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Audio—Lectures, Podcasts, and Interviews
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  • Dr. Janice Voss
    Dr. Janice Voss

    Janice Voss, who served as Kepler Science Office Director in vital years of the Kepler Mission, passed away on Monday, February 6, 2012. See News Item: Kepler Team Mourns the Loss of Janice Voss. As an astronaut, she flew in space five times. For Kepler, she was responsible for coordinating science activities and in particular the efforts to generate the Kepler target catalog, an extensive pre-launch ground survey of the space telescope's field-of-view for stars similar to the sun. Voss also helped establish the original guest observer office and in the planning of the follow-up observation program for the mission. Hear her podcasts:

    • "A Scientist in Space" and "Searching for Earth-like Planets: NASA's Kepler Mission" (mp3 file, 8.7 MB) March 7, 2007. Silicon Valley Lecture series. Description: Dr. Janice Voss (NASA Ames Research Center), who has logged 49 days in space (traveling almost 19 million miles in 779 Earth orbits) discusses her work in space and what it's like flying on the Shuttle as a scientist. She then talks about NASA's upcoming Kepler mission, which will use a telescope in space to search for "transits" -- when a planet orbiting another star moves in front of its star and blocks its light. ... Dr. Voss answers a number of audience questions about both aspects of her work.
    • Night Sky Network Conference - "Dec 2005 podcast with Janice Voss.

  • 2012 Feb 8 KQED Forum: The Life of Super-Earths (52 min; 25 Mb). Michael Krasny interviews Astronomer Dimitar Sasselov, director of Harvard's Origins of Life Initiative, about his new book "The Life of Super-Earths" to explain why he thinks planets larger than Earth offer the best prospects for finding life as we know it.

  • 2011 Dec 23 Kepler Telescope Narrows Hunt For Earth’s Twin (12 min 20 sec). Kepler Principal Investigator, Bill Borucki, is interviewed by Ira Flatow on NPR's Science Friday.

  • 2011 Oct 6 How Scientists Find Planets Far, Far Away Using Kepler (2min 50s). An "Experimental" podcast by Scott Unger, an alumni of the 2011 Banff Science Communications program (, on Kepler and how the Kepler mission able to tell us so much about planets that are light-years away from Earth. Scott says, "I’m very pleased to share it with you all – I’m absolutely thrilled by the work being done by the Kepler team, and I am eagerly awaiting any news of your findings. Keep up the great work!"

  • 2011 May 19 Night Sky Network (NSN) telecon with Dr. Jeffrey Van Cleve: Stargazers, Starfarers, and Kepler.
    Download Transcript --||-- Play Audio:
    Download slides . See also NSN download page

  • 2011 Feb 20 Tuning In Space Noise For Sounds Of Life. On NPR's All Things Considered, Jill Tarter and Jon Jenkins of the SETI Institute explain how the SETI Institute turned its telescopes to listen to the 54 planets that NASA's Kepler mission discovered in "habitable zones" in the Milky Way.

  • 2010 Nov 17 Dr. Natalie Batalha (San Jose State University): Catching Shadows: Kepler's Search for New Worlds (podcast). Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series. [That same web page has "How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had it Coming" by Dr. Michael Brown (Caltech) January 19, 2011]

  • 2010 March Dr. Natalie Batalha (San Jose State University): ASP Astronomy Behind the Headlines: Episode 6: KEPLER AND THE SUN-LIKE STARS (podcast).

  • 2009 Aug 24 Looking for ET. KPCC radio Airtalk program. Guests: Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View and James Fanson, Project Manager for the Kepler telescope.

  • 2009 Aug 20, 11:00 am Panel Interview on the Diane Rehm show:
    The Search for Extraterrestrial Life including guests from the Kepler Science Team: Jill Tarter, Jon Jenkins, Alan Boss.

  • 2009 May 13 JPL podcast - Kepler: Are There Other Earths Out There? - 4 mb MP3.

  • 2009 Feb 28 Kepler Mission -- interview with Kepler Deputy PI David Koch on Quirks & Quarks (CBC-Canadian Broadcast Centre).


NASAcast: Universe
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[PODCASTS available through iTunes site]
  • 2009 February 27 NASA’s Kepler Mission to Look for Earth-like Planets - The discussion will explore the basic concepts behind NASA’s Kepler mission with an emphasis on its goals. It will also involve a brief presentation of the search for Earth-like planets and how Kepler is dedicated to this main objective. Featuring William Borucki from Ames Research Center, David Koch also from Ames Research Center and Alan Boss from the Carnegie Institution of Wash.

  • 2009 March 6. The Vision Behind Kepler - A discussion with Kepler Principal Investigator Bill Borucki and others will share how early concepts for a Kepler mission were technically too great of a challenge and therefore not feasible. How new technologies are finally enabling the mission to come into being and how this research could help to answer some age-old questions as well as help us to develop new questions. Featuring Ames Research Center scientists William Borucki, David Koch and Jon Jenkins.

  • 2009 March 21 Kepler, A Collaborative Scientific Study - A discussion about the diverse number of partners and players who have been and will be involved with studying data collected by Kepler. From selecting a region of the universe to observe to the development of the input catalog to working with a number groups conducting ground based observations at a variety of observatories, this conversation will cover the scope of the Kepler team. Featuring William Borucki from Ames Research Center, David Latham from Harvard and Ron Gilliland from the Space Telescope Science Institute.

  • 2010 April 16. NASA’s Kepler Mission, reflections on planets in the habitable zone - A discussion about what we already know about planets in the universe, what defines a habitable zone and how this is important for possibly sustaining life in the universe. The extent of information we can derive from Kepler observations and possible limitations as well as what we might do with this knowledge. Featuring William Borucki from Ames Research Center, Jack Lissauer also from Ames Research Center and Geoff Marcy from UC Berkeley.

  • 2009 June 30. NASA's Kepler Mission: a Unique Space Telescope - A discussion about how Kepler is different from or similar to other space telescopes and how Kepler is different from Earth based telescopes. The importance new technology plays in the mission along with some background about how the spacecraft design is unique. Also, what some of the challenges are in executing the Kepler Mission. Featuring Kepler Project Manager James Fanson from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, also from NASA JPL Kepler Deputy Project Manager Peg Frerking and from Ball Aerospace Kepler Program Manager John Troeltzsch.