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 …

Hubble Trouble - How did the Space Telescope Mirror End Up Flawed ?

Hubble Trouble – How did the Space Telescope Mirror End Up Flawed ?

Admin cameras, space, Technology 0 Comments

In April of 1990 the American Shuttle Discovery launched up from the Earth, into a higher orbit than ever before, to deploy a special payload: the Hubble Space Telescope. Above even the thinnest part of the atmosphere, Hubble would be able to see far-off stars and galaxies without distortion and expand our understanding of the distant past. Or at least, that was the plan. But by June it was clear that there was something very wrong: the telescope with one of the most perfectly ground mirrors couldn’t focus properly. Apparently, the first great Space Observatory was ‘short-sighted’. Hubble’s 2.5-metre (8.2 …

Secret Soviet Lunar Rovers and Extra Terrestrial Cars

Secret Soviet Lunar Rovers and Extra Terrestrial Cars

Admin Aerospace, Extraterrestrial, space, Technology, Travel 0 Comments

For the last 50 years or so we have been using wheeled robots and vehicles to explore other worlds from secret Soviet lunar rovers to the first lunar car to the latest Mars Rovers, we owe a lot to our extra-terrestrial wheeled helpers. NASA recently released new concept art for ‘the Mars 2020 rover’. The robotic lab is shown in action in its potential landing sites on Mars: currently, three locations are being considered, and a final decision will be made in 2018 or 2019. If the images look like something you’ve seen before, it’s because the new rover is the …

Robonauts or Men - Which Will Step Foot on Mars First ?

Robonauts or Men – Which Will Step Foot on Mars First ?

Admin Aerospace, computers, robotics, space, Technology 1 Comment

Mars will probably be the next giant leap for mankind – but it’s not certain that the feet that step onto it will belong to a man or woman. The development of the robonaut, humanoid robots to go to Mars in our place, is well underway. Some experts say they’re cheaper, safer and more effective than sending humans to the red planet. So will a living, breathing person ever set foot on Mars? It was difficult enough getting to the moon, 239,000 miles, or 385,000 kilometres away from Earth. That’s nothing, compared to the 34 million mile, or 55 million …

What Happened on the Moon Before Apollo

What Happened on the Moon Before Apollo ?

Admin Rockets, space, Technology 2 Comments

The Apollo landings from 1969 to 1972 marked a high point in lunar exploration but Apollo didn’t just rock up on to the moon out of the blue, it took many, many missions by probes and landers over the preceding years to establish if we could send men to the moon and get them back. It’s quite strange to think that even by the late 1950’s, just over 10 years before Neil Armstrong set foot on the lunar surface we knew surprisingly little about the moon other than what we could observe from the earth and the hypotheses we drew from …