The European plan to go to the moon

The European Space Agency (ESA) was already making plans to go back to the moon before President Trump announced he wants to land an American there before his (hypothetical) second term is over. ESA earlier had plans for a moon base, but now it's more or less latching on to the plans NASA is forging. Together with other agencies, they're now working on the Lunar Gateway project.

Gauging NASA's New Energy

SpaceX has given the American space program new energy. NASA is trying to catch up to its excitement and we try to discover what this is all about

The past and future of exoplanet studies

Lucas Ellerbroek is an astronomer and writer of the book 'Planet Hunters: the search for extraterrestrial life'. In our conversation today we're exploring how far we will be able to peek into other solar systems in the coming years, after we've just had the first golden decade of exoplanet research.

Satellites can send data with laser precision

In space, communication used to be transferred by radio signals, and it still is. But satellite communication using laser beams promises to bring more bandwidth and require less power. Of course you will need to point your beam rather accurately.

Space all over the place

In this episode of our biweekly summer series we discuss space news from the past two weeks with our pal Joeri Nortier, space buff with a special eye for Russia and Asia. That means Russian nuclear engines and spysats, nukes on Mars as well, lightsails and crime in LEO, waterbears and another satellite on the Moon, and NASA not in but on Europa

Making foresters keep their promises

These days foresting companies in the tropics have to promise they will manage their forests in a sustainable way. Otherwise their Westers customers won't buy their wood. Or banks will refuse to invest any money. But how can parties from the West verify these promises are kept?

A small hop for a starship...

In this episode of our biweekly summer series we discuss space news from the past two weeks. Most important and spectacular was of course the first hop by SpaceX's Starship Hopper, yes, the one that is supposed to sooner or later hop its way to Mars.

The Moon, why we're going back after 50 years

On the 20th of July it will be 50 years ago that the first human, Neil Armstrong, made his first 'small step' on the Moon. In this episode we talk about this event and also about the present Moon project Artemis.

Rocket woes delay China's space ambitions

In this Space Cowboys episode Herbert Blankesteijn and Joeri Nortier discuss this week's space news. High on the list: the problems China is having with the Chang Zheng 5 launcher. China's manned programme and their missions to the Moon and Mars are expected to suffer.

Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos's return trip to space

Blue Origin's rockets return form a mission and land upright, just like those of SpaceX. The company launches missions for NASA, has three different rockets in the works, sells rocket engines and has even announced a Moon lander, Blue Moon.

ESA recruits 'makers' for space tech

In this episode of Space Cowboys we talk to Frank Zeppenfeldt from ESA about the Space Makers initiative. The 'Maker Movement' is a movement of inventors, hackers and tinkerers who help and inspire each other online, in 'maker spaces' and at events.

Sailing the cosmic ocean with a LightSail

The Planetary Society is the largest nonprofit organization that promotes space exploration and it is ready to launch its new mission LightSail 2. We talk to Planetary Radio host Mat Kaplan about this mission - and about president Trump's strange tweet about the future focus of NASA.

Black holes in X-ray light

Michael Wise is the director of SRON, the organization that co-ordinates Dutch astronomical space research. We talk to him about lots of stuff, such as light pollution by satellites, black hole research, telescopes that stretch out across Europe or even across the solar system and scientific projects that last the better part of a lifetime.

Finding aliens on icy moon Enceladus

Enceladus is the best candidate in our solar system to find extraterrestrial life - so why has NASA not yet funded a mission there? Jonathan Lunine is at the forefront of planetary research and the Principal Investigator of the Enceladus Life Finder (ELF) mission - a missionthat has been proposed to NASA to find out if aliens exist on Saturns moon Enceladus. Based on the hardest science we have.

Three, two, one.. Ignition!

You don't use a match to start a rocket engine. Dutch company APP specializes in igniters. Hosts Thys Roes and Herbert Blankesteijn talk to Edwin Vermeulen of APP, who explains why igniting rocket engines is a science in itself.

The small satellite revolution

Jeroen Rotteveel heads the company ISIS, which is a service provider for small satellites. He explains what happened in the past years that made his company grow 30% per year.

Swarms of electric animals will go to the moon

Chris Verhoeven is an associate professor at the TU Delft and specializes in swarm robotics. He came to the studio to talk about the applications of these electric, autonomous animals he says will go to the moon in 2022.

Who else is going to the Moon?

In this episode we talk about various items of space news. Many of those have some connection to sending spacecraft to the Moon, landing there and maybe even establishing a Moon base.

How to take a picture of a black hole

Sera Markoff sits on the Science Council of the Event Horizon Telescope, which made world news recently by taking a picture of a black hole. She is also professor of Theoretical High Energy Astrophysics at the Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy and GRAPPA at the University of Amsterdam.

Keeping all of our planets clean

NASA and ESA both have Planetary Protection Officers, whose sole job it is to make sure we don't mess up other celestial bodies.

Finding life near other stars

At the turn of the century just a couple planets around other stars had been discovered. Now more than 4000 have been found. Lisa Kaltenegger specializes in finding the fingerprint of life in the faint light that reaches us from those stars and planets.

Most important value of spaceflight is: inspiration

Michel van Baal is a space engineer; he used to work at the PR department of ESA and now does the same at the Delft University of Technology. He's the right guy to talk to when it comes to pr about space.

Soil moisture and the value of free data

Robbert Mica is co-founder of Vandersat, a Dutch company that takes data from various Earth-monitoring satellites and uses this data to create useful information about soil conditions, forest health and crop growth. This is of vital importance to agriculture worldwide, and helps with fighting deforestation and insurance.

The life and death of (double) stars

Selma de Mink is an associate professor at the University of Amsterdam, and studies double star systems. She stops by to teach us about her research on stellar evolution, 'vampire stars', and gravitational waves.

Voyager 2 is in interstellar space

We talk to Ed Stone, chief scientist of the Voyager mission since its start and former head of JPL, about its journey, the heliosphere, and the Pale Blue Dot picture.

The commercial space revolution

This week we're discussing recent developments in commercial space flight, after the SpaceX Dragon capsule succesfully docked at the International Space Station. How are the other private entities reacting, is this all really new, and what will the future of commercial space flight look like?

Rockets and rocket fuel, made in Holland

Roel Eerkens is one of a new generation of space entrepreneurs. Thanks to smaller satellites, easier transmission of information and a couple other things space companies don't need to be big anymore.

Babies in space

If we want to become an interplanetary species, we also need to be able to conceive babies in space. Egbert Edelbroek is from Spacelife Origin, a company with a very ambitious goal: they want to enable childbirth in space in the not too distant future. But there are a couple of intermediate goals along the way, such as storing sperm in space and having conception in space.

Internet from space, made in Holland

Dutch startup Hiber is launching cubesats to provide internet of things connectivity around the world to paying customers. The first two satellites have recently been lauched and the first customers have signed up.

Space, there oughta be a law

In space, there can be conflicts between nations or companies. You might differ on who can use a certain part of the moon for a moonbase, or about a desired orbit or damage to your satellite.

Asia, space power of the future

A handful of Asian countries can manufacture satellites and spaceprobes, and can launch them as well. Russia, China, India and Japan have some serious space capabilities. Several other Asian nations are working on it.

Our galaxy we call the Milky Way

Anthony Brown, Chair of the Gaia data processing and analysis consortium and researcher at Leiden Observatory - When you look up at the night sky and see the Milky Way, it hardly looks like more than a haze of stars. ESA wanted to turn that cloudy haze into a database of stars, and has been developing a catalog of just a fraction of the Milky Way with their Gaia mission. The biggest undertaking of its kind ever. Gaia is collecting data to figure out how the Milky Way formed, and what types of stars it carries.

The mysteries of Oumuamua

Seth Shostak, SETI InsituteOumuamua was a visitor from outside the solarsystem. Some rock, astronomers first thought. But everything about it was weird: its shape, its speed, the way it reflected light, the fact that itaccelerated away from the Sun, and much more.

Search for life in Space

In this episode we talk with astrobiologist Inge Loes ten Kate about finding life on Mars, icy moons, or on exoplanets. At Space Cowboys we explore the desert we call our universe.

The most distant space rock reached by man

Join us as we discuss the most distant space rock reached by man on this first episode of Space Cowboys.