Exploring the Future of Humans in Space — Every Episode So Far of the Mission: Interplanetary Podcast

Eight weeks ago, Mission: Interplanetary hit the podcast airways. Looking back over our first season, we’ve had some amazing conversations around the future of humans in space!

Mission: Interplanetary is a collaboration between Arizona State University’s Interplanetary Initiative and Slate, and was created to form unique conversational platform for exploring some of the big questions around the future of humans in space. We’ve just completed our first season of the podcast and, looking back, we’ve been pretty successful here!

My co-host former NASA astronaut Cady Coleman and I, have had an incredible series of guests on the show, covering topics ranging from space debris with former astronaut Mark Brown and the end of the universe with astrophysicist Katie Mack, to how to make space accessible to everyone with the Smithsonian’s Ellen Stofan.

Through the series we’ve been actively promoting the roles of women in exploring our space futures–something that’s important to all of us involved in the show–and while all of our guests are leaders in their respective fields, it’s no accident that the majority of them are women!

In addition to our guests, we’ve introduced listeners to a unique collection of “sounds of space” with the help of our fabulous producer Lance Gharavi and sound engineer Steve Christensen–it’s a part of the show I love, especially as we have no idea what we’re about to hear until we record the section together!

Along the way Cady and I have also had some delightfully serendipitous conversations that touch on everything from crocheting and British baking shows, to the delights of “flying” in microgravity!

If you missed the podcast first time around, I would highly recommend listening to the whole season–all the episodes can be found below, in the order in which they appeared.

And as you listen, please do leave us comments and ratings–we love to hear what you think. And do subscribe on your favorite podcast platform so that you’re among the first to hear when season two comes out.

Until then, happy listening!

Episode 1: Our Celestial Bodies, Ourselves

What can a distant asteroid teach us about the history of our solar system? We had a great conversation with Professor Lindy Elkins-Tanton, the leader of NASA’s mission to the asteroid 16 Psyche.

Episode 2: A Space of Ones Own

In this episode, we ask: Should the first human mission to Mars have an all-women crew? We talk with science fiction writer and multi-award winner Mary Robinette Kowal and “professional Martian” Dr. Tanya Harrison about whether we should think differently about the first humans to step foot on Mars.

Episode 3: Our Mars Fixation

Why are we so fixated on Mars? In this episode we have a wonderful conversation with author and journalist David Baron about the surprising history behind our fascination with the Red Planet.

Episode 4: No Space for Columbus

In this episode we take on the incredibly important issue of decolonizing space with space theoretician Dr. Natalie Trevino.

Episode 5: Closing Time

Nothing lasts forever, including the universe. So how will it all end? This episode we get existential with theoretical astrophysicist Katie Mack about the ultimate destruction of the cosmos.

Episode 6: Murder In Space

What happens if you murder someone in space? In this episode we take a deep dive into the emerging legal landscape around humans in space with space lawyer Dr. Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty.

Episode 7: Trash at 17,000 Miles Per Hour

More than half a million bits of deadly space junk are racing around our planet. What do we do about that? In this episode we  talk with one of the world’s leading experts on space debris–NASA astronaut Mark Brown.

Episode 8: Sharing Space

Space begins some sixty-two miles above the surface of the Earth, but for most people it feels far more distant. In our final episode of this season, we talk with the amazing and inspirational Ellen Stofan, Under Secretary for Science and Research at the Smithsonian, about bringing space closer to people.