Like many people, I was very excited to hear the news on 3 January that the Chinese spacecraft, Chang'e 4, had landed as planned in the Von Karman crater on the far side of the Moon. Chang’e 4 in the Von Karman crater. The crater lies in the South Pole-Aitken basin on the far side of… Continue reading Chinese Moon missions
Happy New Year to all my readers and followers. Many of you will be aware of the recent test flight of the Virgin Space Ship Unity. On 13 December 2018 it reached an altitude of 82.7 km and was widely reported in the media, for example the BBC news website, as reaching ‘the edge of… Continue reading Where does space begin?
On 3 December 2018 a Soyuz spacecraft will take off on a mission to transport three astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). The new crew will be ISS Expedition 58 and will stay at the station for six months and their arrival will allow the current ISS crew to return to Earth. Mission patch… Continue reading Soyuz MS-11
After the Soyuz spacecraft failed to get into orbit on 11 October 2018, it looked like Soyuz flights to the ISS might be on hold for a period of time and that the ISS would even need to be temporarily abandoned. Fortunately this has proved not to be the case and the next Soyuz will… Continue reading The future of the International Space Station
Many of my readers will be aware the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft failed to get into orbit on Thursday 11 October. It was on a mission to take fresh crew to the International Space Station (ISS). Mission patch for Soyuz MS-10 A major fault occurred at an altitude of about 50 km when the booster rocket… Continue reading Soyuz – What next?
The International Space Station (ISS) is now 20 years old. In this post I’ll talk about the history of the ISS and other space stations, and I’ll also touch on some of the politics involved. Image from NASA Early space stations Although America was the first country to put a man on the… Continue reading Space stations past and present
Pulsars were first detected in 1967 by a research student called Jocelyn Bell when she was taking observations for her PhD thesis. Her supervisor, Anthony Hewish, went on to win the Nobel prize in 1974 for the discovery, and her contribution was overlooked. Many at the time felt that Jocelyn Bell should have been given… Continue reading Jocelyn Bell and the Breakthrough prize 2018