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.

ROCKS

… 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.

Moon-landing video

Viewership numbers. NASA’s custom video encoding and the incredibly analog conversion methods employed to bring it to television.

What if

What if it didn’t work out? The Nixon speach made ready just in case. “In Event of Moon Disaster.”

What now

Why we have no rockets now to match the power of the Saturn V. Loss of engine-production expertise. Looking at near-future Moon and Mars missions.

Links:

Where does NASA keep the Moon Rocks? by Smarter Every Day: YouTube
Apollo Television by Bill Wood: NASA

The Cloverfield Paradox backdrop

The Cloverfield Paradox (feat. Adrian Falcone, physics nerd) : Episode 131

Stream the movie:
Netflix

The Cloverfield Paradox

What: Event Horizon, Hanna-Barbera Edition. And then monsters.
Directed by: Julius Onah
Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Daniel Brühl

Featuring guest co-host
adrian falcone headshotAdrian Falcone, general-purpose smarty pants

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Transformers The Last Knight (feat. Jolene Creighton from Futurism) : Episode 129

Stream the movie:
iTunes | Amazon

Transformers The Last Knight

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

Featuring guest co-host
Jolene Creighton headshotJolene Creighton, managing editor at Futurism.com

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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets : Episode 119

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iTunes | Amazon

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

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

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When Worlds Collide (feat. Daniel Barker, Science Communicator) : Episode 118

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iTunes | Amazon

When Worlds Collide

What: Worlds, they collide. And we have to get off. In this case, a sun is hitting us. 😥
Directed by: Rudolph Maté
Starring: Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, Peter Hansen

Featuring guest co-host
Daniel Barker headshotDaniel James Barker of Uncertainty Principle the Podcast

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Armageddon (feat. Daniel Barker, Science Communicator) : Episode 83

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Armageddon

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

Featuring guest co-host
Daniel Barker headshot
Daniel James Barker of Uncertainty Principle the Podcast

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Hidden Figures (feat. Joe Ruppel, History Nerd) : Episode 82

Get the movie:
iTunes | Amazon

Hidden Figures

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 PhotoJoe Ruppel, history nerd and our co-bff

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Hidden Figures (Voices From L5 guest appearance)

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!)

Deep Impact Background

Deep Impact : Episode 54

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iTunes | Amazon

Deep Impact

What: Morgan Freeman is president and a mountain-sized comet is heading towards earth. What do we do?
Directed by: Mimi Leder
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Teia Leoni, Elijah Wood

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Interstellar (Part 2) : Episode 39

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Interstellar (Part 2)

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

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