THE UNIVERSE

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Before yesterdayGravity Assist

Gravity Assist: Breaking Barriers, with Dana Bolles

Dana Bolles has worked in many exciting areas of NASA including assuring the safety of experiments and spacecraft going to space, managing environmental programs, and thinking about the possibility of life beyond Earth.

Gravity Assist: Talking to Ingenuity and Other Space Robots, with Nacer Chahat

The Ingenuity helicopter made history on April 19, 2021, with the first powered, controlled flight of an aircraft on another planet. How do engineers talk to a helicopter all the way out on Mars? How about other spacecraft? We’ll hear about it from Nacer Chahat of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory ...

Gravity Assist: Black Hole Mysteries, with Jeremy Schnittman

What is a black hole? How do we study them when we can’t see them? Astrophysicist Jeremy Schnittman from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center joins NASA Chief Scientist Jim Green for a fascinating conversation about the latest black hole research.

Gravity Assist: Season 5 Trailer – What’s Your Gravity Assist?

Go behind the scenes at NASA with Chief Scientist Jim Green in the Gravity Assist podcast.

Gravity Assist: Driving on Mars, with rover driver Sophia Mitchell

What does it take to drive a rover that’s more than 100 million miles away? Sophia Mitchell at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has been driving the Mars Curiosity rover since 2018.

Gravity Assist: Your Questions About Life Out There and Down Here

Why don’t we go live on Saturn’s moon Titan? What would it mean if we found life elsewhere? How did life get its start on Earth? NASA’s chief scientist Jim Green and astrobiologist Lindsay Hays discuss these and other audience questions from social media.

Gravity Assist: The Bright Spot of the Asteroid Belt, with Britney Schmidt

Between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter is a mysterious dwarf planet called Ceres. Its surface is dark and muddy, but has hundreds of patches of bright material.

Gravity Assist: Set Sail for Europa, with Bob Pappalardo

NASA’s Europa Clipper mission will give us the most detailed look yet at Jupiter’s extraordinary moon Europa.

Gravity Assist: Mars Takes a Breath, with Jen Eigenbrode

The Curiosity rover has been probing the secrets of Mars since its arrival in 2012. Its discoveries include chemical signatures that could be related to life – or, alternatively, to geological processes.

Gravity Assist: The History of the Future, with Steven Dick

Astronomer and historian Steven Dick tells us there are many approaches to consider and many questions we should ask ourselves to get ready, in case extraterrestrial life is found.

Gravity Assist: Life in the Clouds, with David J. Smith

While more research is needed, Smith and others are fascinated by the possibility that airborne microbes could also be found elsewhere in the solar system, and beyond.

Gravity Assist: Why Icy Moons are So Juicy, with Athena Coustenis

A great era of exploration of the icy moons is about to begin. Athena Coustenis of the Paris Observatory talks about missions to the icy moons of the outer solar system and international collaborations with NASA and ESA.

Gravity Assist: Is Artificial Intelligence the Future of Life? With Susan Schneider

If astrobiologists find life beyond Earth in the solar system, it will most likely be in the form of tiny organisms called microbes – nothing that would talk to us.

Gravity Assist: Our Sun, Our Life, with Vladimir Airapetian

Vladimir Airapetian, scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, explains what researchers hope to find as they gaze beyond our solar system.

Gravity Assist: Looking For Life in Ancient Lakes

As the Perseverance Rover flies toward Jezero Crater on Mars, which once hosted water, astrobiologists are interested in places on Earth that are similar to the rover landing site.

Gravity Assist: Gardens at the Bottom of the Sea, with Laurie Barge

Laurie Barge, an astrobiologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, studies how plant-looking mineral structures called chimneys grow from chemicals found at the deepest depths of the ocean. In her lab she has glass vials and bulbs full of different chemical mixtures that simulate undersea conditions.

Gravity Assist: She Protects Other Planets from Our Germs

As we explore Mars and other places in the solar system that might have life, scientists who work in Planetary Protection are busy making sure that we don’t contaminate them.

Gravity Assist: If They Call, Will We Listen? The Search for Technosignatures

Jason Wright, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State, has been thinking about the different technosignatures we could pick up using the telescopes we already have, and the telescopes that we could develop in the future.

Gravity Assist: Where are the Goldilocks Stars? With Giada Arney

Giada Arney, astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, is looking at the potential for K stars to host habitable worlds. Learn about how stars affect planetary environments and why complex life on early Earth was impossible.
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