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  • Writer's pictureMatt Russell

#122 - Rod Pyle and Coopertition

Arthur C. Clarke

This week's guest Rod Pyle

Rod Pyle is a space historian who has worked with NASA at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Johnson Space Center. He has written nine books on the history and technology of space exploration and science for major publishers in the US, UK and Asia. As a journalist, Rod's work has appeared in,, The Huffington Post, Popular Science, and many other print and online venues. Rod has also produced documentary programming on spaceflight for The History Channel as well as Discovery Communications. He has written on spaceflight and science for NASA/JPL and Caltech, and authored a guide to executive education for the Johnson Space Center/The

Conference Board's Apollo Leadership Experience. Rod speaks frequently on spaceflight and executive development, and is a frequent radio guest with regular appearances on WGN/Chicago, KFI/Los Angeles and numerous syndicated radio programs. He worked on the TV series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as a visual effects coordinator for three seasons, and spent a decade at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. Rod is a graduate of Stanford University and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and a member of the National Space Society, the Author's Guild, the National Association of Science Writers and the Producer's Guild of America.

Happy 76th Birthday

Rashid Alievich Sunyaev ( 1 March 1943 in Tashkent, USSR) is a Soviet and Russian astrophysicist of Tatar descent.

Remembering a legend on his birthday

George Ogden Abell (March 1, 1927 – October 7, 1983) astronomer, popularizer of science and of education, and as a skeptic.


Hayabusa 2

Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft touched down on the asteroid Ryugu and start taking samples that it will eventually return to Earth.

Gateway Foundation

"Hello. We want to build a space station. We don't know about radiators or how centrifugal gravity works or about the legality of our finance concept. Please give us 70 billion Dollars."

“Clarke’s Law”

new ideas like this pass through three stages:

  • Stage 1: “It can’t be done.”

  • Stage 2: “It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing.” WE ARE STUCK HERE!!!!!

  • Stage 3: “I knew it was a good idea all along!”

1975 - Taurus NASA space station. (built before 2000 ...yeah right) at L4 or L5

Space Word of the Week

Standard Sirens

using “standard sirens” to measure the expansion of the universe.

  1. The idea of using gravitational-wave sources as standard sirens was put forward by Bernard Schutz all the way back in 1986

  2. Phrase coined by Legend Sean Carrol and simultaenously by his friend Sterl Phinney and used in a paper by Daniel Holz and Scott Hughes

  3. US LIGO observatory and European partner VIRGO, launched the era of “multi-messenger astronomy,” detecting both gravitational and electromagnetic radiation from a single source. The merger of two neutron stars lit up the sky in a large number of wavelengths simultaneously.

Space Fact

  • The outermost part of our planet’s atmosphere extends well beyond the lunar orbit – almost twice the distance to the Moon.

  • A recent discovery based on observations by the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, SOHO, shows that the gaseous layer that wraps around Earth reaches up to 630 000 km away, or 50 times the diameter of our planet.

  • “The Moon flies through Earth’s atmosphere,” says Igor Baliukin of Russia’s Space Research Institute, lead author of the paper presenting the results.

  • “We were not aware of it until we dusted off observations made over two decades ago by the SOHO spacecraft.”

  • Launched in December 1995, the SOHO space observatory orbits around the first Lagrange point (L1), some 1.5 million kilometres from Earth towards the Sun.

  • SWAN instrument imaged Earth and its extended atmosphere on three occasions between 1996 and 1998.

  • Jean-Loup and Igor’s research team in Russia decided to retrieve this data set from the archives for further analysis. These unique views of the whole geocorona as seen from SOHO are now shedding new light on Earth’s atmosphere.

  • “Data archived many years ago can often be exploited for new science,” says Bernhard Fleck, ESA SOHO project scientist. “This discovery highlights the value of data collected over 20 years ago and the exceptional performance of SOHO.”

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