Archive for December 2020

Sarah Cruddas – Space Journalist

December 16, 2020 @ 9:53 am

In this episode:

 

We meet Sarah Cruddas, an accomplished space journalist, international TV host, and award-winning author from the United Kingdom. A global thought leader in the growing commercial space sector, Sarah’s many talents and her background in astrophysics have led her to opportunities such as being a host for “Contact” on Discovery Channel and Science Channel, as well as making regular appearances on Sky, the BBC, CNN, People Television, ITV News, and more. Sarah has authored four books about space exploration, including her latest: “Look Up: Our Story with the Stars.”

 

In our conversation, Sarah discusses what led her to pursue a career in the space community and what it’s like being an international space journalist. She also gives unique insight into being a communicator within the science world, the private space industry, and the global space economy.

 

Sarah, who was first inspired to pursue a space career as a teen attending Space Camp in the U.S., says “My whole life, space has been my passion. It’s there from the start. For me, I would always say to people who ask, ‘Why would you care about space?’ My answer would be: ‘Why would you not care about space?’ It’s as much about philosophy and a search for meaning as it is about science.”

 

For more information about Sarah, visit her website at https://sarahcruddas.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

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Sarah Noble – NASA Program Scientist, Psyche Mission

December 9, 2020 @ 10:34 am

In this episode:

 

We meet Dr. Sarah Noble, a planetary geologist at NASA headquarters and the Program Scientist for the Psyche mission. She was previously the Program Scientist for NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft, and the Deputy Program Scientist for Mars 2020. In addition to her involvement with Psyche, she is currently the Program Scientist for the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

 

Psyche was only the sixteenth asteroid identified when it was discovered in 1852. It is roughly the size of the state of Massachusetts and resides in the solar system's main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It’s thought to be the exposed remnant core of a protoplanet — a planet that began to form, but then lost its outer layers due to collisions that occurred billions of years ago. Unlike most asteroids that are rocky or icy bodies, it is believed that Psyche is composed mostly of iron and nickel (similar to the Earth’s core), which is why the Psyche mission spacecraft will be studying an asteroid more than 300 million miles away to learn more about our home planet’s core.

 

In this episode, Sara explains her role in the Psyche mission, what phase the mission is currently in, why we think we know what the asteroid is composed of, the spacecraft’s instruments and propulsion, how long the mission will take to complete, and much more.

 

For more information about the Psyche mission, visit https://www.nasa.gov/psyche and https://psyche.asu.edu.

 

To view the Psyche-inspired artwork Sarah mentioned in the episode, visit https://psyche.asu.edu/psyche-inspired-showcase/, and for information on submitting your own artwork, go to https://psyche.asu.edu/get-involved/psyche-space-crafty/.

 

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

Filed under Space, Space Foundation, Space4U, NASA · Comments

Erin Macdonald – Tattooed Scottish-American N7 Rebel from Starfleet Academy

December 2, 2020 @ 10:37 am

In this episode:

 

We meet Dr. Erin Macdonald who holds a PhD in astrophysics and is an internationally recognized space science expert, writer, speaker, and consultant. Erin’s academic research background is in gravitational waves and general relativity, and she currently lives in Los Angeles working as a writer and science consultant for the Star Trek franchise.

 

In our conversation, Macdonald discusses how pop culture played a major role in inspiring her to pursue a career in science, and how she uses pop culture herself to teach others about the subject. She also gives details on her scientific consulting job with the Star Trek franchise, talks about her roles as a voice actor for video games, and explains her unorthodox professional title.

 

In discussing her enthusiasm about her role with the Star Trek franchise, Erin says, “It takes a lot for me to, like, not be walking down the street in Star Trek gear, and have someone be like, ‘Oh, I like Star Trek,’ and for me to [not] scream in their face, ‘I WORK FOR STAR TREK!!!’”

 

To learn more about Erin and her various activities, visit erinpmacdonald.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

Filed under Space Foundation, Space4U · Comments

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