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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Like so many in the “space community” I was saddened to hear of the passing of Reg Turnill. He was the BBC’s aerospace correspondent but is best known for covering the American Space program throughout the 60s and 70s that he documents so well in his book Moonlandings: An eye witness account. He was the […]
The first interview in this episode is with astronaut Joe Engle was recorded during his visit to the UK in 2008. Joe Engle was at the front of the queue to go to the Moon when NASA cut its Apollo program. His place was taken by the geologist Harrison Schmitt on Apollo 17 – the last manned […]
The August 2012 edition of Spaceflight, the monthly magazine from the British Interplanetary Society carried an article where I discuss the Northwest of England’s contribution in Rocketry during the 1930s. An extended version of that article is available for free download on Astrotalkuk.org – here. So on to today’ episode. In 1937, two teenagers Harry […]
Brian Harvey is a Dublin based writer, author, broadcaster and probably the most informed specialist on Chinese and Soviet/Russian space program in Ireland today. This conversation recorded during the Shenzhou-9 / Tiangong-1 mission orbiting the Earth with the three crew including the first Chinese female astronaut on-board. At the end of the interview Brian Harvey talks about the Space Cooperation Memorandum signed last week.
Historian Michael Wood’s documentary, The Great British Story – A People’s History, is currently being screened in the UK. Michael is from Manchester and was visiting Liverpool last weekend where he made time for this recording.