Inside NASA Mission Control, with Astro Mike Massimino – StarTalk All-Stars

Johnson Space Center's Mission Control Center station flight control room “FCR-1.” (Photographed 9/18/2013.) Credit: NASA.

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About This Episode

Astro Mike Massimino puts on his old CAPCOM headset and takes us inside Johnson Space Center, with a little help from his friends and guests, NASA Flight Directors Emily Nelson and Royce Renfrew, and his co-host Maeve Higgins. Discover just what it takes to keep expedition crews and vehicles safe during operations, from the mundane aspects of creating daily schedules that keep astronauts as productive – and happy – as possible, to the emergency procedures that can prevent disaster, as they did when water in astronaut Tim Kopra’s helmet led mission control to terminate an EVA. Explore the dangers that long-term missions pose for the health of astronauts, and the activities used on the ISS to fight bone loss and muscle atrophy in zero-g and to speed recovery time back here on Earth. Emily, who directed the last leg of Scott Kelly’s “Year in Space,” shares the inside story on two of the most infamous pranks ever pulled off in low-earth orbit: Kelly’s gorilla suit antics and the time astronauts Sunita Williams and Michael Lopez-Alegria nearly gave Flight Director Ginger Kerrick a heart attack. Plus, you’ll hear about an assortment of good luck rituals and superstitions, from “no fruit on consoles” and Royce’s ban on red clothes in the control room, to secret Space Shuttle pre-flight poker games that the mission commander had to win, to the Kennedy Space Center Launch Team’s “good luck beans.”

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Inside NASA Mission Control, with Astro Mike Massimino – StarTalk All-Stars.

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Episode Topics

  • Phil Reilly

    Mike…How do you feel when you see the pictures from Hubble come back after all these years?

  • drpuffnstuff

    I can’t seem to find a source on the Expedition 14 prank where Suni was doing chest compressions on Michael López-Alegría…anybody have anything?

  • psy

    uh i have not listened to STR in a while wtf is up with that terrible intro music

    • Jeremiah

      Haha. I think the same thing every time. Sounds like a demo to a brand new science show for elementary school.

      • Jeremiah and Psy, that’s our new StarTalk All-Stars theme song written and performed by the rapper, Tyson.

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