Becoming an astronaut is one of the most common dream of young school kids. It almost seems like "space" fandom comes naturally to human beings. There are many ways we become space fans. Some get inspired by astronauts, others grow up reading and watching works of space fiction, and still others are fascinated by cosmology. For me, it's a mixed bag. I'm not a huge fan of Star-Trek or any other sci-fi movies or TV shows. That's not to say that I haven't watched some shows here and there. As for books on space fiction, I have read some but not many. Instead, I grew up reading space news. Before podcasts were a thing, I would read anything and everything space-related for hours every day. And then I discovered the space podcasts! Now, I spend hours listening to various podcasts every single day. It allows me to do catch up on various areas of space tech and cosmology while I'm driving, cooking, or even working at my other day job. Anyway, I'm not here to preach why you should be listening to podcasts. Instead, I will give you my Top 10 Space podcasts. I have listed them in my order of preference, but give any and each of them a try.
This podcast should not be on anyone's list, less so their top choice. And that's because the last episode was published on December 21st, 2018. Yeah, that's right, Orbital Path has been defunct for more than two years. However, nostalgically, I'm still subscribed to the podcast on my Apple podcasts, more than two years later! I wish it would restart someday.
If you miss Orbital Path, then there is an alternative. Just like Orbital Path, each episode of Space Pod highlights an astronomer and their research interest or space-related technology or issue. The episodes are short and the host, Carrie Nugent, is excellent at podcasting.
NASA publishes several podcasts (see number 5 below) and this one is my favorite. Most of the episodes highlight a specific space technology or a particular NASA program. For those looking into understanding various cool stuff that NASA does, go through the list of episodes and there's bound to be one that will inspire you.
Planetary Radio is the variety show in the space podcast genre. I listen to it religiously. I love everything Planetary Society (and Bill Nye) does so it's a no-brainer to listen to the official podcast. Once a month, they publish a "policy" edition of the podcast and I never realized that "policy" can be such an interesting topic. For brevity I am not mentioning all the things I love about Planetary Radio, but I would strongly recommend this podcast.
The official podcast of the NASA Johnson Space Center from Houston (more specifically Clearlake), Texas. It interviews NASA folks and focuses on issues related to human space travel. One of the first space podcast that I started listening to, it remains in my Top 5 Space Podcast.
Podcasts 6 through 10 are a toss-up when it comes to rankings. Regardless, I look forward to listening to all of them each week. For me these are "idea generator" podcasts. At Sitara Project, we are constantly evaluating "space tech" and these podcasts are ideal for such an exercise.