This episode looks at the efforts by NASA and its Ames Research Center to find planets in other solar systems that could be capable of supporting life, with special focus on the very successful Kepler Mission. The guests are Pete Worden and Rus Belikov. Pete Worden is the director of the Ames Research Center, one of the world’s top space research facilities. He’s a retired Brigadier General in the U.S. Air Force with a Ph.D. In Astronomy, and is considered an expert in almost every field of space science, both civilian and military. Rus Belikov is an astrophysicist at Ames who’s working on the next generation of experiments designed to do direct observations on newly discovered planets to see if they might be capable of supporting life. Martin Wasserman hosts.
Divided into 3 shorter segments
Segment 1 Discussion of why it’s important to search for life elsewhere in the universe
Segment 2 Discussion of the Kepler Mission, which has already identified many planets that could have conditions suitable for life
Segment 3 Discussion of the culture of NASA and how its projects are decided on