American manned spaceflight in 2019

Since the retirement of the Space Shuttle in July 2011, America has been unable to put any astronauts into orbit around the Earth. Instead, it has been in the difficult situation of having to rely on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS). This situation may change… Continue reading American manned spaceflight in 2019

Chinese Moon missions

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

Where does space begin?

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?

New e-book from The Science Geek on Venus

For the last few months I have been writing an e-book on the planet Venus, the planet closest to the Earth in distance, size and internal composition, and the third brightest natural object in our sky after the Sun and the Moon.  The book is now finished and is available to download in Kindle format… Continue reading New e-book from The Science Geek on Venus

Soyuz MS-11

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

The future of the International Space Station

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

Space stations past and present

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