Space: Podcast Playlist
This podcast playlist was curated by the amazing Jennifer Barragan, leader of the Geneva chapter of Podcast Brunch Club.
The topic of space is as vast as space itself. There is human exploration and the future habitation of space, astronomy and current events like the discovery of gravitational waves and the collision of two neutron stars (which apparently now solves half of astronomy’s problems), and of course extraterrestrial life. But it all starts here on earth. Human beings have to work together to study, utilize, explore, and manage space. The chosen podcasts explore this theme in one way or another and look at space in terms of human development and advancement as well as in terms of international cooperation and peace building. Space is more than just rockets and space ships; it is a scientific endeavor of great importance with implications for life here on earth.
Podcast Playlist on Space
*Note: You can always get the latest PBC playlist on the RadioPublic app
99% Invisible: Space Trash, Space Treasure
(Apple Podcasts | Google Play // 21 minutes, October 2016)
Have you ever thought about what happens to all the items we launch into space? A lot of it ends up as orbital debris, or space junk. This podcast explains the problem, how it is getting exponentially worse and what to do about it (or not).
Life of the Law: Space Law 2.0
(Apple Podcasts | Google Play // 18 minutes, November 2015)
When you look up at the sky the last thing you probably think about is the law. But space is exactly where the next frontier of law is being played out.
BBC Space: We Shall Fly, Part I
(Apple Podcasts // 26 minutes, January 2017)
Space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock explores the passionate desire among some to fly against Africa’s impoverished stereotype and join the space race. She speaks to a South African hoping to be the first black African in space and reveals a relatively unknown history of Zambia’s participation in the 1960s space race.
BBC Space: We Shall Fly, Part II
(Apple Podcasts // 26 minutes, January 2017)
Space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock visits Nigeria, her father’s birthplace, and asks why African nations are apparently so keen to journey into the future as a space-going continent. She finds people there are excited about space exploration and wants to find out if space programs restore a continent’s pride or are just vanity projects of the elite.
Conversation Starters about the Space Podcast Playlist
- What is the role of international cooperation with regards to space exploration, research and science?
- What do you think about conserving space junk for the sake of cultural and historical preservation, particularly considering its continuing growth and the danger it poses?
- What more can be done to control the growth of orbital debris? Do you feel space can be regulated to minimize the impact?
- Taking into consideration the global political atmosphere, do you feel that space can remain a place of peace? Will these international treaties serve their intended purpose?
- Why do you think most of us have probably never heard of Zambia’s participation in the space race?
- Do you think that decolonization played a part in Zambia’s ambition of going into space?
- Were you aware that Nigeria, Algeria, Ghana and South Africa have space programs? If not, why do you think this is? Are we ingrained to think of Africa as a continent of poverty rather than a continent of innovation? What will it take to change this perception?
- Does it make sense to spend $20 million on a space program in a country where there is so much poverty, where electricity and running water does not yet reach all citizens? Should a space program be considered by developing countries as a starting point for development as mentioned?
- What is the benefit of Nigeria having its own satellites? What if all countries felt the need to have their own satellites? What would this mean for the already exponentially increasing problem of space junk?
- Is there such a thing as too much ambition when it comes to space? How does this belief affect progress in Africa?
Bonus content about Space:
- Radio Lab: Space
- 99% Invisible: Home on LaGrange
- The Drawing Room: Life on Mars 2020
- Ted Radio Hour: Peering into Space
- BBC Space: Is There Anybody Out There?
- Planet Money: Planet Money Goes To Space (4 part series)
- Are We There Yet
- Orbital Path
- Star Talk Radio
- Cosmic Vertigo
- Houston We Have a Podcast
DJ RuggedAngel’s Music Playlist
Take a break from listening to podcasts, and get your groove on with some music. Our very own DJ RuggedAngel put together this “Space” music playlist especially for PBC.
Very thought provoking subject, very interesting that you pulled together shows that hit the sociological aspects of space programs. I think anything that allows us to think of Africa in terms beyond the stereotypes of war, poverty and safari animals is fantastic and essential to the growth of Africa, and of humanity as a whole. Technology may transform the African continent, taken as a whole, more than any other on Earth. Kudos for also bringing together such well produced podcasts, these are among my favorites.
ps: I host a fun space & science podcast called “What The IF?” that some listeners here may enjoy as well: WhatTheIF.com
Cheers, Philip Shane
Thanks for the great feedback, Philip! I know Jen, our member who curated the list will be really pleased to see your comment! I hope you can participate in an upcoming in-person discussion about this playlist. I’ll also be sure to check out your podcast!
Thanks Adela, hope you enjoy the podcast, eager to hear what you think! I signed up for info about the NYC group, interested to check it out (I’m in Brooklyn). Cheers & Happy New Year.
Thank you Philip! Your feedback is wonderful to hear. As an engineer, a former NASA one at that, I feared that people would be disappointed in not delving more into the science of Space, but for me I just found this aspect so interesting. Hope you have some good discussions around the topic. I look forward to checking out your podcast!
Ha, that’s funny, I’m also a former (very very former, very very junior) NASA Engineer, as an intern at NASA Goddard 1984-86, before I transitioned to becoming a documentary filmmaker instead. Thanks for checking out the podcast, hope you enjoy it, would love to know what you think! Cheers & Happy New Year.