Mission: Interplanetary Podcast

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Astronaut Cady Coleman and scientist/author Andrew Maynard explore the unique visions of those working to take us to new worlds.

Mission: Interplanetary looks at the big questions, the challenges to overcome, and the opportunities within reach. We talk to the people imagining, designing, and building the future of humans in space.

Join us for a glimpse into futures that live far beyond the bounds of Earth.


Cady Coleman

Cady Coleman is a former NASA astronaut and Air Force colonel. She flew aboard the International Space Station on a six-month expedition as the lead science and robotics officer. A frequent speaker on space and STEM topics, Coleman is also a musician who has played from space with the Chieftains and Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull.


Andrew Maynard is a scientist, author, and expert in risk innovation. His books include Films From the Future: The Technology and Morality of Sci-Fi Movies and Future Rising


Sharing Space

How can we bring space closer? Space begins some sixty-two miles above the surface of the Earth, but for most people it feels far more distant. Cady and Andrew talk with Ellen Stofan, Under Secretary for Science and Research at the Smithsonian, about bringing space closer to people. Also, space debris in the news, the problem with rotating space stations, and a new Sounds of Space.

May 11, 2021

Trash at 17,000 Miles Per Hour

What do we do about the hazards of space junk? More than half a million bits of deadly space junk are racing around our planet. What do we do about that? Cady and Andrew talk to NASA astronaut Mark Brown about the problem of orbital debris. Also, the passing of legendary astronaut Michael Collins, daffodils, the sci-fi of Toby Weston, and a new Sounds of Space.

May 4, 2021

Murder in Space

What laws govern us when we leave Earth? What happens if you murder someone in space? Cady and Andrew talk to space lawyer Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty about the laws that govern us when we leave Earth. Also, Ingenuity flies on Mars, Star Cops, Battlestar Galactica, and a new Sounds of Space.

April 27, 2021

Closing Time

How will the universe end? Nothing lasts forever, including the universe. So how will it all end? Cady and Andrew talk with theoretical astrophysicist Katie Mack about the ultimate destruction of the cosmos. Also, comfort food on the ISS, crocheting, and a new Sounds of Space.

April 20, 2021

No Space for Columbus

Why should we decolonize space exploration? The last Age of Exploration was a disaster. How can we craft better models for a new Space Age? Cady and Andrew talk with space theoretician Natalie Trevino about decolonizing space exploration. Also, new obsessions, Yuri’s Night, and new Sounds of Space.

April 13, 2021

Our Mars Fixation

The peculiar story behind our fascination with the Red Planet Why are we so fixated on Mars? Cady and Andrew talk with author and journalist David Baron about the surprising history behind our fascination with the Red Planet. Also, a new (and very musical) Sounds of Space.

April 6, 2021

A Space of One’s Own

Should the first human mission to Mars have an all-women crew? Cady and Andrew talk with science fiction writer Mary Robinette Kowal and professional Martian Tanya Harrison about who should go to Mars. Landing on the Moon was “one small step for man.” Should we think differently about the first humans to step foot on Mars?

March 30, 2021

Our Celestial Bodies, Ourselves

Planets get all the press. But what can an asteroid tell us about the history of our solar system? Cady and Andrew talk with Lindy Elkins-Tanton, the leader of NASA’s mission to the asteroid 16 Psyche. Planets get all the good press; asteroids often seem anonymous. But 16 Psyche is a unique metal world that may hold secrets to the history of our own planet. Also, Sounds of Space. More on NASA’s Psyche mission.

March 23, 2021
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