Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration

Western Worlds Episodes

Featured this Week: Western Worlds Season 7 - The Road to Pasadena

Carrie Nugent, asteroid hunter at Caltech/IPAC and producer of Spacepod podcast talks to us about solar system planetoid hunting!!!

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Western Worlds Archived Podcasts

Enjoy podcasts from past seasons here:

Season 7

Episode #703: The Asteroid Hunter
Carrie Nugent, asteroid hunter at Caltech/IPAC and producer of Spacepod podcast talks to us about solar system planetoid hunting!!!

Episode #702: The Road to Pasadena
Western Worlds Alumnus Raymond Francis returns to tell us about his role at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory!!

Episode #701: Moon Village Revisited
ESA's Chief Scientist returns to talk to Western Worlds about the international Moon Village project!

Season 6

Episode #601: Bernard's Star
ESA's Chief Scientist talks to Western Worlds about SMART-1, space science and exploration!

Episode #602: Man on a Mission
Founder of Mission Control Space Services, discusses the new frontier of commercial space!

Episode #603: Looking for Life in aMASEing Places
Astrobiologist Euan Monaghan talks about Mars Analogue explorations and science!

Episode #604: The Heat Is On
Sylvain Vey talks about spacecraft design and developing a career in thermal engineering!!

Episode #605: Ames for the Stars
Pete Worden talks about his career, exoplanets and the future of space exploration!!

Episode #606: Decoding the Rosetta Stone
Matt Taylor talks about the achievements of the comet chaser and the final stages of the historic mission!!

Season 5

Episode #501: Exoplanets and the Early Solar System
Western Worlds interviews Dr. Stan Metchev about directly detecting a new exoplanet around star 51 Eridanus using the sensitive, high contrast technology within the Gemini South telescope in Chile.

Episode #502: Mars in HD
Co-host Tony Martinez from Western Worlds interviews Dr. Livio Tornabene and his team who have been involved with recent mission planning of HiRISE and have been taking stunning high resolution images of Mars.

Episode #503: Gold in them...Asteroids?
Co-host Raymond Francis from Western Worlds interviews Daniel Faber of the Deep Space Industries, a company who's looking at extracting natural resources from asteroids.

Episode #504: Man of Steel
Co-host Parshati Patel from Western Worlds interviews Duncan Steel on asteroids, meteors, and the everyday relevance of space science. 

Episode #505: South Darkside of the Moon
Co-host Dr. Raymond Francis from Western Worlds interviews Dr. Debra Hurwitz on the farside of the Moon and how we might explore it.

Episode #506: Space Solar Power
Jon Kissi of Western Worlds caught up with John Mankins at the International Astronautical Congress to discuss his attempt to bring the world plentiful space-based solar power, through the SPS-Alpha project.

Episode #507: Strange New Worlds
Co-Host Dr. Raymond Francis of Western Worlds talked to Shawn Domagal-Goldman about his research interests and experience of being right of the forefront of discovering strange new worlds.

Episode #508: The Law of Attraction
Host Raymond Francis of Western Worlds talked to Dr. Maria Zuber about the GRAIL mission, and helping to create the highest fidelity gravity map of the Moon yet.

Episode #509: Explaining the Final Frontier
Conference & Events Manager for Space-X and with over a decade of experience, Jason Wallace has successfully planned and executed global product launches and marketing campaigns all over the world.

Episode #510: Curiosity Killed the Cat-ion
Iain Campbell, professor emeritus at Guelph University talks to Western Worlds about alpha particle x-ray spectroscopy and having an instrument on the Curiosity Mars Rover!

Episode #511: Progressing by EAPS and Bounds...
Hilke Schlichting, professor at MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS), talks to Western Worlds about the early Solar System and building a career in planetary science!

Episode #512: The Man in the Moon Express
Moon Express' Michael Vergalla, talks to Western Worlds about returning to the Moon and the spirit of planetary exploration!

Episode #513: The Planet Hunter
Sara Seager talks to Western Worlds about Exoplanets, planetary science and the search for life!

Episode #514: The Rosetta Stone
Matt Taylor talks to Western Worlds about Comet 67P and managing ESA's comet chasing space mission, Rosetta!

Season 4

Episode #401: The Canadian Explorer
Co-host Dave Kirsh talks to CSA Astronaut Jeremy Hansen about his training and life as an astronaut. Join co-hosts Raymond Francis, Parshati Patel and Zhengyi Hu in the round table discussions after the interview.

Episode #402: The Road to Success
Co-host Raymond Francis talks to Keri Bean about Martian Atmosphere and working on Space Missions as a student. Join co-hosts Raymond Francis, Alyssa Gilbert, Zhengyi Hu and Parshati Patel in the round-table discussion after the interview.

Episode #403: Every World has its Own Chemistry
Co-host Raymond Francis talks to Christopher Glein about Titan’s Geochemistry. Join co-hosts Raymond Francis, Alyssa Gilbert, Zhengyi Hu and Parshati Patel in the round-table discussion after the interview.

Episode #404: At Molecular Scale
Co-host Raymond Francis talks to Mariek Schmidt about Martian Geochemistry. Join co-hosts Raymond Francis, Zhengyi Hu and Parshati Patel in the round table discussion after the interview.

Episode #405: Our Closest Celestial Neighbor
Co-host Alyssa Gilbert talks to Bhairavi Shankar about Lunar Craters and Missions. Join co-hosts Alyssa Gilbert, Zhengyi Hu and Parshati Patel in the round table discussion after the interview.

Episode #406: Scheduled Astronomical Spectacle
Co-host Parshati Patel talks to Fred Espenak about Chasing Solar Eclipses. Join co-hosts Raymond Francis and Parshati Patel in the round table discussion after the interview.

Episode #407: Discovering the Spectacular Icy Bodies
Co-host Parshati Patel talks to Don Machholz about Hunting for Comets. Join co-hosts Raymond Francis and Parshati Patel in the round table discussion after the interview.

Episode #408: Dressed for Success
Co-host Raymond Francis talks to Ryan Kobrick about the surprising challenges lunar dust poses for astronauts on the lunar surface, and what goes into designing a spacesuit to handle that and other challenges. Join co-hosts Raymond Francis, Parshati Patel and Melissa Battler in the round table discussion after the interview.

Episode #409: Life in Space Needs Life in Space
Co-host Raymond Francis talks to Matt Bamsey about new strategies for life support systems on spacecraft, and how long-duration exploration missions may push us to use biological systems as part of the solution. Join co-hosts Raymond Francis, Parshati Patel and Melissa Battler in the round table discussion after the interview.

Episode #410: The Terrestrial Explorers
Co-host Raymond Francis speaks to Dr. Simon Donato about expeditions he leads into remote terrains, doing science and adventure at the same time. Join co-hosts Raymond Francis, Parshati Patel and Zhengyi Hu in the round table discussion after the interview.

Episode #411: Picking up the Pieces
Co-host Raymond Francis talks to Marianne Mader of CPSX about her involvement in ANSMET (Antarctic Search for Meteorites) program, meteorites, Antarctic exploration, and how frozen rocks from the ends of the earth can tell us more about the ends – and the beginnings – of the solar system. Join co-hosts Parshati Patel, Raymond Francis, Zhengyi Hu and Melissa Battler in the round table discussion after the interview.

Episode #412: Recipe for Life
Co-host Raymond Francis talks to Alexandra Pontefract about impact craters and their hydrothermal systems as habitats for life, and studying early life by studying extreme environments – in impact craters and mid-ocean volcanic settings like Iceland. Join co-hosts Parshati Patel, Raymond Francis, Zhengyi Hu and Melissa Battler in the round table discussion after the interview.

Episode #413: Written in Stone
Co-host Raymond Francis talks to Dr. Emmanuel Jacquet about chondrules and their relationship to the planet formation process. Join co-hosts Parshati Patel, Raymond Francis and Zhengyi Hu in the round table discussion after the interview. 

Episode #414: The Watery Puzzle
Co-host Raymond Francis talks to Lindy Elkins-Tanton about how rocky planets get their water. Join co-hosts Parshati Patel, Raymond Francis and Zhengyi Hu in the round table discussion after the interview.

Season 3

Episode #301: Together in Space
Co-host Dave Kirsh sits down with Dr. Pascale Ehrenfreund from The Space Policy Institute at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Join Dave, Raymond, Parshati and Zhengyi in the round-table discussion following the interview.

Episode #302: We Won't Know
Co-host Alyssa Gilbert talks to Dr. Jay Melosh from Purdue University. Join Alyssa, Raymond and Parshati in the round table discussion after the interview.

Episode #303: At Every Scale
Co-host John Moores sits down with Dr. Peter Smith of University of Arizona. Join co-hosts Raymond Francis, Dave Kirsh and Parshati Patel in the round table discussion after the interview.

Episode #304: The Other Worlds
Co-host Dave Kirsh sits down with Dr. Brendan Miller of University of Michigan. Join co-hosts Raymond Francis, Dave Kirsh, Alyssa Gilbert and Parshati Patel in the round table discussion after the interview.

Episode #305: To Explore
Co-host Parshati Patel sits down with Dr. Chris McKay from NASA Ames Research Center. Join co-hosts Raymond Francis, Dave Kirsh and Parshati Patel in the round table discussion after the interview.

Episode #306: The Canals of Mars
Co-host Dave Kirsh sits down with Dr. John ‘Jack’ Mustard of Brown University. Join co-hosts Raymond Francis, Dave Kirsh, Alyssa Gilbert and Parshati Patel in the round table discussion after the interview.

Episode #307: Work Out There
Co-host John Moores sits down with Dr. Ed Cloutis from University of Winnipeg. Join co-hosts Raymond Francis, Alyssa Gilbert and Parshati Patel in the round table discussion after the interview.

Episode #308: Planets Come to Us
Co-host Alyssa Gilbert talks to Dr. Peter Brown of Western University. Join co-hosts Raymond Francis, Alyssa Gilbert and Raymond Francis in the round table discussion after the interview.

Episode #309: A Small Failed Star
Co-host Raymond Francis talks Dr. Adam Burgasser from University of California, San Diego. Join co-hosts Raymond Francis, Alyssa Gilbert, Dave Kirsh and Parshati Patel in the round table discussion after the interview.

Episode #310: Children of this Universe
Co-host Alyssa Gilbert talks to Tanya Harrison of Western University. Join co-hosts Raymond Francis, Alyssa Gilbert, Zhengyi Hu and Parshati Patel in the round table discussion after the interview.

Episode #311: Titan, Awaiting the Chemists from Earth
Co-host Raymond Francis talks to Ralph Lorenz of John Hopkins University. Join co-hosts Raymond Francis, Zhengyi Hu and Dave Kirsh in the round table discussion after the interview.

Episode #312: By Geological Consent
Co-host Raymond Francis talks to Kelsey Young of Arizona State University. Join co-hosts Raymond Francis, Zhengyi Hu, Parshati Pate and Alyssa Gilbert in the round table discussion after the interview.

Episode #313: Birth of New Worlds
Co-host Raymond Francis talks to Sarah Stewart from Harvard University. Join co-hosts Raymond Francis, Zhengyi Hu and Dave Kirsh in the round table discussion after the interview.

Episode #314: Mars Beckon
Co-host Raymond Francis talks to Heather Chilton from California State University. Join co-hosts Zhengyi Hu, Dave Kirsh, Alyssa Gilbert and Parshati Patel in the round table discussion after the interview.

Season 2

Episode #201: A Dry and Frozen of Our Home
In our season two premiere, Western Worlds host Dr. John and CPSX graduate students Emily McCullough and Raymond Francis talk about their involvement with the Mars Science Laboratory rover.

Episode #202: Our Firmament
You’re in for a special treat! In this episode, learn more than you ever wanted to know about the Western Worlds co-hosts! You’ll hear from Dr. John, Alyssa Gilbert, Raymond Francis, Dave Kirsh, Tyler August, and Parshati Patel.

Episode #203: Autonomous Planetary Exploration
Our first regular interview-style show of the season has co-host Raymond Francis speaking with Dr. David Thompson of NASA’s JPL about the automation of space missions. Join Raymond, Alyssa, and Dr. John for a round table discussion following the interview.

Episode #204: As Far as the Human Eye Could See
Co-host Parshati Patel talks with Dr. JJ Kavelaars, a Senior Research Officer at the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, about debris disks. Join Parshati, Alyssa, and Dave in the round-table discussion following the interview.

Episode #205: Worth the Risk
Co-host Alyssa Gilbert talks with Bill Cooke from the NASA Meteoroid Environment Office (MEO), which is responsible for meteoroid environments pertaining to Spacecraft engineering and operations. Join Raymond, John, and Alyssa in the round-table discussion following the interview.

Episode #206: Splendor Beyond Compare
Co-host Raymond Francis talks with Dr. Karl Mitchell about the use of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) in space exploration. Join Raymond, Tyler, Dave, and Alyssa in the round-table discussion following the interview.

Episode #207: Orbital Stewardship
Co-host David Kirsh talks with Dr. Mark Matney about orbital space debris. Join Raymond, Tyler, Dave, and Alyssa in the round-table discussion following the interview.

Episode #208: One Species or a Million?
Co-host Parshati Patel sits down with Dr. Seth Shostak from the SETI Institute. Join Parshati, Dave, John, and Raymond in the round-table discussion following the interview.

Episode #209: The Finest Workers
Host John Moores talks with Dr. Richard Leveille from the Canadian Space Agency about mineral formation on Mars. Join Parshati, Dave, and Alyssa in the round-table discussion following the interview.

Episode #210: The Vast Reaches of the Dry, Cold Night
Co-host Parshati Patel talks to Dr. Wesley Fraser from the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (HIA) about Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs). Join Parshati, Dave, John and Raymond in the round-table discussion following the interview.

Episode #211: A World of Wonders
Host John Moores sits down with Dr. Livio Tornabene from Western University. Join Dave, Raymond and Alyssa in the round-table discussion following the interview.

Episode #212: Ephemeral Flickering Sparks
Co-host Alyssa Gilbert sits down with Dr. Margaret Campbell-Brown from Western University. Join Dave, Raymond and Alyssa in the round-table discussion following the interview.

Episode #213: The Stardust Connection
Co-host Dave Kirsh sits down with Dr. Jan Cami from Western University/SETI. Join Raymond, Alyssa, Parshati and Zhengyi in the round-table discussion following the interview.

Episode #214: From Sunlight into Darkness and Back Again
Co-host Raymond Francis sits down with NRC/CSA Dr. Bjarni Tryggvason from Western University. Join Raymond, Alyssa, Parshati and Zhengyi in the round-table discussion following the interview.

Season 1

Episode #101: How Lucky We Are
In the debut episode, Western World co-host Raymond Francis interviews Dr. Gordon Osinski (CPSX Acting Director) about his research on impact craters. The interview is followed by a round-table discussion with co-hosts Raymond Francis, Alyssa Gilbert, and John Moores.

Episode #102: Our Coy Mistress
In this episode of Western Worlds, host John Moores sits down with Paul Delaney of York Universe – an Astronomy and Astrophysics radio show produced live every Monday at 9:00pm EST from the York University Astronomical Observatory in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Episode #103: The Map is the Tale
Western Worlds producer and co-host, Alyssa Gilbert, talks with Dr. Phil Stooke, a professor cross-pointed between the Geography and Physics & Astronomy departments at Western University. They chat about past and current space missions, his two atlases of the Moon and Mars exploration, and the human space exploration debate.

Episode #104: Watcher of the Skies
Western Worlds co-host Tyler August chats with Dr. Paul Wiegert, a professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at Western University. Paul was part of the team who discovered the first Trojan asteroid of Earth, which is the topic of this episode.

Episode #105: Hazardous Journey
Western Worlds producer and co-host, Alyssa Gilbert, sits down with CPSX PhD candidate Melissa Battler to chat about her research in the Canadian arctic and her involvement with analogue missions to Mars.

Episode #106: The Landscape in the Sky
Co-host Parshati Patel interviews Dr. Travis Barman of the Lowell Observatory about his search for and research on exoplanets.

Episdoe #107: Explorers in the Old Fashioned Sense
Co-host Raymond Francis talks with Dr. Roger Wiens, Principle Investigator of the ChemCam on board the Mars Science Laboratory. A round-table discussion including co-hosts Raymond Francis, Alyssa Gilbert, David Kirsh, and Parshati Patel follows.

Episode #108: Upon a Peak in Darien
Western Worlds host, Dr. John, talks with Professor David Southwood, former Director of Science and Robotic Exploration at the European Space Agency, about his amazing career and involvement with the Cassini Mission to Saturn. A round-table discussion including co-hosts Raymond Francis, Alyssa Gilbert, David Kirsh, and Parshati Patel follows.

Episode #109: Across the Disk of Crimson
Western Worlds producer and co-host, Alyssa Gilbert, interviews Dave McCarter of the London Ontario Chapter of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada about the upcoming transit of Venus on June 5th. The interview is followed by a discussion about Venus with co-hosts Tyler August, Raymond Francis, John Moores, and Parshati Patel.

Episode #110: Tempted by the Fates
Western Worlds newest co-host, Marianne Mader, talks with Dr. Catherine Neish about her research on Titan, a strange and exotic moon of Saturn. The interview is followed by a discussion with co-hosts Tyler August, Raymond Francis, John Moores, and Parshati Patel.

Episode #111: Diamonds on the Blackest Velvet
Western Worlds co-host David Kirsh talks with Dr. Nikku (Madhu) Madhusudhan about his research on carbon-rich exo-planets. The interview is followed by a discussion with co-hosts Tyler August, Raymond Francis, Alyssa Gilbert, and Zhengyi Hu.

Episode #112: Swords in Plowshares
Western Worlds co-host Raymond Francis talks with Dr. Ralph McNutt about how nuclear energy has changed the way we explore our solar system. The interview is followed by a round-table discussion with Tyler August, Raymond Francis, Alyssa Gilbert, and Parshati Patel.

Episode #113: Practice Makes Perfect
Western Worlds co-host Marianne Mader speaks with Dr. Dean Eppler about the importance of analogue missions, specifically NASA’s Desert RATS. The interview is followed by a round-table discussion with Tyler August, Raymond Francis, Alyssa Gilbert, and Parshati Patel.

Episode #114: Vastly Different Worlds
In our season finale, Western Worlds host Dr. John speaks with Dr. Jaymie Matthews of the University of British Columbia the MOST space telescope. The interview is followed by a round-table discussion with Tyler August, Raymond Francis, Alyssa Gilbert, and Zhengyi Hu.