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13: Asteroid Mining and Public Policy


Episode description

SPEXcast revists Asteroid Mining with Anthony Henning, as he releases his thesis on asteroid mining and public policy. We discuss the policy implications on the growth of asteroid mining in the near future.

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69: Improving the Spaceport America Cup for 2019

July 18th, 2019


The Spaceport America Cup provides students from around the world a safe opportunity to practice the art of high-powered rocketry. University teams descend to the New Mexico desert for the week to present their …

68: Space Policy with's Marcia Smith

July 18th, 2019


Whether it be NASA directives, FCC regulations or military operations in space, there's no doubt that policy has a significant impact on industry …

67: NASA's AWEsome Atmospheric Waves Experiment and DALI Awards

May 9th, 2019


This week on SPEXcast we dive into the scientific instruments that drive new discoveries. NASA’s Development and Advancement of Lunar Instrumentation (DALI) selected 5 finalist projects for continued development. …

66: Robotic Exploration with SpaceIL and Hayabusa2

April 1st, 2019


This week on SPEXcast, we dive into the exciting advancements and discoveries robotic science vehicles are making across the solar system. …

65: Commercial Crew Takes Flight to LEO and Beyond

February 28th, 2019


This week on SPEXcast, we dive into NASA's manned spaceflight initatives. Commercial Crew is finally flying, albeit uncrewed. NASA also announced …

64: SpaceX Raptor Breathes Fire and Virgin Galactic Takes Flight

February 14th, 2019


This week on SPEXcast, we kick of 2019 with some of the biggest space stories of the year, so far. SpaceX has radically redesigned their BFR/ITS Mars rocket into the gleaming Starship and Super Heavy. Virgin …

63: Student Innovation at Spaceport America Cup 2018

September 13th, 2018


On June 19th, 2018 SPEXcast headed down to Las Cruces, New Mexico for the Spaceport America Cup. We were able to speak with the organizers of the event, student teams, and key space industry figures. This episode is …

62: On-Demand Satellite Constellations with York Space Systems' Charles Beames

August 8th, 2018


This week on SPEXcast, we sit down with Charles Beames, CSO of York Space Systems, a New Space startup that provides full service satellite …

61: Unlocking the Potential of Synthetic Aperture Radar with ICEYE's Pekka Laurila

June 22nd, 2018


This week on SPEXcast, we sit down with Pekka Laurila, Co-Founder of ICEYE, a New Space startup trying to revolutionize the business of …

60: SpaceX Flight Control, CRS-15 Payloads, and Chinese Lunar Missions

June 16th, 2018


This week on SPEXcast, we dive into the recent announcements by SpaceX on their new launch complex, the exciting new research and technology …

59: Copenhagen Suborbitals with Mads Wilson

June 4th, 2018


This week on SPEXcast, we sit down with Mads Wilson, communications lead for Copenhagen Suborbitals, a volunteer space program based in Denmark …

58: Terraforming Mars: Challenges and Misconceptions

June 1st, 2018


This is the last part of our four part 'Mars May' series where we discuss the missions and technologies enabling Mars exploration.Mars is a …

57: Mars Rover Operations with Doug Klein

May 21st, 2018


The third installment of SPEXcast's "Mars May" leads us to a part of interplanetary missions that doesn't get much attention. We often discuss the capabilities of rovers, their designs and objectives, and all the …

56: Mars Cube One, the first interplanetary CubeSats with Joel Steinkraus

May 12th, 2018


This week on SPEXcast we continue 'Mars May' with Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) engineer Joel Steinkraus to discuss two CubeSats hitching a …

55: Digging into Mars with InSight's Troy Hudson, Instrument Systems Engineer

May 4th, 2018


This week on SPEXcast, we sit down with Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) engineer Troy Hudson to discuss NASA's Mars InSight mission. InSight is …

54: SpaceX's New Mars Rocket Factory and a Fully-Reusable Falcon 9

April 27th, 2018


This week on SPEXcast, we dive into this developments and give the inside scoop on SpaceX’s recovery efforts. On April 9th, Elon Musk shared a photo of a large mandrel to be used to manufacture the Big Fucking …

53: NASA's New Administrator, OmegA, and Europa Clipper

April 20th, 2018


This week on SPEXcast we talk about news from the 34th Space Symposium, political intrigue behind Europa Clipper, and the admission of defeat by …

52: HAB4 - RIT Space Exploration's latest mission

April 16th, 2018


This week on SPEXcast, we sit down with Dan Mitchell and Matt Glazer, two RIT students and alumni who worked on RIT Space Exploration's High Altitude Balloon program. We talk about some of the scientific payloads …

51: NOAA Controversy, New Glenn Evolution, and Tiangong-1 Re-entry

April 6th, 2018


This week on SPEXcast, we discuss the recent Iridium-5 launch and fairing recovery efforts. We also dive into Tiangong-1 re-entry and the history of space station deorbits. Blue Origin announced their decision to …

50: CRS-7 Public Report and Satellite 2018

April 2nd, 2018


This week on SPEXcast, we discuss the recent release of the public report on the CRS-7 incident. We also cover the exciting new from Satellite 2018, including updates from key space industry executives. Orbital ATK …

49: Christian Davenport Interview

March 23rd, 2018


This week on SPEXcast, we interview Christian Davenport, staff writer for The Washington Post, and author of the new book, 'Space Barons: Elon …

48: MIT New Space Age Conference and SXSW

March 17th, 2018


This week on SPEXcast, we delve into illegal cubesats, Blue Origin's plan for a cislunar economy, as well as Elon's thoughts on Starman and the Falcon Heavy launch. Show notes and references can be found at our …

47: GOES-S, StarLink, and the Challenges of Space Engineering Programs

March 10th, 2018


Engineering space to be useful to humans is hard work. Today on SPEXcast we sit down to discuss two space satellite networks, GOES and StarLink, …

46: 2 Years of SPEXcast

March 2nd, 2018


It's SPEXcast's birthday! Two years ago, some college students released their first ever podcast. 45 episodes later, SPEXcast reminisces on the …

45: Holly Griffith - Space Shuttle Flight Controller and Orion Safety Engineer

March 1st, 2018


SPEXcast sits down with Holly Griffith, Vehicle Systems Engineer for ECLSS on Orion Program in Safety and Mission Assurance and a former Shuttle …

44: NASA Budget 2019

February 25th, 2018


SPEXcast sits down with SPEX alumn, Anthony Hennig, to discuss the proposed changes in the FY2019 NASA budget. We delve into the WFIRST cancelation, the future of humanity's continued presence into space, and cuts to …

43: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Flies!

February 12th, 2018


SPEXcast sits down to discuss the first launch of Falcon Heavy, the world's most powerful operational orbital rocket. The test launch was almost …

42: SPEXcast Space News Recap: Winter 2018

February 12th, 2018


SPEXcast returns from its winter hiatus with all new episodes on the science and technology of space exploration. We sit down to discuss the …

41: SPEXcast Book Club: Ignition Chapter 1 and 2

November 2nd, 2017


Today's episode is a new format; SPEXcast Book Club! We will be choosing a space-related book, and reading through it a few chapters at a time and giving our feedback, questions, and discussion. Our first book is …

40: Post-IAC 2017 Discussion

October 17th, 2017


At this year's International Astronautical Congress, Elon Musk unveiled a new design for SpaceX's Big Falcon Rocket. We sit down with Brendan Byrne, from Are We There Yet, and Matt, from The Interplanetary Podcast, …

39: Pre-IAC Predications 2017

September 26th, 2017


Last year, Elon Musk took to the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara Mexico to unveil the Interplanetary Transport System. A year later, he is set to deliver an update on the plan, and SPEXcast sits …

38: SmallSat Conference 2017

September 19th, 2017


SPEXcast sits down with Anthony Hennig, a Graduate Research Assistant at George Washington University, to record his thoughts from SmallSat 2017. …

37: Green Propellant Infusion Mission

August 27th, 2017


SPEXcast discusses Ball Aerospace's Green Propellant Infusion Mission. This satellite will test new monopropellants that are more efficient, and less toxic, than existing fuels. We dive into this new, exciting …

36: ISS Research and Development Conference and Elon Musk Keynote

August 10th, 2017


SPEXcast returns with an episode delving into the stunning announcements from ISSRDC by Elon Musk. We cover the Red Dragon cancellation, Falcon …

35: NASA Authorization Bill and New Glenn

April 28th, 2017


SPEXcast sits down with SPEX alumn, Anthony Hennig, a Ph.D student studying Systems Engineering at George Washington University. We discuss the recently passed NASA Authorization Act that provides the direction for …

34: Rocket Reuse Revisted

April 21st, 2017


SPEXcast returns after a short hiatus to discuss the biggest trend in the space industry: reusing rockets. Our first episode was on this topic just over a year ago, and things have advanced dramatically during that …

SPEXcast Wallops and CSTARS Update

March 29th, 2017


This is a short update on the current state of the show. We apologize for missing an episode last week but we have some exciting things in …

33: SpaceX Lunar Mission (Grey Dragon)

March 15th, 2017


On February 27th, SpaceX announced that it will launch two private citizens on a flight around the moon by the end of 2018. SPEXcast sits down to …

32: Trappist-1

March 8th, 2017


On February 22nd, NASA announced that 7 Earth-like planets orbit the star known as Trappist-1, within its habitable zone. SPEXcast sits down with RIT's Dr. Jennifer Connelly, a Doctor in Extragalactic Astronomy, to …

31b: Generation Ships

March 2nd, 2017


In this special bonus episode, SPEXcast discusses the concept of generation ships. Barring extreme advances in space travel technology and our …

31a: Weekly News for 2-24-2017

March 2nd, 2017


SPEXcast sits down to discuss the happenings in space for the week. We talk about SpaceX\'s CRS-10 mission, crew on SLS EM-1 and Citizen scientists.

30: Meta Discussion on Spacecraft Construction and Design

February 23rd, 2017


Science fiction is dominated by gigantic spaceships exploring the stars, however real life spacecraft appear to be made of smaller, discrete pieces. On the other hand, games like Kerbal Space Program present …

29: 2016 Year in Review

February 15th, 2017


SPEXcast looks back on some of the successes and failures of 2016 and share their thoughts on what's to come in 2017

Season 3 Promo

February 8th, 2017


No discussion this week, just a heads up on what's on the horizon for the podcast. Next week we'll be back for a full hour discussing 2016: …

28: James Webb Space Telescope

February 1st, 2017


SPEXcast speaks with Matt Greenhouse, Project Scientist of the James Webb Space Telescope, about the observatory's objectives and the tech that makes it all possible. Many thanks to Sarah Schlieder and NASA …

27: NASA Cubesats

December 23rd, 2016


SPEXcast sits down with Pam Millar, Chief of the Laser Remote Sensing Lab at NASA GSFC to discuss cubesat applications and NASA programs involving …

26: Skywatch

November 30th, 2016


SPEXcast sits down with Dexter Jagula from Skywatch. Skywatch is an API(Application Programming Interface) for easily accessing datasets from …

25: Solar Science & STEREO

November 23rd, 2016


SPEXcast speaks with Dr. Terry Kucera, an astrophysicist at NASA Goddard, about solar science and how NASA observes the Sun with spacecrafts like …

24: Open Source Hardware &

November 9th, 2016


SPEXcast sits down with the Co-Founder of, a social network for engineers to collaborate and work on engineering challenges for the …

23: Orion with Dustin Neill

October 21st, 2016


SPEXcast sits down with Dustin Neill, an engineer at Lockheed Martin working on the Orion Crew Capsule. We discuss the Descent and Landing …

22: SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System

October 12th, 2016


SPEXcast sits down to discuss SpaceX's big announcement from IAC, the Interplanetary Transport System. We break down the key points as well as …

21: Pre IAC Predications

September 24th, 2016


SpaceX and Elon Musk are announcing the details for their Mars rocket next week at the International Astronautical Congress. SPEXcast sits down to discuss the potential mission plan and challenges such a mission will …

Space From The Ground Up: Why We Explore

September 15th, 2016


Every few years, humans lob another multi-million dollar craft into space without any hope of returning to Earth. Why do we even bother?

20: Tory Bruno

September 7th, 2016


SPEXcast sits down the the CEO of United Launch Alliance, Tory Bruno, to talk about the future of ULA, its next generation launch vehicle Vulcan, …

19: Commander Chris Hadfield

August 24th, 2016


Phil, TJ, Augie, Drew, and Chris had the opportunity to speak with Canadian astronaut, pilot and engineer Commander Chris Hadfield about his experiences in space, and asked him a few questions about the past, …

18b: Small Satellite Conference 2016

August 17th, 2016


Phil and TJ debrief Augie who was live from Small Satellite Conference 2016. Augie was on the show floor for three days, attending sessions on the state of the small sat industry. We talk about the highlights from …

18a: Gywnne Shotwell Small Satellite Conference Reactions

August 17th, 2016


Phil and TJ debrief Augie who was live from Small Satellite Conference 2016. Augie attended Gwynne Shotwell's keynote speech. We break her speech down point by point and connect it to recent SpaceX news.

17: Brendan Byrne Interview

August 7th, 2016


Part 2 of the SPEX Summer Series: Phil, Drew, TJ, and Augie sit down with space reporter Brendan Byrne. a producer for public radio station WMFE 90.7 in Orlando, a space reporter for Florida’s Space Coast, and hosts …

16: SPEXcast News Roundup July 2016

August 4th, 2016


TJ, Augie, and Drew discuss current events in space for July 2016.


July 13th, 2016


Part 1 of the SPEX Summer Series: Phil and TJ interview engineers Padraig Lysandrou and David Levine about their experiences building the Violet …

14: SPEXcast News Roundup June 2016

July 8th, 2016


SPEXcast is back! Phil, TJ, Augie, and Drew discuss this summer's recent events in the space industry.

SPEXcast Summer Series Update

June 24th, 2016


SPEXcast will be back this summer with a few bonus episodes featuring exclusive interviews from awesome people in the spaceflight industry. For updates and more information, check out and Twitter …

12: SPEXcast Live!

May 11th, 2016


SPEXcast is live! Phil, T.J., and Augie sit down with our special guest Kevin Cooke for SPEXcast's first live episode from ImagineRIT. Listen in as we discuss the mysterious ice world of Europa, Jupiter's 6th moon. …

11: Spaceplanes

May 4th, 2016


Phil, Augie, Cole, and newcomer Alex talk about SpaceX and spaceplanes. At the start of the show, the guys discuss SpaceX's recently announced …

10: Cubesats

April 28th, 2016


Phil, T.J., Auggie, and our guest Drew discuss Cubesats and their subsystems. These small satellites are taking advantage of the microelectronic …

9: Cryonics

April 21st, 2016


Biomedical Engineers Augie and Cole lead a discussion on cryonics, torpor, and the science of human preservation in the name of space travel.

8: RIT Astronomy Week

April 13th, 2016


It's Astronomy Week here at RIT, so Phil and TJ sit down with two astronomers and physicists, Dr. Jennifer Connelly and Dr. Michael Zemcov, to …

7: Rocket Propulsion

April 6th, 2016


Phil, TJ, and August sit down with our special guest, Ben McFadden, to talk about rocket engines. Why do we use rockets in space? What physical principles govern rocket engines? What are the basic designs of chemical …

6: Interplanetary Travel

March 30th, 2016


Phil, TJ, and Anthony discuss all the different methods of travelling within our solar system. What types of propulsion is out there? How can we …

5: Q&A with the Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation

March 23rd, 2016


SPEXcast hosts a Q&A session with Brennan Ireland and Monica Rizzo, two researchers from the RIT Center for Computational Relativity and …

4: Asteroid Mining

March 16th, 2016


SPEXcast discusses the future of asteroid mining. Our special guest, Anthony Hennig is a 5th year student at RIT whose thesis is on Asteroid Mining …

3: Moon vs. Mars

March 7th, 2016


SPEXcast dicusses whether humanity should focus on the Moon or Mars first as it steps out beyond the Earth's gravity well. Should we use the Moon to …

2b: Brave New World

March 1st, 2016


SPEXcast goes a bit off-topic and discusses the dystopia of Brave New World. We discuss the role of production on the culture of society and whether …

2a: Gravitational Waves

March 1st, 2016


SPEXcast discusses the recent discovery of gravitational waves. We delve into RIT's key role in the discovery, as well as the history of the theory …

1: Rocket Reusability

March 1st, 2016


SPEXcast delves into the field of reusable rocket technology. Listen as we discuss SpaceX's historic rocket landing, Blue Origin's New Shepard, SMART …

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