Episode 67 : Technik Museum Speyer

IMG_3306This episode is a preview of some of the space related exhibits in Europe’s largest aerospace museum – Speyer Technik Museum, in Germany. If you ever go and the following may entice you to do so,  four space exhibits to look out for include the following:

Soyuz TM19 – The landing capsule Soyuz TM-19 was used by the German astronaut Ulf Merbold to return to Earth on 4th November 1994 following his launch in Soyuz TM-20 on 3rd October 1994.

Buran – The Soviet Space shuttle Buran was a the Soviet response to the American Space Shuttle. Two complete working vehicles were made.  The Buran was unmanned and, although reusable, was never actually reused. One made a single flight to space and was later destroyed when the hangar housing it collapsed. The other made 25 test flights also unmanned but only in Earth atmosphere.  Following an unexpected find in the Persian Gulf by German journalists, it was brought to Speyer in 2008.

Bor-5 – To assist the Soviets’ design of the Buran they built and flew BOR-5 - a  1:8 scale model of the Buran. Bor-5  made five unmanned sub-orbital test flights between 1984 and 1988.

Moon rock – One of the largest pieces of Moonrock I have seen on public display. It is from Apollo 15 mission but was unveiled at the Museum in June 2013 by Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan. 

If you do go, it is is a big place – one day is not enough!


Episode 66: Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre

November 21st 2013 was the 50th anniversary of a rocket launched from India in to space. The launch itself was an all Indian affair but with lots of international support. The rocket was American, carried a French Sodium Vapour payload with assisted by a computer and a helicopter from the Soviet Union. From this meagre beginning, India has become a key player not only  in building and launching rockets  but also designing , building and deploying satellites.

This episode was recorded on the site of that first launch. Then  known as the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launch Station and is today known as the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre.  Sundaram Ramakrishnan, the current director of the  Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) talks about his 4 decade long career with the Indian Space Research Organisation. He has has played a central role throughout the development of India’s most reliable launcher – the  Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

Episode 65: ISRO – The early years


The Indian Space Research Organisation formally came in to being in 1972. By then, India had been developing its space program for almost a decade. The first launch to space from Indian soil was a two stage Nike-Apache rocket supplied by USA with a  sodium  payload from France. The rocket delivered a vertical trail of sodium […]

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Episode 64: Bangalore Astronomical Society

  Another episode in the current series about space and India. Bangalore Astronomical Society (BAS) is probably the most industrious astronomical societies in India. Founded in 2006, it has nearly 200 paid up members based in and around Bangalore but a huge number of national and international followers online. In this episode, BAS president Naveen Nanjundappa, […]

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India’s Mars Orbiter Mission

Mars Orbiter Mission - Photo - ISRO

India launched its Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) with its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) launcher and everything, including the weather, performed as expected. The 1340KM Mars bound probe with a 15km  package of five science instruments will arrive at Mars in December next year. Currently MOM is in Earth orbit where it will remain for […]

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Episode 63 – Rakesh Sharma India’s first and only spaceman

Rakesh Sharma

With a population of 1.2 billion people, India has just one national with first hand experience of spaceflight. Rakesh Sharma, a now retired Indian Air Force wing commander in 1984 spent eight days in space aboard the Soviet space station Salyut 7. This account of his spaceflight was recorded at this home in the Nilgris […]

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Episode 62 – Vikram Sarabhai

Vikram Sarabhai  is unanimously accepted across India as the “father” of its space program. Not really known well outside India, he died suddenly and prematurely at age of 52 in 1971. He had studied cosmic ray physics and gained his PHD from Cambridge in 1947 the same year India became an independent nation.  He spent […]

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Book Review: Vikram Sarabhai – A life

  Title:Vikram Sarabhai: A Life Hardcover: 264 pages Publisher: Viking (India) ISBN-10: 0670999512 ISBN-13: 978-0670999514 Although, any national space programme relies on thousands of individuals, history has a tendency to single out one man (and it usually is a man) as an originator above all others. Sergei Korolev and perhaps Wernher von Braun served that […]

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India and Space

November 21st 2013 marks 50 years of the Indian space program. From humble beginnings devoid of infrastructure, experience or trained engineers, India today has an established track record of designing, building and launching satellites for its own national needs and commercially for others. The next few podcast offer a glimpse of the people and achievements […]

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IISP NW Regional Meetings

The videos below are recordings of the NW regional branch meetings of the Institute of Information Security Professional (IISP) recorded in Manchester. The videos and  slides  are made available with the consent of the speakers who remain the copyright owners. The next meeting, a joint one with the Chartered Institute for IT in Greater Manchester. It is on the evening […]

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