NASA astronaut first to podcast from space?

Since its humble beginnings last summer, podcasting has grown to be just about the hottest tech trend on Earth.

Well, make that in the solar system now, as Space Shuttle astronaut Steve Robinson has just sent back what NASA is calling the first-ever podcast from space.

In it, Robinson waxes philosophical on life onboard the shuttle and about the infamous hanging foam.

All in all, it's pretty mundane stuff, though it's always nice to get nearly live commentary about the camaraderie onboard: "The crew members--Eileen and Jim and Soichi and Andy and Wendy and Charlie--we've had a really good time together. You know, we've trained together for a long time, several years. And we really enjoy each other's company," Robinson said, according to the transcript of the podcast posted by NASA. "And it's a really rare thing to be with this, a group of people who are as diverse as we are. Everybody with different and complementary talents and all with a really great sense of humor. So we've laughed a lot, we've worked really hard, and we've learned a lot from each other. It's been really a fantastic experience."

On the tech culture blog, BoingBoing, Xeni Jardin reports that several readers questioned NASA's touting of the podcast as an actual podcast. After all, Robinson's space musings don't come with an accompanying RSS feed, an essential element of a podcast.

So, maybe NASA is stretching the truth a little bit and trying to get a little extra attention by latching on to the cache that comes with podcasting these days. No matter, writes Jardin, sending back an archivable Web-based audio file from space is pretty cool regardless of the exact format.

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