Have we gone to Mars yet?

”Have we gone to Mars yet?” is a popular science series based on space, produced in collaboration with Rymdkapital

In in-depth interviews, we make difficult topics simple without losing seriousness. The subject areas are astronomy, physics, chemistry, mathematics, technology, geography, social sciences and biology. We ask questions such as Can we ride at the speed of light, Can we grow food in space or Are there laws in space. And we talk to the leading experts in each area. With several angles on the same subject and guests with different perspectives, we give each question breadth and depth. We make knowledge fun!

Susanna and Marcus’ hope and belief is that Have we gone to Mars yet? should be the first stop in an incipient space interest. As a result, in the podcast, they show the breadth of skills, the different backgrounds and the widely differing qualities that those who work with or in space possess. Thus, to a large extent, the podcast also becomes an encouraging thump in the back and an uplifting slogan with the message: you can do this too.

Since 2019, presenters Susanna Lewenhaupt and Marcus Pettersson have guided their curious listeners through the endless synapse network of information that constitutes humanity’s collective knowledge of the cosmos. Each episode is framed and anchored in the very human and, seemingly almost superficial question: Have we gone to Mars yet? However, the content of the podcast goes in depth but with the angle of approach and the task of explaining and describing instead of just retelling. Because of this, you as a listener never feel lost or confused by the topics that Susanna and Marcus choose to focus on. Their curiosity, engaging conversations and common interest in space are what make it elusive. They want, just like the listener, to know more.

Marcus Pettersson, presenter and pod co-founder

Susanna Lewenhaupt, presenter and pod co-founder

Episodes in reverse order

Episode 25


Are there mines on Mars yet?

It’s time for robots, mines and the extraction of resources in space! Maria Sundin, astrophysicist at the University of Gothenburg tells us about assets in the solar system, and Nikos Petropoulos, research engineer at LKAB talks about how they use robots in their mines today, and about how we will be able to use robots in mines on other celestial bodies in the future.

Episode 24


Have we gone to Mars from Esrange yet?

We visited Norrbotten, Esrange and Swedish Space Corporation, and met up with Krister Sjölander, Manager of Payloads & Flight Systems who told us what they do at SSC and Esrange today, and talked about future satellite launches from Sweden. We also visit Luleå and DemoNorth and hear about the future green conversion of H2 Green Steel, SSC and Fertiberia.

Episode 23


Have we saved the earth yet?

If we’re going to make the transition for a better climate and a sustainable future, we need to turn every stone to find the best solutions. And we do not always have to come up with new solutions. on the problems; Many of the challenges we face already have solutions in the world, or in space! Cecilia Hertz and Mattias Hansson have together with Christer Fuglesang started ISAAC, International Space Asset Acceleration Company, with the aim of getting companies to find and use space innovations to improve their climate work.

Have we gone to Mars for the sake of the earth yet?

Episode 22

Have we ventured into space yet?

An investment in space is basically an investment in the essential part of our economy, of our society and of our life on the earth, It is truly that important.

We visit the satellite pioneer, serial entrepreneur and investor Candace Johnson, the creator behind one of the world’s largest satellite systems, SES Global. She gives us her view of space today, tells us about how she made Luxembourg a space nation to be reckoned with and tells us about how she came to be called Europe’s most dangerous woman. We also meet Alexander Gustafsson, investment coach at Nordnet and host of Sparpodden and talk about space investments in Sweden.

Episode 21

Can we move things in space yet?

According to a recent report from ESA, there are approximately 36,500 space debris parts over 10 centimeters in orbit around Earth. If we count pieces over 1 mm, it’s a staggering 130 million pieces. We visit Peter Rathsman, technical manager at OHB Sweden and talk about the problem with space debris and what we can do to clean up among obsolete satellites. We also meet Matija Milenovic, co-founder and CEO of Porkchop, where they build Reusable In-Space Logistics Vehicles, and talk about the sustainable and reusable satellites of the future.

Episode 20

Is there water on Mars yet?

Two hydrogen, one oxygen. Seems prosaic, really. Mundane, even. But the study of extraterrestrial water is a journey filled with excitement and wonder. Join us in this episode of Have We Gone to Mars Yet? for a rundown.

As early as the eighteenth century astronomers observed ice on the polar caps of Mars, and scientists have now estimated there is around five million cubic kilometers worth of ice on the red planet. Andreas Johnsson is a scientist at the University of Gothenburg and he has been studying the geomorphology of Mars since 2006. He tells us about the rich geological history of the planet and the recent measurements of seismological activity that show that: yes, there are still active processes within the planet’s core. These recent readings suggest that there may be more underneath the stormy surface of red regolith and rock than meets the eye.

Andreas tells us about the possibility of finding water on Mars and gives us a brief rundown on the ways by which we know there has been water on the surface of the planet.

Andreas also tells us about his scientific expeditions to Svalbard, Norway, where he studies the geology of the ground and sediment because of the universal regularity in geological processes. Because of this, it can be inferred that the geology of Svalbard is quite similar to that of Mars. In other words, it’s the second best thing to actually taking the seven-month trip to pay our red neighbor a visit.

Also in this episode, we discuss off-planet water purification with Shorena Tsindeliani, CEO of Hydromars, who are developing a system for purifying water meant for use during long space travels. Shorena discusses the hurdles and the solutions for said hurdles in the grand scheme of quenching the thirst of the astronauts on their 60 million kilometer long trek to Mars, give or take a couple hundred million kilometers.

Episode 19

Are we betting on space yet?

Are we putting our money where our Mars is? Listen and find out!

In this investor-centric episode of Have we gone to Mars yet?, we pay a visit to Rymdkapital AB, Sweden’s first investment company working in the field of space-tech. Angel investor and co-founder of Rymdkapital AB, Ted Elvhage explains why the ever-growing space industry needs secure footing – both in general but also in Sweden specifically. Ted also explains the core concepts of Rymdkapital AB and elaborates further on the principles of investing in the Swedish field of space technology.

Ulf Palmnäs is another founder of Rymdkapital AB and he’s had a long career working and investing in the field of space-tech. With thirty years of experience on the business side of the Swedish space industry as well as having performed a survey for the Swedish government concerning the Swedish space ecosystem, Ulf is unquestionably an authority in the field.

Ulf discusses the networking aspect of Rymdkapital, which could grant smaller Swedish companies in the field of space tech the ability to borrow competent analysts or other experts from established companies within the network – a prospect which could speed up the process of investing by a wide margin, as well as make it easier for potential investors to gauge the likelihood of a startup turning a profit. Ulf also discusses the possibilities surrounding the broadening of Sweden’s cosmic borders, potentially creating a richer astronomical ecosystem not only for Sweden, but for all of Scandinavia, Europe and possibly the globe.

One of the first private investments that the founders of Rymdkapital AB made was an investment in the US-Swedish rocket launcher venture Pythom Space, the founders of which we’ve interviewed before! Check out episode 14 for a deep dive in the manned Mars mission proposed by Pythom Space!

Also in this episode: Mia Kleregård, Head of Transformation at the Swedish Space Corporation SSC describes her visions of the future of Swedish space ventures. Mia also presents her views on the hurdles and solutions regarding the current and future prospects of space as an industry.

Episode 18

Can we see other galaxies yet?

In this exhilarating, exuberant, exceptional, exoteric episode of Have We Gone to Mars Yet?, we divulge the science and mystery behind one of the most fascinating aspects of the cosmos. Namely, exoplanets. Listen in!

The concept of viewing exoplanets is one with a modicum of abstraction. The distances are on a scale unimaginable for most, but not for this episode’s first guest Carina Persson, astronomer at Chalmers University. She tells us about the vast differences in the sizes of some of the discovered planets and the ways in which brown dwarfs and stars are formed.

Also in this episode, we pay a visit to Jessica Berndtsson, physics student at Princeton University, who is part of the team who have found the first candidate for an extragalactical exoplanet, meaning one beyond the Milky Way.

Episode 17

Is James Webb there yet?

The James Webb telescope is finally on it’s way! The launch of the telescope aboard an Ariane 5 rocket was the greatest Christmas gift anyone could ask for, given that NASA described the launch as perfect! What the perfect launch entails is that the telescope won’t have to use up as much of it’s fuel reserves for re-positioning, which by extension means that the telescope’s life expectancy has dramatically increased. A very merry Christmas indeed! The Swedish tradition of Christmas rhyming seems apt for this very special occasion:

The launch of the payload: perfection,
and the fuel which is used for correction,
will be used up and spent,
to a lesser extent
on this mission of cosmic inspection.

In this very special episode of Have We Gone to Mars Yet? we discuss all things James Webb! We meet Göran Östlin, professor of astronomy to talk about the instruments aboard the telescope as well as the notion and concept of infinite vastness in the context of space. Göran also explains why the telescope will be specifically placed in lagrange point 2 as well as how incredibly sensitive the reading instruments aboard actually are.

We also get back to Alexis Brendekker, who tells us about his research on the exoplanet Janssen. He describes the ways in which exoplanet research is actually conducted and lets us in on the concept of studying a planet’s light reflectivity to gauge it’s actual structure and composition.

With the launch of James Webb being an emphatic success, we will be releasing episodes focusing on the inner workings of the telescope and the updates and still images it will soon begin to broadcast. In other words: stay tuned!

Episode 16
#science #business

Do we have a new space law yet?

The new swedish space law could soon be in effect, but what are the actual consequences of the legislation? Companies within the space industry, tech students, scientists and enthusiasts will all be affected. We talk to Anna Ekström about her duties as Sweden’s new Minister of Space as well as the actual law. We talk to judge Göran Lundahl, Gothenburg’s district court. who has been instrumental in the precedings surrounding the new space legislation. We also talk to director-general of the Swedish Space Agency (Rymdstyrelsen), Anna Rathsman, and hear her thoughts on the proposed space legislation.

Episode 15

Are you along for the ride yet?

After a hiatus that’s lasted way too long, we’re finally back, picking up right where we left off: the swedish mars travellers. Tom and Tina Sjögren of the company Pythom Space are back in the studio to give us an update on the state of things on the business side of space exploration. Ted Elvhage tells us why he’s chosen to invest in this particular project. This episode hones in on the economical and scientifical possibilites that both the present and future market of space can afford.

Episode 14
#science #business

Are you inspired yet?

The final frontier… Exploration, colonization and terraforming. We meet adventurers Tom and Tina Sjögren, who started the company Pythom Space with the singular goal of a manned expedition to Mars. Christer Fuglesang, astronaut and professor of particle physics, discusses galactic colonization and terraforming.

Episode 13
#science #business

Have we watched Earth yet?

Earth observation, communications and positioning. This episode is all about satellites. We talk about the possibilities of satellites with Tobias Edman from the Swedish Space Agency (Rymdstyrelsen). We’ve also interviewed Fredrik Sjöberg, deputy managing director at OHB Sweden. He talks about the business of building satellites. Linda Megner, The Meteorological Institution at Stockholm University talks about the possibilities that come with the use of weather satellites.

Episode 12

Do we know anything about plasma yet?

”In essence – everything is plasma.” We discuss the sun, the stars, the milky way and the universe. Patrik Norqvist, doctor in space physics and lecturer at Umeå university explains plasma. Sofia Feltzing, professor of astronomy at Lunds university tells us about her research on the milky way, other distant galaxies and the building blocks of the universe. Yuri Khotyaintsev, space scientist, docent at IRF and program director for the research program of space plasma physics, tells us all about the satellite Solar Orbiter, which was launched in february of 2020 to observe the sun.

Episode 11

Can our bodies adapt to space yet?

The field of genetics will unquestionably revolutionize the way we treat ailments in the not so distant future. Could it hypothetically be used to scientifically engineer a new breed of astronauts? We got in touch with Joakim Lundeberg, professor of molecular biotech at KTH, and spoke with him about genome, genetics and the genetics scissor CRISPR. Stefania Giacomello, group leader at SciLifeLab Stockholm and scientist at the department of gene technology at KTH, tells us about the ongoing work in collaboration with NASA, studying the hearts of mice that have been aboard ISS. We also meet Anders Eklund, professor of medical technology at Umeå university, who explains the ways in which our eyes are affected when we go to space.

Episode 10

Have we found Earths’ twin yet?

In this episode we do a deep dive into how planetary systems are formed and the study of exoplanets. Alexis Brandeker, lecturer of astronomy at Stockholm university and coordinator for the swedish contributions to the telescopes CHEOPS and PLATO enlightens us. We also meet Carina Persson, docent of astro physics who conducts research about exoplanets. She tells us about the search for new planets with the help of the telescopes at Onsala space observatory.

Episode 9

Have we gone to Jupiter yet?

We’d be amiss if we didn’t devote an entire episode to the largest planet in the solar system. We talk Jupiter and it’s moons with Gabriella Stenberg Wieser, IRF Kiruna. She tells us about the instrument PEP, which will be used on the upcoming mission to Jupiter, JUICE. That’s Jupiter ICy moons Explorer. We also talk more JUICE with Jan-Erik Wahlund at IRF Uppsala.

Episode 8

Can the body withstand space yet?

The vacuum of space is an extremely hazardous environment. With more than sixty years of innovation in space suits, space stations and extraordinarily resilient safety equipment, we’ve gotten pretty good at protecting our astronauts. There are, however, some things that are highly difficult to protect ourselves against. We got in touch with Dag Linnarsson, professor of baromedicine at the department of physiology and pharmacology at Karolinska institutet. He answers our question about what weightlessness and microgravity does to your body. We also meet Andrzej Wojcik, professor of radiation biology at Stockholm university. He tells us about solar radiation, galactic cosmic radiation and the other ways in which space can snuff you out.

Episode 7

Space a threat yet?

Space debris, asteroids and solar storms. In this episode, Johan Köhler from the Swedish Space Agency (Rymdstyrelsen) explains the potential threats of space. Daniel Faria of the Swedish Defence Research Agency FOI, describes the ways in which space can be used for military purposes.

Episode 6

Can we grow food in space yet?

Space chow! We look at three different takes on sustainable food in space. Plants, bugs and meat! Trent Smith, NASA, is the head for the field work on ”The Veggie”, a project with the goal of growing vegetables aboard the ISS. Åsa Berggren, professor of ecology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences SLU, conducts research on which species of insects humans could eat, as well as how they could be bred. Julie Gold, assistant professor of biomaterials at Chalmers, explains the possibilities of laboratory grown meat – both as food and as a viable substitute for the human body’s internal organs.

Episode 5

Have we found life yet?

The universe is vast and ancient. Surely there’s life elsewehere? Right? That’s the main talking point in this episode where we talk to Sandra Siljeström, astrobiologist and scientist at RISE. We also got in touch with Clas Svahn, head of the foundation ”Archives for the unexplained” and the international head of the organisation UFO-Sverige.

Episode 4
#science #business

Can we travel at the speed of light yet?

Can we travel at the speed of light yet? We talk to Mattias Blennow, associate professor of theoretical astroparticle physics at KTH. Avi Loeb, professor at Harvard talks the Breakthrough Starshot project. We also get around to some good old fashioned rocket engines in our talks with Li Forsberg at GKN.

Episode 3
#science #investor

Have we gone back to the moon yet?

In episode three, we talk about our nearest neighbors: the moon and ISS, and how travelling there could be a stepping stone for humanity’s voyage to Mars. We talk to Kristin Dannenberg, head of Space Exploration and Access to Space at the Swedish Space Agency (Rymdstyrelsen). We also got in touch with Richard Garriott de Cayeux, private astronaut and explorer and he fills us in on his journey into space. Sally Richardson at Northrop Grumman Corporation talks to us about the new space station Lunar Gateway.

Episode 2
#business #science

Are there laws on Mars yet?

In episode two we talk legislation in space. Are the planetoids and the void of space protected by certain laws or rules? We meet Katrin Nyman Metcalf, professor of law at the Tallin University of Technology and get our bearings in the concepts of space legislation. We also talk to Chris Lamar, CEO at the Lunar Embassy, whom we’ve bought a patch of Mars land from. Do they really have the right to sell land in space?
Episode 1

Have we gone to Mars yet?

Blast off! In the first episode of ”Have We Gone to Mars Yet?”, we explore the steps we’ve already taken in the trek towards putting a person on the planet Mars. We meet Johan Köhler, Head of Solar System Science and Space Situational Awareness at the Swedish Space Agency (Rymdstyrelsen).  We also got in touch with Jessica Meir, doctor of marine biology and astronaut at NASA. She will quite probably be the next Swede in space.