BiPiSci: Space: Why Go There? 12-29-2018

Playlist for Show: Big Picture Science

Hosts: Seth Shostak and Molly Bentley

It takes a lot of energy and technology to leave terra firma. But why rocket into space when there’s so much to be done on Earth?  From the practical usefulness of satellites to the thrill of exploring other worlds, let us count the ways.

The launch of a NOAA weather satellite to join its twin provides unparalleled observation of storms, wildfires, and even lightning.  Find out what it’s like to watch hurricanes form from space.

Meanwhile, more than a dozen countries want their own satellites to help solve real-world problems, including tracking disease.  Learn how one woman is helping make space accessible to everyone.

Plus, now that we’ve completed our grand tour of the Solar System, which bodies are targets for return missions and which for human exploration?


  • Sarah Cruddas – Space journalist, broadcaster, and author based in the U.K.
  • Jamese Sims – GOES-R Project Manager at NOAA
  • Danielle Wood – Assistant professor, MIT Media Lab, Director of the Space Enabled Research Group
  • Jim Green – NASA Planetary Science Division Director
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