View Post

Interview with ESA Astronaut Luca Parmitano

In people, Science, space, Videos by Paul ShillitoLeave a Comment

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 …

View Post

How Australia Helped Save Apollo 13

In people, Science, space, Videos by Paul ShillitoLeave a Comment

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 …

View Post

How Neil Armstrong Cheated Death Multiple times Before Apollo

In accidents, Aerospace, people, space, Videos by Paul ShillitoLeave a Comment

According to legend, the family name Armstrong was bestowed upon a Celtic clan after a leading member displayed an amazing feat of heroism in battle – using just one of his arms. If that’s true, it might suggest where, centuries later, pioneer pilot and astronaut Neil Armstrong got his sense of adventure from. By the time of the first manned moon mission, Apollo 11 on July 22nd, 1969, he’d already cheated death at least seven times – all in vehicles provided to him by the American government. Neil Alden Armstrong was born in Ohio on August 5, 1930, of Irish, …

View Post

The TV camera’s Apollo left on the Moon

In Science, space, Videos by Paul ShillitoLeave a Comment

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 …

View Post

Interview with Ex IBM-NASA Kenneth Roberts talking about Saturn V, Skylab, Spacelab and the Shuttle

In people, space, Videos by Paul ShillitoLeave a Comment

In this episode, I talk with Ex IBM and NASA contractor Kenneth Roberts who worked on the Saturn V, Skylab, Spacelab, the space shuttle and also helped train the crews and astronauts to understand and use the custom made flight and operational computer systems. This was a result of the request to talk to people who worked or still do work in the space/aerospace industry and I would like the thank Tennis Smith for setting up the interview and suggesting it in the first place. If you know someone that worked in the space industry and think they would like …

View Post

Secret Soviet Lunar Rovers and Extra Terrestrial Cars

In Aerospace, Extraterrestrial, space, Technology, Travel, Videos by Paul ShillitoLeave a Comment

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 …

View Post

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

In Aerospace, computers, robotics, space, Technology, Videos by Paul Shillito1 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 …

View Post

Salyut 7 – The forgotten rescue of a dead space station

In Aerospace, space, Videos by Paul ShillitoLeave a Comment

In 1985 one of the most audacious space rescue missions was launched by the Soviets to recover a space station that had been dead for months due to an unknown fault. A feat that was unparalleled in space exploration and rewrote the books on what was thought possible: and yet, its story has fallen into obscurity and conspiracy theories. In 1979, the Soviet Union was a superpower in search of a space station. ‘Mir’, the state-of-the-art orbital facility in development, was delayed and still six years from launch. But the military space station, ‘Almaz’, had also recently been cancelled, without …

View Post

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

In Rockets, space, Videos, Weapons by Paul ShillitoLeave a Comment

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 …

View Post

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

In Aerospace, Rockets, Science, space, Videos, Weapons by Paul Shillito3 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 …