“Something happens to you out there” said Apollo 14 pilot Edgar Mitchell. “We went to the moon as technicians; we returned as humanitarians”. Astronauts who have seen the Earth from space come back describing a major shift in how they see the world and their place in it. Is there any way for the rest of us to experience the same transformation? The pale blue dot Exactly 28 years ago today, the Voyager 1 Spacecraft […]
Known as the Transylvania Effect, many people believe a full moon triggers strange behaviour. Crime rates, psychiatric hospital admissions, emergency room visits, dog bites and hyperactivity in kids are all said to increase during a full moon. Is there any truth to the rumours? Bad moon rising We can thank the Roman goddess of the moon, Luna, for the words lunatic and lunacy. Why the link between the moon and erratic behaviour? Aristotle and Pliny […]
Bats, bears and some birds do it, but humans can’t: hibernation. Animals hibernate to save energy through long cold winters. Sounds appealing, doesn't it? NASA wants to know if human hibernation is possible. Why? Because it because it would make the trip to Mars a hell of a lot less boring.
Did you ever ride the Gravitron? You're pinned to the wall by forces three times that of normal gravity. It’s fun, unsettling can even make you puke. But what happens if your body experiences extreme changes in gravity for long periods, as is the case for an astronaut?
What were you doing at 3:19am Tuesday 27 January? That’s when a huge asteroid passed within 1.2 million kilometres of our planet. Fortunately that’s about three times the distance to the moon so we weren’t in any danger. But how often do rocks from space actually collide with Earth? And what happens when they do?
2024: the first human crew of four will set out on their 7-month one-way trip to Mars. They will establish a human outpost on this inhospitable planet and be joined by four new people every two years. This is the mission of Mars One. But are we really sure Earth-based technology can keep them alive?
Did you ever make mix tapes of your favourite songs? It was a major hobby of mine, and the songs I included changed constantly. But what if you got to create the mix tape of all mix tapes, one that would last for one billion years?