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The Space Above Us

A podcast about the history of NASA human spaceflight. New episodes every other Thursday.
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The Space Above Us
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May 13, 2021

The Hubble Space Telescope is in trouble. With the future of the orbiting observatory, and perhaps NASA itself, on the line, can the crew of STS-61 save the day?

Apr 29, 2021

With STS-61 ready to execute the first servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope, let's learn about the overall structure of the observatory, what the flaw with its mirror was, and how that flaw came to be.

Apr 15, 2021

Columbia is on the launchpad and we've got a whole bunch of life science to get through. And just when you thought it was safe to drop the word "otolith" from your vocabulary.

Apr 1, 2021

We've got a packed flight with an advanced communciation satellite, a new kick stage, the return of SPAS, an EVA and a sassy air traffic controller.

Mar 18, 2021

In this episode, rather than hearing me talk about STS-51, we talk to someone who worked on its primary payload: astronaut Dan Tani! We also chat a bit about some government job he had down in Houston.

Mar 4, 2021

Space Shuttle Endeavour is here with STS-57, which brings us a little piece of much of what the shuttle program has to offer. Satellite captures, EVAs, technology demonstrations, commercial space stuff, mysterious loud booming noises.. wait, mysterious loud booming noises?

Feb 18, 2021

Germany is back together and back in orbit with their second shuttle flight, the D-2 Spacelab mission. I wonder what sort of science they have in store for us? We also wonder who's squeezing the bag under the middeck.

Feb 4, 2021

ATLAS is back in the payload bay for round two of the ongoing series of Earth observation missions. And TAGS gets some competition!

Jan 21, 2021

TDRS-F needs a ride to orbit, NASA needs more EVA experience, and we all need to figure out what's up with soft x-rays. Good thing Endeavour's on the pad for its third flight!

Jan 7, 2021

STS-53 is here and with it we've got a secret satellite, a fictional hot tub, and a space shuttle full of dogs. I promise that sentence will make sense at the end of the episode.

Dec 24, 2020

Space Shuttle Columbia has a disco ball, a container full of helium, and some cool glowing lights outside. Are we sure this isn't a party?

Dec 10, 2020

What do you get when you mix four frogs, one hundred and eighty hornets, two carp, and a crew of seven astronauts? STS-47, the 50th Space Shuttle mission!

Nov 26, 2020

Space Shuttle Atlantis has 20 kilometers of tether in the backseat.. but does it know how to use it?

Nov 12, 2020

Columbia is hauling the US Microgravity Laboratory for almost two weeks, and Commander Richards wishes his wife left her cell phone on.

Oct 29, 2020

Space Shuttle Endeavour flies for the first time. But if we're going to capture this satellite, we're going to need all hands on deck. Or on payload bay.

Oct 15, 2020

Before diving into the next mission, we take a quick detour to introduce a bunch of spacefarers, including one who will fly twenty-five times. We'll also learn a bit about why the next mission was necessary in the first place.

Oct 1, 2020

Atlantis is getting ready to fire photon torpedoes at Planet Earth! Well.. sort of.

Sep 17, 2020

Space Shuttle Discovery is packed with so much science it's practically bursting at the seams, but don't forget to take some time to look out the window!

Sep 3, 2020

For a simple IUS-based deploy mission, I sure found a lot to say about this mission! We've got nuclear bombs, caterpillar men, pranks, and multiple near-collisions in the air and in space.

Aug 20, 2020

Discovery has the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite in the payload bay, and it's ready to learn all about the stratosphere and mesosphere! This episode was originally going to have a story about the mission commander trying to ski in space but I ran out of time!

Aug 6, 2020

TDRS-E needs a ride to space, John Blaha is in command, and the middeck is full of science experiments.

Jul 23, 2020

It seems like this human spaceflight thing might be here to stay, so we better do some life sciences experiments and learn more about the impact of microgravity on the human body. Also, Space Shuttle Columbia carries more jellyfish into space than it ever has before.

Jul 9, 2020

Discovery has a payload bay full of multi-spectral instruments and is ready to perform an orbital ballet.

Jun 25, 2020

Atlantis has one heavy satellite to deploy, and the EVA crew has to evaluate some strange exercise devices in the payload bay. Sort of.

Jun 11, 2020

Columbia has a tricky time getting off the launchpad, but once it does, it performs some fancy astronomy that can only be done in space!

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