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Space

First Man

Published May 11, 2019

First Man

So many thoughts! First opinion is that this was an epic film on such a grand scale and just so moving. It captured me almost instantly, with that crazy stressful start to a movie and then it never let up. The biggest highlight is the insanely good cinematography that grabs you, thrusts you into the heart of the action, makes you look at things differently and from angles that only the real participants could have seen, and then leaves you to deal with the consequences. I genuinely thought I was inside every rocket that Armstrong was in, I felt that claustrophobic and breathy intensity, and I was more than invested in every step he took.

SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System

Published September 27, 2016

SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System

This video is so gorgeous. Watch it full screen if you can. What’s incredible is that we could very well be living through the moments that will be detailed in future history textbooks, when that billionaire changed the face of space travel as we know it. Incredible. There’s a live stream with more info starting soon.

A fuel depot in space

Published August 12, 2016

A fuel depot in space

I recently stumbled across an old note I made, after listening to an episode of Inside Science from the BBC. It’s a fantastic space quote about setting up lunar fuel depots, discussing the prospect of solving the problem whereby you need to take off from Earth with all the fuel to get where you’re going. If you can break that barrier, more remote areas of space become possible. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

That huge orbiting laboratory

Published December 14, 2015

That huge orbiting laboratory

It’s a big responsibility and an honor to work in that huge orbiting laboratory. Figuring out how to support life in the hostile environment of space has resulted in thousands of down-to-earth spin-offs, from temperature-regulating underwear to heart pumps that rely on Shuttle fuel-pump technology. The concrete benefits and by-products of the science we do in space have touched fields from agriculture to medicine to robotics. Data gathered on the Shuttle and ISS help power Google Maps; experiments with different dietary and exercise protocols have revealed how to ward off, permanently, one debilitating type of osteoporosis; the robotic machinery now used inside the parts of nuclear power plants that are too hazardous for humans is a direct descendent of Canadarm: the list goes on and on.

One step closer to colonising the moon

Published June 28, 2014

One step closer to colonising the moon

Continuing my space-mad theme at the moment, before I disappeared for two weeks, I was most excited to read this story about wifi on the moon! MIT have been experimenting with beaming things off multiple satellites in an attempt to reach the moon, and they reckon it’s possible, if a little tricky. Communicating at high data rates from Earth to the moon with laser beams is challenging because of the 400,000-kilometre distance spreading out the light beam.

Space Center, Houston

Published June 24, 2014

Space Center, Houston

My interest in science and space has grown exponentially over the last few years. Science was one of those subjects that was beaten out of me at school and it’s taken a long while for me to really give it the time of day. Since I have, though, I’ve been fascinated, particularly developing a fledgling obsession with the moon. Over on Sidepodcast, we live commented some of the launch and landings of the space shuttle and its successors, and who can argue with an astronaut making a Rocket Man video in actual space?

Mission 26 - The Big Endeavour

Published October 28, 2012

Mission 26 - The Big Endeavour

Almost as much as its adventures in space, the final mission of the Space Shuttle Endeavour - to get through the streets of Los Angeles to its final resting place - has captured the minds of a global audience. There’s so much about this that still manages to boggle my mind, and now we have some brilliant time lapse videos to see the movement in action. This second video is almost exactly the same, but does have a clip of them lifting up some electrical wires out the way.

Look before you leap

Published October 16, 2012

Look before you leap

I’m sure it didn’t escape your notice that on Sunday Felix Baumgartner jumped from a capsule at the edge of space to freefall back down to earth, and then landed on his feet successfully. What did you do with your weekend? It was an absolutely inspirational thing to watch. I’ll admit I didn’t sit through the build up, and was a bit of a fairweather viewer - tuning in when he was just about half an hour from the impending jump.

In the Shadow of the Moon - Field notes

Published August 17, 2011

In the Shadow of the Moon - Field notes

After my rather foolish admission that I hadn’t necessarily paid much attention to those that went to the moon after the main three, Steven Roy recommended I watch this documentary film on 4OD - In the Shadow of the Moon. I watched, and I learned, and I made notes. I’ve posted the distilled version for Film Watch, but these are the full notes I made along the way - 90 minutes of brilliant space travel stuff, I highly recommend it.

N is for National Space Centre

Published August 7, 2011

N is for National Space Centre

The final stop on my Alphabet mini-tour (way back in May, how did that happen?) was the National Space Centre, just outside of Leicester. I’m developing an interest in all things space travel, and I was surprised that we have a space centre, given that we have very little in the way of a space programme. The website makes it clear that this is a destination designed for kids. At the moment, on the homepage, there’s a lego space shuttle, and three pictures of kids enjoying their day out at the centre.