This Week in Space

Feb 16th 2024

This Week in Space 98

Inside NASA With Pam Melroy

Hosted by Rod Pyle, Tariq Malik

NASA Deputy Administrator, Former Astronaut, and Shuttle Commander

New episodes posted every Friday.
Guests: Pam Melroy
Category: News

We all think we know what NASA's up to, but there's nothing like hearing their plans directly from the top. This week, NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy, who is also a former astronaut, commander of the space shuttle, and US Air Force test pilot, joins us for a very special episode. We discussed the recently announced delays to the Artemis lunar landing program, NASA's long-term goals on the Moon, the overall trajectory of human spaceflight, Pam's favorite memories of her time in space, and — perhaps our favorite moment — her "gentle" rejoinder to a male pilot who hadn't had much experience flying with "ladies"! Be sure to join us for this exclusive interview.


  • Members of Congress made the claim that Russia is developing a new anti-satellite weapon with a possible nuclear component. Could possibly be used to knock out satellites and crucial infrastructure like GPS and communications. Raises concerns and questions about the future of the peaceful exploration of space.
  • Private lunar lander Intuitive Machines 1 launched successfully, carrying NASA payloads to the Moon's south pole. Marks ongoing progress in partnerships between NASA and commercial companies for robotic Moon exploration.
  • NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft may be nearing the end of its operational life after 45+ years in space. Experiencing technical issues communicating with Earth due to its outdated systems. A remarkable achievement and inspiration nonetheless.

Main Topic: Interview with NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy

  • Melroy provides an overview of her role as Deputy Administrator, overseeing operations and execution of the Administrator's priorities.
  • Discusses being inspired by Apollo and space exploration from a young age. Combined backgrounds in planetary science, test piloting, and astronaut experience inform her work.  
  • Emphasizes NASA's long-term vision for sustained human presence and exploration throughout the solar system, using the Moon as a proving ground.
  • Explains how NASA is currently defining infrastructure requirements for Moon bases, pressurized rovers, communications, and more. International partnerships are expanding.
  • Highlights the importance of Artemis missions for testing and maturing capabilities needed for Mars and beyond. Balancing technical challenges and schedule.
  • Notes the convergence of robotic and human exploration seen with new commercial lunar landers supporting future astronaut missions.
  • Reflects on personal highlights of seeing all aspects of space technology come together during spaceflights, and about the culture enabling teams to solve problems.
  • Discusses the increase in opportunities for women now and in the future. Focusing on your goals and being part of the team.

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