Why is This Week in Space so USA centric?

This show is so USA centric. Whole I get that this is where the hosts are from, do you guys not consider there are listeners from other countries?

Take the latest episode about the up and coming eclipse… As soon as you started talking about where to see it in the us and the weather, I lost interest. Try seeing the content from someone who is not based in the USA?

Thanks

3 Likes

You can plan ahead for eclipses in your area using a tool like this:

According to it I will be within the totality of the solar eclipse in April 2024 and I already have my eclipse glasses waiting! :slight_smile:

1 Like

I imagine when there are impressive celestial events that are visible from other continents there will be similar coverage for those. Placement of the Moon is hardly TWiS’s fault.

If you review past episodes I think you’ll find content commensurate with the involvement of different countries around the world. The US happens to be where a huge proportion of the most groundbreaking and exciting space-related developments are happening.

1 Like

Except, the partial eclipse in October is in Europe, South West Asia and North East Africa.

The full eclipse is in North/East Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, Much of South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Arctic, Antarctica.

A lot of research was done in Europe as well, for example, at ESRO and ELDO, now combined as ESA. Ariane was often in the news up until the mid to late 90s, although the launches today go up with little fanfare, the various versions have over 256 launches between them, the current Ariane 5 has 112 launches, as of the end of 2021, 107 of which were successful. It can carry up to a 10.5 tonne payload, the Arian 6 is set to replace it this year, the Ariane Next is due in the 2030s.

They were involved with the development of IUE space telescope in the 70s and later with Hubble. They do a lot of satellite development, construction and launches, Giotto was their first deep space probe, in the mid 80s to study the comets Halley and Grigg–Skjellerup. Hipparcos, a star-mapping mission, was launched in 1989 and in the 1990s SOHO, Ulysses and the Hubble Space Telescope were all jointly carried out with NASA. Later scientific missions in cooperation with NASA include the Cassini–Huygens space probe, to which ESA contributed by building the Titan landing module Huygens.

Since the turn of the century, they have been one of the major players in scientifc space research, along with JAXA, ISRO, the CSA and Roscosmos.

Satellites and experiments going to the ISS from ESA are covered regularly on the news, here in Germany, as are the European astronauts who go to the station.

The open co-operation with NASA up until the turn of the Century was curtailed, when the US Military slammed the doors shut on sharing information and the ESA and other agencies around the world had to become more reliant on themselves and each other.

They have done a lot of work on new rocket propulsion methods (Smart-I) and deep space analysis of exoplanets with Corot, Mars Express and Venus Express missions. They were also responsible for parts of the James Webb telescope, along with CSA.

Currently, they are working with industry to provide the Galileo global positioning satellite system, as well as a hypersonic sub-orbital flight system, as well as life science projects.

And that is just ESA, JAXA has also done a lot, in the last couple of years it was the Hyabusa 2 mission which gained most of the limelight, after the success of Hyabusa 1 to the Itokawa asteroid, the second one flew to Ryugu and successfully landed and returned in 2020 with samples.

3 Likes

There are always opportunities for any show to get better. As someone who grew up listening to Walter fill air time during the unexciting gaps of space missions, I am happy to hear about so much going on in space and don’t think TWIS will run out of topics anytime soon.

2 Likes

I hope not. My reply was purely a rebuttal to @knewman , pointing out that the eclipse isn’t just an US event, but is covering a lot of the globe.

Likewise his saying that all the key research is in the USA.

Hopefully TWIS will cover some of the non-US projects and research, going forward, but they have to start somewhere, so why not their home turf?

2 Likes

big_D, I think it was a great rebuttal. it illustrates there should be no excuse these days for running out of decent topics. I’m not sure the hosts read the forum but one can only hope. Diversity as they say! I haven’t heard enough episodes to say how us-centric they may be but fingers crossed.

1 Like

well, the US is THE name in advanced Space topics - so I can see where they would be mostly US centric. The US was putting humans on the moon starting in 1969 and most of the major robotic missions within the system have been US driven and the US has rovers all over Mars. Astronauts from other countries, have flown on either US, Russian or Chinese spacecraft. I can understand the US centrism! Although, as a member of the Planetary Society, I communicate and work with people worldwide.

Absolutely, the rest of the world has participated and contributed plenty to space exploration. Please don’t take my comments to mean that the US is the only nation worth mentioning on the show. I’m simply saying that the US is where an enormous proportion of interesting space projects occur presently, and I believe that the amount of coverage focused on US stories is commensurate to that.

We could list different programs sponsored by different countries all day, but at the end of the day, the amount of money the US pumps into space programs is astronomical (pun intended :grin:) compared to that of the rest of the world. That’s not even taking into account the budding private industry. So I can understand that TWiS has a focus on US and NASA. After all, it is This Week in space, not The Past 30 Years in space.

And yes, while this current eclipse is visible from multiple countries, primary visibility is from the Americas:

**Edit to include space program budgets of various governments. Source is Statista.com which I unfortunately do not have a subscription to in order to expand the data - • Global governmental spending on space programs of leading countries 2021 | Statista

Please feel free to share your feedback with the hosts via twis@twit.tv email. They check it.

3 Likes

I’d sure like to hear of new developments from the other countries as well. like what’s happening on the far side of the moon.

1 Like

I love this show regardless of centricity.

1 Like