Chasing The Moon

Jul 3, 2019

In The Moment ... July 3, 2019 Show 609 Hour 2

This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Meanwhile, PBS presents Chasing the Moon, a new six-hour documentary from American Experience that covers the space race, from its earliest beginnings, to the historic first lunar landing in 1969, and beyond.

The series premieres over three nights, July 8-10 on SDPB-TV.

Robert Stone joins In The Moment. Stone is writer, director and producer of Chasing the Moon.

In The Moment ... June 26, 2019 Show 604 Hour 2

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing is just a couple of weeks away and SDPB is featuring some space-related stories to mark the event.

A preview of the SDPB documentary Space Age South Dakota are as follows:

In Sioux Falls on Thursday 6/27/19 at 7pm at the SDPB studio at 601 N Phillips Avenue in downtown Sioux Falls

Saturday, July 13, 9:30am – South Dakota Air & Space Museum in Box Elder

Adria Botella

In The Moment ... December 13, 2018 Show 479 Hour 2

A random entry to join NASA's social media team resulted in a nice surprise for Sioux Falls based photographer Wes Eisenhauer. NASA was looking for 20 creative people to document the December 5th launch of the SpaceX unmanned Dragon cargo ship.

Eisenhauer photographs everything from weddings to the night sky and South Dakota's beautiful scenery.

SDPB's Cara Hetland is underground at the 4850 foot level of the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead. This year marks 10 years of Neutrino Day. Ariel Waldman was an art school student who worked at an ad agency as a digital anthropologist and then got a job consulting for NASA. She is the global director of Space Hack Days. She demonstrates just how easy it is for everyday enthusiasts to contribute to scientific discovery.

Joree Sandin is a recent graduate with a mechanical engineering major from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. She is the student leader of the Moonrockers team consisting of 16 Tech students. The team is on its way to the 2018 NASA Robotic Mining Competition at the Kennedy Space Center. This event brings together more than 500 college students from around the country. The competition challenges students to design and build a robot that can mine the icy gravel from the planet Mars. 

NASA is scheduled to launch a new Satellite next week.  TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) is an all-sky survey mission to discover thousands of exoplanets. Dr. Padi Boyd, Astrophysicist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and deputy project scientist for the test mission discusses the project and why we need to discover new planets.

Chuck Gemar  was born in Yankton and graduated from Scotland high school in 1973. He was accepted into the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he earned an engineering degree in 1979.

Gemar was attached to the 24th Combat Aviation unit as an Assistant Flight Operations Officer and Flight Platoon Leader.

In The Moment ... January 30, 2018 Show 266 Hour 1

Get ready for a lunar trifecta. That's when a total lunar eclipse, a blue moon and a super moon occur at the same time. We haven't seen one in 35 years and you won't see it again until 2037. Set your alarm! It's going to happen tomorrow. NASA scientist Michelle Thaller explains this event.

Lori Walsh

In The Moment ... March 20, 2017 Show 053 Hour 2

We welcome the first day of Spring with conversations about the Vernal Equinox. First we talk with NASA scientist Yari Collado-Vega with news from NASA about the dance of the solar system as well as a preview of a major astronomical event in August.

We continue the conversation by asking what the vernal equinox has meant throughout history for humanity. Dr. Richard Swanson is with Augustana University's Religion Department.

SDPB's Gary Ellenbolt joins us with an update of the state basketball championships.

In The Moment ... March 2, 2017 Show 41 Hour 1

In 2015 Douglas Preston climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying  laser technology on loan from NASA that could map the terrain under the dense rainforest canopy. He was looking for a lost civilization. What he discovered was life-changing. Douglas Preston's new book is called THE LOST CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD: A True Story.

Joshua Dutt

Anne Lewis from the South Dakota Discovery Center and Jessica Taylor with NASA's Langley Research Center discuss a new citizen science app that allows people to contribute their observations to an international database utilized by both NASA scientists and students around the world. You simply take pictures of clouds which are geo-located. The app offers information on satellite flyovers to allow for synchronization of flyover and ground observations.

Innovation: From The SURF

Jul 8, 2016
Constance Walter

SDPB's Cara Hetland hosts Innovation from the 4850 level of the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead. 

Tom Durkin, Deputy Director of NASA South Dakota Space Grant Consortium discusses the "credible possibility" of a massive new planet in our solar system as well as early findings from the New Horizons spacecraft exploration of Pluto.

Nutritional recommendations that help astronauts solve health problems associated with extended stints in space can also help patients on Earth, according to nutritional biochemist Scott M. Smith of the NASA Johnson Space Center. 

Smith will discuss space flight nutrition and its implications for those on Earth and on the International Space Station, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. in the Campanile Room of the University Student Union. The event is free and open to the public.

Direct-Write Printable Spacecraft

Aug 6, 2015

NASA has awarded the $750,000 EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) grant to the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology to develop "direct-write printable spacecraft," which are thin, lightweight sheets that can land on planets, gather information and send the information back to the ship that released them.  The printable spacecraft can go into areas that humans cannot access - like inside a volcanic crater.  Dr.


On April 11, 1970, Apollo 13 lifted off from Kennedy Space Center for what was to be the third mission to land on the moon. But within two days after lift-off, an oxygen tank exploded crippling the spacecraft and putting the crew in danger. Despite limited power, loss of cabin heat and shortage of drinkable water, the crew returned safely on April 17.


This morning’s scheduled launch of NASA’s next generation Orion spacecraft was scrapped, but officials will try again Friday.  No one will be aboard when it launches, but Orion is designed to take astronauts into deep space, including Mars. NASA wants to test the most risky systems before flying with a crew.

The last time a spacecraft designed for human travel left Low Earth Orbit was the 1972 Apollo 17 mission, which was also the last time astronauts walked on the moon.

Sioux Falls-Based Company Wins NASA Award

Jun 20, 2014
Raven Industries

Raven Industries is based in Sioux Falls and highly successful, but many don’t know what the industry produces. In addition to making all large-scale Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade balloons since the early 1980s, Raven Industries creates high altitude balloons that have been used by NASA as well as innovative technologies to aid the agriculture industry. Raven Industries Communications Manager Kristen Tilus joined the program to discuss in detail the company’s success, including a recent award from NASA.

Landsat 8 After One Year

Feb 18, 2014

On February 11, 2013, NASA launched the Landsat 8 Earth-observing satellite.  Landsat 8 is the latest in the Landsat series of remote-sensing satellites that have provided a continuous record of change across Earth's land surfaces since 1972.  USGS EROS Director Frank Kelly discussed the Landsat Program which provides direct societal benefits across a wide range of human endeavors including environmental health, energy and water management, urban planning, disaster recovery and agriculture.

The Space Act That Spawned NASA

Jul 29, 2013

On July 29, 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act which spawned NASA. NASA began operations in October of 1958. Tom Durkin, Deputy Director of the South Dakota Space Grant Consortium, talks about the early days of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, why it was established and what its early challenges and inspirations were.

DAKOTA PLAYERS Offering Summer Programs

Jul 9, 2013

NASA's Space School Musical is the Next Frontier for DAKOTA PLAYERS as they partner with the South Dakota Discovery Center and NASA! Kids all over the Midwest are joining Hannah on a trip through the solar system in this ultra-cool, edu-taining, "hip-hopera" that is out of this world! Children will be moving and grooving along with the planets, moons, meteors, comets, asteroids and even some rockin' scientists as they sing, dance and serve up the freshest facts in the galaxy.

Update On Landsat 8

May 23, 2013

Tom Loveland, Landsat Project Manager, and Jim Nelson, Ground System Manager, give us an update on the LandSat 8 that was launched earlier this year and EROS taking over the project from NASA which is scheduled for the following week.

Landsat 8 Launch

Jan 4, 2013
Cara Hetland

New EROS Director Frank Kelly discussed the scheduled launch of Landsat 8 on February 11.  The Landsat spacecraft series in the longest continuous Earth imaging program in history (Landsat 1 was launched in 1972). 

Doomsday In America - Or Is It?

Dec 21, 2012

We’re still here – on Innovation, Cara Hetland sits down and talks with Tom Durkin, Deputy Director and Outreach Coordinator of NASA's South Dakota Space Grant Consortium, and Michael Dowding, SDSMT physics instructor, about how NASA addressed doomsday fears and the mathematics of calendars.

Landsat 8

Nov 6, 2012

For 40 years, the U.S.