By

150 – The European Extremely Large Telescope

Rate:
(average: 4.81)
Loading ... Loading ...

In this episode we talk with Jochen Liske from the European Southern Observatory about the E-ELT Telescope for which construction is about to start. We discuss the engineering challenges of building a 40m mirror and the associated telescope, as well as the science that is planned to be addressed with the E-ELT once it is finished. We also discuss a number of issues around optical astronomy in general that were not covered in our episode about the LBT.

Joe Liske is also the host of both the HUBBLEcast and the ESOCast, two video podcasts about astronomy you may want to check out.

By

133 – The Space Shuttle (Part 2, Operations)

Rate:
(average: 4.84)
Loading ... Loading ...

This is the second of two episodes on the the Space Shuttle’s systems and operations. We talk to Davide Sivolella, an aerospace engineer who has written a quite technical book on the shuttle. In this episode we talk about some of the shuttle’s operations, including launch, landing and proximity operations in space.

By

132 – The Space Shuttle (Part 1, Systems)

Rate:
(average: 4.82)
Loading ... Loading ...

This is the first of two episodes on the the Space Shuttle’s systems and operations. We talk to Davide Sivolella, an aerospace engineer who has written a quite technical book on the shuttle. In this episode we talk about some of the shuttle’s systems, including the structure, the engines, the boosters and the thermal protection system.

By

116 – Walking in Space

Rate:
(average: 4.90)
Loading ... Loading ...

In this episode we talk about extra-vehicular activities, also known as spacewalking, with former astronaut Tom Jones. In the episode we cover the underwater training in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab, we talk about the preparation of the space walk in the shuttle, and of course we discuss the spacewalking itself. In particular, we talk about Tom’s participation in the STS-98 spacewalks that installed the Destiny lab onto the ISS.

Note: I forgot in the episode to thank some listeners for the questions they contributed: Daniel Hölbling, Andrew Moylan, Henning Krause, Mathias Menzer, Ekki Beyer-Christoph, Jake Brownson, Clive van Hilten, and somebody called Tim. Sorry for that.

By

113 – The (creation of the) Moon

Rate:
(average: 4.65)
Loading ... Loading ...

This episode covers the moon, and in particular, its creation. We talk to the two scientists who came up with the theory of the moon’s creation that is still prevalent today: Don Davis and Bill Hartmann In the episode we discuss in detail their theory that the moon has been created by an impact event into earth, as well as some of the history of this theory. We also discuss other space related topics such as water on the moon, human vs. robotic space flight, and flights to Mars.

By

112 – Planetary Science and Comets

Rate:
(average: 4.58)
Loading ... Loading ...

This is the first of two episodes recorded at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona. This episode has two interviews. The first one, with Mark Sykes, the director of PSI, is about the PSI and planetary science in general. The second interview is with Beatrice Mueller about her research area, comets.

By

111 – Optical Astronomy and the Large Binocular Telescope

Rate:
(average: 4.93)
Loading ... Loading ...

This epsiode covers my visit at the Large Binocular Telescope near Tucson, Arizona. The episode is mostly a conversation with the telescope’s director, Richard Green. We talk about optical astronomy in general and the LBT in particular. I also talk to a scientist who is currently observing at the telescope as well as a telescope operator.

By

110 – Curiosity’s Landing on Mars

Rate:
(average: 4.72)
Loading ... Loading ...

This episode is a conversation with JPL‘s Anita Sengupta about Curiosity’s landing on Mars. We first discuss the landing process itself and then focus on various aspects of the landing, in particular, the parachute. Next we discuss the development and test of that parachute. We conclude the episode with a general discussion about Mars Science Lab, Curiosity and space flight in general.

By

104 – Space Flight Dynamics

Rate:
(average: 4.76)
Loading ... Loading ...

In this episode we talk to Rainer Kresken of ESA ESOC Darmstadt about orbital mechanics and space flight dynamics. We have obviously addressed this topic in earlier episodes, this episode really diggs down deeper, and helped me understand the concepts and the challenges much better.

By

100 – System Health Management

Rate:
(average: 4.64)
Loading ... Loading ...

In this 100th episode of omega tau we talk to Dr. Stephen B. Johnson about system health management, a set of techniques and processes used to improve system dependability. The episode is based on a book Stephen co-edited, and as a consequence of Stephen’s background, we use aerospace examples in this episode. We discuss the fundamental concepts such as functions, states and the state vector, failures and faults. We then discuss the influence of complexity on failures, as well as human involvement. We discuss means to prevent failures such as fault isolation, redundancy and model adjustment. We conclude the three-hour conversation by looking at the future of systems engineering and system health management with a particular focus on formal methods.