#40 -October 2015

The Discussion: Coming live from The AstroCamp in the Brecon Beacons international dark sky reserve, we talk about the benefits of getting out to truly dark skies and observing with people who have a range of astronomy skills.

The News: We welcome astrophysicist Jeni Millard to discuss this month’s astronomy news. And after rebuking NASA last month for the paucity of New Horizons data releases, we’re more content this month and bring you the latest from the Pluto flyby. We take a look at the European Space Agency’s latest video from Philae as it descended to the surface of comet Churyumov Gerasimenko. And we bring you more news about the increasingly habitable conditions on Saturn’s moon Enceladus.

The Interview: This month we wrap the whole show around our interview with Skylab 3 and STS-3 astronaut, Jack Lousma. Jack tells us about taking that ominous call during Apollo 13 ‘Houston, we’ve had a problem’; how they solved each life-threatening issue in sequence to get the astronauts back alive; missing out on flying Apollo 20 to the moon; and taking one of the first space shuttles out for a test drive.

Q&A: Listeners’ questions via email, Facebook & Twitter take us on a journey into the astronomy issues that have always plagued our understanding or stretched our credulity. This month Ralph & Paul take a walk around AstroCamp to let listeners give their top tips for taking their first steps in practical amateur astronomy.

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