78 episodes

Space is for everyone. Listen to casual and non-technical conversations with space professionals, as they tell their part of the space story, and explore how space is also for you!

Space4U Space Foundation

    • Science
    • 5.0 • 7 Ratings

Space is for everyone. Listen to casual and non-technical conversations with space professionals, as they tell their part of the space story, and explore how space is also for you!

    Libby Jackson – UK Space Agency Human Exploration Programme Manager & “Space Explorers: 25 Extraordinary Stories of Space Exploration and Adventure” Author

    Libby Jackson – UK Space Agency Human Exploration Programme Manager & “Space Explorers: 25 Extraordinary Stories of Space Exploration and Adventure” Author

    In this episode:


    We meet Libby Jackson, the Human Exploration Programme Manager at the UK Space Agency, and author of two books on space exploration for young people: Galaxy Girls: 50 Amazing Stories of Women in Space published in 2018, and the recently published Space Explorers: 25 Extraordinary Stories of Space Exploration and Adventure. Libby is one of Britain’s leading experts in human spaceflight and she’s passionate about sharing stories on that topic with young people to encourage them to follow their passions in life.




    Space was Libby’s childhood inspiration, and she has worked in the space industry since she earned her degrees in Physics from Imperial College and Astronautics and Space Engineering from Cranfield University. She began working at Europe's control center for the International Space Station as a flight instructor and controller in 2007, and a few years later, became director for the European Space Agency’s ISS Columbus module. She joined the UK Space Agency in 2014 as spokesperson for the first British ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s mission to the International Space Station and has remained there since.


     


    In our conversation, Jackson explains how she wrote a “Travel Guide to Mars” when she was just nine years old, how, at age 17, she shadowed a mission control worker at NASA Johnson Space Center, what it was like working at Europe’s control center for the International Space Station, what inspired her to write her new book, and how the stories in it go beyond just facts — to include the emotions that the explorers experienced on their missions.


     


    Describing her objective in writing her newest book, Libby says, “Here’s a book I wish I had when I was 10, or 11 or 12. Something that tells these fantastic stories, gets behind just the pictures and the highlights of what you see. And I hope I get across just how exciting and brilliant a place [space] is.”


     


    To learn more about Libby and her books, visit libbyjackson.com


     


    Introductory and closing music: Paint the Sky by Hans Atom © Copyright 2015, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/hansatom/50718 Ft: Miss Judged

    • 31 min
    Homer Hickam – Bestselling Author

    Homer Hickam – Bestselling Author

    In this episode:


    We meet Homer Hickam, author of the No. 1 New York Times bestselling memoir Rocket Boys and its ever-popular movie adaptation, October Sky. Rocket Boys is the story of a young man and his friends in Coalwood, West Virginia, who, inspired by the space age, started building and launching rockets, which was just the beginning of a fantastic career that eventually took Homer to NASA. Since he published that first book, he has written more than a dozen fictional and nonfictional bestsellers.


    On October 26, Hickam will release a new follow-up memoir to Rocket Boys titled Don't Blow Yourself Up. This story includes tales of his life and times during the next 40 years that take the reader to college, Vietnam, underwater, NASA, and to remote locations looking for dinosaur bones.


    In our conversation, Hickam details his memoir writing process, what it was like to pioneer the infamous Virginia Tech Skipper game cannon, his time at NASA, meeting Elon Musk at adult Space Camp, becoming an avid amateur paleontologist, and why he would be considered an old Grinch on a suborbital flight.


     


    In discussing whether he is an actual Renaissance man, Homer says, “I wonder if the people during the actual Renaissance thought of themselves as Renaissance people — I don’t think you know that until you look back. I love the idea of having an adventure in my life and, and when it’s presented to me, I just grab it, and I just go with it, and I just want to make it happen so much.”


    To learn more about Homer Hickam and his newest book, Don't Blow Yourself Up, visit https://homerhickam.com/


     


    Introductory and closing music: Paint the Sky by Hans Atom © Copyright 2015, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/hansatom/50718 Ft: Miss Judged

    • 42 min
    Dr. Kathryn Thornton — Former NASA Astronaut

    Dr. Kathryn Thornton — Former NASA Astronaut

    In this episode:


     


    We meet Dr. Kathryn Thornton, former NASA astronaut and current Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.


     


    Dr. Thornton was selected by NASA in May 1984, became the third woman to walk in space, and the first woman to make multiple extravehicular activities (EVAs). A veteran of four space flights, which included her stents as a spacewalker, repairing in-orbit satellites — including the Hubble space telescope — gave Dr. Thornton nearly 1000 hours of space travel.


    In our conversation, Dr. Thornton discusses pursuing education in STEM at a time where women were not encouraged in the field, the advancement of gender equality in space, how she trained for missions, an incident that could have impacted the course of a space flight, and what travel to the Moon means for deep space exploration.


     


    In sharing advice regarding a career in space, Dr. Thornton says, “There are lots of ways to be involved in the space program. Anybody can, there’s so many different dimensions that require humans and people with a passion that anybody can be a part of it.”


     


    Introductory and closing music: Paint the Sky by Hans Atom © Copyright 2015, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/hansatom/50718 Ft: Miss Judged

    • 19 min
    Jay Chattaway, longtime Star Trek series music and score composer

    Jay Chattaway, longtime Star Trek series music and score composer

    In this episode:


    We meet Jay Chattaway, an Emmy award-winning composer who has been nominated nine times for his work in television, particularly for the hit Star Trek series. In addition to his television work, Jay has composed scores for more than 30 feature films.


     


    Chattaway is also the producer of many Grammy-winning music projects, working with artists such as Carly Simon, Bob James, Maynard Ferguson, Gato Barbieri, David Byrne of The Talking Heads, The Fania All-Stars , Herb Alpert, and the von Trapp Children. He has served as Director of A&R for CBS records, has been the president of the Society of Composers and Lyricists, and governor of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Jay is also in demand as a conductor, having recently conducted the London Philharmonic at Royal Albert Hall.


     


    Jay has both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from West Virginia University and post-graduate studies at The Eastman School of Music. Jay serves as Distinguished Composer-in-Residence at West Virginia University and received an Honorary Doctorate there in May 2019.


     


    In this episode, Jay discusses the first instrument that he picked up and how it led him to a career in music, the musical artists that influenced him and his work, how music adds to storytelling, how he pairs music with a scripted scene, the processes and interactions he has with the director and writers for the show, and more.


     


    Recalling how he initially got the job doing music for Star Trek: The Next Generation, Chattaway says, “So then they sent my whale orchestra on to the producers of Star Trek and they thought, ‘Wow, this guy’s out there, so I’m guessing if he’s that far out — doing whales in his orchestra — he might be the right guy to do Star Trek.’”


     


    Introductory and closing music: Paint the Sky by Hans Atom © Copyright 2015, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/hansatom/50718 Ft: Miss Judged

    • 52 min
    Frank Culbertson — former NASA astronaut, “The only US citizen not on Earth when the Sept. 11 attacks occurred”

    Frank Culbertson — former NASA astronaut, “The only US citizen not on Earth when the Sept. 11 attacks occurred”

    In this episode:


    We meet CAPT Frank Lee Culbertson, Jr., USN (Ret.), a former American Naval officer and aviator, test pilot, aerospace engineer, NASA astronaut, and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He served as the Commander of the International Space Station (ISS) for almost four months in 2001, giving him the distinction of being the only U.S. citizen not on Earth when the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks occurred. As the ISS passed over New York City after the attacks, he captured impactful photos and video from low Earth orbit of the smoke emanating from Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan.


     


    You can read a letter he wrote detailing the complex emotions he experienced that day at https://www.nasa.gov/topics/nasalife/features/sept11_culbertson.html


     


    Culbertson’s achievements are too numerous to list completely here. He served in the Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam, and later as a Naval aviator, Culbertson flew aircraft with the U.S. Air Force in the 426th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, where he served as Weapons and Tactics Instructor. Culbertson then served as the Catapult and Arresting Gear Officer for USS John F. Kennedy until he was selected to attend the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, from which he graduated with distinction in 1982. He has logged over 9,500 hours flying time in 60 different types of aircraft.


     


    Frank was selected for and completed NASA astronaut training in 1985. He’s a veteran of three space flights: STS-38 aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis (Nov. 1990), STS-51 aboard Space Shuttle Discovery (Sept. 1993), and as part of the ISS Expedition 3 crew (launched via STS-105 on Space Shuttle Discovery, Aug. 2001). Culbertson lived and worked aboard the International Space Station for a total of 129 days on that mission and commanded the ISS for 117 of those days.


     


    Culbertson recently retired as President of the Space Systems Group at Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, and currently consults for several aerospace companies. He’s also on the Board of Advisors of Bye Aerospace, the Board of Trustees of the AIAA, the Board of Directors of Firefly Black Aerospace, and is Member at Large on the Space Foundation Board of Directors. He remains an active pilot and is president of his own company, Higher Flight LLC.


     


    In this episode, Frank recalls his day on the ISS on Sept. 11, 2001, how he received information about the attacks in bits and pieces as the day unfolded, the loss of his friend Capt. Charles “Chic” Burlingame (pilot of Flight 77 which terrorists crashed into the Pentagon that day), and how much the world had changed by the time he returned to Earth three months later.


     


    Detailing his memories of taking photos aboard the ISS that morning, Culbertson says, “So, it made it easy to zoom in with the camera and look at what was happening. And as I zoomed in ... a big gray blob enveloped Southern Manhattan, and ... I found out later what I was seeing was the second tower come down.”


     


    Introductory and closing music: Paint the Sky by Hans Atom © Copyright 2015, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/hansatom/50718 Ft: Miss Judged

    • 27 min
    Sam Mastovich – General Manager, Keystone Compliance

    Sam Mastovich – General Manager, Keystone Compliance

    In this episode:


    We meet Sam Mastovich, general manager of Keystone Compliance. He joined the company more than 10 years ago following a career in commercial banking. What started as a three-person, one-location Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) testing lab is now a 40-person, four-location, EMC, mechanical, wireless, package and product safety testing lab. Their many testing capabilities also make them a perfect partner for aerospace companies.


     


    In our conversation, Sam discusses how Keystone tests EMC, how Keystone grew to be more than just an EMC test lab, how all these tests relate to space technology, some of the general test programs Keystone provides for space companies, the more common mistakes that manufacturers make, and the new tests that he sees being developed as we venture further into space.


     


    In describing how seldom consumers consider the testing that goes into the products they purchase, Mastovich says, “What we do is what every consumer takes for granted. We go to Target or Walmart or ... on Amazon, we order something, bring it home, plug it in—and it doesn’t kill us... So, that’s basically what we as consumers just take for granted.”


     


    To learn more about Keystone Compliance, visit keystonecompliance.com.


     


    Introductory and closing music: Paint the Sky by Hans Atom © Copyright 2015, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/hansatom/50718 Ft: Miss Judged

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

fernandezf ,

To space and beyond!

What a great way to learn about the wonders of space and the people working in it! The interviewer is well informed and has a genuine love for space and enthusiasm for topics talked about. If space is what you love or your raising the next future astronauts you have to check this out!

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