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Episodes

Episode 188: STS-106 - 2A or Not 2b (ISS Resupply 2A.2b)
On STS-106, we finally get to meet Zvezda, the Russian service module for the International Space Station. We also meet some new faces, decrypt some mission designations, move a bunch of equipment, and perform an EVA that may or may not be a milestone. [Click for more..]
Episode 187: Interview with Former NASA Flight Surgeon Dr. Kim Broadwell
I think we can all agree that social media (and anything approaching it) was a mistake, but sometimes the internet decides to throw you a bone and you meet a NASA flight surgeon on Reddit. [Click for more..]
Episode 186: STS-101 - Screens and Stations (ISS Resupply 2A.2a)
On STS-101 we’ve got a slick new cockpit to show off, a pile of launch delays, a ton or two of new equipment and supplies and some floppy disks in the payload bay. [Click for more..]
Episode 185: STS-99 - Here Comes The Boom (SRTM)
On STS-99 we’ll be studying the Earth in a whole new dimension, using fancy radar tricks to scan nearly the entire planet in 3D! Close and lock your visors and put on your 3D glasses now! [Click for more..]
Episode 184: STS-103 - Y2K And I Feel Fine (Hubble Servicing 3A)
The Hubble Space Telescope couldn’t wait until the year 2000 for a visit, while the Space Shuttle’s computers couldn’t handle the year 2000 at all. With the clock ticking, will the crew of STS-103 be able to save the new year for scientists everywhere? [Click for more..]
Episode 183: STS-93 - Sometimes It's Better To Be Lucky Than Smart (Chandra Deploy)
On STS-93 we’ve got a ton of stuff to do in a mission lasting less than five days. We’ll break another glass barrier, we’ll put the redundancy of the Space Shuttle Main Engines to the test, and we’ll explore the universe in a whole new part of the spectrum. [Click for more..]
Episode 182: STS-96 - Additional Supply Depots Required (ISS Resupply 2A.1)
On the first resupply mission to the ISS we’ve got tons of stuff to transfer, a disco ball to deploy, and a surprising number of quotations from Dan Barry! We’ll also celebrate the video games and websites of the late 1990s. [Click for more..]
Episode 181: STS-88 - A United Dawn (First ISS Flight)
The ISS era is upon us! Let’s learn about Zarya, the first module of the International Space Station, and bring it a buddy: Unity! With a Russian and an American module flying, the ISS will be born. [Click for more..]
Episode 180: STS-95 - Zero-G And I Still Feel Fine (Glenn, SPARTAN, SPACEHAB)
On STS-95 we’ve got the return of SPARTAN, the return of SPACEHAB, and the return of.. John Glenn! Let’s do some science and learn how the 77 year old former astronaut found himself once again whizzing around in orbit. [Click for more..]
Episode 179: Phase One Done (Shuttle-Mir Retrospective)
With the end of the Shuttle-Mir program upon us, we take a quick look back at how it started, what happened during it, and what the ultimate fate of Mir was. [Click for more..]
Episode 178: STS-91 - A Farewell to Mir (Bringing Thomas Home)
On STS-91 we’ll try out a new external tank, learn a little physics, and find out what Mir upper management thinks about the state of the space station. Oh, we’ll also bring Andy Thomas home and wave farewell to Mir forever. [Click for more..]
Special Update - Don't Force It
A brief programming note and some words of wisdom that have served me well in life. Thanks for all the support and understanding. I’ll see you all in a couple weeks. [Click for more..]
Episode 177: STS-90 - Of Mice and Medicine (Neurolab)
On STS-90 we’ve got dozens of nervous system experiments to get through, we’ll play some catch, take a whirl in the crazy chair, and we’ll wonder where NASA got 2000 crickets. [Click for more..]
Episode 176: NASA-7 - The Last American (Thomas on Mir)
Andy Thomas’ four month stay on Mir will close out the American presence on the Russian space station. We also wonder what that burning smell is, do a bunch of EVAs, and wave farewell to “Ol’ Stinky” [Click for more..]
Episode 175: STS-89 - The Last of the Mir 7 (Thomas to Mir)
On STS-89 we head up to Mir to retrieve Dave Wolf and drop off Andy Thomas. Along the way we’ll relax by looking at some fish, mind our checklists, and wonder why the airlock hatch is stuck again. [Click for more..]
Episode 174: STS-87 - Stranded SPARTAN (USMP-4, SPARTAN mishap)
On STS-87 we’ve got a bunch of material science in the payload bay, a free-flying satellite, a camera that fell out of Star Wars, and 645,500 friends! We also get to the bottom of a significant mishap. [Click for more..]
Episode 173: NASA-6 Part 2 - Stuck Between a Hatch and a Cold Place (Wolf on Mir)
As Dave Wolf wraps up his stint on Mir we try to be efficient with our comms, try not to spill too much caffeine, and try not to get locked outside the station! [Click for more..]
Episode 172: NASA-6 Part 1 - Infinite Job List (Wolf on Mir)
After much deliberation on the ground, the verdict is that Dave Wolf will indeed remain on Mir for his full mission! So what does he do while he’s up there? And who’s that in the window? [Click for more..]
Episode 171: STS-86 - Does He Stay Or Does He Go Now? (Wolf to Mir)
Dave Wolf didn’t think he was going to Mir for another six months, but when Russia decides Wendy Lawrence is too short, schedules change. Though if Congress has anything to say about it, Wolf might not be going anywhere after all. [Click for more..]
Episode 170: STS-85 - The World’s Biggest Birthday Candles (SPAS, Small Fine Arm)
It’s Kent Rominger’s birthday, so what better way to celebrate than launching into space? Along the way we’ll send CRISTA-SPAS out for one last adventure, try out a Japanese robot arm, take pictures of comets, and try to avoid Blue Screens of Death. [Click for more..]
Episode 169: STS-94 - Deja Crew (MSL-1 Reflight)
The crew, payload, and orbiter of STS-94 have unfinished business in low earth orbit thanks to a busted fuel cell on STS-83. Let’s kick the tires, light the fires, and then light around 200 more fires, but carefully. [Click for more..]
Episode 168: NASA-5 Part 2 - The Specter of Progress (Foale on Mir)
New episode! In part 2 of our NASA-5 coverage, we’ll find out what the crew did next after surviving the immediate crisis following the Progress M-34 collision. Also, we’ll wonder why there’s so much water in Mir’s walls. [Click for more..]
Episode 167: NASA-5 Part 1 - A Crash Course in Long Duration Spaceflight (Foale on Mir)
New episode! Mike Foale’s stay on Mir for NASA-5 ended up being so eventful that I had no choice but to break it up into two parts. Thankfully, the same cannot be said for Mir after Progress M-34 comes knocking. [Click for more..]
Supplemental 8: My Second Rocket Launch
New episode! Sort of! It’s a filler supplemental since I wasn’t able to get NASA-5 done and I’m on vacation next week. Oh well, there are some fun stories here. Please enjoy this terrible photo of me from 2012 outside a Waffle House at 5am. [Click for more..]
Episode 166: STS-84 - Where Things Are Bright and Sunny (Linenger/Foale Swap)
On STS-84 we’ll deliver Mike Foale to Mir and bring Jerry Linenger back to Earth. We’ll also wonder how much Elektron really weighs, enjoy the music in the base block, and contemplate the mystical powers of a shouting Marine. [Click for more..]
Episode 165: STS-83 - Substack Attack (MSL-1)
New episode! The crew of STS-83 is ready for a 16 day flight aboard Space Shuttle Columbia, with Spacelab packed full of materials science experiments. So why did the flight end up only being 4 days long? [Click for more..]
Episode 164: STS-82 - No Trouble with Hubble (HST Servicing 2)
On STS-82 we’ve got another ground-up rendezvous on our hands. But instead of flying to Mir, we’ll be visiting our old friend the Hubble Space Telescope. It’s been a few years since STS-61 fixed its optical flaw, and it’s due for an upgrade! [Click for more..]
Episode 163: NASA-4 Part 2 - Close Call, Ethylene Glycol, and Secret Alcohol (Linenger on Mir)
When we last left Jerry Linenger, we still had most of his mission to cover! On this episode we’ve got space-bound contraband, a LEO version of ‘crisscross crash’, and a historical EVA. [Click for more..]
Episode 162: NASA-4 Part 1 - A Candle-lit Dinner (Linenger on Mir)
Jerry Linenger’s long duration mission on Mir was so action-packed that I had to break it up into two parts! Even with two parts, this is a pretty long episode, so enjoy! [Click for more..]
Episode 161: STS-81 - Space Deli (Linenger to Mir)
On STS-81 we’ll deliver Jerry Linenger to his new orbital home, bring John Blaha back to Earth, throw some meat and cheese around in weightlessness, and try not to get lost in Mir’s darkened twist and turns. [Click for more..]
Episode 160 - Tom Jones Interview
He’s flown on STS-59, STS-68, STS-80, and later on STS-98.. but today he’s flying on TSAU! Astronaut Tom Jones joined me for an interview covering topics such as the utility of stopwatches, travel advice, pranks on John Young and more! [Click for more..]
Episode 159: STS-80 - Space Jam (ORFEUS/WSF/Jammed Hatch)
On STS-80 we’ve got free-flying payloads, troublesome EVAs, a bunch of rats, and a reentry to remember. Strap in for the longest flight of the entire shuttle program! Don’t worry, we’ll step outside for a breath of fresh vacuum. [Click for more..]
Episode 158: NASA-3 - Blaha Blast (Blaha on Mir)
John Blaha will stay on Mir for four months and will encounter unexpected bubbles, limited communications, fourteen hour days, and the first ever NASA in-space handover. Let’s just hope his sanity survives the next few months. [Click for more..]
Episode 157: STS-79 - Blaha to Go (Lucid/Blaha Mir Swap)
Shannon Lucid has been waiting for her ride home and John Blaha is ready to swap in as America’s next long duration spacefarer. We’ll also fix our SRBs, try to heat up some metal, and enjoy some barbecue in Atlantis. [Click for more..]
Episode 156: STS-78 - International Space.. Shuttle (LMS)
On STS-78 we’ve got a bunch of materials science, a bunch of muscles to study, and a bunch of wake-up songs to roll our eyes at. Let’s just hope we have enough fuel to make it to orbit in the first place! [Click for more..]
Episode 155: STS-77 - Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tube Satellite (IAE, PAMS, SPACEHAB)
On STS-77 we’ve got some experimental technology to try out that if nothing else lead to some pretty wild visuals. We’ll also get some work done on SPACEHAB and wonder why Marc Garneau loves hanging out with Australians so much. [Click for more..]
Episode 154: Dan Tani Interview 2: Life as a Newbie Astronaut
During the previous episode, NASA introduced its largest ever astronaut class. Let’s hear about what life as a newbie astronaut is like from someone who was there: Dan Tani! Buckle up because this interview is over an hour long! [Click for more..]
Episode 153: NASA-2 - M&Ms and Russian Friends (Lucid on Mir)
Shannon Lucid is ready to spend 4 months on Mir! Or is it 6? We’ll learn the quirks of the Russian training system, the hazards of old Soviet batteries, and the value of Jell-O. [Click for more..]
Episode 152: STS-76 - Mirwalking (MEEP, Lucid to Mir)
On STS-76 the space shuttle finally shuttles someone to space, delivering Shannon Lucid to Mir. We’ll also goof off in the SPACEHAB tunnel, head outside, and have fun saying the word “MEEP”. [Click for more..]
Episode 151: STS-75 - Tethers in Space are a Snap! (TSS-1R)
On STS-75 we’ll take another try at the Tethered Satellite System. It didn’t work so great on STS-46, but with much of the same crew and it should be a snap. [Click for more..]
Episode 150: Galileo’s Jovian Journey
After checking in with it for years, Galileo has finally arrived at Jupiter. For the 150th episode of The Space Above Us, let’s find out what the Galileo orbiter and probe did while they were out there and why it was worth the wait. [Click for more..]
Episode 149: STS-72 - Endeavour’s Hitchhiker (SFU, OAST-Flyer)
On STS-72 we’re going to deploy one spacecraft but retrieve two! We’ll also test out some new EVA techniques, bid farewell to a frequent flyer, and spin Koichi Wakata around until he stops smiling. [Click for more..]
Episode 148: STS-74 - Putting out the Welcome Mat (Mir Docking Module)
We’ve docked at Mir before, but moving the Kristall module around is such a hassle. What if we could just make it a little longer so the shuttle could dock with it in its usual location? [Click for more..]
Episode 147: STS-73 - Seventh Time's the Charm (USML-2)
Columbia is back from the shop and is sporting some new upgrades, but seems reluctant to leave Earth on its 18th voyage. Once on orbit, we’ll do some science, learn why TV is good, and perform some magic tricks! [Click for more..]
Episode 146: STS-69 - Who Let the Dogs Back Out (Wake Shield Facility 2)
Endeavour is back on the launch pad with two payloads to both deploy and retrieve. One of those payloads looks a whole lot like a gigantic frisbee, something that would be sure to get the attention of any dog (or dog crew) nearby. [Click for more..]
Episode 145: STS-70 - Flickers, Northern and New (TDRS-G deploy)
On STS-70 it’s time to complete the TRDSS constellation! Or at least the first generation. We’ll also resist putting fish eggs on crackers, buy some decoy owls, and wonder why so many people from Ohio are trying to escape Earth. [Click for more..]
144 - NASA-1 - Comrades and Cognac (Thagard on Mir)
Norm Thagard is about to become America’s first Cosmonaut. What challenges will he encounter during his four months on the Russian space station Mir? And why are they bringing so much juice? [Click for more..]
Episode 143: STS-71 - Reunion (First Shuttle-Mir Docking)
Twenty years after the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, four years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and around a hundred days after the launch of Norm Thagard, it’s time to finally see a space shuttle dock with Mir. [Click for more..]
Episode 142: STS-67 - A Little More of the Ol' Ultraviolet (ASTRO-2)
ASTRO-1 was a huge success, shining new light (more or less literally) on the universe with its ultraviolet observatory. But that was almost 30 flights ago. It’s time for the new and improved ASTRO-2 to see what’s out there. [Click for more..]
Episode 141: STS-63 - Near Mir
After all this talk about the Russian space station Mir, how about we take a close up look for ourselves? A REALLY close look. Space Shuttle Discovery won’t be the first Shuttle to dock with Mir, but it’ll come close! [Click for more..]
Episode 140: STS-66 - Ascending with Atlantis (ATLAS-3)
On STS-66 we welcome Atlantis back from its long maintenance period, further probe the upper atmosphere, test out a new rendezvous technique, and discover what is perhaps the worst payload name of all time. [Click for more..]
Episode 139: STS-68 - Deja Vu and Big Kaboom (SRL-2)
No, it’s not a glitch in the Matrix, we’re flying the same experiment on the same shuttle! Don’t worry, we still find plenty to say. Oh, and Jupiter’s about to explode, so that’s pretty cool. [Click for more..]
Episode 138: STS-64 - Ghostbusters and Angry Russians (LITE, SPARTAN, SAFER)
Space Shuttle Discovery is all loaded up with a grab bag of shuttle program favorites. Rendezvous, tech demonstrations, even an untethered EVA! Just be careful for the ghosts in the bathroom. [Click for more..]
Episode 137: STS-65 - The Flight of IML-Man (IML-2)
Space Shuttle Columbia is flying for the 17th time, carrying the International Microgravity Laboratory 2 payload. With fish, newts, and bubbles, it sounds more like a witch’s brew than an advanced research laboratory. [Click for more..]
Episode 136: STS-59 - Vaya con Dios (SRL-1)
We’ve got a giant radar in the payload bay, bubbles in the water, and we’re ready to learn about somebody’s favorite type of lizard. We’ve also got a whole bunch of cameras, and what sure looks like over 150 VHS tapes. [Click for more..]
Episode 133: STS-62 - Two for One Special (USMP-2)
Space Shuttle Columbia has been packed full of so many experiments you might think there are two different payloads back there.. and you’d be right! Let’s learn about fake-metal dendrites, how to stop the orbiter from glowing, and why the NASA ground crews think Pierre Thuot smells like garbage. [Click for more..]
Episode 134: STS-60 - A New Partnership (WSF, SPACEHAB, Shuttle-Mir)
Look out! There’s a Russian on the space shuttle! Oh, we invited him? Well alright then. On STS-60 we’re going to push some atoms out of the way, begin the partnership that would lead to the ISS, and wonder what it takes to get a Coke in Russia. [Click for more..]
Episode 133: STS-61 - Closing the Door on Spherical Aberration (HST Servicing 1)
The Hubble Space Telescope is in trouble. With the fate of the orbiting observatory, and maybe NASA itself, on the line, can the crew of STS-61 save the day? We’ll ride along in the latest episode of The Space Above Us. [Click for more..]
Episode 132: 1.3 Millimeters (Hubble Mirror Flaw)
On the latest episode of The Space Above Us, we learn about the major systems of the Hubble Space Telescope and take a deep dive on what was wrong with the mirror, how it happened, and how it wasn’t caught. [Click for more..]
Where Are the Rest of the Episodes?
I started working on this fancy new website around Episode 169, since it apparently took me six years to get around to adding show notes and photos and such. The site is working great but it turns out it takes a lot of work to add the back episodes, so I’m slowly plugging my way through them. [Click for more..]