News round-up: Space-Age China, In-Utero Surgery, Signing Physics, Sexist Science & H5N1 Published

Chinese astronauts reach orbiting space lab Image: Xinhua/Wang Yongzhuo via Xinhuanet China’s Shenzhou 9 rocket – which last week became the first Chinese mission to carry a female astronaut – has successfully docked with the orbiting Tiangong-1 station 340 km (210 miles) above the Earth. The arrival of the three crewmembers marks the first time […]

Interview With an Astronaut

The docked Apollo 9 command and service modules and lunar module conduct the first docking maneuvers in space. This photo of command module pilot David Scott in the command module’s open hatch was taken by lunar module pilot Russell L. Schweickart on the fourth day of the Apollo 9 Earth-orbital mission. Image: NASA — INTERVIEW […]

Robonaut 2 Says “Hello, world”

It might be very obvious considering my past posts and – if you’ve ever met me – my constant ramblings on the topic, but I’m quite a fan of astronauts. In Issue 20 of I, Science we interviewed former Apollo astronaut Colonel David Scott, which gave us the opportunity to ask a question that is […]

Science Behind the Photo #34

Moon Bouncing Taken in 2008, this pair of telecommunications masts in downtown Atlanta, USA carry a mix of phone, TV and radio relay dishes. Telecommunication towers have been around since the early 1900s. It was Nikola Tesla, in the 1890s, who first proposed that radio waves might be used for the communication of information. The […]

Space Shuttle Columbia

On 1st February 2003, I arrived home from school with my younger brother, just as usual. We turned on the TV and there it was, the news was on every channel. This had happened once before, on 11th September, 2001 and that had changed the whole world in a dramatic way. In hindsight, the repercussions from the Columbia […]

Apollo 1

Next Monday, we should be celebrating the 44th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 1, the start of the programme that would eventually take man to the moon in 1969. I say we should be celebrating this anniversary, but of course it didn’t actually turn out that way. On 27th January 1967, just over three […]