Mission: Interplanetary

Mission: Interplanetary

Join Astronaut Cady Coleman and scientist/author Andrew Maynard as they explore the unique visions of those working to take us to new worlds.Mission: Interplanetary looks at the big questions, the challenges to overcome, and the opportunities within reach. We talk to the people imagining, designing, and building the future of humans in space. Join us for a glimpse into futures that lie far beyond the bounds of Earth.

Episodes

May 10, 2022 41 min

There may be no question more profound than, “Are we alone in the universe?” Certainly, recent years have seen a lot of energy around looking for signs of primitive life on other worlds—Mars, Europa, Enceladus, even Venus. But microbes, even Martian ones, seem like poor company. What of the search for intelligent life? Are we done with that? Was that just an 80s thing, like shoulder pads? Cady and Andrew talk with legendary pioneer...

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As sites for research and potential gateways to the solar system, space stations play a critical role in building positive space futures. But so far, all of these—like Skylab, Mir, the International Space Station (ISS)—were owned and operated by governments. That is changing. In 2021, Blue Origin announced plans to build a private space station: Orbital Reef. What will people do there? How will it be different than previous space s...

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April 26, 2022 39 min

The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act changed the lives of millions of people, helping to make public spaces accessible to those with disabilities. But thirty years after this law, space exploration is still a disabling endeavor that excludes too many people. How can we change this? How can we make space inclusive of everyone? In this episode, part 2 of a series, Cady and Andrew talk with Sina Bahram of Prime Access Consulting a...

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April 19, 2022 37 min

In the early years of human space exploration, only those with the narrowly-defined and exclusionary “Right Stuff” could be astronauts. Though we’ve come a long way in expanding our ideas of who can go to space, we’re still leaving out so many people because of disabling design decisions. In this episode, Cady and Andrew talk with Ann Kapusta of AstroAccess about how we can make space more accessible for disabled people. Spoiler: t...

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April 12, 2022 39 min

Mars and Venus are our two nearest planetary neighbors, named after the god of war and the goddess of love, respectively. We have rovers on Mars and new missions planned for Venus. But where should we focus most of our attention? In this episode, we’re out to settle this question once and for all. It’s a Planetary Smackdown. Professional Martian Tanya Harrison of Planet Labs is in the ring for Mars, and Joe O’Roarke, planetary scie...

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April 5, 2022 37 min

On Mission: Interplanetary, we talk about space exploration as one of humanity’s greatest collective challenges. Another of those challenges is fighting climate change. How do these two overlap? Cady and Andrew talk with Dava Newman, Director of MIT’s Media Lab, whose non-profit Earth DNA uses satellite data to make the reality of our climate emergency legible to people on Earth. It’s a kind of dashboard for our planet! Also, Andre...

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The next 10 or 20 years may see the first humans on Mars. Sure, Matt Damon suffered catastrophic potato crop failure in The Martian, but what dangers will that first real crew on the Red Planet actually face? And how do we keep them safe? NASA Chief Scientist and Manger for Science & Technology Utilization Julie Robinson talks with Cady and Andrew about the five hazards of human space travel, and what we’re doing to guard again...

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March 22, 2022 35 min

You’ve probably heard about space mining from science fiction. But in the absence of “spice” (Dune shout-out!), what will we actually mine in space? And where? And how? Cady and Andrew talk with space engineer Chris Lewicki about the future of off-Earth mining. Also, the problem with vinyl, novel uses of space flooring, and Sounds of Space. 

This week’s Sounds of Space comes from the great folks at SYSTEM Sounds.  

Hosts

Cady Coleman ...

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March 12, 2022 54 sec

Cady and Andrew are back for Season 2, asking the Big Questions about space exploration with a lineup of brilliant guests!

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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May 11, 2021 42 min

Space begins some sixty-two miles above the surface of the Earth, but for most people it feels far more distant. Cady and Andrew talk with Ellen Stofan, Under Secretary for Science and Research at the Smithsonian, about bringing space closer to people. Also, space debris in the news, the problem with rotating space stations, and a new Sounds of Space.

This week’s Sounds of Space from the great folks at System Sounds.


Hosts

Cady Colema...

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May 4, 2021 38 min

More than half a million bits of deadly space junk are racing around our planet. What do we do about that? Cady and Andrew talk to NASA astronaut Mark Brown about the problem of orbital debris. Also, the passing of legendary astronaut Michael Collins, daffodils, the sci-fi of Toby Weston, and a new Sounds of Space.

Check out this week’s Sounds of Space here.


Hosts

Cady Coleman & Andrew Maynard

Twitter

Interplanetary Initiative: @...

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April 27, 2021 44 min

What happens if you murder someone in space? Cady and Andrew talk to space lawyer Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty about the laws that govern us when we leave Earth. Also, Ingenuity flies on Mars, Star Cops, Battlestar Galactica, and a new Sounds of Space.

This week’s Sounds of Space comes from the great folks at System Sounds.


Hosts

Cady Coleman & Andrew Maynard

Twitter

Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty: @Timiebi89

Interplanetary Initiative: @II...

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April 20, 2021 39 min

Nothing lasts forever, including the universe. So how will it all end? Cady and Andrew talk with theoretical astrophysicist Katie Mack about the ultimate destruction of the cosmos. Also, comfort food on the ISS, crocheting, and a new Sounds of Space. 

This week’s Sounds of Space link. Data processed by Alexander G. Kosovichev.

Hosts

Cady Coleman & Andrew Maynard

Twitter

Natalie Trevino: @AstroKatie

Interplanetary Initiative: @...

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April 13, 2021 40 min

The last Age of Exploration was a disaster. How can we craft better models for a new Space Age? Cady and Andrew talk with space theoretician Natalie Trevino about decolonizing space exploration. Also, new obsessions, Yuri’s Night, and new Sounds of Space.

Find the full recording of this week’s Sounds of Space here.

Hosts

Cady Coleman & Andrew Maynard

Twitter

Natalie Trevino: @nat_geo_theory

Interplanetary Initiative: @II_ASU

C...

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April 6, 2021 35 min

Why are we so fixated on Mars? Cady and Andrew talk with author and journalist David Baron about the surprising history behind our fascination with the Red Planet. Also, a new (and very musical) Sounds of Space.

This week’s Sounds of Space link. NASA/CXC/SAO/K. Arcand, M. Russo & A. Santaguida.

Hosts

Cady Coleman & Andrew Maynard

Twitter

Interplanetary Initiative: @II_ASU

Cady Coleman: @Astro_Cady

Andrew Maynard: @2020...

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March 30, 2021 32 min

In this episode, we ask: Should the first human mission to Mars have an all-women crew?

Cady and Andrew talk with science fiction writer Mary Robinette Kowal and professional Martian Tanya Harrison about who should go to Mars. 

Landing on the Moon was “one small step for man.” Should we think differently about the first humans to step foot on Mars? Also, a new Sounds of Space.


Hosts

Cady Coleman 

Andrew Maynard


Follow 

Twitter:

@II_ASU

...

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March 23, 2021 34 min

In our first episode, we ask: What can a distant asteroid teach us about the history of our solar system?

Cady and Andrew talk with Lindy Elkins-Tanton, the leader of NASA’s mission to the asteroid 16 Psyche.

Planets get all the good press; asteroids often seem anonymous. But 16 Psyche is a unique metal world that may hold secrets to the history of our own planet. Also, Sounds of Space.

More on NASA’s Psyche mission: https://psyche.as...

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