Naked Scientists Naked Astronomy

Naked Astronomy

We look at the latest news from the stars, planets and other heavenly bodies. Plus interviews with professional astronomers and the answers to your space science questions.
English United Kingdom Science
49 Episodes
1 – 20

Intuitive Machines and a nuclear reactor for the Moon

Chief Scientist for Intuitive Machines, Ben Bussey, joins Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham to talk through IM-1, the first US soft landing on the Moon since 1972. They discuss the landing, the broken legs, experiments and whether the IM control room is really based on Star Trek. Sue also travels…
29 Mar 50 min

America's return to the Moon and UK lunar ambitions

After the first soft Moon landing from the US in over 50 years, Ken Kremer shares his excitement for Intuitive Machine's Odysseus lander, NASA's ongoing lunar ambitions, and his concerns over China stealing a lunar edge. Also UK Space Agency Head of Space Exploration, Libby Jackson on Artemis 2 and…
27 Feb 53 min

Moonwalkers, and NASA flight director Gerry Griffin

Legendary NASA flight director Gerry Griffin and award-winning filmmaker Chris Riley join Space Boffins after a showing of London's immersive Moonwalkers exhibition. Gerry discusses working on the Apollo missions and that infamous SCE to AUX switch as well as his thoughts on Artemis and a verdict on Moonwalkers. We also…
29 Jan 44 min

Frank Borman - Apollo Legend

It's a seasonal special from Space Boffins Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham with a previously un-broadcast interview with Apollo-era legend Frank Borman. Commander of Gemini 7 and Apollo 8, Colonel Borman passed away in November 2023 aged 95. His Apollo 8 mission was the first manned mission to the Moon,…
17 Dec 2023 50 min

Brits in Space!

With the announcement of a planned all-UK astronaut mission, hosts Richard Hollingham and Sue Nelson chat to ESA reserve astronaut Meganne Christian about astronaut selection, life in Antarctica and commercial space stations. Tim Peake - the possible commander of the Axiom mission - talks about his new book, Space The…
30 Oct 2023 1 hr 03 min

Shuttle Blankets and Space Burials

A Shuttle emergency you may not have heard of, sending your DNA into space, and a scientist studying the samples from asteroid Bennu. Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham meet Natural History Museum meteorites curator, Natasha Vasiliki Almeida, and talk to Celestis founder, Charles Chafer, about sending your remains into space…
8 Oct 2023 58 min

Hitchin to Houston: NASA's new science head

NASA's new head of science, Dr Nicola Fox, joins Space Boffins to chat about Mars sample return, solar missions and asteroids. Also, ESA new astronaut recruit, Pablo Alvarez, and experienced astronaut Alexander Gerst on preparations for the Artemis missions to the Moon, and we discuss the joy of boffins, Starship's…
2 May 2023 1 hr 03 min

Juice to Jupiter and forgotten space shuttles

European Space Agency Juice mission to Jupiter's Michele Dougherty talks about icy moons, magnetic fields and life elsewhere in the solar system, and the UK Space Agency's Caroline Harper discusses the Juice launch preparations in French Guiana. Also, the hidden history of Space Shuttle Enterprise: Eric Boehm at the Intrepid…
22 Mar 2023 1 hr 03 min

Talking about Time

Physicist and philosopher Sean Carrol talks to Naked Astronomy's Ben McAllister about the nature of time. Is it something truly fundamental to our Universe, or simply an illusion? Along the way they chat about space, relativity, the various ways to travel through time, and how that all relates to the…
1 Mar 2023 23 min

Space Toilets and the New Guys

It's the burning question that every space fan wants to know...what's the toilet like in SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft? ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer reveals to Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham what a mission in the Dragon is like - from business class seats and spacious interior, to privacy curtain and dramatic…
1 Mar 2023 51 min

Mike Massimino and Meet the Minister

Two big interviews this month: Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham meet Hubble astronaut Mike Massimino and UK 'Space Minister' George Freeman MP. Mike chats about how he was inspired by Apollo, Artemis, Hubble and what he learned from astronaut legend John Young about going to the toilet on the Moon…
6 Feb 2023 1 hr 10 min

Multiverses, the Big Bang and laws of physics

Physicist and science populariser Paul Davies talks to Naked Astronomy's Ben McAllister about some of the toughest questions cosmologist are grappling with: how did the Universe begin and how will it end, what provoked the Big Bang, and are we part of a "Multiverse"? The duo also take in Dark…
11 Jan 2023 25 min


Nasa's outgoing head of science, Thomas Zurbuchen talks about saving the James Webb Space Telescope, future missions to the Moon and Mars, and research into UFOs. The team also visit the Science Museum's sci-fi exhibition and talk to its curator, Glyn Morgan, about Aliens, Star Trek and AI. Plus, the…
21 Dec 2022 1 hour

Cute Mars Rovers

Space Boffins Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham celebrate the drama of the Spirit and Opportunity rover missions with NASA rover engineer Doug Ellison and JPL research scientist Abigail Fraeman from the film Goodnight Oppy. Recalling how the robots developed personalities, they talk about the mission's highs and lows. We also…
5 Dec 2022 58 min

Last Man on the Moon: BONUS EPISODE

In this special bonus episode - for the first time in full - we play Richard's interview with the last man on the Moon, Gene Cernan. Recorded in summer 2016, it's thought to be the astronaut's last broadcast interview. In a wide-ranging and candid conversation, Cernan describes his "spacewalk from…
15 Nov 2022 55 min

Moon Trees

Astronaut Stuart Roosa was a real-life action hero - Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham speak to his daughter about the Apollo 14 Command Module Pilot's life, mission and the seeds he carried with him to the Moon. Sue visits a real Moon Tree down the road from Space Boffins HQ,…
30 Oct 2022 1 hr 11 min

Space Tyranny!

How do you design a space settlement government without it descending into tyranny? Charles Cockell shares his research with hosts Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham. And as the UK prepares for its first rocket launch in 50 years, the UK Space Agency's Matt Archer talks about launch plans and ambitions,…
30 Sep 2022 1 hr 02 min
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