Kevin Fong explores the success and failure of NASA’s missions to Mars
Tagged with “space” (125)
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Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss comets, the ‘dirty snowballs’ of the Solar System. In the early 18th century the Astronomer Royal Sir Edmond Halley compiled a list of appearances of comets, bright objects like stars with long tails which are occasionally visible in the night sky. He concluded that many of these apparitions were in fact the same comet, which returns to our skies around every 75 years, and whose reappearance he correctly predicted. Halley’s Comet is today the best known example of a comet, a body of ice and dust which orbits the Sun. Since they contain materials from the time when the Solar System was formed, comets are regarded by scientists as frozen time capsules, with the potential to reveal important information about the early history of our planet and others.
Monica Grady Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences at the Open University
Paul Murdin Senior Fellow at the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge
Don Pollacco Professor of Astronomy at the University of Warwick
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the origins, science and mythology of the moon. Humans have been fascinated by our only known satellite since prehistory. In some cultures the Moon has been worshipped as a deity; in recent centuries there has been lively debate about its origins and physical characteristics. Although other planets in our solar system have moons ours is, relatively speaking, the largest, and is perhaps more accurately described as a ‘twin planet’; the past, present and future of the Earth and the Moon are locked together. Only very recently has water been found on the Moon - a discovery which could prove to be invaluable if human colonisation of the Moon were ever to occur. Mankind first walked on the Moon in 1969, but it is debatable how important this huge political event was in developing our scientific knowledge. The advances of space science, including data from satellites and the moon landings, have given us some startling insights into the history of our own planet, but many intriguing questions remain unanswered. With:Paul MurdinVisiting Professor of Astronomy at Liverpool John Moores UniversityCarolin CrawfordGresham Professor of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge Ian CrawfordReader in Planetary Science and Astrobiology at Birkbeck College, London.Producer: Natalia Fernandez.
Last man on the Moon, Captain Gene Cernan, and Apollo 9 lunar module pilot Rusty Schweickart join Space Boffin Richard at Spacefest in Tucson, Arizona. Apollo 17 commander Cernan expresses his frustration about the state of the space programme and Rusty Schweickart warns of the asteroid threat to Earth. We also hear from astronomer Nick Howes, spaceblogger Emily Carney, Thomas Zurbuchen on how small satellites could be the future for big science missions and the going rates for astronaut autographs.
This week Emily Lakdawalla, planetary evangelist for The Planetary Society, joins Gabe and Erik to discuss planetary science, education and exploration.
NASA has always pushed boundaries in big science and big technology. Right now, NASA (partnering with the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency) is building, assembling, and testing the largest telescope to ever be launched into space: the James Webb Space Telescope. As the scientific successor to the beloved Hubble Space Telescope, JWST will explore uncharted territories in the first epoch of galaxy formation—a part of our Universe never seen before. JWST will also have the amazing capability to study exoplanet atmospheres in unprecedented detail. This is possible due to innovative technologies that push the boundaries of what is capable for spacecraft.
Original video: https://soundcloud.com/officialsxsw/extreme-science-nasas-james-webb-space-telescope-sxsw-interactive-2016
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NASA’s Journey to Mars is underway. Already, the first steps are being taken – rovers and orbiters are studying the habitability of the Red Planet, astronauts aboard the International Space Station are studying the effects of long-duration stays in space, and the new Orion crew vehicle successfully has completed a test flight 15 times higher than the space station’s orbit. Now, Kennedy Space Center in Florida is transforming into a next-generation spaceport, the world’s most powerful rocket – Space Launch System – is undergoing manufacture and testing, and other advanced new systems are in development. Beginning very soon, increasingly ambitious missions will lead to the first steps on Mars.
What does the future hold for human space exploration? With more countries getting involved and costs falling, ambitious projects are being proposed.
The launch of space shuttle Challenger goes horribly wrong, Rupert Murdoch goes to war with his print unions, Australia’s 18th century penal colonies, Sharia law in Nigeria, and Batman comes to TV.
Bob Ebeling, an anonymous source for NPR’s 1986 report on the disaster, tells NPR that despite warning NASA of troubles before the launch, he believes God "shouldn’t have picked me for that job."
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