Astronomy / Space The Sky at Night this month

I too miss Sir Patrick. But at least he did nominate Professor Chris Lintott as his successor, and the BBC honoured that request. I also feel that the show could be either on twice a month now, or haver an hour long show once a month. There are a lot of things happening these days both with on earth plans for missions and missions already under way, and more BBC air time would help better inform and educate the public.

I hope that once we star to really see progress for the next re-visiting the Moon missions from China, and then onto Mars with either NASA or China and maybe India. That we will start to see more air time given over to cover these via the Sky at Night show or maybe a spin-off show.

I've even been keeping alive a request thread on the star citizen forms to have something named in the game after Sir Patrick Moore. The SC writer Dave Haddock is still looking for something suitable to name after Sir Patrick. As he wrote here: LINK

BBC Sky At Night - Pluto Revealed 10-11 PM 20th July
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Horizon - 2013-2014: 7. Man on Mars: Mission to the Red Planet
Horizon goes behind the scenes at Nasa to discover how it is preparing for its most ambitious and daring mission: to land men - and possibly women - on the surface of Mars.

Mars and Moon surface space suits.
No real info out there on what NASA is actually going forward with regarding suits for Mars surface or even Mars orbit (2015-2016 updates for the green - buzz light year looking suits). And the Moon surface suits if they have plans for that. Although I think China will be the one's to step on the Moon so I wonder what new surface suits they are developing. Finding out what China is planning for Moon and or Mars surface suits is not and easy task. They must be designing suits for the surface of the Moon and Mars, will they be the same suits for both environments or tailored for each surface conditions.

Getting back to the Moon and onto Mars - Manned missions.

The whole process of getting back to the Moon and then onto Mars is in my opinion is taking far far too long. I am though excited to read about and follow Chinas big plans to get top the Moon pretty soon and then establish a permanent moon base. And then onto Mars, which at this rate might have an Indian and Chinese flag on the rockets rather than NASA.

On the Moon they could tunnel into the banked side of a small broken rimmed crater for a habitat and protection. And the same on Mars ( I read of the plan in motion for this), but to not just land and use simple exposed habitats but to send robot ships to land and tunnel into the side of a small crater somewhere, sealing themselves inside the tunnels they create as they go making the habitat and stating the processes need for oxygen and fuel. This is not science fiction to think we could do all this within a 10-15 year timeframe if enough money and effort was put into the projects. I would prefer NASA to achieve these goals but am just as excited to cheer on China and India if they are to take the lead and get to the Moon to kick off manned missions once again.

As long as we all get live HD and 4K streaming video of all these events in English, I'll be happy enough. Its all got to be HD right? by the time these missions get back to the moon and then onto Mars we will be seeing them use extremely compact and efficient 4k cameras. And one would hope they devise faster more efficient ways to stream live video data back to earth. maybe via a series of new satellites around the Moon and Mars, maybe staged on the way to Mars (somehow) for replays.
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I pretty sure it still is pure fantasy. Through the wormhole indeed... watch out for the poltergeist.
I have to agree. It only matters that we are in this one universe and we need to work out how to leave our own solar system first before we should concern ourselves with which universe we are in.

Getting back to the Moon and establishing a base there to test and build and launch manned missions to Mars should be our main space goals for the next 10-15 years. China will be the first back to the Moon, which is okay to me. I hope it spurs the US government to give NASA more funds to make the manned Mars missions happen sooner. We could do it within 10 years easy if NASA had closer to the Apollo level of funding and resources and manpower.

The manned missions to Mars keep getting put back and back.... I wanna still be alive to see them, and more!

I am such a frustrated futurist.
Capture a comet is a very old idea and very interesting. Some even say that after the capture, it would place it in orbit around the moon to study it quietly
The Sky at Night -
Planet 9 from Outer Space - 14th Feb 2016
(BBC Iplayer)

Very interesting show this month. I hope there is a 9th planet somewhere out there and is observed in the not to distant future. An I wonder what it will be made of, a rock like planet with little or no atmosphere. or maybe a medium gas giant. I'm sure a few years from now we will know a lot more, and I look forward to that time.
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Horizon -
2015-2016: 2. Project Greenglow - The Quest for Gravity Control

Programme description:

This is the story of an extraordinary scientific adventure - the attempt to control gravity. For centuries, the precise workings of gravity have confounded the greatest scientific minds - from Newton to Faraday and Einstein - and the idea of controlling gravity has been seen as little more than a fanciful dream. Yet in the mid 1990s, UK defence manufacturer BAE Systems began a ground-breaking project code-named Greenglow, which set about turning science fiction into reality. On the other side of the Atlantic, Nasa was simultaneously running its own Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project. It was concerned with potential space applications of new physics, including concepts like 'faster-than-light travel' and 'warp drives'.

"It's not impossible, its we just don't know how to do it yet"

Galileo gave way to Newton, Newton gave way to Einstein. Theories do change given enough time.
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BBC - The Beginning and End of the Universe - with Professor Jim Al-Khalili

2 Episodes.

Professor Jim Al-Khalili takes us back in time to tackle the greatest question in science: how did the universe begin? Uncovering the origins of the universe is regarded as humankind's greatest intellectual achievement. By recreating key experiments Jim unravels the cosmic mystery of science's creation story before witnessing a moment, one millionth of a second, after the universe sprang into existence.
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