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  • Writer's pictureMatt Russell

#133 - Harriet Brettle - Roman God

I wondered had I really oversold the Hubble. I have to admit that, since, I have been convinced that I didn't.

Nancy Roman

Old Favourite, Harriet Brettle who currently works at Astroscale in Harwell joins Matt and Jamie again for the whole show. Talking about her new work in space junk removal.

Born Nancy Grace Roman May 16, 1925

Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.

Died December 25, 2018 (aged 93)

Germantown, Maryland, U.S.

  • The "Mother of Hubble" as appossed to Edwin Hubble who is the father of modern cosmology, who’s mother was Virginia Lee James!!!

  • Her dad was a scientist and her mother took her for evening strolls and taught her about the stars.

  • She formed an astronomy club at eleven years old.

  • Her first “encouragment” - the physics department chairman at her school said to her, “I usually try to talk women out of majoring in physics, but I think maybe you might make it.”

  • Roman attended Swarthmore College in 1946 where she received her bachelor of arts in astronomy

  • Ph.D. from University of Chicago in 1949 (she’s still only 24!!!)

  • Roman observed the star AG Draconis and wrote a couple of pages of notes about its emission spectrum that had completely changed since earlier observations, this was to turn into her “lucky star” She realised she had little chance of getting tenure in an astronomy research department. So she changed her specialization and accepted a position at the Naval Research Laboratory where she became the head of microwave spectroscopy

  • She was one of three Americans invited to the dedication of an observatory in Armenia, because the director was intrigued by her note about AG Draconis, NRL leaders asked her to give a series of astronomy lectures. As a result, she became widely known ...even geniuses deserve a break

  • When NASA was formed 2 years later, the science team they had co-opted were mainly from the NRL, who knew her because of her soviet trip, asked her If she knew anyone who wanted to set up a program in space astronomy….er...hello, the possibility of setting up a program that could influence astronomy for decades to come was more than this legend could resist.

  • She developed a program of 20 satellites, culminating in the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as many rockets and instruments on manned missions,

  • “ I am glad I ignored the many people who told me that I could not be an astronomer. I have had a wonderful career in a field that I love”

  • We now know that the Lucky star is in that unusual state for just just 100 days every 10 to 15 years. It’s a symbiotic Star abonary of a giant star and a white dwarf

  • Her genius was she recognized that it was interesting and was ready for lady luck.

  • Edward J. Weiler, who worked with Roman at Nasa called her 'the mother of the Hubble Space Telescope'. He said, “often forgotten by our younger generation of astronomers who make their careers by using Hubble Space Telescope. Regretfully, history has forgotten a lot in today’s Internet age, but it was Nancy in the old days before the Internet and before Google and e-mail and all that stuff, who really helped to sell the Hubble Space Telescope, organize the astronomers, who eventually convinced Congress to fund it.

  • Nancy is honoured in the women of nasa lego sets.

  • Nancy discovered that stars made of hydrogen and helium move faster than stars composed of other heavier elements

  • The asteroid 2516 Roman is named in her honor

  • Named One of 100 Most Important Young People, Life magazine – 1962

So if you find yourself talking about Hubble Telescope, symbiotic star systems, high velocity stars. spectroscopic parallaxes, or the Ursa Major Moving Group ...dof your cap to Nancy.

Nothing of real note happened on the 17th may ever in the history of space, it’s the least eventful day in space. ...fact

18 May 1991 Helen Sharman was the first person from United Kingdom to go to space


  • budget request increases NASA’s federal budget by $1.6 Billion

  • three sources told Ars Technica the White House plans to pay by cutting the Pell Grant Reserve Fund, which helps low-income students pay for college.

  • program that has now been named Artemis, the sister of Apollo

  • bell curve of funding required

  • funding will not come from other NASA programs

  • reduction in funding is for the Lunar Gateway

  • Down to 2 modules, other to be added later including ESA Esprit

  • $132 million of the proposed additional funding goes towards exploration technology, part of which is allocated for an in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) demonstration.

  • Gerstenmaier - NASA would take lessons learned from the Commercial Cargo, Commercial Crew, and CLPS programs to inform future commercial partnerships.

  • Crumpsall Lane Primary School is not CLPS

  • CLPS - Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program, fixed priced contracts, When the concept study on the Resource Prospector rover was cancelled in April 2018, NASA officials explained that lunar surface exploration will continue in the future, but using commercial lander services under a new CLPS program

  • not to be confused with CLIPS a rule-based computer language that was developed by NASA's Johnson Space Center.

  • $90 million in additional funding is allocated for robotic exploration ahead of crewed missions and the first CLPS task order is expected soon, with a launch as early as this year. Later CLPS orders would call for a robotic lander to be delivered to the lunar south pole.

  • $1 Billion is intended to accelerate lander development by three years to achieve a crewed landing in 2024.

  • The remaining 300million is for the SLS, Orion and gateway redesign.

  • SLS mission EM-1 to take place in 2020 -uncrewed Orion spacecraft to lunar orbit and back to Earth.

  • EM-2 - 2022, crewed Orion spacecraft to lunar orbit and launch of the Power and Propulsion Element of the Lunar Gateway.

  • 2023 - commercially developed science and exploration rover to land on the moon.

  • 2024, Exploration Mission 3 would deliver crew to the moon, including the first woman to walk on the lunar surface...hence Artermis?

  • NASA says that this timeline would facilitate a sustainable presence by 2028, and humans setting foot on the surface of Mars in the 2030s.

  • Has this been a genuine rocket up everyone’s ass, or could this be a total pence/trump hot air pipe dream.

Blue Moon!

  • Jeff Finally reveals his space vision.

  • Musk is about all about plan B ...Mars. Bezos is all about there is no Plan B, earth must be saved at all costs.

  • Jeff Bezos reveals his Lunar Lander Blue Moon

  • Been around for a while, previously revealed in 2017

  • 3.6 tons to lunar surface

  • 6.5 tons with stretched tanks

  • Blue Origin will bid on the descent vehicle portion of NASA's lunar lander contract.

  • But will Bezos fund the development of Blue Moon without NASA contracts?

  • Might be refuellable and reusable with ISRU

  • brand-new engine, BE-7 - It will power the Blue Moon vehicle during its descent to the lunar surface. hot-fire test this summer

  • Bothers on about O’neill cylinders

  • Our generation need to build the infrastructure

  • 2 things holding us back -

  • expensive access to space

  • Inability to exploit in-space resources.

  • Moon by 2024????. "I love this, It's the right thing to do. We can help meet that timeline but only because we started three years ago. It's time to go back to the Moon—this time to stay."

  • I have a growing worry about the accumulation of this kind of wealth by individuals ...despite that fact Iovespace exploration.

SpaceX not to be out done!

  • Launching 60 Starlink Satellites as initial batch of the 12,000 sats required for its new mega constellation for a global internet service.

  • heaviest payload ever launched by SpaceX

  • Could actually carry more ...if they were prepared to chuck away the booster.

  • twice-flown Falcon 9 rocket on SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral

  • Flew from Cape and then Vandenberg before!!!

  • equipped with multiple high-throughput antennas, a single solar array, Hall thrusters powered by krypton

  • SpaceX does expect to encounter some issues

  • “design, fly, iterate, fly again”

  • The first phase of the Starlink deployment plan will see 1,584 satellites in 550 km orbits inclined 53° to the equator and spread out across 40 different orbital planes of 66 Starlinks per plane.

  • 24 Falcon 9 launches of 60 satellites to complete the first phase of Starlink deployment.

  • three orbital shells planned for the overall Starlink constellation.

  • 550 km shell first,

  • 340 km shell will comprise of 7,518 Starlinks

  • 1,200 km orbital location will host 2,841 Starlinks.

  • complete deployment of the entire Starlink constellation by the mid-2020s.

  • 71st flight --- 40th booster recovery

  • Building another Starship in Florida to compete with the teambuilding one in Texas.

  • 4th Raptor engine finished, and 100 by next year.!

  • Elon Musk will have to go to trial to defend himself for mocking a British diver and baselessly calling him a paedophile.

Oreo to Celebrate Apollo Moon Landing 50th With Limited Edition Cookies

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