Rod joins Leo to talk about Foundation, the Isaac Asimov series on Apple TV+. Rod agrees that it's beautifully shot and tries really hard to be profound, but the characters are just dry and boring.
Rod joins Leo to talk about William Shatner's upcoming flight into space, which, at age 90, will cement his status as the oldest living man to go into space as part of the next Blue Origin New Shepard space flight. It'll be part of a documentary from Amazon, and it's sure to be a grand adventure for Captain Kirk.
Rod joins Leo to talk about the Inspiration 4 mission this week. They splashed down in the Atlantic Saturday Night and Elon Musk donated $50 million to get them over the $200 million fundraising goal for St. Jude's. A picture-perfect flight. We're finally on the leading edge for reliable access to space for everybody.
Inspiration 4, the first all civilian crew to go up into space, returned safely to home yesterday, splashing down in the Atlantic after a three-day adventure in earth's orbit. The mission raised over $200 million for St Jude's Children's Hospital while doing it. You can watch a documentary about the mission and crew on Netflix, it's called "Countdown".
Rod returns to catch us up on what's happening on Mars. The Chinese Rover has had its mission extended past its original 90 days. Road says it's very impressive for a first mission. Meanwhile, the US Perseverance rover had its first drilling attempt to grab a sample to return home in a future mission. But the soil was so powdery; they have to move to another location and try again.
Rod Pyle joins Leo to talk about Tim Dodd (Everyday Astronaut), who got a tour of SpaceX's Starbase Rocket facility in Boca Chica, Texas. And his tour guide was Elon Musk. You can watch the three-part interview here. In other space news, Boeing has detached the Starliner, which has been having issues with its maneuvering thrusters before the second launch. 13 valves failed to open, and it looks as if there's severe corrosion due to moisture.
Rod Pyle joins Leo to talk about how Space X stacked their Starship and Super Heavy Booster this week, making it the largest rocket in history at just under 400' tall and 30' wide. It was part of a fit test, and the rocket was stacked for about an hour. It was a fantastic event to see live on YouTube. Plans are to launch it sometime in September or October, once they get clearance from the FAA. It'll have twenty-nine raptor engines on the Super Heavy booster, and six engines on Starship. And they are designed to be turned around and relaunched within an hour.
Rod joins Leo to talk about the latest in Space News. The big news was the Chinese Long March booster rocket, which put up the first module of China's space station and then reentered the atmosphere in an uncontrolled fashion. It ended up breaking up and crashing somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Rod says that China has had a cavalier attitude towards what happens to their rockets, and they are fast-tracking their space station with a damn the torpedos full steam ahead outlook, which Rod says is concerning.
From the fourth flight of a helicopter on Mars to a late-night splashdown of Space-X Crew 1, to the latest Starlink launch, to the loss of a great American space hero Mike Collins, it's been a busy week of space news. Rod says that the late-night splashdown was the first since Apollo 8. And the SpaceX splashdown was spot on, with SpaceX recovering the spacecraft within minutes. Meanwhile, as a proof of concept, the Mars Ingenuity helicopter has met all its goals for flying on the red planet.
Rod joins Leo to talk about NASA awarding SpaceX a $2.9 Billion contract to develop the Human Landing System for a return to the moon. Elon Musk says that Starship will go to the moon by 2023, and Musk is planning to build them at scale very soon along with its booster. But Rod thinks no earlier than 2025 or 26. The contract will certainly help speed that along.
In other space news, Ingenuity, the Mars helicopter drone, is scheduled to make its maiden flight at 12:30 PT. It'll fly up to 10 feet and hover for 20 seconds.