Broadcast 2828 Nancy Atkinson

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Guest:  Nancy Atkinson;  Topics:  We discussed Nancy's book, "Incredible Stories From Space" regarding special planetary robotic missions.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website,   Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See to use the OGLF Amazon programs for purchasing this book as Amazon will make a donation to The Space Show of part of your purchase price. 

We welcomed Nancy Atkinson, Editor of Universe Today, to the show to discuss her new book, "Incredible Stories From Space."  During the first segment of our 98 minute program, Nancy told us about her commission from the publisher to write this book and the selection process she used to select the special planetary robotic missions to write about for this special book.  In this segment, our guest highlighted several of the missions and told us several of the behind the scenes stories for the mission that were relayed to her during her interviews. 

Nancy was asked if she had a favorite story.  New Horizons stood out so listen to hear why.  She also said the Mars Yard at JPL was special.  So was standing in the control room at JPL used for Curiosity and the landing process it used for getting safely on the surface of Mars.   Another favorite was standing in the viewing room at Goddard watching the JWST being made. Nancy then took an interesting email question from a listener about mission personalities.  This proved to be a great discussion and it might surprise you so don't miss it.  Before the segment ended, Nancy talked about the extremely competitive nature in getting missions approved. 

In the second segment, we started off talking about the Hubble Space Telescope and some of the early challenges it faced including delays, Challenger, cost overruns, and repairs on orbit. This discussion transitioned us into a more detailed discussion regarding the JWST.  Nancy was then asked why the ISS was not included in the book.  As part of her response to this question, Nancy said the ISS deserved its own book which she was thinking about doing.  Kathy then asked our guest what she thought was the most difficult mission of those included in her book.   Nancy suggested New Horizons.  Make sure you hear why she selected this mission for her answer.

John from Ft. Worth called to continue talking about the JWST as well as exoplanets and the Kepler Space Telescope.  As part of the JWST discussion, I included some of the information from our recent Hotel Mars program with Dr. Joel Green (  If you have not yet listened to this Hotel Mars program and you have an interest in the JWST, do listen to it.

Nancy offered us concluding comments and gave a shout out to our recent guest Bob King regarding his book, "Night Sky With The Naked Eye."  You can hear Bob's recent Space Show program at

Please post your comments/questions on our blog which you can find on this program's archive page on The Space Show website.  You can reach Nancy Atkinson through me or Universe Today (  




Nancy's new book "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos"

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13 Dec 2016 Nancy Atkinson
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