Sputnik - 60 years on from the Start of the Space Race

Sputnik – 60 years on from the Start of the Space Race

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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 …

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 …

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 …

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

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

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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 ?

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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 …