Despite the somewhat difficult relations between Russia and the West in the last few years, it is worth looking back 65 years to October 1957 and the launch of the first artificial satellite Sputnik 1. This historic event, which caught many in the West by complete surprise, was the beginning of the space age. To… Continue reading 4 October 1957 – Sputnik 1
I was saddened to find out about the recent death, at the age of 92, of Frank Drake, one of the pioneers of SETI. One of the things he is most famous for is the equation bearing his name which estimates the number of intelligent civilisations in our galaxy, the Drake equation. As a tribute… Continue reading Frank Drake and the Drake equation
On 18 December a Ariane 5 rocket will take off from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana, aboard it will be the $12 billion James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) - the most expensive scientific instrument ever launched into space. In this post I’ll talk about this remarkable telescope and the mission to deploy it.… Continue reading James Webb Telescope
A week is certainly a long time in crewed spaceflight! Following Richard Branson’s trip to “the edge of space” on Sunday 11 July, Jeff Bezos went one step further on July 20. He made a short journey to space, in the first crewed flight of his Blue Origin rocket ship, New Shepard. As the spacecraft… Continue reading Congratulations Blue Origin!
Great news from Virgin Galactic on Sunday. Although according to the widely used definition, their spacecraft didn’t quite get into space. Most international authorities define that space begins at an altitude of 100 km (the Karman line), whereas VSS Unity reached an altitude of 86 km, but a fantastic achievement nevertheless !!. For those who… Continue reading Congratulations Virgin Galactic