The Future of Flight

As the Science Museum prepares for their next major exhibition, focusing on the unique mechanical designs of Leonardo Da Vinci – one of history’s greatest curious minds – this event asks what the future of flight could look like. This one-off panel event takes Leonardo’s innovative and skilled approach to the design of flying machines, based on his observations of […]

Science behind the photo #48

A Persian falconer’s prize, the Black Shaeen (Falco peregrinus peregrinator) is one of the fastest and treasured falcons, reaching speeds of up to 320km/h …

I believe I should fly

Ever since the Wright brothers achieved the first manned powered flight in 1903, we have been dreaming of our own personal flight machine. Before that it was gliders and before that, our own set of flapping wings. Over a third of people dream of flying but how close are we to living that dream? Where […]

Breathing life into spaceplane technology

The dream of spaceplanes has often been dismissed as fantasy, born out of bad 1950s science fiction films. According to most industry analysts, the rightful place of the spaceplane – along with food pills, floating cities and personal jetpacks – is consigned to the dustbin of history. However, one small company in Britain doesn’t seem […]

Space Ageing

This week, the Space Shuttle Endeavour returned to Earth for the final time. Following this mission, NASA plans to send only one more shuttle into orbit. It will then retire its ageing shuttle fleet after a total of 135 spaceflights. For many, this decision is long overdue. Running a space agency is a very expensive business […]

What’s green, feathery and can’t fly…

Meet the Kakapo. It is flightless, nocturnal, has whiskers, yes I am still talking about a bird. Also known as the owl parrot, the species is endemic to New Zealand. It is such an odd contradiction of an animal. The Kakapo has large wings but cannot fly and yet it can be found feeding 20m […]

Science behind the Photo #6

Ever since French entomologists August Magnan and  André Sainte-Lague famously declared that bee flight was aerodynamically impossible, a popular myth has prevailed that the phenomenon of bee flight is beyond our current scientific capabilities to explain. In fact, it was beyond our reach for over 70 years. However,  in 2006 a team of researchers from […]

Lost in Space

Friday 28th January this year marked the 25th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. However, the Challenger disaster was neither the first, nor the last, time lives have been lost in the quest to explore John F. Kennedy’s “new ocean”. With NASA preparing to retire its shuttle fleet soon, perhaps now is a suitable […]