Archive for the ‘Space Tech’ Category

The Space Race

Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

A simplified timeline summary of the Space Race between the Americans and Russians.


4th Oct 1957 Sputnik-1 first artificial satellite

3rd of Nov 1957 Laika the dog went into space

12th April 1961 Yuri Gagarin was the first Earth orbit


1958 -1963 Project Mercury 6 successful flights

1961 -1966 Project Gemini

1961-1972 Project Apollo put 12 astronauts on the moon

From this you can see that the Russians had a strong and early lead with some humiliating and disastrous moments for the US. But the Americans sort to level the playing field realising that they could not play catch up to the Russians so they simply picked a target that could not use the technology as either nation had it. That challenge was going to the moon and it needed a lot of money and good engineers – engineers were sourced from all over the place not just from within the US.

The Russians started well but then saw their efforts dissolve into failures along the levels of the Americans and so dove tailing the two nations space explorations stories.

These moments in history have inspired countless pieces of music, poetry, art and fiction and film.

Boom We Are Going To The Moon!

Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

50 years ago three men Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Micheal Collins where propelled out of the Earth’s atmosphere and out of it’s gravitational embrace to start their journey to the Moon.

But where did the journey start?

Probably over 1000 years ago in China where the first primate rockets where used for decorative purposes i.e. firework displays at celebrations and used in warfare – I believe one of the early pioneers in this was a female general who was fighting for her peoples freedom. The rocket was born but it was a rather slow burn with communications slow to non existent and ancient China’s insular attitude meaning that things that might have been traded for just weren’t. As a result it took about 500-600 yrs for Europeans to cotton on to the technology and then we had some barely effective flint lock guns and of course our cannons which wreaked havoc in the Americas.

Rockets of course are not the only way to get up into the sky there are many other ways including balloons and wings. We have tried them all and some we are yet again revisiting such as balloons to space! But for the moon landings rockets were the thing.

Rockets and an unofficial-official arms race between the United States of America and the the Soviet Russian communists conglomerate of countries which was known at the time as the USSR. Both space faring nations based their technologies on the dire war works of the NAZI’s as many of the engineers sort escape during or with hindsight from the NAZI regime – there is a whole can of worms in this that will be addressed in much detail later on.

For centuries rockets where nothing more than fancy lights in the sky or the primitive for runner to guns but then the industrial revolution and victorian era happened and machines became something more and missile and tanks were born in time for the early 20th century.

But rockets were as such still a toy for the rich along with ballooning and those new fangled motorised carriages. There were rocket enthusiast clubs all over the place in the UK they could only really theorise due to our laws on explosives but the Americans got to play and the Germans…. well the Germans after World War 1 where banned from developing weapons except rockets were so… not considered a threat that they were not mentioned.

The Germans therefore poured all their resources into developing this avenue of potential weaponry – the US went for nuclear weapons with far reaching and devastating affects. Germany built rockets – rockets that were the V2 rockets that landed on London during the blitz. The lives lost there would cause anguish for those who later found themselves in the US working with the very man who had designed them, making larger versions in fact – giant ones to carry people to the moon.

SO a vile piece of weaponry was a stage in the evolution of technology that took a plaque of peace up and onto another planet where it declared it was for all mankind. There is a sort of beautifully harsh juxtaposition here – something that encapsulates the issues humanity has in many areas. This mix of the good and the bad and the shifting of those concepts and humanity striving – striving striving but sometimes in destructive spirals that none the less spit out something that becomes a savour or just a stepping stone to something that is not horrific but beneficial to all.

Most things are sadly birthed in blood – it is that origin of our new endeavours we need to change.

Humanity went to the moon and saw itself for the first truly for the first time.