Interview with ESA Astronaut Luca Parmitano

Interview with ESA Astronaut Luca Parmitano

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In this episode, I Interview with ESA Astronaut Luca Parmitano whilst he was at Star City, Zvyozdny gorodok Звёздный городо́к in Russia about his work with ESA on the ISS (International Space Station) and various aspects of his views about space and working in it and how and why he became an astronaut amongst other things. If you want to jump to questions & sections of the interview by time stamp below you will need to go to the Youtube page as these dont link to the video about and are there for information only. 00:16 Intro 02:03 What made …

XB-70 Valkyrie - The Worlds Fastest Bomber

XB-70 Valkyrie – The Worlds Fastest Bomber

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“That’s not a plane, it’s a 3 plane formation” that’s what General Curtis LeMay said of the plans for the WS-110 supersonic replacement for the B-52 back in 1954. Back in the early 1950s, the B-52 was USAF’s main nuclear delivery platform but with the increasing sophistication of the Soviet defences, a new supersonic nuclear bomber was called for which would stretch the limits of the technology to beyond what was thought possible just a few years before. The plane that would emerge from the WS-110 design process was the XB-70 Valkyrie. It would be one of the biggest in …

X-15 The Ultimate Flying Machine

X-15 The Ultimate Flying Machine

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“It was the ultimate flying machine, No aeroplane can live up to what the X-15 did.” That’s what retired test pilot and astronaut Joe Engle said of the first real space plane and 50 years after its record-breaking flight of 3rd October 1967 when USAF test pilot William J. Knight achieved a top speed of MACH 6.72, 4519 mph or 7273 km/h, It’s still the fastest manned powered aircraft. And if you thought the SR71 blackbird was the fastest jet, then you absolutely correct because the X-15 wasn’t a jet, it was rocket powered single seater aircraft which looked a …

Nuclear powered Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Nuclear powered trains, planes and automobiles

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To quote L.P Hartleys 1953 book “The GoBetween”, “The past is a different country, they do things differently there”. That’s definitely something that could be applied our attitude to the newly discovered atomic power in the late 1940’s and 50s. Within just a few years after the first atomic bombs had been dropped on Japan, it seemed as though the atom would the cure all our all our energy needs with power “too cheap to meter” as was once quoted. Whilst ships and submarines of the leading navies went nuclear, companies put forward ideas for atomic powered planes, trains and …

Why cant you fly a plane into space?

Why can’t we fly a plane into space ?

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  Why can’t we fly a plane into space, what stops it from just flying higher and higher until we are in space? Well, there a several issues but assuming we are in something like a normal jet airliner, then one of the main problems is the air or lack of it as we get closer to space. A plane flies because as it is propelled forward, the wings, which are shaped to make the air flow faster over the top of them than the bottom, generate lift. As the plane goes faster the wings creates more lift and when the …