Category Archives: History

13 Minutes to the Moon

BBC: 13 Minutes To The Moon: new BBC Podcast tells the story of the people behind the Apollo 11 moon landing.

“On 13 May 2019, the BBC will be launching 13 Minutes To The Moon, a 12-part series covering the Apollo programme through the final dramatic 13-minute descent of the Apollo 11 mission, when everything came close to going badly wrong. Communication was breaking down, technology was failing and fuel was running out.
[…]
The final episode will be recorded live at Houston’s Rice University, where U.S. President John F. Kennedy made his speech in 1962, famously announcing his ambition to take humankind to the moon. It will be released on the exact 50th anniversary of the moon landing, 20 July 2019.”

I’ve only found this today, but the first two episodes as well as some trailers are already available for download.

The moon and the detection of collisions of black holes

NPR History: 50 Years Later, Looking Back At Apollo 10, Precursor To The Moon Landing. “It’s the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 10 mission. NPR’s Michel Martin speaks with General Thomas Stafford, who led the Apollo 10 mission.”

“MARTIN: So I think you’ve raised something I was going to ask you about, is these missions are happening at a time when there was the space race going on with the Soviet Union. So I guess a lot of people wanted to know, well, it’s like, were you jealous, or were you mad that you weren’t going to land? What I think I hear you saying is no, everybody was kind of doing their part. Everybody just wanted to do their part. Would that be fair to say?

STAFFORD: Well, you’re absolutely right. We’re doing our part. And Deke Slayton called me, and he said, Tom, he said, you’re going to be the backup for 7. You’re going to turn around and fly 10. He called Neil in, he says, Neil, you’re backing up 8. You’ll fly 11. Called in Pete Conrad, said you’re backing up 9. You will fly twelve. And between the three of you, if the systems go right, somebody should have a chance to land.”

NPR Science: Billion-Dollar Gamble: How A ‘Singular Hero’ Helped Start A New Field In Physics.

“Imagine spending 40 years and more than a billion dollars on a gamble.

That’s what one U.S. government science agency did. It’s now paying off big time, with new discoveries about black holes and exotic neutron stars coming almost every week.

And while three physicists shared the Nobel Prize for the work that made this possible, one of them says the real hero is a former National Science Foundation staffer named Rich Isaacson, who saw a chance to cultivate some stunning research and grabbed it.

“The thing that Rich Isaacson did was such a miracle,” says Rainer Weiss, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and one of the 2017 Nobel laureates. “I think he’s the hero. He’s a singular hero. We just don’t have a good way of recognizing people like that. Rich was in a singular place fighting a singular war that nobody else could have fought.”

Without him, Weiss says, “we would’ve been killed dead on virtually every topic.” He and his fellow laureate Kip Thorne recently donated money to create a brand-new American Physical Society award in Isaacson’s honor.”

“Angriff auf den Friedensprozess”

Deutsche Welle: Journalist killed in Northern Ireland ‘terrorist incident’. “A journalist has been killed in Londonderry during violent demonstrations in an Irish nationalist part of the city. Police are treating the murder as a “terrorist incident.””

Journalistin in Nordirland erschossen. “Die Frau berichtete über die gewaltsamen Ausschreitungen in der nordirischen Stadt Londonderry. Die Polizei ermittelt wegen Mordes und spricht von “terroristischen Aktivitäten”.”

Notre Dame

Deutsche Welle: Spenden für Wiederaufbau von Notre-Dame. “Nach der immensen Zerstörung der Pariser Kathedrale Notre-Dame stehen bereits mehrere Hundert Millionen Euro für den Wiederaufbau des Wahrzeichens bereit. Bürgermeisterin Hidalgo schlug eine Geberkonferenz vor.”

Notre-Dame: Kölns Ex-Dombaumeisterin Schock-Werner bietet Hilfe an. “Notre-Dame in Flammen: In kürzester Zeit verbrannten weite Teile des Daches über dem Hauptschiff, ein Turm stürzte ein. Kölns ehemalige Dombaumeisterin Barbara Schock-Werner zieht eine erste Schadensbilanz aus der Ferne.”

The Guardian: Notre Dame was ‘15 to 30 minutes’ away from complete destruction. “Firefighters risked their lives to stop the raging fire spreading to the two belfry towers.”

Link via MetaFilter.

“UK to leave ‘as soon as possible'”

Deutsche Welle: Brexit delayed until October 31, EU and UK agree. “Theresa May has accepted an offer from Brussels to extend the Brexit deadline to October 31. The delay could force the UK to take part in European elections unless it can pass a divorce deal through parliament.”

Der Brexit wird nochmal aufgeschoben – mit Bedingungen. “Fast hätte Frankreich eine Einigung mit Großbritannien verhindert und einen Chaos-Brexit provoziert. Doch jetzt hat London bis Ende Oktober Zeit, um den Austritt zu ordnen. Christoph Hasselbach berichtet aus Brüssel.”