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#139 - David Fairhead - Armstrong



“I cannot expect to make astronomers, but I do expect that you will invigorate your minds by the effort at healthy modes of thinking. When we are chafed and fretted by small cares, a look at the stars will show us the littleness of our own interests”

Maria Mitchell

This Weeks Guest David Fairhead


David talks about his new film Armstrong

Which will be in cinemas for One night only on the 9th of July.

Get you tickets here http://www.armstrongfilm.co.uk/

Directed by David, ARMSTRONG includes major interviews with his family, an exceptional cast of fellow astronauts and aviators, and those who knew him in his youth and later life, together with newly filmed sequences at some of the key locations from his life story



OTD 130 years ago!


Death in 1889 – Maria Mitchell, American astronomer and academic (b. 1818)


  • born in Nantucket, a small island off the coast of Massachusetts she was the first American woman to work as a professional astronomer.

  • the first woman elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1848, the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1850 (and remained the only one for over 30 years,

  • 1847 using a Dolland telescope, discovered a comet, which as a result became known as "Miss Mitchell's Comet." modern name C/1847 T1

  • She won a gold medal prize for her discovery, which was presented to her by King Christian VIII of Denmark. Giving her worldwide fame, by legitiming American astronomy in Europe, who looked down on American astronomers

  • the only previous women to discover a comet were the astronomers Caroline Herschel and Maria Margarethe Kirch..

  • On the medal was inscribed "Non Frustra Signorum Obitus Speculamur et Ortus" in Latin (taken from Georgics by Virgil (Book I, line 257)[2] (English: "Not in vain do we watch the setting and rising [of the stars]")

  • raised in the Quaker religion, but later adopted Christian Unitarianism

  • She became professor of astronomy at Vassar College in 1865, the first person appointed to the faculty

her salary was less than that of many younger male professors. so insisted on a salary increase, and got it. In protest against slavery, she stopped wearing clothes made of southern cotton. Mitchell never married

On August 1, 2013, the search engine Google honored Maria Mitchell with a Google doodle showing her in cartoon form on top of a roof gazing through a telescope in search of comets


Falcon Heavy

On Tuesday Morning I watched the Falcon Heavy Launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, from my desk at work.


  • 12 hours after the launch of a Falcon Heavy rocket —the US Air Force's Space & Missile Systems Center declared "All satellites are on orbit and have made contact," the Air Force unit tweeted.

  • The Most Complex Mission,

  • recovered the two side-mounted Falcon 9 first stage boosters at the landing site on the Florida space coast.

  • SpaceX didn't land the center core on the drone ship positioned more than 1,200km in the Atlantic Ocean.

  • The center core had to shed more energy than any other

  • They did however succeed in catching one half of a payload fairing for the first time. With the

Ms. Tree ship, a complete payload fairing is valued at about $6 million.

  • SpaceX intends to fly used payload fairings on a Falcon 9 launch later this year.

  • But still, the biggest news from Tuesday morning's Falcon Heavy mission is that the Air Force are satisfied with the performance of SpaceX


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