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 […]

BIS Northern Meeting York 19th May 2012

A British Interplanetary Society  meeting with a difference. The venue is in the North of England – the historic city of York. You don’t have to be a BIS member – all with an interest in spaceflight are welcome. A day long event with five speakers on subjects that include Lunar dust, Soviet & German […]

Episode 47:25th July 2011: Yuri Gagarin Statue in London

Links to audio and video below. The 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s UK visit was marked by the unveiling of an aluminium statue of Gagarin, an exact copy of the one outside Lyubertsy Technical School number 10 where Gagarin started his training as a foundryman. The statue, a gift from the Russian federal space agency […]

The Final Shuttle Flight and the Shuttle landing Facility – a personal memory

I had watched the channel 4 documentary on Saturday evening and inevitably ended up comparing it to the one on BBC last night. The ad breaks aside, the BBC’s version came out on top because of the focus on people, perhaps because of Kevin Fong’s connection to the shuttle program. The personal emotional contributions from […]

Episode 45: 4th July 2011: Apollo 15 Command Module Pilot Al Worden

Probably the most scientifically demanding Apollo mission, Apollo 15 was launched on 26th July 1971 on a two week mission. Al Worden in the command module orbited the Moon for 75 orbits whilst Dave Scott and James Irwin explored the south eastern edge of Mare Imbrium on the Moon’s surface.  Apollo 15 launched with the […]

Episode 44: 15th May 2011: First Orbit and Manchester’s Yuri Gagarin Exhibition

Another Yuri Gagarin episode, I know the anniversary of the world’s first spaceflight is over but there is still lots going on over the next few months. There are two contributors in this episode, Chris Riley and Richard Evans. One of the most successful projects to mark the anniversary is the film First Orbit. The […]

Space Shuttle Launch from the UK?

Want to see Shuttle launch from the UK without leaving home? OK, its not quiet the launch but it is not long after. A coincidence of timing today is just right for an unusual view of the Space Shuttle Endeavor’s last ever flight. About half an hour after the Sun sets in the UK, Endeavor […]

Episode 42: April 12th 2011: Rare video of Yuri Gagarin in Manchester

Scroll down for the audio and video. On a cold bright Wednesday morning fifty years ago in the Soviet town of  Turatam, a rocket launched a man into space. A critical initial step for any civilisation that eventually travels to the stars. Any first is both special and trivial. Special because by definition it only […]