Cover art for podcast Distillations | Science History Institute

Distillations | Science History Institute

325 EpisodesProduced by Science History InstituteWebsite

Each episode of Distillations podcast takes a deep-dive into a moment of science-related history in order to shed light on the present.


Space Junk

Outer space is crowded. Satellites, pieces of rocket, and stuff that astronauts left behind, such as cameras and poop, are just floating around. This space junk can pose a threat to our communication systems.

In this episode we talk with Lisa Ruth Rand, a fellow at the Science History Institute, about her upcoming book on space junk. She tells us how space weather—that’s right, there’s space weather—can have an effect on what falls on Earth. She also talks about how our views on space debris reveal our attitudes back on Earth and how space junk truly made the space age global.


Hosts: Alexis Pedrick and Elisabeth Berry Drago Senior Producer: Mariel Carr Producer: Rigoberto Hernandez Audio Engineer: James Morrison

Resource List

Interview with Marie Ruman. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, January 24, 1978.

Judd, Bridget. “NASA’s Skylab met its demise in Australia more than 40 years ago—but was it really an accident?” Australian Broadcasting Corporation, May 30, 2020. 

The MacNeil/Lehrer Report, “Cosmos 954.” January 25, 1978, American Archive of Public Broadcasting. 

Rand, Lisa Ruth. “Orbital Decay: Space Junk and the Environmental History of Earth’s Planetary Borderlands.” PhD diss., University of Pennsylvania, 2016. 

Rand, Lisa Ruth. “Wasted Space: The History of Orbiting Junk.” Science History Institute, December 5, 2019.

Trudeau, Pierre Elliott. Speech at the House of Commons of Canada, January 24, 1978. 

Educational emoji reaction


Interesting emoji reaction


Funny emoji reaction


Agree emoji reaction


Love emoji reaction


Wow emoji reaction


Are you the creator of this podcast?

Verify your account

and pick the featured episodes for your show.

Listen to Distillations | Science History Institute


A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android
Or by RSS
RSS feed

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens