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Behind the scenes with NASA: Conversations with Sally Ride, Mars rover drivers, and more…

Mars rover

As a kid, I loved the nights that my Dad would pull out our old school slide projector.  (very old school)  As a family, we would watch these NASA astronomy shows.  These simple slide shows would always blow my mind.   The universe is just BIG.  VERY BIG!  These childhood activities combined with unhealthy doses of watching Star Trek helped me become a NASA geek.   It’s awesome that I got to marry a fellow NASA lover.

As a professional developer in my adult life, I draw inspiration from hearing the “behind the scenes” stories of the men and women who have pushed humanity to their limits.   In some cases, these men and women gave their lives to help humanity push the limits of science and extend our research of space.    For our post today, I wanted to take our readers on a back stage tour of some really incredible scientists and engineers from NASA.   I hope these stories help inspire all of us to never stop learning and to always “dare mighty things.”

 

Sally Ride on Breaking Ground in Aerospace and Education

Podcast comes to us from Harvard Business Review IdeaCast.    Sally Ride, former NASA astronaut and founder of Sally Ride Science.  In this interview, the late Sally Ride shares her experiences as a mentor and ideas for improving STEM education.   She is still a hero to many in the science and education community.

Podcast link

 

It IS Rocket Science?

Holly Griffith, former Space Shuttle and current Space Station worker bee
Scott talks to Holly Griffith, former Space Shuttle Flight Controller and now International Space Station worker bee. Holly is an engineer who has worked in and around space and aerospace for her entire career. Holly and Scott talk space, engineering, fuel cells and Scott tries to keep up.

Podcast link

 

The Mars Rover Drivers

This story comes to use from FLOSS Weekly.   Randal and Aaron talk with Scott Maxwell and Paolo Bellutta about driving the Mars rovers.

Podcast link

ROBOTS ON MARS WITH MARK POWELL

Scott talks to Mark Powell, Senior Software Engineer at Jet Propulsion Laboratories. Mark has worked on three Mars lander missions, most recently supporting Curiosity. Mark lives on Mars Time. What’s it like to write software that helps us talk to robots on that are on FREAKING MARS?

Podcast link

 

Carl and Richard are Back in Space!
Carl and Richard are back in space! With the SpaceX launch to the International Space Station, the boys decide they have to talk about space again. A big chunk of the conversation focuses on how a billionaire boys club has grown up around space – folks like Elon Musk who made their money in technology are now spending it to expand mankind’s reach into space, and perhaps make a buck or two along the way. Beyond SpaceX there is Planetary Resources, a gathering of a bunch of internet billionaries to mine asteroids. Is this how mankind will expand into space?

Podcast link

 

7 Minutes of Terror

NASA’s Curiosity rover is a 1-ton robot that will make an unprecedented Mars landing on Aug. 5, 2012. See how the risky maneuver will keep rover team members in suspense for 7 fateful minutes. Credit: NASA

 

So… What do you think the “big news” will be from Mars?    How will this news impact us?

 

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