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Podcast Profile: On a Mission

podcast imageTwitter: @NASA (followed by 830 accounts on physicist, mathematician, and astronomer lists)
Site: www.nasa.gov/podcasts/on-a-mission
45 episodes
2018 to present
Open in Apple PodcastsRSS

Categories: Astronomy • Story-Style

Podcaster's summary: A journey to the stars doesn’t just begin at the launchpad. Discover new worlds through epic stories told by scientists on missions to outer space.

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List Updated: 2023-Mar-24 12:44 UTC. Episodes: 45. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

Secrets of the Mars Rovers – S4E12
In this season 4 finale, Gentry Lee and Rob Manning reveal how surprises, hidden flaws, and uncertainties have always been a part of rovers and the exploration of Mars.
Digging In: When Rovers Get Dirt on Mars - S4E11
Aaron Yazzie and others explain how, by scooping dirt and drilling rocks, rovers are digging deeper into the mysteries of Mars.
The Power of the Rovers – S4E10
How does a rover keep driving on a planet with no gas stations? Shonte Tucker, Sabah Bux and Rob Manning power us through the ways Mars rovers keep going.
Before You Can Drive, First You Have to Fly – S4E9
Before a rover can make tracks on Mars, it first has to rocket off Earth, speed through space, and then alight gently on the planet’s surface. Al Chen and Swati Mohan guide us through the many stages of a rover’s flight to Mars.
How to Drive a Mars Rover – S4E8
Buckle up for a Mars tour with rover driver Vandi Verma, and learn how NASA’s rovers have evolved to better explore this alien world.
Flying with Ingenuity: the Mars Helicopter – S4E7
Bob Balaram and Teddy Tzanetos share stories of how the Mars helicopter came to be, and transport us on Ingenuity’s flights through dusty Martian skies.
The Promise of Perseverance – S4E6
The Perseverance rover holds many promises: to look for evidence of life on Mars, to collect rock samples meant to be sent to Earth one day, and to test technology that could be used in a future human Mars mission.
A Ton of Curiosity - S4E5
The Curiosity rover is a big nerd at heart, fitted with a science lab to take in the planet Mars. Get the inside scoop on the mission’s many discoveries and dramas after a decade on the Red Planet.
A Lifetime on Mars: The Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity - S4E4
Born together, the Spirit and Opportunity twin rovers followed divergent paths after they landed on opposite sides of Mars. Opportunity’s journey was marked by good fortune, while Spirit’s was troubled from the start.
Rise of the Twins: Spirit and Opportunity - S4E3
After two failed missions to Mars, NASA tried to double its odds for success by sending twin rovers to the Red Planet. Part one of the story of Spirit and Opportunity takes us from their birth to their launch from Earth.
First Steps: Sojourner - S4E2
NASA’s first rover on Mars was a cute little bundle of robotic joy. Many thought it was likely to fail. Instead, Sojourner revolutionized how we explore Mars, and marked the start of 25 years of Mars rover adventures.
Driven to Mars - S4E1
Episode one launches with Jennifer Trosper in the driver’s seat. As she looks in the rearview mirror at twenty-five years of exploring with NASA’s Mars rovers, she reveals how their progression has kept pace with milestones in her life.
Season 4 Preview: Mars Rovers
In the fourth season of “On a Mission” we’ll be transported to the Red Planet with all five of NASA’s Mars rovers.
Season 3, Episode 10: A Voyager’s View of Earth
The Voyager 1 spacecraft has traveled farther away from Earth than any human-made object. Candy Hansen and David Grinspoon talk about the Voyager mission, and its humbling perspective of our planet as a tiny blue dot in the blackness of space.
Season 3, Episode 9: Life Bound
We hike in the Australian Outback with Abigail Allwood to visit the most ancient fossils on Earth, and track the imprint of life over space and time with David Grinspoon.
Season 3, Episode 8: Fueled by Fire
From fires in outer space to raging wildfires on Earth, fire experts Gary Ruff and Natasha Stavros reveal how fingers of flame reach out around our world.
Season 3, Episode 7: Storm Warning
Get swept away as we fly into massive hurricanes, and hear how the rumblings of climate change will cause clouds to gather into ever more powerful storms.
Season 3, Episode 6: Air and Shield
As we fly around with NASA pilots, we’ll explore Earth’s air space with scientists Annmarie Eldering and Armin Sorooshian -- from wispy clouds high above, to tiny particles that make up air pollution.
Season 3, Episode 5: Frozen in Time
Bundle up! We’ll be diving into ice-covered waters with an upside-down robot, and exploring Greenland’s massive ice sheet with oceanographer Josh Willis.
Season 3, Episode 4: A World Shaped by Water
Dive to the deepest point of the ocean with an astronaut, brave the high seas with an oceanographer, and meander through sparkling rivers with a hydrologist.
Season Three, Episode 3: On the Surface
Like waves of the ocean, our planet’s surface is in constant motion. In this episode, we’ll travel to tropical rainforests to dig into soils with an ecologist, and fly drones with an earthquake expert to spot shifts in the ground beneath our feet.
Season Three, Episode 2: Genesis
Have you ever wanted to see the awesome spectacle of an erupting volcano? There’s no better guide for such an adventure than JPL volcanologist Rosaly Lopes.
Season Three, Episode 1: An Astronaut’s View of Earth
You might think you know Earth, but astronaut’s views from outer space help us see our world in a whole new light.
Season Three, Episode 0: To the Ends of the Earth
In season 3, we’ll travel to the ends of the Earth with scientists who explore different aspects of our unique planet.
Season Two, Episode 10: Comets: A Love Story
Eugene and Carolyn Shoemaker’s love of exploration changed our understanding of the cosmos.
Season Two, Episode 9: Hunting in the Dark for Monsters
Finding black rocks in the darkness of space isn’t easy, but new methods could help spot them all.
Season Two, Episode 8: Diamonds in the Ice
Every year, intrepid Antarctica explorers hunt for space rocks that have fallen to Earth.
Season Two, Episode 7: Planet Asteroid
What’s in a name? Whether you call it a planet or an asteroid, missions that explore small worlds are always exciting.
Season Two, Episode 6: The Prospects of Heavy Metal
Asteroids, ho! Pioneering space miners dream of Psyche, the largest metal asteroid in the solar system.
Season Two, Episode 5: Catch a Falling Star
Why are missions like OSIRIS-REx bringing pieces of an asteroid back home?
Season Two, Episode 4: Deflecting Disaster
Unlike the dinosaurs, we have a space program. There are many ways we could steer an asteroid off its path towards Earth.
Season Two, Episode 3: Bracing for a Crash
If a big asteroid is heading our way, how does NASA prepare for the oncoming disaster?
Season Two, Episode 2: Impact!
What happens when a giant asteroid hits Earth?
Season Two, Episode 1 - The Sky Is Falling
Earth is in a cosmic shooting gallery. With so many asteroids zipping around, how can we find them all before they find us?
Season Two, Episode 0 - Asteroids!
The upcoming season will feature stories of asteroid exploration.
Bonus episode: InSight’s Insights
What's happened with InSight since it landed on Mars?
InSight is lining up to land on Mars. The trip from the top of the atmosphere to the surface of Mars is 6-and-a-half minutes of sheer terror.
We Are the World
Missions to outer space have come a long way since the days of Cold War competition. Farah Alibay finds that building relationships is a big part of building spacecraft.
Worlds of Wonder
Technology can take you to unexpected places. The MarCO cubesats, flying towards Mars with InSight, are breaking new ground on how far these small satellites can go.
Robots Lend a Hand
Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu is in charge of the InSight mission’s robotic arm and hand. His work on space robots has led him to give a helping hand back home.
A Matter of Life and Death
Earth is a living, dynamic world thanks to volcanoes and the planetary heat that fuels them. The InSight mission wants to see if Mars also has a heartbeat deep inside its cold exterior.
True Grit on the Road to Mars
Space missions often defy the odds, overcoming all obstacles. The people who work on these missions also face challenges to get where they are today. Marleen Martinez Sundgaard, the testbed lead for InSight, personifies this tenacious spirit.
Music of the Spheres
The Earth "rings" when earthquakes strike, just as vibrations through a bell create a ringing sound. The InSight mission will see if tremors cause Mars to chime with its own planetary song.
The Danger of Going to Mars
Many spacecraft have died trying to get to Mars. The current record for Mars missions is 18 successes, and 25 failures. The InSight mission hopes to improve the odds.
Episode 0, Trailer
Eight stories, one mission to outer space. “On a Mission,” a new podcast from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, launches October 29.