The Discussion: This month’s Awesome Astronomy comes from the magnificent Cosmic Con event at the Manchester Airport Hilton. While looking forward to speaking with the stars of Meteorite Men and four astronauts, Paul recalls a fun June letting the public try on a genuine Russian Sokol suit at a multitude of astronomy outreach events, while Ralph’s been experimenting with ways to take deep sky images in heavily light polluted skies.
The Walkaround: No news, 5 minute concept or Q&A this month but you won’t be disappointed as we tour Cosmic Con. The plethora of fascinating meteorites brought by Geoff Notkin and Steve Arnold from the Meteorite Men and space rocks from the British and Irish Meteorite Society gives Paul an opportunity to explain what a treasure trove of science and history meteorites are. Ralph’s in seventh heaven perusing The Space Collective’s NASA memorabilia – a signed Buzz Aldrin action man anyone?
The Interviews: A whole host of interviews this month as we talk to astronauts, space agency workers, meteorite enthusiasts & organisations hoping to save humanity from extinction.
Jane MacArthur – STEM ambassador and PhD student of Martian meteorites and comet samples, explaining the variety of space rocks and what they can tell us about the early solar system.
Martin Goff – member of the British and Irish Meteorite Society, talking about incidents of impacts from Chelyabinsk to the unfortunate Cow Killer meteorite
Andrea Boyd – European Space Agency’s Astronaut Centre, exploring ESA’s new astronaut intake, British astronaut Tim Peake, life on orbit and an offer to try the joy that is Italian designed space food!
Cristina Stanilescu – Project presenter for the Emergency Asteroid Defence Project, telling us about ways to prevent city obliterating asteroids from hitting Earth before they get here.
Don Thomas – Space Shuttle veteran of STS-65, STS-70, STS-83 & STS-94 revealing his experiences of riding rockets and the woodpecker that delayed a launch!
Kathryn Thornton – Space Shuttle veteran of STS-33, STS 49, STS-61 & STS-73, telling us about fixing the Hubble Space Telescope and the possible rosy future for Hubble.
Jack Lousma – Veteran of Skylab 3 & STS-3, reliving tales of America’s first space station and test flying the space shuttle.
Al Worden – Veteran of Apollo 15, one of only 24 people to orbit the moon, tells us about how to get to the moon & back and flying in perpetual freefall.
So, a huge thanks to Richard and Yolande, the organisers of Cosmic Con for inviting us to record from their wonderful astronomy-laden event. We hope you enjoyed the atmosphere even if you couldn’t make it this year. And we hope to see you there next year.