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Gravity Assist

NASA’s interplanetary talk show, hosted by Chief Scientist Jim Green, introduces you to space professionals working to take exploration into the future.

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Gravity Assist Podcast, Mercury with Faith Vilas

Our virtual tour of the solar system continues with Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun. Since it’s tough to observe Mercury except at dawn or twilight, most of what we know about Mercury is from NASA’s Mariner 10 and MESSENGER missions.

22 Nov 2017

Rank #1

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Gravity Assist Podcast: Your Moon Questions Answered

Why do we see only one face of the Moon? What would happen to Earth if the Moon didn't exist? We dive into questions you asked on social media.

28 Jun 2019

Rank #2

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Gravity Assist Podcast, Venus with David Grinspoon

The next stop on our virtual tour is Venus, the closest planet to Earth and the hottest planet in our solar system, with surface temperatures scorching enough to melt lead.

29 Nov 2017

Rank #3

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Gravity Assist: The Moon Quakes! With Walter Kiefer

Just like earthquakes help scientists figure out what's going on inside our home planet, moonquakes have taught scientists a lot about the interior of the Moon.

27 Sep 2019

Rank #4

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Gravity Assist: The Moon with Sarah Noble

Jim Green is joined by lunar expert Sarah Noble to discuss how the Moon was formed, lava tubes and moonquakes, the “dark side of the Moon,” and mysteries we have yet to solve about Earth’s nearest neighbor.

13 Dec 2017

Rank #5

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Gravity Assist: Fire Fountains on the Moon, with Dave Draper

Early in its history, the Moon was molten, with “fire fountains” erupting from its surface. How did the Moon cool down and become the quiet, cratered world we know today? NASA’s Chief Scientist Jim Green chats with NASA’s Deputy Chief Scientist Dave Draper about the Moon’s volcanic past and what we have learned from Apollo lunar samples.

12 Sep 2019

Rank #6

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Gravity Assist: Mars with Bruce Jakosky and Michael Meyer

With Jim Green today is the “man about Mars,” Bruce Jakosky from the University of Colorado. Bruce is the principal investigator of NASA's MAVEN mission. Joining them is Michael Meyer the lead Mars scientist at NASA Headquarters.

20 Dec 2017

Rank #7

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Gravity Assist Podcast: Why Do We Have a Moon? With Robin Canup

Learn about how the Moon formed in this conversation with Robin Canup of the Southwest Research Institute.

9 May 2019

Rank #8

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Gravity Assist Podcast: Beyond Apollo with Planetary Geologist Jake Bleacher

It's been 50 years since humans walked on the moon. Now NASA is planning to return, this time to stay. What will future lunar missions look like? Why do we go back at all?

18 Jul 2019

Rank #9

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Gravity Assist: Earth with Tom Wagner

NASA not only seeks to unravel the secrets of the solar system and the universe, we have a robust program to better understand how Earth works as a system, how it’s changing, and to assist when natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes occur.

6 Dec 2017

Rank #10

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Gravity Assist: Exoplanet Hunting with Jon Jenkins

Listen to Chief Scientist Jim Green and a co-investigator on the Kepler and TESS missions, Jon Jenkins, discuss exoplanet-hunting and all the amazing discoveries Kepler has made.

1 Aug 2018

Rank #11

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Gravity Assist: Mars and InSight with Bruce Banerdt

With its seismometer and heat probe instruments, InSight will investigate the deep dynamics of Mars, helping scientists discover what lies within its core and learn more about how rocky bodies form throughout the solar system.

2 May 2018

Rank #12

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Gravity Assist: Astronauts Go Back to Moon School, with Kelsey Young

Besides learning how to live in space, astronauts training for Artemis missions to the Moon will need to become experts in geology, so they know what to look for when they're scoping out rocks and other features. Kelsey Young of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center describes her experience of teaching astronauts through analog sites, places on Earth

19 Dec 2019

Rank #13

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Gravity Assist: The Sun’s Mysteries with Thomas Zurbuchen

Thomas Zurbuchen, the Associate Administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, joins NASA Chief Scientist Jim Green to discuss the mysterious we still need to solve about the Sun, and more!

11 Dec 2018

Rank #14

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Gravity Assist: Mars Dust Storm with Melinda Kahre.

Listen in as NASA Chief Scientist Jim Green discusses the Mars dust storm with a dust storm expert, Melinda Kahre.

15 Aug 2018

Rank #15

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Gravity Assist: Jupiter with Jared Espley

As large as 1,000 Earths, Jupiter is the heavy hitter of the solar system. Even its Great Red Spot is larger than Earth, yet it’s shrinking! In this episode of Gravity Assist, Planetary Science Director Jim Green talks with Jared Espley of NASA’s Juno mission.

3 Jan 2018

Rank #16

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Gravity Assist: TESS & Exoplanets with Martin Still

On Monday, April 16th, NASA is scheduled to launch its newest exoplanet hunter: the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).

12 Apr 2018

Rank #17

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Gravity Assist: The Moon's Holy GRAIL, with Maria Zuber

Recent maps of the Moon's gravity have taught us a lot about its overall shape, and have been invaluable for lunar exploration. Maria Zuber, principal investigator of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, reflects on the twin spacecraft and their implications for future investigations.

10 Dec 2019

Rank #18

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Gravity Assist: Saturn with Linda Spilker

With me today is Dr. Linda Spilker from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She's the project scientist for our Cassini Mission, which as everyone knows, had a recent spectacular finale at Saturn.

10 Jan 2018

Rank #19

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Gravity Assist: The Kuiper Belt with Alan Stern

In this episode of Gravity Assist, Jim Green talks with New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern about what we’ve learned about Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69.

31 Jan 2018

Rank #20