About This Episode
JPL astrophysicist Dr. Amy Mainzer is back as guest host for this week’s podcast, and together with comic co-host Chuck Nice she answers your questions about space probes, from WISE to New Horizons and everything in between. Discover how different propulsion systems like ion drives work, why the nuclear fuel on spacecraft like Cassini and Curiosity is safe and why “slingshotting” is so vital to space exploration. Find out how expensive it is to get into space in the first place, why it’s so hard to come back from Mars, and why it’s just easier to use robots than people. You’ll get to explore the asteroid belt, Venus, Europa, Titan and the nearest solar system 4 light years away, and learn about asteroid sample return missions like Japan’s Hayabusa probe and NASA’s pending OSIRIS-Rex mission. Plus, Amy and Chuck ponder warp drives and welcoming our robot overlords.