Episode 68: Stephen H Smith – India’s forgotten rocketeer

Contribution of Stephen H Smith to development of rocketry and the Anglo Indian community in India of which he is a member.

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 […]

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 […]

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

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 […]

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 […]

Episode 61: Reg Turnill on Wernher von Braun

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 […]

Episode 58: Astronauts Joe Engle and Ron Garan

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 Red Rockets’ Glare – Book Review

Title: The Red Rockets’ Glare : Spaceflight and the Soviet Imagination, 1857–1957 Publisher: Cambridge University Press Author: Asif A. Siddiqi ISBN: 9780521897600 Price: £58.00 [414 pages hardcover] This is probably the most meticulous analysis of the culture of an insecure, troubled and courageous people: the Soviets and those that preceded them, who collectively pulled off […]

Episode 54: 23 July 2012 – Manchester Interplanetary Society and Stanley Davis

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 […]

Episode 53: 28th June 2012 – The Chinese Space program

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.