Project Orion – The Atomic Bomb Powered Space Rocket

Project Orion – The Atomic Bomb Powered Space Rocket

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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 …

Eclipse - Chasing the Shadow at 50,000 ft | 2017 - 1973

Eclipse – Chasing the Shadow at 50,000 ft | 2017 – 1973

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On August 21st 2017, what being dubbed as the “Great American Eclipse” will take place on a path 2680 miles long that goes from the Oregon on the west coast to South Carolina on the east coast and will be the first total eclipse in the US to go coast to coast in 99 years. The width of the shadow where the sun will be completely blocked by the moon is 70 miles wide and will travel across the land at over 1500mph. For those on the ground, the time of totality will vary from just under 2 minutes in …

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

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

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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 …

How Australia Helped Save Apollo 13

How Australia Helped Save Apollo 13

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When you mention the words “Apollo” and “NASA” most people will immediately think of America, that big U.. S.. A.. on the side of the Saturn V rockets at take off is an awe inspiring sight and a great piece of national branding but success in Space requires a global effort: the International Space Station is only the latest example of the coordinated ingenuity of nations working together to get things done off the planet. The problem with space craft is that they don’t stay above the launch area, they orbit the earth about 16 times a day and the …

The TV camera's Apollo left on the Moon

The TV camera’s Apollo left on the Moon

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This is the Apollo 17 Lunar Module, and the moment when Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt, the last men to stand on the Moon’s surface left to return to earth… but if no one else is there, who’s operating the camera as it pans up and follows the ascent module? The view is actually from a video camera mounted on the Lunar Rover, which remains on the moon to this day. Remotely operated by ground control via the large high gain antenna on the rover itself, the shot was meticulously planned, and timed to account for the 1.2-second delay in …