Buran-Energia : The Soviet Space Shuttle 2.0 on a Moon Rocket

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To many the Soviet Space shuttle or Buran was just a copy of the NASA one, it looks surprisingly similar and was meant to do similar things but beyond the looks the two are really quite different, not only in the shuttle vehicles themselves but also the way it got into space, in many ways the Buran could be seen as the Space Shuttle 2.0. To build big things in space, you have to have an affordable way to get off the ground. As spectacular as the Apollo era rockets were on-camera, they were hardly efficient: the Titan IIIC cost …

How China is taking on the world in space

How China is taking on the world in space

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This chart shows a recent survey of satellites and space junk in Low Earth Orbit, listed by the country responsible for creating it. The third country might surprise you: China has left almost as much debris as America or Russia, despite having a much shorter history in space. In fact, most of this was from just one missile test in 2007, when China fired a ‘Kinetic Kill Vehicle’ at one of its retired weather satellites. The missile hit at a relative speed of 8 kilometres per second (or 17,900 miles per hour), shattering the satellite into more than 900 large …

How do spacecraft navigate in space ?

How do spacecraft navigate in space ?

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How does a space probe like Voyager 2, which was launched in 1977, visit the 4 outer planets and travel over 17 billion kilometres over 40 years with almost next to nothing in the way of fuel. By the time Voyager 2 had reached Neptune, it had swung by Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus, travelled 7 billion kilometres and was still within 100km of it’s target and all with mid 1970’s technology. In the movies space craft just seem to fly to where ever they want and get there in no time at all but in our version of reality its …

Interstellar Space Arks - Humanities Exodus From Earth

Interstellar Space Arks – Humanities Exodus From Earth

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Earlier this year, Professor Stephen Hawking warned the human race that, unless we found a way to colonise another planet in the next hundred years, we would face a very real threat of extinction. He said: “With climate change, overdue asteroid strikes, epidemics and population growth, our own planet is increasingly precarious.” The idea of a brave band of people leaving Earth to start a new life elsewhere in the galaxy isn’t new. Rocket pioneer Robert H Goddard described an “interstellar ark” in 1918, and ten years later his Russian counterpart Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, known as the father of astronautic theory, …

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 …