This Week in Space 99 Transcript

Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word. Time codes refer to the approximate times in the ad-supported version of the show.

00:00 - Rod Pyle (Host)
On this episode of this Week in Space. It's back to the headlines. For Terek and me, the moon is in our sights. Stay with us. Podcasts you love From people you trust. This is Tweet. This is this Week in Space, episode number 99, recorded on February 23rd 2024. Moonshots following satellites and starships. Hello and welcome to another Star Spangled episode of this Week in Space, the. These headlines are awesome addition. We've got a ton of stuff to cover, so hurry up and welcome my insidious companion, tarek Malik. Editor-in-chief at spacecom. Yeah, cause you're a sneaky.

00:45 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Hey Rod, How's it going?

00:47 - Rod Pyle (Host)
How are things? You haven't snuck off your chair in a while. I'm good. How are you?

00:51 - Tariq Malik (Host)
It's like we barely start and you're already digging at the chair. Man, I got a 30 seconds, my captain's chair.

00:57 - Rod Pyle (Host)
I'm pretty impressed with myself. Before we attempt liftoff today, please don't forget to do us a solid. Make sure to like, subscribe and do all those other cool podcast things, because we need it, we love you, we want you to love us, and don't make me come over there and blow you out your airlock to get you to comply. So we'll take five stars or thumbs up or six comments or whatever they give you. All, right, a space joke. A, yes, I'm ready. Listener Megan on Discord, that was her handle. She's smart enough not to send a last name to us. Hey, hey, tark, yes, rod, how can I finance my own spaceship? I don't know how. How can you do that? By using rocket mortgage, of course.

01:40 - Tariq Malik (Host)
I'll tell you. I'll tell you just a quick aside, that rocket mortgage came a little too late for me to buy the house, but I was totally kicking myself that I couldn't do that because it felt very on brand for me to have bought my first house in a town that has birthed not one but two astronauts with that company and they're not a sponsor, by the way, so not a sponsor.

02:01 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Well they were, oh okay, well, great, even better. Yeah, yeah, and John correct me if I'm wrong, but they partially still are, because they do the Rocket money, I suppose.

02:14 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Rocket money, but rocket money is the current sponsor.

02:18 - Rod Pyle (Host)
They bought that previous group and rocket money is cool.

02:20 - Tariq Malik (Host)
My statement was not sponsored by them. That was a perfect.

02:24 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Mine neither, but the whole idea behind rocket money I use their predecessor and it's amazing because it's like you know who knew that we were giving monthly money to the fund to save Amazonian spiders over the last 10 years or something. So it's nice to know what you're getting into. Okay, one more Try again from Discorder of the Handle. I believe it's pronounced fetchy opus, fetchy opus. Wow, son, hey dad, can you tell me what a solar eclipse is? Dad, no son.

02:55 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Oh, that took me too long. That took a minute, didn't it?

03:01 - Rod Pyle (Host)
For those who haven't caught up yet no S-U-N Not bad, huh. Okay, I'm sorry, it's like I'm still getting it right.

03:11 - Tariq Malik (Host)
You're joking.

03:15 - Rod Pyle (Host)
And I didn't even have to pay you for that one. Well, that's cool. Thank you All right. So let's move on to headlines, and this is kind of going to be a headline show, so we'll take a break after the first few, but we're kind of rocking and rolling through the headlines of 2024 because it's been busy. I know A lot of good things have happened at 24.

03:33 - Tariq Malik (Host)
It's looking a lot better than 23 was in terms of spaceflight right, at least, at least with missions, man, I mean, this is like the what? The third week of February, we're not even in the middle of it, and I just thought it would be good to take a minute to try to catch our breath, to see where things are, cause I mean, just just in the last week alone, I don't know, I'm I'm exhausted, rod, I don't know about you.

03:56 - Rod Pyle (Host)
So in a good way, in a good way.

Well, I run a quarterly so I can look at the stuff at my leisure and scratch and yawn, and you know, maybe that one You're the one that has to do stuff every hour. I just want to say before we start, one of the big moments of 2024 for me so far has been to see blue origin finally moving something out the back of one of their factories and said well, it's going to the front door, that's right Now, it's a fake rocket, it's not the real thing, it's a mating test item. But it did go out and it's sitting on a pad and it looks magnificent and I just wanted to be able to push the button and make it go.

04:30 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Yeah, yeah, we have a. Well, we have got a link with some images to share for folks that are watching the video later. But oh, getting ahead, getting ahead ourselves, yeah, but that's right. It's a very rare public reach out outreach. Is that right?

04:48 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Public affairs like from the North Korea of commercial space?

04:51 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Yes, With images and they showed some video earlier of a rocket test. Very exciting to see that. But you know we expect, hopefully, that that first launch will be coming up later at the end of the year.

05:02 - Rod Pyle (Host)
So I'm going to hedge and say the end of the year For anybody who's looking at scant status, you know, for people in our trade. We've been following blue origin since the year 2000. Yeah, and you've seen what SpaceX has done, starting two years later, and it's been a bit of a head scratcher as to what's taken so long. There are lots of opinions, you know. The nasty ones are ah, it's all a tax write off which. That's a lot of materials going in that front door and a lot of engineering for a tax write off. So I don't buy that.

05:32 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Billion a year. For a while there, jeff Bezos was paying a billion a year.

05:36 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Yeah, but they're doing stuff. It's not like it's, you know, some kind of laundry scheme and they did just change their CEO last year.

05:42 - Tariq Malik (Host)
you know, to kind of write that ship. I guess there was some internal stuff.

05:47 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Third time, there's Rob Meyerson. He was president anyway, yeah.

05:53 - Tariq Malik (Host)
So I guess yeah, I guess that'd be third, I guess it'd be three.

05:56 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Yeah Well, but you know what if that moves them ahead? And you know, bezos doesn't. I mean Bezos left as the chief of Amazon to go concentrate on blue origin, which was a good move. But I don't think he's a Elon Musk kind of boss. I don't get the impression of what I've heard. Anyway, he stalks the halls and, you know, pulls people out of their offices and gives them a tongue lashing or anything. He's just, you know, running the company.

06:20 - Tariq Malik (Host)
And they're also building a satellite constellation company at the same time that I'm sure he's working on, yeah yeah.

06:27 - Rod Pyle (Host)
All right. So let's move on to the elephant in the room. Yes, the landing of Odysseus from the IM-1 mission of Intuitive Machines with NASA under the clips program, where NASA and it's important to remember because you know the mainstream press oh, it's a private spacecraft and all it. It is, but it's a private spacecraft that has been largely underwritten by NASA money. That said, these guys have been around since 2008, I think for the Google Lunar X Prize, which which actually never awarded a prize. They were around for years and years and just didn't get it, but that's where they started. They've been at it a really long time. They've got a lot of their own money in it. So the NASA underwriting is, I'm sure, very appreciated, but it's it's not a sole source thing.

07:15 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Yeah, and so this is like our flagship story for for the week, because I'm sure that if you haven't heard about it, you might have seen it in passing. But basically this company, intuitive Machines, based in Houston, for the first time ever landed they soft landed a private spacecraft this I think it's like a four kilogram or 40 kilogram spacecraft on the surface of the moon near the South Pole in Malapur, a crater which is very close to kind of one of the the shortlisted places that NASA wants to send Artemis astronauts. So they landed it and man, the way that they landed it was was crazy. But it's also. It has. It has six NASA payloads, yeah, and, and six, I think, regular commercial payloads. Maybe a few more back and forth there, maybe 12 or 12.

08:07 - Rod Pyle (Host)
So the launch mass is 4,200 pounds 4,200 pounds. The payload capacity is 100 kilograms.

08:13 - Tariq Malik (Host)
I must be thinking of of something else. I'm sorry about that.

08:16 - Rod Pyle (Host)
You're thinking of your poodle, yeah.

08:20 - Tariq Malik (Host)
But man, it was just. I'm just distracted because this this all happened kind of last evening around dinnertime for for for folks on that on the East coast Spacecraft launched about a week ago last week. It took about eight days to get there and then it's going to spend hopefully two weeks going on. And the reason that I see him kind of out of breath is because they got to the moon and they were supposed to land at one time 549 pm Eastern and then we found out as we got closer that no, they're going to move the landing time up to like 430 or so 424. And it's like, well, that's interesting because you very rarely see, yeah, moon landing get moved up like that Like I think we would love to have seen earlier moon landings and then we get word back that they've actually pushed the the landing later. Now it's going to be at 624 pm Eastern time.

So clearly there was something going on. They chose to stay in orbit an extra, an extra trip around the moon before doing their deorbit burns and apparently the laser ranging guidance system on this lander failed. They're the intuitive machines, one that they built to detect the ground and tell it how high it is off the ground and help navigate down to a safe landing. We have range and velocity here, exactly it just it stopped working and, by coincidence or design, one of the NASA payloads on this mission is a prototype, an experimental laser guidance navigation system, and they were able to write like a patch for the computer on this spacecraft to use the experimental NASA data that has like never been tested before, pop it in into into the actual system for this computer and then it landed on like on the ground, on the moon, and right side up, right side up.

10:07 - Rod Pyle (Host)
I'd like to jump at these later.

10:09 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Which Japan Slim can't say, and it was so. It was so tense because the time for it to have landed they didn't have a lot of bandwidth with this spacecraft, so you don't have that live video of the moon getting closer and closer and closer. You know the telemetry, all of that that we're used to seeing, that we saw with the Artemis One mission where you see the moon get closer and then they whip around for close approach and all that. They didn't have that. What they had was just like tones coming back and then nothing. And they're waiting to hear back from the spacecraft and it's really quiet and everyone was tense and worried, right, because this is another failure for this commercial plan. You mentioned that NASA bankrolled a lot of this. The $118 million is NASA's investment in this one mission. And we already saw the Peregrine mission by Astrobotic fail last month.

And then you hear Tim Cain, the mission, the mission director at Intuitive Machines, say they were not dead yet. Live on the open mic to everybody. And then they confirmed that they had a faint signal. It's faint but it's. There is what he said, right, and a few hours later they confirmed it was on the ground. They were in contact with it this morning they said like even more robustly that it was upright, that its solar arrays were charging, that they're getting the telemetry.

It sounds like the whole thing worked. Now they do have a press conference. As we're recording this, it's going to be late in the day On Friday we're expecting, hopefully, to get our first picture from the spacecraft, and one thing in particular that is on this mission is called EagleCam. It's an Emory Riddle University student-built project that, if it worked, would give us our first ever they call it a third person view. Basically, it popped the camera out to record, hopefully, a view of the spacecraft as it was landing, not afterward, like we saw with Slim, but as it was landing, which will be really exciting to see Again if it worked it was a test.

12:25 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Yeah, let me just add a little detail. So this thing was supposed to pop out and I think about 100 feet, and I never did see how far away it was supposed to get, but it was supposed to land tangential to where the lander was going to set down. Now I don't know how they figure out to get the camera pointing in the right direction, unless they may have just had a 360 camera in there or something. But to look back, it's a little bit like the reverse of back in the Apollo days, when, for those final missions, the lunar rover was able to move its camera over and watch the ascent module takeoff. This is kind of like the inverse.

Why is it important? Well, it's cool for one thing, it's good public relations, but also we need to start studying how plumes form and how the lunar surface reacts to rockets. Because over the years they've realized that when you come down on the lunar surface, if you're firing all the way down to the surface which is a question especially for unmanned stuff you can shut off early because it doesn't weigh much there, but it's a problem because you get all this ejecta coming up underneath the rocket engine. Everything comes with sand and pebbles and they're going really fast. They're bullet. At least theoretically it can even go into lunar orbit. So you want to know how you can mediate that for future missions. If you're in a place that you already kind of got people stationed, you can build a berm, of course, which is what people like Phil Metzger is suggesting, and that contains that, but for now it's a bit of a problem. You don't want to be an astronaut standing 200 yards away when this comes down and end up getting hit with a bunch of buckshot like a Claymore mine.

14:01 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Yeah, and so that that camera will give that vantage point. It'll also look really cool if it works, and NASA has another experiment on this. It's basically a downward facing camera to study exactly how the plume from the engine starts to kick away the dust. How much just it kicks up, because NASA wants to build moon ports, moon ports, moon base.

14:22 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Is that what you call it? A?

14:23 - Tariq Malik (Host)

14:24 - Rod Pyle (Host)
I guess you would call it like a moon base, yeah.

14:26 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Well, yeah, nasa wants to build a moon base, or that you need places for your rockets to land and they need to know how far away do they have to build those places so that the dust and the regular kicked up from the landings and the liftoff doesn't, you know, coat or destroy those rovers that you're talking about the moon bases and all that? Or the astronauts in their space suits going out for a walk to watch the launch, and a lot of. There are a lot of other experiments. I don't know how deep you want to go, but just the fact that they got on the moon safely and got that signal back, which is can be a measure of success, is amazing.

14:59 - Rod Pyle (Host)
And the only as far as I remember, at least in the American side. The only real data we have on plumes came from the Apollo 12 landing, which was some distance away from Surveyor 3, which is later there, about 18 months or two years earlier. It's amazing how quickly things are moving. Then it was just doing a table of the timing of Apollo launches. It's like, wow, every two months, bam, there's another one.

15:21 - Tariq Malik (Host)
And speaking of Apollo, this is the first US spacecraft to land on the moon since 1972's Apollo 17 mission. So yet another big marker, like in milestone, for this.

15:36 - Rod Pyle (Host)
And first landing near the lunar South Pole. That's right. That's right, which is a big thing. I just want to before we go to the break, I just want to say you know, it was so thrilling so I was watching it a little bit delayed because I got tied up while it was going on live, but it was so thrilling to hear this private company and their internal mission control tossing back with NASA as you already kind of touched on back and forth with NASA about hey, our guidance failed, can we use that experiment? You guys stuck on there. I mean, you got to figure.

Some engineers sat down and did a little bit of research on this beforehand. If they didn't, they're crazy. But still it was a little bit like being in the 1960s again. Here I go, old man, I know, but you know, when you talk to us interviewing Jerry Griffin the other day for project working on, he was talking about how fast things moved at NASA when they were young and how quickly they were able to pivot. We saw it on Skylab, we saw that on Apollo, didn't see it in shuttle so much, but when problems came up in the 60s and early 70s they'd get a team, a tiger team together and go in a room and solve it and just do stuff.

And they're a little more risk adverse now and there's a lot more procedures in place that are kind of ironclad. And I think, to be fair, back then they kind of had the mandate of heaven, if you will, from Congress to just make it happen. Get this Kennedy thing, get to the moon wrapped up so we can move on and spend less money. Now they're very risk adverse because they have to be, because anytime something goes wrong, some congressman or senator steps up and says this has to be investigated. And it's like, guys, space is tough. We've had rovers that worked on Mars for 14 years instead of the 90 days or 180 days they were supposed to do. Give these guys a break. They're doing good work. Yes, it's expensive. Hopefully, as we move ahead between private companies and it's worth saying international concerns, because we saw what happened with India and the Mars orbiter at $80 million we can start bringing prices down where they belong. Anything else on this one before we go to break.

17:39 - Tariq Malik (Host)
I would just say I think NASA's chief is clearly over the moon. If you want to, let me, let me have the one. He called it a feat. He called it a feat. That was a quote. Giant leap forward for all of humanity. Stay tuned, which means they. You know this isn't. You know, this isn't the first attempted private US spacecraft to land on the moon. It is the first successful one.

18:03 - Rod Pyle (Host)
He said something else, I think. Didn't he say Odysseus has conquered the moon, or something he said?

18:09 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Odysseus has taken the moon, and so you know it's a little post colonial, wasn't it? Well, they're excited, you know, and there were, if you saw the photos of just how intuitive machines was celebrating with like champagne, and there was like a father with a little onesie with this kid, that kind of thing. It was just. It was a, I think, a sign of things to come. You know, they've shown that it can be done, and this wasn't like a SpaceX that did it, this was like a smaller company that did it. And NASA has partnerships with like three or four other companies at least, if not more, to do these similar things, to build bigger landers. The Viper Moon Rover is one of those that's going to start drilling into the southern you know, southern the South Pole, or ice, or South Pole, to look for ice. All of that stuff is riding on these commercial missions. Now NASA can say, hey, it was a good investment, you know it can work.

19:13 - Rod Pyle (Host)
So we have a ground up the first half hour on one story. Oh no, oh no, let's go to a break. We'll be right back, don't go anywhere. We'll be back with more exciting space stuff, don't go anywhere.

19:24 - Tariq Malik (Host)
And we're back All right. I'm very excited. I'm sorry I get to talk a lot.

19:29 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Let's talk about crashing satellites. So again, if you're old enough to remember the 1970s, Skylab re-entered big, multi-multi-ton, huge, largest, actually the largest single pressurized vessel ever in space to date. If you don't, you know, count this modular space station. It's the largest single space Big heavy spacecraft came back in 1979.

And for some of the same reasons that this European satellite was so unpredictable, because again, like in the Skylab days, we're near the peak of a solar maximum and the atmosphere reacts to the incoming solar wind and it expands a bit and now you start dragging on the satellites, or back then Skylab and wham down, it comes in your lap. So there was, as usual, a fair amount of click baity, news about oh my God, there's going to be a fiery monster coming in the heavens, it weighs 1,000 tons, it's going to kill everybody, and then hide. Not quite the case. And this was the ERS-2 satellite from the European Space Agency that came back within a reasonable amount of time of their planned schedule. They still didn't know where it was going to come to exactly. We always hope over the Pacific graveyard.

But as far as I know, nobody caught anything in the head.

20:43 - Tariq Malik (Host)
I picked this one because it's a nice bookend for the spacecraft For landing on the moon. Yeah Well, no, the European remote sensing-2 satellite. It was an Earth observing satellite. It re-entered on I think it was Wednesday this week as we're recording this and this is a spacecraft that actually ended its life 13 years ago, in July of 2011. And we wrote about it at spacecom At that time about the spacecraft is dead. It was, at the time, one of the biggest defunct satellites and they didn't know what to do with it and they knew they had to bring it out of orbit. So the European Space Agency planned a 66-engine burn to bring this thing out of orbit back then.

21:26 - Rod Pyle (Host)
And today it sounds like it's Doug dot com or some dollar meter or two Separate burns right.

21:29 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Well, separate burns separate burns.

21:31 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Yeah, they don't have six to six engines on the thing.

21:33 - Tariq Malik (Host)
No, no, no, yeah, that's just. It's just, you know, puff, puff, puff. To lower that orbit and to eventually bring it, bring it down, took them nearly 13 years, and and this was a.

21:44 - Rod Pyle (Host)
This was a plan to Yorba, though. I mean, that's been part of the agenda a long time. They were forward. Yeah, it wasn't required then, but they were for Western powers have been trying to Plan for disposal of satellites when they come back.

21:56 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Yeah, but they did all these burns back in 2011 is what I'm saying. Yeah, you know, they did. They did it then and then they had to wait for gravity to do the rest of the work, and that's what's been going on this entire time and finally the spacecraft did come down In it, it crashed in the the Pacific Ocean, but it was, you know, uncertain exactly when I saw a lot of Estimates that were ranging from, you know, off the coast of of Of Washington, like far off the coast of Washington, but that that level in the Pacific, all the way to off the coast of, like Norway or whatnot, in the last 24 hours. But but it was just kind of a sign that there's these. I mean, this is a 30 year life Spacecraft. It's been up for decades and it's not alone. There's a lot of satellites that are like this, that are up there and at their end of their life. These days that this end of life Plan is built into the mission plan.

22:47 - Rod Pyle (Host)
You know, it wasn't so much 30 years ago About how to bring them back out safely well, excuse me by Western powers if I was talking about China and Possibly some others, not a much of a concern. They don't mind dumping space stations whenever they come down.

23:04 - Tariq Malik (Host)
I'm sorry, I don't mean to be snarky, you, but the idea of letting Tian Gong to come down Uncontrolled because you didn't plan for it, as obscene that's right, and that was the second prototype of the Tian Gong space station that they had for for a while, and that was another one where no one knew what was gonna come down, you know.

23:20 - Rod Pyle (Host)
But nobody knew by design in that case exactly. Who cares? Maybe those rotten Americans?

23:28 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Yeah, so they think that this fell fell to earth over the North Pacific Ocean between Alaska and Hawaii, which is not a small space, to say the least, but it is a fairly remote and an empty place in terms of like cities and whatnot. So you know. But you know there's sometimes one one of these giant things is parts of it's 5,000 pounds stuff. It's gonna survive, you know, all the way down into the ocean. It's why they dumped that stuff in the ocean and why the space station is gonna get dumped there eventually too. But man, you gotta watch out for boats, for planes, all that stuff you know, eventually. So they're gonna have to keep track of all of that, it's true.

24:03 - Rod Pyle (Host)
But you know, statistically, when you look at the size of the Pacific Ocean, yeah, and the estimates I saw were between 10 and 20 percent of something of this mass construction might survive, which isn't enough to ruin your day, but it would have to be a really bad bad luck day for you to be smacked by it. But, and it'd be interesting to see when they start I'm sure they're already doing them and they start studying the deorbit plants, the space station what percentage of those components, given that construction Because there's a lot of bigger, heavier pieces up there, like batteries and so forth Can you imagine a battery coming back in one piece? Oh my gosh.

24:40 - Tariq Malik (Host)
And we've seen. We've seen some of the tanks and stuff that that have washed up from the ocean from a tank's hollow. Well, are they, if they're frozen, solid because they still had fuel in them?

24:49 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Oh well, that's true. Yeah, although what that happens, I think they explode. Let's, let's not get too scared. Let's talk about Varda huh.

24:56 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Yeah, we we have. We have actually a good reentry to discuss too. And this is another fun one that had a Very kind of tenterhooks feel to it, because the private company Varda space systems made another kind of history this week. On the same day that the ERS to satellite crashed to earth, varda brought back their private capsule, the W1 capsule, and landed it under parachutes and a heat shield and a capsule, you know, in in Utah, in the same place where NASA brought back Part pieces of the, the Bennu asteroid, this, these, these Utah proving ranges. That's where they dropped this thing there. And this was a mission that was Basically geared towards orbital manufacturing. It's a little, it's a little kind of prototype to see what can we manufacture in space and Can, can we bring it back and then use it. So they, they actually Used it to bring to make crystals for an antiviral medication, to grow it in orbit. It's called I think I'm gonna pronounce this right, we're ton of ear Rick, rick, return of ear and just to be excuse me, but just to be clear.

26:06 - Rod Pyle (Host)
It's not like this dock with the space station did work there and then re-enter. This was all.

26:12 - Tariq Malik (Host)
The entire plant was automated and in the capsule and it's all in yeah, it was all in this, been in the space capsule that launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, I believe and it's been in orbit for quite some time. In fact, they had hoped to bring it back last year, but it turned out that apparently they didn't have all of the clearances with the FAA.

To bring that, to bring it back, which which kept it in space for a little bit longer. And that's where the drama kind of came through, because it wasn't sure when and when Vardo would be able to get their spacecraft back to earth. They knew that they could get it back to earth, but they, you know, they wanted to make sure that they got it into a safe place. They actually were speaking with folks in Australia and, it have sense, made an agreement with part of that, that government to To cooperate on spacecraft re-entries.

27:02 - Rod Pyle (Host)
But eventually out back is a great place to dump spacecraft.

27:07 - Tariq Malik (Host)
You were talking about Skylab earlier, you know, and it's crashed over over Australia. But I think one thing that came out of that is that a they were able to make inroads and and get agreements with the, the government, to have that, that FAA re-entry. But this is the first private space capsule re-entry to land like this, you know, and they did it successfully on the first try, which is also pretty amazing, the last. The other commercial re-entries we've had have been, you know, spacex's Falcon 9, first stages Starships, you know, discussions for their launches and their, their hopes to re-enter, and then Blue Origins Landing, and Virgin Galactic's a space plane.

So, though they all have to have their own separate re-entry Plans as part of their missions. Those are all different places in different locations, so it's separate Because they didn't use a government range. They used, you know, private space ports and whatnot. But this can be Basically a stepping stone to either self-contained Because in space you know, factories, which I've read about in science fiction by Ben Boba, like decades ago, or a mechanism to bring things back, maybe more affordably than than full-on spacecraft uplift and and downlift to these commercial space stations that are, all you know, being designed right now and and prepared for launch, to retire the space station.

28:33 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Well, it's good to know that when I need a replacement prostate, they'll be able to boost a capsule, as long as I can pay for it. Send a capsule up there, because this, as you point out, is the first autonomous manufacturing in orbit. There have been other things that were, as I recall, run somewhat autonomously, on the space station, for instance, but this was just a capsule that did its own thing. Good, dog, and thank you and come on back. All right, so one more break and we will be back to talk about Starship. So, tark, what's happening? Look at your crystal ball, my friend. Yeah, starship 2024. How many of them are stacked? I think there's. Last I saw there was either four or five standing in a row like good soldiers waiting to go. Oh yeah, they've got other ones.

29:22 - Tariq Malik (Host)
They've got other ones like under construction right now. This week was the commercial space conference that the FAA works together with the Commercial Space Flight Federation to put on every year, and as part of that, ars Technica got an interview with an official at the FAA, with that commercial space division, who said that SpaceX actually is seeking a waiver to be able to launch up to nine Starship missions in 2024 alone. And this, I think, came from was it Eric Berger? Over at Ars Technica? It was. It was Eric Berger. Is it ever anybody else?

No, he actually got an award for his work covering commercial space flight. So congratulations, eric Berger, on that award this week from that conference. But yeah, this is interesting because it shows that SpaceX is looking at that at this year as a pretty crucial kickoff for Starship, not one-off tests, and then they're back down, they're looking to scale it so that they can get to where they need to be. We've already talked on the show several times, I think, right Rod, about how SpaceX needs to fly a lot of test flights a lot of test flights.

30:38 - Rod Pyle (Host)
And we're not the only people talking about it. I think there's probably some people at NASA whispering in the halls. I hope these guys are flying these things faster because we got a date to keep on the moon.

30:47 - Tariq Malik (Host)
That's right. What did we talk about last time? Was it 14-ish or so?

30:52 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Well, so that's the number that's been going around, but, as I recall, in that press conference where Bill Nelson finally pulled a knife on the SpaceX rep, I think she said 10 or more, if I remember correctly.

31:06 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Yeah, which is?

31:07 - Rod Pyle (Host)
still a lot. That's a lot of fast tanking and launching. And, let's not forget, they've got to get the chemicals down to starbase, because they truck them in, they don't make them there. They've got to get a lot of propellant down there to do that.

31:19 - Tariq Malik (Host)
And that was basically for one trip to the moon for an Artemis accrued landing. Just to be clear, it would be you launch a starship, then you launch between 10 and 14 more to refuel it and then send it to the moon, that sort of a thing. So to demonstrate that scale, SpaceX is hoping maybe to launch up to nine of them. They were talking to Kevin Coleman, Eric was. He's the administrator for the commercial space transportation office at the FAA and he's the one that said that they're working to try to get through this licensing process, and so that's a lot of launches, you know it's a lot of launches, but at that rate it will take over a year to refuel one one lunar lander.


32:02 - Rod Pyle (Host)
They're going to have to step it up over that fact.

32:03 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Exactly so that that, that, that is one. Actually, you know, I hadn't even thought about that as a pace right.

Because the vehicle's not done yet. I think it's important to say that the vehicle's not done yet. So SpaceX has shown is that they can launch slow to iron out the kinks, and then they can just like launch, launch, launch, launch, launch. We've seen that over the last year. They might launch up to 115 missions this year alone with the Falcon 9. With the Falcon 9. Yeah, and they launched 96 with Falcon 9 missions last year.

32:35 - Rod Pyle (Host)
And so that's what? One every three and a half days, three days, can you imagine? There was a John's doing the math right now.

32:41 - Tariq Malik (Host)
There was a Falcon 9 launch last night, but it was a Starlink launch, by the way.

But the reason I bring this up is because, in addition to Eric's great story, everyone should go read it.

Over at Arsh Technica there was an interesting interview on X, which you know I think we still call it Twitter over here and this interview was by she's a writer, katherine Brotsky. She had one of those live, those X lives or Twitter lives with Elon and in that discussion, which was picked up by the San Antonio Express and a few or Express News and a few other publications, in that interview Elon is like hey, yeah, we're getting ready for the third flight and it's probably going to be in the first or second week of March. So there's another timeline right About them getting ready to launch that vehicle. And at the same time there's news coming out that they're going to be expanding the Starbase headquarters. You know, I think some more to the tune of $100 million expansion there that I'd seen just recently out of the Brownsville news area. So there's a lot of things scaling up for sure to try to reach not just this nine flight launch rate, because if they get through even half of that this year, they'll have to scale that up twice to maybe more.

34:06 - Rod Pyle (Host)
So to address that, since we're talking about brilliant engineering or brilliant John on the on the board says not four days, not one launch every four days, not one every 4.1 days, but one every 4.11 days last year. So that's the Falcon nine.

34:25 - Tariq Malik (Host)
That's the Falcon nine and SpaceX space. They want to. They want to launch one of these things and bring it back and fuel it up and launch at the same day. You know that's where they want to get to right now and you know they'll get there eventually. I think because that's the one thing I've learned from SpaceX and Elon Musk is they may not get there on the timetable that Elon says with his optimistic timelines, but eventually, if the business case is there which it was for reusable flight, as we've seen they will eventually get there because they've I think they've they've flown as many dragons uncrewed and crude as space shuttle missions. If memory serves, that'd be 135.

I mean as time. I would have to double check that. Don't quote me on that. I saw that stat somewhere from SpaceX and I would have to go back and I already chiseled it into my table.

35:18 - Rod Pyle (Host)
You know it's so. You're absolutely right. You know his timetables are a whack of doodle and they're all over the place. And you know we were hearing we're going to be on Mars in 2018 and that kind of stuff. But betting against Mr Musk is not seem to be a winner's game. I bet doing any bets on Twitter, slash X or at this point, maybe even Tesla in the long call, but certainly for SpaceX, I mean, just nothing else even comes close. And of course, he's got this secret super power not so secret superpower which is when Shotwell, running the day to day operations there like a beast and you know it's it they're just unstoppable. I mean, when one company comes out of basically nowhere, it says we're going to take over the launch business and NASA and Air Force, everybody else goes yeah, kid, that's nice, step outside the circumstance and sweep up after the elephants, please. And then the next thing you know he's monopolized a big chunk of the world's launch market that not even governments can compete with yeah.

That's pretty impressive.

36:16 - Tariq Malik (Host)
He said there's a 70 to 80 percent chance of a success for this third flight, which is better than the last one, I guess. So yeah, that's a little bit of guesswork there, wouldn't you think? Yeah, you have to take it with a grain of salt. I'm not sure how much science is behind a lot of that.

36:29 - Rod Pyle (Host)
I have to take it with a, with a whole shaker, all right, but to be fair, let's roll back over to Blue Origin. So you wrote about Blue Origins big push, what's that?

36:39 - Tariq Malik (Host)
about. Yeah, well, this is. This is also from our our set, and I think our story is Coming out on space calm later today. But we are. You are right, we were kind of focused on Private space space capsules falling out of the space, yeah, and and landing on the moon this week, but, but no, yeah, this is interesting because, after years of development, that we actually first saw this through orbital cameras last week when Some eagle-eyed satellite you know image operators saw in their data that they have they had taken pictures of SpaceX's new Glenn prototype on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

They had teased this on Twitter or, pardon, on X, earlier in the month where they showed that the article, the test article, had left their hangar there. Blue Origin, if, for people who have never been down To the Kennedy Space Center, cape Canaveral Space Force Station area has this giant White and blue factory that they've built for the new Glenn, it's, it's apps and they have like their own mini VAB there as well for vertical integration and and and it's just been there where they've been building these, these.

There's rocket prototypes the the biggest fairing ever for a rocket, I guess before Starship and and we haven't seen them do any pad test. They do have a pad over at the space for station that they for. They were trying to get pad 39a, which SpaceX ended up winning the lease from. That was a whole big thing way back when, but they rolled, they rolled the test vehicle out to the little staging hangar at the pad and then we didn't hear anything. So last week we saw these orbital photos some other photographers we're able to use zoom cameras to get really close to see it on the pad.

This week SpaceX actually released the images themselves that show you the first stage test article not the full article on the pad For fit tests and whatnot. You know, all lit up in all its glory. They were supposed to have a demonstration flight of this new Glenn rocket this year, so this is encouraging to see that they're on the way to it. I would like to know how close they are to that, that first flight. But one of the big hurdles, as we've discussed before. In January was the BE4 rocket engine and we saw that perform to stunning success with the Vulcan launch, because those engines are also used on United Launch Alliance's rocket there too, and those are the ones he's willing to give away or sell.

39:12 - Rod Pyle (Host)
So you kind of figure exactly. But on his rocket I'll let me add something for you here the diameter, so typical diameter, of a rocket fairing I think this includes Falcon 9 is about 15 feet right.

Yes new Glenn is 23 feet and Starship, as we all know, is 30. But the new Glenn fairing, like most rocket fairing, splits and goes away, so it completely opens up and releases whatever payload it's got. Starship is gonna figure out something else, either cargo doors or whatever. So that that's gonna be a little bit of a consideration too. So you want to be able to have something bigger, but if, will you be able to get it out completely, or do you have to have something narrower because the doors don't quite span? You know half the the circumference of Starship.

39:57 - Tariq Malik (Host)
So what you know, we don't know or will you do a hippo Approach, like rocket lab is doing with their new neutron rocket, which, where the fairing is built into the second stage and opens up like a clam shell but it's still attached, and then lets out the the payload and then closes again for reentry? That that could be pretty cool. Ours, our Seneca, though. They have a great photo from Blue Origin with, with the new CEO, dave limp and Jeff Bezos. They're kind of marveling at, at the rocket on the pad with its liver, its livery there. It looks very nice and it's like actually, no, it does have the upper stage in this picture the one night scene was still the first stage, so so that's pretty nice that they have like the full, the fully stacked rocket there.

40:41 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Which we didn't need to get engines of gas in it.

40:43 - Tariq Malik (Host)
That's right, and fuel and you have to build me. They want to land this rocket very similar to what SpaceX does, which is they landed on offshore, on a barge in Blue Origin's case. That's not big rocket, I know. Right, blue Origin wants to land these first stages on a moving barge. That was their plan, the barge we moving and then the rocket will also be doing it. It's unclear if that plan has changed Very much. Then there was a big Kerr-fuffle between Blue Origin and SpaceX to, because SpaceX had that plan and did it first as well, but the concept has been around since before SpaceX, and so I think that's what settled that argument way back when. But this will be interesting because I think they want to reuse both stages, right? Is that right, rod? Does that bring?

41:30 - Rod Pyle (Host)
it back? I think so, but I haven't, you know it. I get that mixed up with the, the recovery efforts for the Vulcan, which seem to change every two weeks.

41:39 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Yeah, that's. That's gonna be way down the line. Yeah, I think so.

41:45 - Rod Pyle (Host)
I mean, would you want to be the guy flying the helicopter that's supposed to grab the engines as they're hurtling back? Yeah, I know they're on a parachute, but still it's like, oh, we're a little.

41:53 - Tariq Malik (Host)
I said whoops okay, I mean like they, they, they, they brought, they brought that stuff back in like the the 60s, right with the, yeah, but those were like corona film capsules that were the size of, you know, a suitcase.

42:04 - Rod Pyle (Host)
We're talking about Something. Well, we're talking about basically an engine pod from the lower stage.

42:09 - Tariq Malik (Host)
That's huge and massive rocket lab caught, caught a rocket, did they not? Then they catch the. They snagged a, a first stage from their booster, so it can be done something larger than that. So we're talking about a pod, an engine, you say so, but I don't know.

42:25 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Can I do a story that's not on the rundown? At least, yes, of course.

42:28 - Tariq Malik (Host)
I picked a district for everyone listening at home. I picked like my favorites and they're mostly space, like cuz, I like rockets and stuff. But but, rod, I'm sure if you've got, if you, if you've got something to say that you liked this week, we should definitely include it too.

42:42 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Well, I was excited because you got all the stuff in before Thursday night at midnight, this time. Big, big, but quasar discovered real far away. What is it? 12? Yeah, 12 billion light years. This is quasar J059-4351. They really got to work on the romantic names. Now, what I found so interesting about this, besides numbers, which I get to in a second, this was spotted apparently 40 years ago. Really wasn't understood what it was, so it's lurking in the data. They had an idea there was something going on. So quasar course is a super massive black hole at the center of a galaxy, but just properly classified. So what took so long? Well, when the astronomers were asked, they said look, there's a lot of data to sift through. We had more recent observations that updated this, so that helps us pinpoint what it was. But also machine learning and AI has helped them to sift through a lot of this stuff.

43:42 - Tariq Malik (Host)
They didn't, they didn't just put it like on the shelf To like look at it later when they're you'll, yeah well they were a little light on details. But but he did, you know, he just said lots of data, lots of data because I've done that and I've missed like Invitations to weddings and stuff, because I just I'll open that letter later, you know.

44:02 - Rod Pyle (Host)
So an accretion disc. Let's talk about the creation. This, the accretion disc, is this big disc of crud that's orbiting the black hole, that's gets sucked in and that's what gave us this luminosity. In this case Is all this stuff going in and being converted into energy, and the accretion disc for this black hole is estimated to be seven light years across. Seven, that's almost doubled the distance to Alpha Satori, just for the accretion disc. Can you imagine?

No, I mean, that's like the next star over and it's almost twice that size and these are you know, these are just numbers and it's the kind of stuff we have trouble getting our heads wrapped around, but all I could say is good lord. So it's the brightest astronomical object ever spotted, equivalent of let's see. What did they say? I think I had it here somewhere, but I I think it was like a hundred and the luminosity of 155. I remember it was like this, hugely bright. I should know this because I've had this the be doing of the story on the radio. But maybe you could look at up on him jabbering.

45:04 - Tariq Malik (Host)
This is the one that eats a sun every day.

45:06 - Rod Pyle (Host)
It eats a sign every day, Okay three hundred and seventy solar masses a year. So it's pretty hungry, Um, I and oh, here we go 18 billion times our sun's luminosity, Wow. Now, how do you even get your head wrapped around that number? I've gone out because I'm stupid. When I was a kid, I used to go out and stare at the sun. You know, it's really bright. It hurts your eyes. That's why I had cataracts, or drew it when I was 50. So that's bright, so you know. And of course it's far away. So we're looking at something back, you know, just after the formation of the universe. And then there's that other story, of course, about the galaxy that shouldn't exist because it's too old, but that's a different one, Anyway.

45:48 - Tariq Malik (Host)
So when did you see the brightest quasi story? So was it spacecom? Because no?

45:56 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Because we have that story. I think it was Scientific American.

45:59 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Yeah, yeah, I was reading theirs, theirs too.

46:01 - Rod Pyle (Host)
I allow myself to read them every now and then. So very bright, very big, really spectacular. There'll be more news about this and, of course, what we all really want to know is what took so long. Oh, here, John's posted the story in the Slack. So yeah, it's bright. Oh, my number was off. As bright as five. Oh, I love this. 500 trillion suns, 500 trillion With a T.

And that's from Scientific American 500 trillion, not billion. You know these numbers, you try. It's like when you were a little kid and used to lie in bed at night and think what's outside the universe? Okay, I'm going to wrap the universe in a big glad bag, but what's outside of it? Oh, my head hurts, mommy. I need some sugar. So this is one of those moments, but yeah, so very cool story.

46:52 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Maybe that's the one that will save humanity, like that movie Interstellar it's not the one that Matthew McConney is going to sink into and discover the.

47:01 - Rod Pyle (Host)
I'm sorry. Can I just say it one more time? Astronauts don't cry ever, matthew. And you can't launch a Saturn V in secret with nobody noticing. Okay, they're big and noisy, that was a dumb movie. Oh, just wait for the hate mail.

47:17 - Tariq Malik (Host)
They were also working inside that launch complex and then they launched the rocket.

47:21 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Well, it's like it was like Moonfall. Oh, we've got this museum exhibit of a Saturn V or space shuttle. Let's just hose it off and paint it and we'll launch it. It's like, guys, there's seals and old machinery and electronics that have outgassed and corroded and a lot of things to fix. Okay, well, we got nine people. We can do it in a week. I think we should just.

47:40 - Tariq Malik (Host)
I watched Interstellar again, by the way. Okay, stupid, it's still fun.

47:45 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Okay, one more thing about Interstellar, though, that stupid robot. If you want to have something that has mobility anywhere other than a concrete, a smooth concrete pool table, why would you build a robot that's built out of three little rectangles, that kind of flips around like a Chinese finger puzzle? I mean it just makes no sense.

48:05 - Tariq Malik (Host)
No, it has appendages that come off and can like have even ever smaller mechanism, arm things. It sounds like you're talking about yourself.

48:15 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Yes, you sound it sounds. And also I just want to ask my last question.

48:20 - Tariq Malik (Host)
We're not getting away from the news of the week here, but Okay, the last question about.

48:23 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Interstellar why? Oh, two questions. One the ranger's going into the Planet X, right, it's almost like Bugs Bunny with the big X on it and it bumps into a cloud that breaks off.

48:34 - Tariq Malik (Host)
The ice cloud. That's the one thing they wish they hadn't included. So how do ice clouds float? One asks you got to? You got to Alien Planet?

48:42 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Yeah, alien magic. And then it comes down to Lance and Matthew McConaughey. And who is the crazy professor that was left there? Matt Damon, yeah. After that, if you haven't seen it, by the way, a 20-minute bar fight on the ice. What the hell was the point of that?

48:58 - Tariq Malik (Host)
So I I'm going to express my strong feelings we're good. I actually recently heard an explanation that they were never on the ground at all and that the ice that they were on was another one of those frozen clouds. So I don't know. I don't know. That's true. You know what Listeners of the world right in to Rod and I to tell me what you think Is Interstellar a good space movie or, as Rod contends, a quote-unquote bad space movie?

49:28 - Rod Pyle (Host)
because I feel that it's Well okay. It wasn't as bad as Ann Astra. Ann Astra was crossing the solar system to deal with his daddy issues, which was embarrassing and stupid Okay.

49:40 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Right in to say do you think Interstellar and Ann Astra are good movies?

49:44 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Okay, I'm sorry, I'm voting for Robbets of Crusoe on Mars because, like the poster said in 1964, it's scientifically accurate. Okay, I think we got time for one more story.

49:53 - Tariq Malik (Host)
What do you want to do? Let's do the James Webb Space Telescope story. How about that? Okay, please.

49:59 - Rod Pyle (Host)
This one A golden discovery, you say, with a capital G.

50:03 - Tariq Malik (Host)
That's right. That's right. The reason I bring this up is because I don't understand why it's so popular when we write these stories. But it is. And we were surprised that this came from the James Webb Space Telescope because it wasn't really clear from the initial discovery. But astronomers using the still kind of baby James Webb Space Telescope have detected some neutron star mergers and they were looking at the aftermath, basically what happens after these stars crash into each other and then explode. And for everyone that needs a refresher. These neutron stars are like the so-called end state of stars. They're so dense they get packed down where you have like a star the size of our sun, but it's like 12 miles across, it's the size of New York City, but all in there and it's so fused together that they can't burn. There's no fusion anymore because they're all neutrons now there's no interaction going on. So they're super dense, ultra dense I mean like an ounce of a spoonful is like a trillion tons or something like that it's really crazy.

Another one of those numbers games. And what they have finally shown, which is something the scientists have long theorized, is that a lot of the heavy elements. In this case it's gold, hence the golden that these star crows create. The gold, oh, I didn't create the gold.

51:31 - Rod Pyle (Host)
That was clever of you. It's clever of you. The universe.

51:34 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Yeah, see, see. I'm known to have a pun in space once in a while and so this is like something that they've been saying, they think actually happens out there. And now they have used James Webb to actually show, to prove that metals heavier as they said. They said this is the first time, and I quote, we've been able to verify that metals heavier that iron and silver were freshly made in front of us. They watched the elements actually be formed through this interaction and they use the James Webb Space Telescope to prove a pretty good investment of $10 billion or whatever it was right, was that $100 billion?

52:14 - Rod Pyle (Host)
It was 10. It was 10, or the equivalent of most of one Mars sample returned.

52:20 - Tariq Malik (Host)
They called it thrilling. They studied a kilonova which is like this extra. It's a supernova, but like extra right, Supernova bonus, Sunday, Sunday, Sunday. And they combined James Webb's observations with those of the Hubble Space Telescope, which, like myself, is several decades old and still apparently doing a good job, and they were able to kind of lump them together to figure all of this out. And it's a nice kind of case of them like having a theory and then proving it with these highly advanced space telescopes to show that they can do it. And of course, this is from the gamma ray burst. 230307a is what actually occurred when these two neutron stars crashed.

53:06 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Watch your language buddy. So that was.

53:11 - Tariq Malik (Host)
I thought it was exciting that they were able to finally prove that that's how you get the gold. So the gold in our teeth, the gold in our rings, all made through these giant, super dense star crashes.

53:27 - Rod Pyle (Host)
I'm sorry. I was having a moment of wow. This has been a big wow episode. I like these, yeah. So, speaking of episodes, we usually don't do this, but I just want to let people know. Coming up, we think we have Alan Stern coming back to visit us, which will be fun. We haven't talked in for quite a while. Shortly after we're done here, I'm going to go have lunch with our friend, pascal Lee, who's going to join us in a few weeks with a new major discovery. He made Something on Mars that we will be talking about then. Yeah, a big secret, be patient, but he told me this story and I was actually kind of speechless, but then I'm a Mars fanatic and we'll be talking about the solar eclipse coming up on April 8th.

54:08 - Tariq Malik (Host)
April 8th Mark your calendars if you haven't already.

54:10 - Rod Pyle (Host)
If you can go watch it, watch it, but please use, honest to God, real sun protective devices. Don't just go on Amazon and buy the cheapest ones at $0.99, because they're not all actually good.

54:24 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Should we tell everyone that they're going to have to be stuck with me for a couple of weeks? Well, I was going to.

54:30 - Rod Pyle (Host)
I was going to say thanks for joining us today with our catching up with what's up in space edition.

54:37 - Tariq Malik (Host)
There's so many more stories we had planned.

54:39 - Rod Pyle (Host)
I know, Well, but you'll be back. So I'll be on travel for two weeks as I'm doing a speaking tour in Lovely Ecuador, my first visit there. So I'll leave you in TARC's very capable hands. And imagine this TARC, two weeks, with no snarky comments. What are you going to do? I mean, it'll be such a drag for you, it's going to be so boring.

54:58 - Tariq Malik (Host)
And I'm going to run the show in the ground. What are you going to do next?

55:01 - Rod Pyle (Host)
week you get to do our hundredth episode without me. That's right, that's right. Another banner, anvil said 100 100 shows. So that's thrilling and I'm sorry I won't be here, but maybe I'll leave you. Maybe I'll leave you recording. You can play something something unflattering. So, tarc, yes, rod, we have no guests to queue up for this. Where can we keep an eye on your overly engaged video life, video game life.

55:30 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Well, you can find me on at spacecom. As always this weekend, there's not a lot happening, so hopefully I'll be able to rest a bit, that's what you think.

Yeah knock on wood Like, well, we're actually this weekend. We're going to be following the I am one mission I should point that out, you know, because we are tracking that live and you can find me on the Twitter at TARCJMALIC. And if you like to watch very occasional video game videos, you can find me on the YouTube at Space Ron Plays, where I have just gotten the Lady Gaga skin in Fortnite. And why? Why do I care about that? Because you're a dork, because I love her music.

I love her music and also she bought out like a Virgin Galactic flight like a few years ago. I'm not actually sure if they still had that or not.

56:16 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Did she invite you?

56:17 - Tariq Malik (Host)
No, she didn't. Sadly she was around the time she had that meat dress, so maybe it was more than a few years ago. Oh Jesus, okay. Anyway, exciting Lady Gaga's in Fortnite.

56:27 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Another look deep inside the personality of TARC Malick, and I did watch a couple of your videos and I felt like I was right there with you and I felt soiled. Okay, and of course you can always find me if you for those few who want to, the pilebookscom, and at adastermagazinecom, my favorite magazine, because it's mine, mine, mine. Don't forget to drop us a line at twist at twittv. We always welcome your comments, suggestions and ideas, and thank you for those of you who have been sending in your kind and helpful emails, especially if you included a joke. We've gotten some real humdingers. Don't forget to check out spacecom, best space website on the web, and of course, the national space society, which is the second best space site on the web. Both are good places to hang your hat and satisfy your cravings Well, space flight ones anyway.

New episodes of podcast publish every Friday on your favorite pod catcher, so make sure to subscribe. Tell your friends, give us reviews. We'll take five stars, six champions. Whatever you got, you can head to our website. At twittv and please don't forget, you can get all the great programming on the twit network, ad free on club twit. We need you on club twit. Ad revenue is down. You've heard Leo talk about it. Podcasts are stumbling right and left. This network is doing better than most, but they still need your help and for $7 a month you can get all kinds of extra cool stuff. You can get this and other podcasts without commercials and you'll be helping out the best cause in podcasting anywhere on the planet earth. So step up and be counted. You can follow the twitted twittech podcast network. Say that four times fast at twitt on Twitter and on Facebook and twitttv on Instagram. Tark, yes, thank you. I bow to you. Have a good two weeks. I'm going to miss you, rod.

58:16 - Tariq Malik (Host)
I'm going to miss you implicitly.

58:18 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Oh well, hopefully I'll come back in the flesh and not in a box, so I'll. With luck, I'll see you in a couple of weeks.

58:25 - Tariq Malik (Host)
How good Galapagos tortoise for me please.

58:28 - Rod Pyle (Host)
I think that's illegal, but I'll figure something out. Thanks, everybody, I'll see you next time.


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