Listen On: Out of This World!

Hubble Space Telescope mosaic
NASA, ESA, and E. Sabbi/STScI

Curated by: Rion Nakaya of The Kid Should See This.

Playlist runtime: 10 episodes, 3 hours 45 minutes (225 minutes)

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

Episode: “Margaret Hamilton” read by Poorna Jagannathan

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Radio Public

Length: 16 minutes

In this debut episode of the Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls podcast, a series based on the best-selling books of the same name, actress and producer Poorna Jagannathan tells the story of Margaret Hamilton, the woman famous for her instrumental work in the Apollo 11 moon landing. Learn about her trailblazing programming and problem solving, as well as her childhood and young life in school. Follow this with episode 2: Yusra Mardini read by Diana Nyad.

Brains On!

Episode: “Living Large on the International Space Station”

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Radio Public

Length: 30 minutes

Learn about how the International Space Station was built with giant Canadian robot arms and other parts from countries around the planet. Plus, find out how I.S.S. is powered, how astronauts sleep and wash up in micro-gravity, what we’re learning about our bodies in space, and other details from 250 miles above Earth. Brains On talks with NASA astronaut Don Pettit and some high school students who are developing space station-based science experiments. Bonus: Chris Hadfield.

But Why?

Episode: “How does NASA drive the Mars Rover?”

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Radio Public

Length: 22 minutes

The Mars Rover is not only a vehicle. It’s a collection of incredible tools—drills, cameras, a laser, an oven, sensors, sensitive instruments, and much more. How do we control where it drives and how it uses all of these incredible tools from millions of miles away? Jane Lindholm talks with astronomy professor John O’Meara about rovers and the Hubble Telescope. Bonus: Learn about ice.

Retro Pod

Episode: “The deaf men who helped NASA send humans to space”

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Radio Public

Length: 3 minutes

Hear the untold tale of eleven deaf volunteers who, during the late 1950s, helped NASA better understand motion sickness and the potential effects of weightlessness on the inner ears of its astronauts. The adventure-filled motion tests endured by the Gallaudet University students are still used as data today. The Washington Post’s Retro Pod tells the story.


Episode: “The Road Trip to Outer Space”

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Radio Public

Length: 69 minutes

It’s an astronomical compilation show! What would you take if you were going to live on Mars? Lindsay and Marshall talk with physician and journalist Dr. Sheyna Gifford who spent a year in a Mars simulator on Mauna Loa Volcano in Hawaii. Plus, hear Tumble’s shows about the search for aliens with SETI, how our solar system moves through the cosmos, and solving climate change by sending Earth’s CO2 to another planet—maybe Mars? Also: How does the world’s top black hole hunter search for black holes?

Wow in the World

Episode: “The Very Hungry Black Hole”

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Radio Public

Length: 30 minutes

What are black holes and why are they so hungry? Hosts Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas take an adventure into space to learn about different kinds of black holes, how they eat stars, and how we find black holes when we can’t actually see them. There’s also a lot of cosmic ‘belching’ in this fact-filled episode of Wow in the World.

60-Second Science

Episode: “Jupiter Crackles with Polar Lightning”

Listen: Website | Radio Public

Length: 1 minute

This quick trip to Jupiter follows Voyager 1’s 1979 fly-by of the gas giant, revealing some spooky whistling sounds that confirmed the existence of Jovian lightning. Now journalist Chris Intagliata summarizes the new data on ‘whistlers’ from the Juno spacecraft. Hear the fresh recordings and get a lightning storm science summary in Scientific American’s 60-Second Science.

Fierce Girls

Episode: “Ruby Payne-Scott: The girl who listen to the stars”

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Radio Public

Length: 15 minutes

Australian physicist Ruby Payne-Scott was the world’s first female radio astronomer. Researching radio emissions from sun and other stars, she made groundbreaking discoveries in solar radio physics. But she also faced daily discrimination at work, forcing her to challenge dress codes and hide her marriage. This episode of Fierce Girls provides context for today’s world with the challenges facing this pioneering Australian woman in science during the 1940s and 50s.

Bedtime History

Episode: “The Rosetta Comet Mission”

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Radio Public

Length: 7 minutes

Revisit the history-making Rosetta Comet Mission, an ambitious, 10-year long expedition to land on and study a gigantic, icy comet. How did the space probe Rosetta and its robot lander Philae pursue comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko? And what skills and experiences might be helpful for completing this kind of mission? Imagine the possibilities with this episode of Bedtime History.


Episode: “The Right Stuff Right Now”

Listen: Apple Podcasts | Radio Public

Length: 32 minutes

In this episode of the National Air and Space Museum podcast AirSpace, the Smithsonian team explores what it takes to be an astronaut and how that’s become more inclusive over the decades. Plus: A planetary scientist who’s applied to be an astronaut three times, and writing to Sally Ride, the first American woman in space.

Bonus Videos

A 25-minute Tour of ISS - NASA

Get a tour of the International Space Station from Commander Sunita Williams. As she floats from room to room, she shows us how astronauts sleep, eat, exercise, go to the bathroom, put on space suits, watch Earth from orbit, and conduct science experiments. Every surface is used; there’s no up or down… or is everywhere up and down?

The Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity’s Seven Minutes of Terror - NASA

Getting the Curiosity Rover to Mars was no easy feat. The technologies, the materials, the engineering, the planning, and an unforeseeable number of external factors all had to align. Learn about this incredible event from the engineers who helped make it happen. This is Curiosity’s ‘Seven Minutes of Terror’, the vehicle’s final moments between entering the planet’s atmosphere and landing safely.

Exploring Mars from Utah - National Geographic

See how Crew 138 of the Mars Desert Research Station handle living on the Red Planet… in Utah. Their observations and experiences in this pretend space station can help inform how astronauts and explorers prepare for an actual trip to Mars.

To Scale: The Solar System

It’s tough to imagine how far we are from our moon, or Mars, or Saturn’s incredible rings. We’ve seen lots of illustrations, but those aren’t to scale. How can we better understand these almost incomprehensible distances? Watch a group of friends build a scale model of the solar system in the desert.

How small are we in the scale of the universe? - TED Ed

Hold a ball point pen at arm’s length up to the night sky and take a look at its tip. In that tiny speck in the distance, one two millionth of the night sky, the Hubble Telescope recorded thousands of distinct galaxies. And in each of those galaxies are billions of stars. This mind-blowing TED Ed introduces us to NASA’s Hubble Deep Field and Extreme Deep Field images.