As senior astronomer of the S.E.T.I. Institute in California tells Dick he has no doubt life exists in other parts of the universe, and believes scientists are getting closer to finding it â itâs just a matter of time.
Tagged with “space” (18)
Our science team takes stock of the textbook landing of Nasa’s Curiosity rover on Mars. Plus, we discuss why science in film works – and why it sometimes doesn’t.
This week we’ve assembled a panel of experts to feed your appetite for information about Nasa’s new star, the Mars Curiosity rover.
The plucky robot landed on the red planet at 6:14am UK time and immediately sent back images of its surroundings. Guardian science correspondent Ian Sample takes us through the complex landing procedure; planetary scientist Geraint Jones from University College London tells us what it’s like to be in the control room back on Earth when your lander reaches another planet; and our new astronomy blogger, Stuart Clark, walks us through Curiosity’s scientific goals.
Talking of alien worlds, science fans will be pleased to know that the Wellcome Trust has launched a new prize to encourage the production of high-quality feature films inspired by biology and medicine: from genetics and infectious diseases to consciousness and mental health.
Here to discuss good and bad science on the big and small screen are the Wellcome Trust media fellow and podcast regular, Kevin Fong, and the Wellcome Trust’s games and film expert Iain Dodgeon.
We also have the space junkie and self-confessed geek Helen Keen on the show. She’s hoping to win audiences at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe festival with a show that exposes her love for all things robotic. We’ll talk to her about her new show – Robot Woman of Tomorrow – and get her thoughts on the Curiosity rover too.
The Voyager 1 spacecraft will soon have a new territory to explore—interstellar space. Voyager chief scientist Ed Stone discusses whether the spacecraft will have a bumpy exit from the solar system, and the chances Voyager’s golden record may someday be intercepted by an advanced space-faring civilization.
GUESTS Ed Stone Chief Scientist, Voyager Professor, Physics California Institute of Technology Pasadena, California
Dr. Mae Jemison was the first black woman in space. Now, she’s leading a wildly ambitious project: to achieve interstellar travel in the next 100 years. She’s with us.
Think Star Trek and you won’t be far off. A new Pentagon project is putting out seed money for interstellar travel. Humans, rambling around among the stars. It’s called the 100 Year Starship project. It’s as wildly ambitious as just about anything you can imagine.
The spaceship, its energy source, its passengers’ survival – full-blown or just as DNA… all giant challenges. Not to mention that we’re sort of broke and not even flying space shuttles right now. Leader of the new effort: astronaut Mae Jemison, the first black woman in space. She’s with us.
This hour, On Point: the 100 Year Starship.
The idea of exploiting the natural resources on asteroids has been around for more than a century. But a new company called Planetary Resources has the financial backing of some big names in high tech, and hopes to launch specially-designed prospecting spacecraft within two years.
From creating remote-sensing CubeSats to analyzing aerogel: how the public is hacking into open source space exploration.
As technology shifts from a means of passive consumption to active creation, people are collaborating on a massive scale. The endeavor of Spacehack.org is to transform that into more of a community, so that space hackers can easily connect and interact.
Amateurs were once considered to be at the crux of scientific discovery, but over time have been put on the sidelines. Despite this, citizen science is witnessing a renaissance. Agencies such as NASA no longer have a monopoly on the global space program and more participatory projects are coming to life to harness the power of open collaboration around exploring space on a faster schedule.
Instead of complaining about where our jetpack is, we can now demand to figure out how to take an elevator to space . And, while you still can’t own a CubeSat as easily as an iPod, you can join a SEDSAT-2 team and learn how to engineer one.
There’s also GalaxyZoo , which opened up a data set containing a million galaxies imaged by a robotic telescope. Why projects such as these are important is because robots are actually kind of dumb. Humans are able to make classifications that well-programmed machines can’t. Currently, 200,000 humans are identifying over 250,000 galaxies.
If tinkering with spacecrafts is more your speed, the Google Lunar X PRIZE is a competition to send robots to the moon. However, you don’t need to be a robotics engineer to participate. Team FREDNET , the first open source competitor, is open for anyone to join.
While the concept of open source has resonated around the world and beyond, there is still much education to be done. NASA and the ESA have made large quantities of their data open, but have yet to facilitate developer communities that allow for active contribution to the code rather than just feedback on finding bugs.
Spacehack.org , a directory of ways to participate in space exploration, was created for this reason, among others. Many of these projects are buried in old government websites or do not clearly communicate how someone can get involved. It is with great hope that it will not only encourage the creation of more participatory space projects, but also urge existing ones to embrace the social web.
So you want to be an astronaut? Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by space experts Chris Riley, Dr Kevin Fong and comedian Helen Keen to discuss the future of human space flight.
With the last shuttle flight approaching in June, the future of manned spaceflight is uncertain. Former NASA engineer and author David Baker, astronaut Jeffrey A. Hoffman, and journalist Pat Duggins discuss the milestones and downfalls of the shuttle program and what may come next.
All the latest science news, in-depth features, games and conversations as they happen from around Australia and the world.
Dr Karl jets off to Cape Canaveral for a space shuttle launch. Plus: how do space elevators work?; and what is the possibility of humanity travelling beyond our solar system?
Black Holes seem to have bad press that is largely undeserved. This lecture with professor Ian Morison explains what Black Holes are, and how we can discover them even through they can’t be seen.
This program was recorded in collaboration with Gresham College, on October 27, 2010.
Gresham Professor of Astronomy Ian Morison made his first telescope at the age of 12 with lenses given to him by his optician. Having studied Physics, Maths and Astronomy at Oxford, he became a radio astronomer at the Jodrell Bank Observatory and teaches Astronomy and Cosmology at the University of Manchester.
Over 25 years he has also taught Observational Astronomy to many hundreds of adult students in the North West of England. An active amateur optical astronomer, he is a council member and past president of the Society for Popular Astronomy in the United Kingdom.
At Jodrell Bank he was a designer of the 217 KM MERLIN array and has coordinated the Project Phoenix SETI Observations using the Lovell Radio Telescope. He contributes astronomy articles and reviews for New Scientist and Astronomy Now, and produces a monthly sky guide on the Observatory’s website.
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