This week NASA astronaut Steve Robinson transmitted the first podcast from space. The brief message was recorded aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery during the mission’s last day of orbit. Discovery is expected to return to earth today following a delay in landing procedures due to risky weather conditions. The landing is due for 1:12pm (GMT) in California. Although the MP3 file is available for download, it’s not strictly a podcast because it isn’t distributed via an RSS feed for automated updates. However, as the file is no doubt appearing in many podcast enabled RSS feeds I suppose it qualifies.
Steve mentions his space walk and repair work to the tiles on the belly of the orbiter. Here’s a fantastic self portrait photograph he took during the walk, you can see far more detail in the hi-res image.
From the transcript:
We’ve had some surprises. We sure didn’t expect that big piece of foam to come off of the tank. Fortunately it missed us. We didn’t expect to go outside and get to remove gap fillers from the belly of the orbiter. That was, I would have to say, the most fantastic experience of my life. Just incredible to be way out there on the end of that arm all by myself and see no evidence of humans anywhere. Just me and the Space Station and the Space Shuttle from a view that neither I nor anybody else has ever seen, and watch the sun come up over the bottom of the Space Shuttle, and get to sort of drink in that big view. I’ll never forget it, and I’ll never be able to describe it adequately, I’m sure. But I feel very fortunate to have been able to get a chance to do that. And also very glad that it worked!
Details of Discovery’s mission can be found at Return to Flight.
Update: Discovery has landed safely, incident free, a minute early.
Space Communications and Blogging
Ask the Experts crewmembers aboard the International Space Station and flight controllers in Mission Control answer your questions on space flight. There’s lots of interesting information in this large searchable database including media files.
Blog in Space is a free service for sending your own messages to space. They take your blog or feed URL and transmit it out on a powerful deep space transmission dish.
Greetings Earthlings NASA ISS Science Officer Ed Lu blogs from aboard the International Space Station. Ed communicates his experiences in Space through a series of letters. His posts contain amazing pictures of earth from the Space Station.
TalkToAlien.Com the first service on earth that lets people transmit voice and e-mail messages into space. A phone home service for ETs. Central Output Frequency: 2.43211 GHz.
Sounds from Space
Space Audio the sounds of space derived from spacecraft measurements obtained by Professor Donald Gurnett and the University of Iowa radio and plasma wave group.
Spacesounds an interactive collection of sounds produced from objects in space and history of the space program.
Step Into Streaming Space Sound Themes explores online resources offering streaming music, flash animations and videos with a space theme.