SCaN, podcast 

NASA Debuts “The Invisible Network,” a Space Communications and Navigation Podcast

October 16, 2018

We sit on the precipice of a golden age of space exploration - a renaissance of space science and technology. Every day, NASA sends millions of bits of data to Earth, unraveling long-held mysteries about the universe, our solar system and even our own planet. But what makes it all possible?

NASA presents “The Invisible Network,” a podcast giving you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the feats of engineering that make possible humanity’s ambitions among the stars.  

“The Invisible Network” isn’t an interview podcast. There’s no question and answer portion. It’s the first NASA podcast to embrace narrative storytelling. Sharing lesser-known stories of the space agency’s history and the space communications and navigation projects helping take NASA into the future, each episode journeys through innovation and exploration missions.

It begins and ends with communications, the vital link between Earth and space. A collection of far-flung ground stations enabled the Apollo missions: our first steps on the moon; the Voyager missions: our first brushes with interstellar space; and supported the earliest space and Earth science missions, expanding our knowledge of the stars and of ourselves.

The podcast’s title comes from author and former NASA engineer Sunny Tsiao’s book, “Read You Loud and Clear,” which NASA published in 2008. Tsiao notes that NASA’s communications and tracking programs are often described as “invisible.” Infrastructures, he writes, are seldom recognized, except when they fall short.

If NASA’s networks are invisible, perhaps it’s because they work so well.

Today’s communications networks hardly resemble those that supported Apollo. Tomorrow’s networks: even less so. As NASA moves into “The Decade of Light,” a bold vision for the future of space communications infrastructure and innovation, the networks will undergo numerous changes that result in better service for missions and, ultimately, a better understanding of the universe.

Join us, as we reveal these invisible networks and the innovations behind them. Subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts and share us with a friend. For more information, visit: