PATCH US IN: SOYUZ T-6 STARMAN

In this week's instalment of Patch Us In, ESA patch expert Carl Walker looks at a Soviet space mission patch that almost caused a diplomatic incident…   This week in 1982 saw the Soyuz T-6 mission launch and dock with the Soviet Salyut 7 space station. One...

7 FASCINATING FACTS: BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

The Space Rocks Uplink which featured the reimagined Battlestar Galactica actors Tricia Helfer (Number Six) and Tahmoh Penikett (Helo) was one of our most popular livestream episodes yet. If you missed it, you can watch it in full on our Youtube channel here. But in...

PATCH US IN: ANDRÉ KUIPERS, MISSION PROMISSE

In this week's Patch Us In, ESA's Carl Walker investigates the PromISSe patch as worn by astronaut André Kuipers from the Netherlands…     Dutch ESA astronaut André Kuipers flew to the International Space Station (ISS) in December 2011 on Soyuz TMA-03M. He was part of the Expedition...

PATCH US IN: LUCA PARMITANO, MISSION BEYOND

Our new series continues with Carl Walker looking at the Mission Beyond patch as worn by Italy's Luca Parmitano – ESA's most recent ISS crew member.   The ‘Beyond’ mission would see Luca Parmitano of Italy return to the Space Station for a second time and become...

PATCH US IN: SPACE MISSION PATCHES

We’ve enlisted Carl Walker, ESA Space History Editor, self-professed scutelliphilist (patch geek) and Space Rocks co-conspirator, for a new series about space mission patches. Each month we’ll look at the stories behind the designs and history of these colourful collectibles…     Mission patches are reproductions of space...

WIN A SIGNED COPY OF STEPHEN & LUCY HAWKING’S NEW BOOK!

Unlocking The Universe is curated by respected author, science educator and Space Rocks London 2019 alumna Lucy Hawking. Co-written with her late, great father, Stephen Hawking, it's an amazing and absorbing book for space enthusiasts aged 9 and upwards!   The 432-page hardback collects all of...

NEIL PEART: AN ASTRONOMER REMEMBERS

Dr. Stuart Clark on the passing of a legend…

 

I clearly remember the first time I heard Rush. I was rapidly approaching my teenage years. It was the late 70s and I was with a friend for an after-school visit. Although I don’t remember exactly what we were talking about at the time, it will have been something to do with space and science fiction – it always was. And then the epiphany happened.

 

Through the bedroom wall of my friend’s older brother came the sounds of 2112. I didn’t know what on earth I was hearing at the time, but I knew I had never heard anything so exciting in my life. That was the beginning of my lifelong love affair with the music of Rush.

 

It was uncanny how I completely took to the band. Album after album delivered music that I simply devoured. Without a doubt, a large part of my attraction to Rush in those days was their science fiction lyrics. The song 2112 – an epic of more than 20 minutes in length – was about a totalitarian future in which freedom of expression was outlawed. A similar theme cropped up in Red Barchetta from Moving Pictures. Rush plunged headlong into modern astronomy with Cygnus X-1, a song about the first black hole to be identified. On Hemispheres, they presented a full-on myth about classical gods battling each other for control of humankind.

MEET THE CREW: SUZIE IMBER

Planetary scientist and space weather guru Professor Suzie Imber was the winner of BBC2’s Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes? series in 2017 which led to her being recommended for joining ESA by Commander Chris Hadfield. Suzie worked as a research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space...