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Are We There Yet? | Top Science Podcasts 2020

The top science podcasts of 2020 updated daily.


Are We There Yet?
When it comes to human space exploration, we're on the brink of something big. Join host Brendan Byrne as he explores the advances in human space exploration. From conversations with the engineers and scientists building the technology one day heading to Mars, to talks with visionaries and leaders who want to take humankind to deep space, the Are We There Yet? podcast reveals the next chapters in human space exploration.

Asteroid Return Mission Spacecraft OSRIRIS-REx Picks A Sample Site
2020-01-21 15:22:39
A spacecraft more than 160 million miles away is about to suck up some asteroid dust — then send it back to Earth. The OSIRIS-REx mission will collect the sample from Bennu this summer and mission managers are carefully planning the maneuver. Scientists hope to uncover the building blocks of early life in the universe when the sample arrives back here on Earth in 2023. We'll talk with mission scientist Humberto Campins about the final site selected by the team and the surprises OSIRIS-REx uncovered along the way. Then, the star Betelgeuse is causing quite a stir after astronomers observed the star brightening and dimming in the night sky. Is it going to blow up? We'll talk with our panel of experts on this week's segment "I'd Like to Know."
28 minutes


Can Your Gut Leak In Space? Probably. Here's What That Means For Astronatus
2020-01-14 15:17:33
Space travel could cause a leaky gut. A new medical study found that microgravity reduces an important barrier in the stomach which could mean nasty germs could get inside Astronaut's bodies on deep-space missions. We'll chat with UC Riverside medical researcher Dr. Declan McCole about the gut biomes of astronauts and how his research can all help our guts down here on Earth. Then, how do you count the planets?  The answer to how many planets there are isn't a simple one. On this week's "I'd Like to Know" segment, we'll talk to our panel of planetary experts about the task of counting the planets and the controversies surrounding their definitions.
28 minutes


Booze In Space? The Storied History And Bright Future Of Alcohol In The Final Frontier
2020-01-07 15:41:49
Alcohol has long been a staple of our cultures and civilizations but is there a place for it in space? Author Chris Carberry explores this history and future of booze in space in his new book Alcohol in Space: Past, Present and Future. We'll talk about how booze made its mark on the space program and just what type of drinks we might be toasting while orbiting the Earth or exploring Mars. Then, there's a black hole at the center of our galaxy. Should we be worried about falling in? This week on our segment "I'd Like to Know", we'll chat with planetary scientists about the possibility of being gobbled up by this black hole.
28 minutes


A Decade of Commercial Space Innovation
2019-12-31 15:43:30
Over the last decade, there's been a change in how things get to space. Since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011, NASA has been looking to commercial companies to fill the void. We'll take a look at the "paradigm shift in the business of space" with The Verge's senior science reporter Loren Grush. Her recent piece for the online publication examines the commercial boom in the 2010s led largely by Elon Musk's company SpaceX. We'll talk about that growth and what's ahead for private space in the 2020s. Then, are we alone in the universe? Surely we're not and statistics can prove it. But why haven't we uncovered any evidence of life outside our planet? A conversation about the Fermi paradox with our panel of planetary science experts on this week's segment "I'd Like to Know".
28 minutes


Interstellar Comet Visits Our Solar System, Awes Astronomers
2019-12-17 15:34:04
Astronomers have their eyes on a rare comet zooming 100,000 miles per hour through our solar system. It's rare because it's coming from outside our solar system. The comet named 2I/Borisov is the first confirmed interstellar comet. The Hubble space telescope captured stunning images of the comet. Scientists are pouring through the data to figure out what it's made of and where it came from. That information can help us better understand our universe. We'll talk with planetary astronomer Heidi Hammel about what we know — and don't yet know — about this incredible discovery. Then, there's a lot of talk about life on Mars, but how do we actually find it? This week on "I'd Like to Know," we'll chat with our panel of planetary scientists about the likelihood of finding signs of life on the red planet and where else in the solar system we should be looking.
28 minutes


Designing The Next Space Suit
2019-12-10 15:45:14
For future missions to the moon or Mars, astronauts are going to need a new suit. Engineers like MIT's Dava Newman are hard at work — but it's a big ask. Designing a suit that protects astronauts while still allowing them the mobility to work in space or on another planet is tough. We'll speak with Newman about the design challenges of making a new suit and how the work done at her lab could help all of us here on Earth. Then, we know the speed of light, the speed of sound…but what about the speed of gravity? This week on "I'd Like to Know" we chat with our panel of experts on the intricate measurement of gravity and how colliding black holes are helping us understand its speed.
28 minutes


Designing The Next Spacesuit
2019-12-10 15:45:14
For future missions to the moon or Mars, astronauts are going to need a new suit. Engineers like MIT's Dava Newman are hard at work — but it's a big ask. Designing a suit that protects astronauts while still allowing them the mobility to work in space or on another planet is tough. We'll speak with Newman about the design challenges of making a new spacesuit and how the work done at her lab could help all of us here on Earth. Then, we know the speed of light, the speed of sound — but what about the speed of gravity? This week on "I'd Like to Know" we chat with our panel of experts on the intricate measurement of gravity and how colliding black holes are helping us understand its speed.
28 minutes


From Cave To Cosmos: A History Of Human Exploration
2019-12-03 15:37:17
Exploration is hardwired into our DNA. From early humans in sub-Saharan Africa to the Apollo moon walkers, humans have always had a thirst for knowledge and the need to understand the world around them.  Andrew Rader is a SpaceX mission manager. He's one of the many new-age explorers now reaching out to the stars. He's also an historian and author of a new book Beyond the Known: How Exploration Created the Modern World and Will Take Us to the Stars. We'll speak with Rader about humanity’s storied history exploring our world and the efforts to expand into our solar system. Then, are we living in the only version of this universe? We explore the idea of a multiverse with our panel of expert scientists this week on our segment "I'd Like to Know."
28 minutes


Talking To Aliens
2019-11-26 15:39:03
Are we alone in the universe? Probably not. Scientists are hard at work looking for signs of life here in our solar system and beyond. But what will we say to those extraterrestrials when we find them? Author and journalist Daniel Oberhaus delves into the efforts to talk with alien civilizations in his new book "Extraterrestrial Languages." We'll talk with Oberhaus about the attempts to speak with other civilizations in the universe and why many scientists think it's a bad idea to reach out to them first. Then, as we continue to venture into our solar system, there's a greater need to keep it clean. On this week's "I'd Like to Know" segment, we'll chat with planetary scientist from the University of Central Florida about keeping our dirty Earth-germs off other planets and moons — and why the search for life depends on it.
28 minutes


The Interstellar Travels Of The Twin Voyager Spacecraft
2019-11-20 06:00:20
Ken Chang: Science From Beyond Our Solar System. Voyager 2 punched a hole through our heliosphere sending it into interstellar space. The space probe launched more than 40 years ago along with its twin, Voyager 1, on a mission to visit the outer planets. Now the two have exited the boundary of our solar system and are beaming data back to scientists here on Earth. We'll speak to The New York Times reporter Ken Chang who wrote about the science coming back from Voyager 2, which was launched 42 years ago from Cape Canaveral on a mission to visit the outer planets of our solar system.  The spacecraft, along with its twin Voyager 1, is now traveling in interstellar space at more than 35,000 mph. At that speed, it could travel around the world in less than an hour but, even so, it has taken four decades to leave the solar system all while continuing to transmit data back to Earth. Scientists are just now digging into that data and it's painting a new picture of the boundary of our solar system. I’d Like to Know: The Science of Space Junk. SpaceX's Starlink constellation is taking shape. The private company launched 60 satellites into orbit last week that will be part of a network of thousands of satellites to blanket the globe with global, high-speed internet.  However, some people are concerned that the constellation, along with other planned space-based internet networks, could add to the growing number of space debris and interfere with astronomical observations.  Josh Colwell, Jim Cooney and Addie Dove, planetary scientists at the University of Central Florida and hosts of the podcast "Walk About the Galaxy" talk about the science of these constellations and the risks so many satellites zooming around in space might pose. **Got a question for “I’d Like to Know”? Send it in! Shoot us an email at arewethereyet@wmfe.org.** Space News Headlines NASA OIG A report released by NASA's Inspector General says the agency's commercial crew program is facing additional delays and questions some $157 million awarded to one of those contractors: Boeing. According to the report, in 2016 Boeing was paid a so-called premium of $287 million to alleviate perceived delays to the program, but SpaceX wasn't offered a similar opportunity. The Inspector General criticized Commercial Crew managers for offering the additional money for Starliner missions, calling $157 million of that payment "unnecessary costs." In a statement, NASA disagrees with the inspector’s characterization. Boeing says the bidding process was quote fair and open and disagrees with the OIG's findings. The report outlines delays in developing the parachutes, propulsion and launch abort systems of the spacecraft. Because of those challenges, the space agency won't send Commercial Crew astronauts to the station until at least Summer 2020. Both companies are coming up on critical tests of their capsules that will help solidify human launch dates. Boeing is set to launch an uncrewed capsule to the station next month. And in just a few weeks, SpaceX will test the abort motors of the Crew Dragon Capsule mid flight after launching atop a Falcon 9 rocket. Complicated Spacewalk The latest spacewalks center around a co...
28 minutes




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