BLENHEIM BRANCH Meeting via ZOOM


WHEN: Wednesday 20 May 2020 at 7 pm

Hugh’s subject ‘Journey into Space – 2020 update’ is the third of a series of three lectures on the history of space travel that Hugh started in 2010. He has given this third lecture to the Hamilton, Tauranga and Palmerston North branches.

The first lecture covered the period leading up to Sputnik, the first artificial earth satellite, launched in October 1957. It was a triumph for the Russians, and it caught the United States completely unawares. The demonstrated technological expertise was way beyond the popular conception of Russian capabilities, and way beyond anything the Americans could do.

The second lecture, given in 2011, covered the period from 1957 till end of the Moon missions in 1972, when the United States mighty industrial and technological capacity triumphed in the race to the Moon. It also brought home to many people the beauty and fragility of our planet.

This third lecture in 2012 looks at ‘everything else’; the major players, the launchers and the orbits that are using and what the satellites and probes are doing. There is a huge number of satellites, covering everything from the ‘routine’ stuff that we now all take for granted like the International space station and the now retired space shuttle, global weather coverage and forecasting, the Earth sciences, GPS and worldwide instant communications, to the deep space missions and research satellites that have hugely increased our knowledge of the universe.

The third lecture also includes significant activities that have occurred since 2011, including the entry of New Zealand into the space launch business.


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