This Week in Space

Apr 12th 2024

This Week in Space 106

Space Potpourri!

Hosted by Rod Pyle, Tariq Malik

Eclipse Wrap-Up & More Favorite Space Places

New episodes posted every Friday.
Category: News

It's time once again to take you, dear listeners, through our never-ending tour of all the coolest space places on Earth! Most you can visit; some are more problematic, but many are must-sees for we, the True Believers! We'll tell you where they are, what's there to see, and--where possible--how to get inside without getting arrested. We'll also do a solar eclipse recap from our varied--and somewhat frustrating--experiences earlier this week.

Personal 2024 Eclipse Experiences:

  • Rod stayed with the International Association of Astronomical Artists in Texas, encountering cloudy skies but enjoying the communal spirit.
  • Tariq took his daughter to SUNY Potsdam, engaging with educational activities and experiencing the eclipse amidst light clouds which enhanced the visibility of the eclipse phenomena.


  • SpaceX's ultimate record attempt: SpaceX aims to launch a Falcon 9 first stage rocket for the 20th time, a significant milestone in rocket reuse technology. Rod and Tariq discuss the implications of this achievement and its impact on the future of space exploration.
  • Asteroid 2024 GJ2's close shave with Earth: A small, car-sized asteroid passed between Earth and its satellite network, prompting a discussion about the importance of planetary defense and the frequency of such close encounters.
  • Voyager 1 issues diagnosed: After experiencing issues with Flight Data Subsystem, work has begun to attempt a reconfiguration of the spacecraft's computer system--a process likely to take months. The hosts explain the challenges of troubleshooting a 45-year-old spacecraft located over 15 billion miles away
  • Sierra Space's "Space Ghost" project: Sierra Space has introduced a new concept for on-demand cargo delivery from Earth orbit, aiming to land supplies anywhere on the planet within 90 minutes. The hosts discuss the potential applications and implications of this technology.

Main Topic - Favorite Space-Related Destinations:

  • Vandenberg Space Force Base: Rod shares his experiences visiting this California-based launch site, highlighting its unique location, viewing opportunities, and the challenges of capturing a launch on camera.
  • NASA's Wallops Flight Facility: Tariq discusses the increasing popularity of this Virginia-based launch site, its accessibility for East Coast residents, and the nearby attractions that make it an appealing destination for space enthusiasts.
  • Shanghai Science and Technology Museum: Rod recounts his visit to this museum, sharing his observations on the unique perspective it offers on China's space program and the differences in how space achievements are presented compared to Western museums.
  • U.S. Space & Rocket Center and Space Camp: Tariq reflects on his experiences attending Space Camp as a teenager and the lasting impact it had on his life and career. The hosts also discuss the museum's exhibits, the history of the Marshall Space Flight Center, and the challenges faced by Space Camp during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Biosphere 2: Rod explains the history and purpose behind this ambitious closed-system experiment, discussing the challenges faced during the initial human missions and the lessons learned for future off-world settlements.
  • Used Tire World: The hosts revisit Rod's previous story about a one-of-a-kind lunar module display located outside a used tire shop, discussing the challenges of preserving space history artifacts and the importance of securing them for future generations.

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