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Podcast: A NASA New Year!

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Welcome to the December 2007 episode of Blueshift, from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. We’re celebrating the new year with a look at the typical life cycle of NASA missions and the typical day of our science staff.

We’ll start with a look back at the FUSE mission, which ceased operations earlier this year. Then we’ll give you an inside look at what it takes to make a mission happen – from the birth of ideas to the day-to-day operation of a satellite after launch.

  • Introduction (0:00 – 1:09)
  • Interview: George Sonneborn and FUSE (1:10 – 3:12)
    A look back at the discoveries of the FUSE satellite over the last 8 years – and what’s coming next.
  • Featured Story: Life Cycles of Missions (3:13 – 9:00)
    Where do these missions come from? What does it take to get from the drawing board to the launch pad?
  • Audio Scrapbook: Day in the Life (9:01 – 11:56)
    Wander our hallways and find out what’s happening in a typical day around here.
  • Closing (11:57 – 13:09)


Interview: George Sonneborn and FUSE

Eight years after launch, the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer, or FUSE, ceased operations. With 130 million seconds of data in its science archive, FUSE will continue to fuel new discoveries. To find out more about the mission, visit:


Featured Story: Life Cycles of Missions

In this story, we wanted to give you an idea of where mission ideas come from, and what happens to those ideas as they are developed, built, and launched. While no missions are identical, there is a process that most follow – so we visited scientists working on satellites in different stages. Here are sites about the specific missions we highlighted:

  • James Webb Space Telescope – Scheduled for launch in 2013, Webb is currently under development at Goddard Space Flight Center.
  • Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope – GLAST is undergoing its final round of testing, and will soon be shipped to Cape Canaveral for launch in May 2008.
  • Swift – Launched in 2004, the Swift satellite is looking for gamma ray bursts and pointing other satellites at these mysterious events.


Audio Scrapbook: Day in the Life

Gail Rohrbach went up and down the hallways of our building for these interviews, to find out what people do on a typical day in the Astrophysics Science Division. Here are the people she interviewed, and information about some of the work they are doing.



Hosts Steve Fantasia
Sara Mitchell
Interview with George Sonneborn Joel Offenberg
Featured Story Anita Krishnamurthi
Sara Mitchell
Audio Scrapbook Gail Rohrbach
Guests Simon Bandler
Padi Boyd
Robin Corbet
Jonathan Gardner
Joe Hill
Stephen Holland
Caroline Kilborne
Craig Markwardt
Frank Marshall
Koji Mukai
George Sonneborn
Dave Thompson
Pat Tyler
Eric Winter
Theme Music Naked Singularity
Other Music Outta Scope
Editors Anita Krishnamurthi
Maggie Masetti
Sara Mitchell
Joel Offenberg
Gail Rohrbach
Producer Sara Mitchell
Executive Producer Anita Krishnamurthi
Responsible NASA Official Kim Weaver
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