Caption: Jeff Hoffman working in the shuttle's cargo bay, Credit: Nasa
Image by: Nasa 
Jeff Hoffman working in the shuttle's cargo bay 

The Guardian's Science Weekly: Requiem for the space shuttle

From: Jason Phipps - Guardian
Series: Science Weekly from guardian.co.uk
Length: 29:53

In an extended interview, former Nasa astronaut Jeff Hoffman reflects on 30 years of the space shuttle

Hoffman240_small

On the 12 April 1981, Columbia blasted off from Cape Canaveral. It was the first shuttle to go into space.

Thirty years on, the shuttle fleet is finally being taken out of service. The three remaining shuttles - Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour - each have one mission left.

At the time of recording, Nasa has scheduled STS-133 for 24 February: Discovery is destined for the international space station.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, Dr Jeffrey Hoffman flew five times on the shuttle - he was the first astronaut to log more than a thousand hours of flight time on board and travelled more than 20 million miles in space.

But as this era of spaceflight comes to a close, what is the shuttle's legacy and what's next for human spaceflight?

We spoke to Jeff from his new workplace, the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT.

He has presented a new documentary on the BBC World Service, The Last Chance to Fly the Space Shuttle.

Don't forget to listen to our regular Science Weekly podcast.

Subscribe for free via iTunes to ensure every episode gets delivered. (Here is the non-iTunes URL feed).

Meet the Guardian's crack team of science bloggers:

The Lay Scientist by Martin Robbins
Life and Physics by Jon Butterworth
Punctuated Equilibrium by GrrlScientist
Political Science by Evan Harris

Follow the podcast on our Science Weekly Twitter feed and receive updates on all breaking science news stories from Guardian Science.

Email scienceweeklypodcast@gmail.com.

Guardian Science is now on Facebook. You can also join our Science Weekly Facebook group.

We're always here when you need us, listen back through our archive.

To hear the full audio, sign up for a free PRX account or log in.

Piece Description


On the 12 April 1981, Columbia blasted off from Cape Canaveral. It was the first shuttle to go into space.

Thirty years on, the shuttle fleet is finally being taken out of service. The three remaining shuttles - Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour - each have one mission left.

At the time of recording, Nasa has scheduled STS-133 for 24 February: Discovery is destined for the international space station.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, Dr Jeffrey Hoffman flew five times on the shuttle - he was the first astronaut to log more than a thousand hours of flight time on board and travelled more than 20 million miles in space.

But as this era of spaceflight comes to a close, what is the shuttle's legacy and what's next for human spaceflight?

We spoke to Jeff from his new workplace, the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT.

He has presented a new documentary on the BBC World Service, The Last Chance to Fly the Space Shuttle.

Don't forget to listen to our regular Science Weekly podcast.

Subscribe for free via iTunes to ensure every episode gets delivered. (Here is the non-iTunes URL feed).

Meet the Guardian's crack team of science bloggers:

The Lay Scientist by Martin Robbins
Life and Physics by Jon Butterworth
Punctuated Equilibrium by GrrlScientist
Political Science by Evan Harris

Follow the podcast on our Science Weekly Twitter feed and receive updates on all breaking science news stories from Guardian Science.

Email scienceweeklypodcast@gmail.com.

Guardian Science is now on Facebook. You can also join our Science Weekly Facebook group.

We're always here when you need us, listen back through our archive.

Broadcast History

Uploaded to guardian.co.uk on Feb 21 2011

Intro and Outro

INTRO:

An extended interview with Nasa astronaut Jeff Hoffman from the Science Weekly team in London

OUTRO:

From the Science Weekly team in London, an extended interview with Nasa astronaut Jeff Hoffman ahead of the 30th anniversary of the first shuttle launch

Related Website

http://www.guardian.co.uk/scienceweekly