Sputnik - 60 years on from the Start of the Space Race

Sputnik – 60 years on from the Start of the Space Race

Admin Rockets, space, Technology 0 Comments

That simple little beep, beep, beep was the sound that started the Space Race. It was heard for the first time 60 years ago, when, on October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 into a low Earth orbit. It was only a metal ball, 22 inches or about 56 centimetres in diameter, with four antennae sticking out of it – but it had an impact far greater than its size. In fact, it changed the course of human history. The idea of a satellite was first raised in an engineering memo written by Mikhail Tikhonravov in 1954 whilst …

How the First Spacewalk Nearly Ended in Disaster - Alexei Leonov Voskhod 2

How the First Spacewalk Nearly Ended in Disaster – Alexei Leonov Voskhod 2

Admin Aerospace, Rockets, space 0 Comments

When Alexey Leonov made the world’s first spacewalk in 1965, it was hailed as yet another great success for the USSR in the space race against America. It was only after the fall of the Soviet Union that the west found out that while it may well have been made to look like a success by the Soviet Press, it was, in fact, it was teetering on the edge of disaster from the moment Leonov stepped out of the airlock till the crew were rescued from a desolate location in a frozen forest. In 1961 Yuri Gagarin orbited the Earth …

Project Orion – The Atomic Bomb Powered Space Rocket

Project Orion – The Atomic Bomb Powered Space Rocket

Admin Rockets, space 0 Comments

If I told that here was a plan to launch a spacecraft the size of an ocean liner, that would weigh 130 times more than the Space Shuttle, could travel with unrivalled speed across our Solar System and was powered by riding on a series pulses created by exploding thousands of miniature atomic bombs, one after another, another behind the ship, you would probably say that I’d been reading too many sci-fi books or websites. However, in the 1950’s and 60’s just such an idea was taken very seriously. ‘Project Orion’ was a classified American project to harness the power …

Did the Real 'Star Wars' Bankrupt the USSR?

Did Reagan’s Real Star Wars Bankrupt the Soviet Union ?

Admin Rockets, space, Weapons 0 Comments

In the 1980’s science fact and science fiction looked as if they might become one when the American President Ronald Reagan announced the ‘Strategic Defence Initiative’ or ‘Star Wars’ missile defence system. The program was designed to break the nuclear deadlock between the US and Soviets and move beyond the threat of M.A.D. or Mutual Assured Destruction. But did the nuclear physicist Edward Teller over-sell the idea to Ronald Reagan and only tell him what he wanted to hear? Even as the world reacted to America’s new defence plan, Teller’s theories remained decades away from forming a working weapon. So …

Will space junk end our modern way of life ? - The Kessler Syndrome

Will space junk end our modern way of life ? – The Kessler Syndrome

Admin Aerospace, Rockets, Science, space, Weapons 2 Comments

Space aint what it used to be, mainly because just like here on the earth, we are slowly filling the most important part just above us, with junk. After sixty years of space travel, flight debris, or space junk, has accumulated around the Earth, to the point that it’s becoming dangerous. With the amount of junk in orbit expected to triple within the next fifteen years, experts are beginning to take the problem very seriously indeed. Because if they don’t, a theory known as the Kessler Syndrome suggests that the space around Earth could soon become so clogged up with …