The Orbital Mechanics Podcast

Every week we cover the latest spaceflight news, discuss past, current and future exploration efforts, and take a look at upcoming events. Tune in to hear about how humans get to space, how they stay in space and how unmanned craft reach farther and farther into the universe around us.



recommended podcasts

Collections with this podcast

      Episode 124: Sat in a Cage

      This week in SF history [doc link]1966 September 9: Gemini 11 delayed due to pinhole leak in 1st stage of Titan II rocket. ( ( newsIRNSS 1H Navigation Sat gets stuck in its fairing. ( confirmed to lose about 3.5 years of life due to two separate propulsion issues. ( ( & SweetSNC DreamChaser returns to captive carry testing...



      Episode 123: Mmmm, CREAMy

      This week in SF history1972 September 2: Launch of Triad/TIP 1 (PDF: newsSpaceX Spacesuit reveal. ( & SweetThe ISS gets a new particle detector ( Orion European Service Module begins hot-fire testing at White Sands. ( ATK launches from Cape Canaveral for the first time from LC-46 ( ...



      Episode 122: Low-Enriched Uranium

      This week in SF history27 August 1957: Plumbbob Pascal-B ( newsNASA looks into refining nuclear thermal propulsion. ( used highly enriched uranium in its reactor ( & SweetAnother edition of TOM Reads Elon Musk Tweets ( is confirmed healthy! ( Google Lunar X-Prize has yet again extended its deadline. ( Florida renovates SLC-46 for business....



      Episode 121: It's not their fault!

      This week in SF history19 August 1964. Launch of Syncom-3 ( newsRocket Lab releases analysis of “It’s a Test” ( ( cubesat fails to deploy ( Moore in the chat pointed out some other passive satellites ( ( & SweetThe Japanese H-2A set to launch on August 12th has been grounded. ( world’s first quantum communication between a satellite and ground s...



      Episode 120: DOWNLINK--Jason Seagram

      This week in SF historyAugust 12, 1977. First free flight of shuttle Enterprise ( ( newsVector Space launches the Vector-R from Camden Space Port. ( ( & SweetNew Horizons team release more information on its Kuiper Belt Object target! ( another delay for the James Webb Space Telescope. ( begins dismantling Shuttle rotating support structure at 39-A...



      Episode 119: Myopia Runs in the Family

      This week in SF history3 August, 2004: Launch of MESSENGER on Delta II rocket. ( animation ( newsLockheed Martin repurposing MPLM for cis-lunar habitat as part of NEXTSTEP-2 program. ( will be out of focus ( & SweetAstrobotic selects ULA’s Atlas 5 as its launch vehicle, and will fly as a secondary payload. ( rescheduled ( builds its last Dragon cargo v...



      Episode 118: DOWNLINK--Louis Perna

      This week in SF historyJuly 29 1971: Apollo 15 SIVB impacts moonS-IVB article ('s list of all Apollo objects that impacted the Moon ( newsMusk ISS R&D conference presentation ( & SweetSierra Nevada and ULA announce Atlas V will be carrying the first two Cargo Dreamchaser to the ISS. ( will fly two experiments later this year on New Shepard ( Louis Perna,...



      Episode 117: Brought to You By Questions, Comments and Correction Burns

      This week in SF history21 July 1965: Bell announces Lunar Flying Vehicle ( ( (Follow-on study:’t forget LLRV! ( news“Incident” during TDRS-M Spacecraft closeout ( Express unveils lunar lander trio of missions ( recent Evadot appearance (, comments, correctionsBen Hallert via emailAPAS != CBMBubbles can cause rapid ad-hoc self disassembly with fragmentation.Versvisa (f...



      Episode 116: Overperformance and underperformance

      This week in SF history17 July, 1975, UTC 16:19: End of the space race, AKA Apollo-Soyuz Test Project ( ( 7K-TM is weird and almost unique ( newsXCOR closes (’s launch of Intelsat-35e achieved better performance than required ( & SweetChinasat 9A was able to raise itself to the proper orbit recovering from an anomaly during its june 19 launch. ( Spaceport C...



      Episode 115: DOWNLINK--Kam Bahrami

      This week in SF history11 July 1979: Skylab reentersPossible reboost of Skylab using TRS ( of NASA records on Skylab, which were particularly helpful for the discussion of end of mission. ( that Tiangong 1 is headed for a similar fate (HT Sam Moore: newsAMC-9 is “falling apart” ( in contact with the vehicle (HT Sam Moore: & SweetJAXA announces plans to put an ast...