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 …

Will We Ever Find and Understand Extraterrestrial Messages ?

Will We Ever Find and Understand Extraterrestrial Messages ?

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We have been searching for signs of extra-terrestrial life for the last 50+ years, and so far we have found no evidence of anything beyond our planet. But what are we searching for?. We are framed by our own human expectations, our current technology and understanding of the universe and the physics that we believe make it. In other words, we are looking for what we might expect other beings like us, might send and use technology that we know about. The first problem is that if we got a signal or message from ET, could we understand it. Would …

The New Space Race to the Moon between NASA, SpaceX and Blue Origin

The New Space Race to the Moon between NASA, SpaceX and Blue Origin

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Moon missions are becoming a bit like buses, it seems as though you wait the best part of 50 years for a return trip to the moon, then within a matter weeks, two, turn up at once. This is quickly turning into the new space race but this time it’s not between nation states but between private companies as Jeff Bezos, boss of Amazon and space company Blue Origin has said that they are looking to set up a base on the moon by the mid-2020’s. This comes within a week or so after Elon Musk releveled SpaceX’s plans to …

Nasa's Million Dollar Space Pen vs The Soviet Pencils

Nasa’s Million Dollar Space Pen vs The Soviet Pencils

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The story of the NASA’s million $ space pen and the soviet pencils has become one of the enduring tales  from the space race which still floats around the internet today and goes a bit like this. During the 1960’s as NASA was sending the first men in the space, they realise that pens don’t work in zero gravity, so they spent years and millions of tax payer dollars to develop one that did. Meanwhile, in the Soviet Union, the cosmonauts simply used pencils. The moral of the story to many is that NASA was a wasteful government organisation that would …

The Biggest Rocket ever Designed? - The Sea Dragon

The Biggest Rocket ever Designed? – The Sea Dragon

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In the history of space, one rocket stands out as an icon of not only the space race but of the mighty power it symbolised. That one rocket, which is still the Tallest, heaviest and most powerful ever built, was the Saturn V, which was designed to take men to the moon and later launched the first American Space station, Skylab. But if things had been a little different back in the 60’s we might have had a different rocket to hang on the bedroom walls of the space fans of the 70’s and 80’s. In the early 1960’s, a …