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247 – Bulk Metallic Glass

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Dr. Douglas Hofmann works as a scientist in the Metallurgy Lab at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I visited Doug during my US trip earlier this year, and we chatted about metallic glass. In particular, we discussed its properties, how to create it in bulk, how to test its properties, as well as how and why it is interesting for use in space.

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239 – The Saturn V Launch Vehicle

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(average: 4.84)
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David Woods has a new book out, so of course he has to talk about it on omega tau :-) His recent book is about the Saturn V launch vehicle, i.e., this time it is about the rocket, not about the spaceship. In this episode we dive into lots of details that we did not cover in the two Apollo episodes (episodes 83 and 97) — make sure you have listened to those before you listen to this one.

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063 – The Cassini Mission to Saturn

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This episode is about the Cassini Mission to Saturn. We talk with Nora Kelly Alonge, a Project Science System Engineer and Science Planning Engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In the episode we cover the Cassini spacecraft’s structure and sensors (and its lander, Huygens), some of the relevant science, as well as the challenge of coordinating science and engineering requirements on the mission.

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046 – The NASA TC4 Project

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(average: 4.21)
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This is a conversation with Brian Toon about the NASA TC4 project. TC4 stands for “Tropical Composition, Cloud and Climate Coupling” and deals with the chemical, dynamic, and physical processes occurring in the tropical upper troposphere and tropopause transitional layer. In our conversation we cover some of the scientific goals of the project, the tools and technologies used (aircraft and satellites) as well as the general project organization. A later episode will cover the project from the perspective of an ER-2 pilot.

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043 – Flying the Space Shuttle

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(average: 4.75)
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In this episode we talk with Duane “Digger” Carey about flying the US Space Shuttle. We cover all the major phases of a shuttle flight (countdown, launch, orbit insertion, on orbit, breaking, reentry and landing) and discuss the activities of the pilot and commander. We also cover briefly some of the Shuttle’s systems. We conclude the episode with a brief look at Shuttle pilot and commander training.

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