Browse content similar to Space Tech. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
-This is... BOTH:
Come with us as we dive into the wonderful world of technology.
This is mind-blowing!
Each show, we introduce you to geniuses whose inventions
have changed the world forever.
We then take their tech and supersize it
in our Genius Tech Challenge.
The question is...
Can we pull it off?!
Is this his brain?
If you love gadgets, then strap yourself in!
Ignition and lift-off.
On this show, we're checking out the very latest in space technology.
-How much is this one?
And we're going to discover exactly what it's like to be an astronaut.
-You're going to crash into the wing of the space station!
He's the worst astronaut we've ever seen!
Plus, we're let loose in a real NASA space vehicle.
And ride over some of the toughest terrains the galaxy has to offer!
Now, then, do you love space?
Do you want to know all about the space tech
that's helped us get there?
-Of course you do! I mean, who wouldn't?
Apart from him, everyone loves space.
Anyway, give us a countdown, dear.
-..for us to introduce you to not one, but...
-..geniuses whose space tech...
-..have made it possible...
-..for us to reach for the stars.
Blast off! ROCKET ENGINES BLASTING
Since the dawn of time, us humans
have been obsessed with the world above our heads,
but the idea of going INTO space only existed in science fiction.
That all changed in 1942 when German engineer Wernher von Braun
created the V-2 - the first rocket to ever go to the edge of space.
Thanks to the genius of von Braun, space was finally within our reach.
But what was needed next was not only a way to get into space,
but a way of surviving the trip.
And that's where our first genius comes in.
Introducing to you space pioneer and all round space tech genius...
From Russia with love, baby.
Back in the 1950s, the USA and the Soviet Union, led by Russia,
were rivals in a race to get to space.
Sergei Korolev was a Russian engineer who was determined
to beat the Americans.
In 1957, he launched the first ever satellite into space,
Korolev made history again in 1961,
when he launched the first ever human into space,
a man called Yuri Gagarin,
and it was all down to his incredible creation, the Vostok.
So, to find out more about this incredible piece of technology
we've come to the Science Museum where they have an actual Vostok.
And who better to tell us
about Korolev's design,
than Doug Millard,
the Science Museum's chief space expert?
-Doug, this is Vostok
-6? This is it.
This is the same as Vostok 1, which took Yuri Gagarin into space?
Pretty much identical.
It doesn't look like you're your average spacecraft. Why is it round?
It needs to be simple but strong. No corners, no weak points.
It just needs to survive in space and come back to Earth.
What type of technology is involved with the Vostok 6?
It's got to have its own air supply,
it's got to have radio communications.
The core is metal, but it's covered in this heat shield,
which is a sort of mixture of different materials that burn away.
That's what keeps the cosmonauts alive inside.
When the Vostok re-entered the Earth's atmosphere,
it was travelling at 17,000 miles per hour
and the capsule reached a temperature hotter than a volcano!
Korolev's design could withstand all of this
and still kept Yuri Gagarin safe as he travelled back to Earth.
The world was amazed.
Why is the design of the Vostok 1 and 6 so special?
Well, it has to keep a human being alive.
There's no air up there,
so it's got to keep the cosmonaut alive in the vacuum of space.
-Vacuum of space?
Two seconds, Doug, we're just going to have a little chat.
Keep yourselves busy.
Look, he's a lovely man,
but I don't understand this vacuum business.
What's my vacuum cleaner got to do with this?
-I don't know. We need some help. Fran!
Are you ready?
Meet Fran, our scientist friend who can explain things in a way
even we can understand.
-Oh, no, no!
-And she loves a good experiment.
Best of all, she pops up whenever we need her most.
So, what Doug was talking about was the vacuum of space.
-But what is it?
-Well, up in space,
-it's a very different environment to how it is on Earth.
Here on Earth, we have the same air inside us as outside us.
We're balanced so we don't feel the pressure of the air around us.
-But up in space, there's hardly any air - that's the vacuum.
And so, it's a very dangerous place for us humans.
And that's where the pressurized Vostok comes in.
Why is there an egg in there?
Well, believe it or not, I'm going to create space inside of this jar,
by removing some of the air using my special vacuum pump.
That's supposed to be an astronaut?
They've forgotten their spacecraft and their spacesuit.
-So you're creating a vacuum.
-I am creating a vacuum.
-It's sucking all the air out?
-It is, the air is being removed.
-Ugh! Hold on.
Why is all the egg white spewing out of his holes?
When there is no air, there's none of that air pressure
to stop the insides from, basically, coming out.
So, that would happen to an astronaut in space?
Yeah, what happens if you go into space
-without a pressurised spacecraft or spacesuit...
What happens is not only does your body get much, much bigger,
but your insides start coming out of, basically, any hole it can find.
So, you vomit and you wee yourself and you do poo yourself as well.
-OK, turn it off.
-I'm not going to space any more.
Well, the thing is, you might think space is dangerous
but that's where the genius of the Vostok comes in.
So, we're going to do this experiment again,
but with my version of a Vostok.
Great, let's do it! Clouds!
This is my version of the Vostok.
I'm going to remove the air again from inside that jar,
but the air inside the cup should remain unchanged.
-Three, two, one.
-Is he going to be all right?
-There's nothing squirting out of his mouth.
-It's all good.
That's the clever thing - the air inside of that glass hasn't changed
because it's all sealed in.
-That's how the Vostok works.
-Good work, Franny.
-Another experiment complete.
-That's what Doug was talking about with the vacuum.
Thanks to the genius of Sergei Korolev
and his pressurised spacecraft,
we now had the technology to send humans to space.
The door to the cosmos was well and truly open
and in 1969, Neil Armstrong made history by walking on the moon.
But not everything that was sent to the stars
has been so genius.
It's time for...
Back in 1977, NASA launched a small spacecraft to explore outer space.
But here's the not so genius bit...
On board was a golden record that had sounds and music from Earth.
They believed that if any aliens found it,
then they could hear what Earth sounded like.
Problem is, on Earth, records these days are old-school
and the only people who play them are superstar DJs.
So unless, the aliens are putting on a rave,
they'll probably just wonder what it is.
-Or try to eat it.
So far, we've seen how space technology has allowed
us humans to fly into space.
-And even land on the moon.
-But what about living there?
For that, we can thank our second genius,
whose ideas led to the Space Station.
-It's Konstantin Tsiolovsky.
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was a genius
whose ideas were way ahead of their time.
In 1903, when the aeroplane was taking its first ever flight,
Tsiolkovsky was envisioning scientific ways
of getting into space.
He calculated back then that to get a craft into orbit,
it would have to travel at 18,000 miles per hour!
And 30 years later, he released a paper
where his designs showed the technology that would be needed
so humans could live in space.
Tsiolkovsky knew what we needed to live in space
all the way back in 1903.
That's amazing. It really is mind-blowing,
But what we need is a genius expert to tell us more about this.
Ah, Doug. Do you know when the Tsiolkovsky expert's turning up?
-Er, it's me!
I'm mean - it's you again! That's great!
To tell us more about
the genius of Tsiolkovsky,
it's space expert Doug...again!
Well, Doug, you're the expert,
why don't you tell us about Tsiolkovsky's genius?
We'll he worked out how to get into space,
you'd need to use rockets.
And then he worked out how to survive in a weightless environment.
So, Doug, these are Tsiolkovsky's original drawings?
Yeah. I mean, he was really a visionary.
He was, in a way, predicting the future.
When was the first space station launched?
Way back in 1971 - Salyut.
Salyut 1 was the first of many space stations
that have been launched into orbit, and all of them have used technology
proposed in Tsiolkovsky's designs from decades before.
The most famous of all them is the International Space Station,
which has been in orbit for over 15 years
and has a picture of Tsiolkovsky onboard.
Is there anything documented here
that is still used in a space station today?
Yeah, he got so many things right.
He got a spacewalk, just as Leonov did it in 1965,
decades before it happened.
-That is incredible!
-That is genius.
Really interesting stuff. Thanks, Doug.
How do we actually get up there?
-But have a word with NASA.
They'll be able to tell you about space stations.
-NASA? Houston? Texas?
-We can get in?
-Don't know about that.
-Maybe we'll go and try and blag it.
-Let's blag it.
I wouldn't let them in.
The NASA Johnson Space Centre is where all American astronauts
come to train before they go into space.
And unbelievably, they've given us exclusive access!
Can't believe we are behind the scenes at NASA!
We're going meet some of NASA's top experts to find out
about space station technology.
Not only that, we're going to see
if we've got what it takes to become real astronauts!
If we're going to live in space,
we need to understand where we'd sleep and what we'd eat.
Sadly we can't visit the International Space Station
because...it's in space.
We asked, but they said, "No, thank you."
But we can visit a space station on Earth.
This is where astronauts train.
It's a life-size mock-up of the modules that make up
the International Space Station.
Waiting on board to explain
the tech behind space food
is NASA food scientist Vickie.
Ooh. Straight in.
-Wow. Hi, Vickie.
-How are you?
-Nice to meet you.
-Great to see you.
So, this is an actual mock-up of the International Space Station?
This is a mock-up of one of the modules
of the International Space Station
and the real McCoy is about 200 miles above us orbiting the Earth.
And how on earth do they get all these bits up there?
It was assembled over an eight to ten year period
in pieces that were put together in orbit.
-So, it's pretty big.
What kind of things do they eat up there?
Can they just take up fish fingers, chips and peas?
Well, not exactly. We don't have dedicated refrigerators or freezers
for food on the Space Station,
so all the food has to last a long time at room temperature.
These are freeze-dried products.
What is that? It doesn't look very appetising, Vickie.
It'll look a lot better when you add the water to it.
They have a rehydration station that has a needle on it
and they can dial up the amount of water the label tells them to add
and then it automatically injects
the temperature and quantity of water they've selected.
-Have you got anything we can taste?
-I hope it's nice. What is it?
So, on orbit they have a food warmer that they would warm this up in.
So, this is quite warm, then?
Well, I warmed it before I came over here. I'm not sure...
-how long it's stayed.
-Cold seafood for breakfast!
HE LAUGHS HESITANTLY
We have some 60-odd products that we make custom for the Space Station.
-Right. Tasting time.
-Go on, you need a good mouthful.
I'm not going to say anything bad cos you produced this, didn't you?
It's all in the face.
Sorry, Vickie. I know you made this.
I know what it is - it's cos it's not warm enough, that's all it is.
-Yeah, it could be.
-I'm sure it's delicious warm.
NASA and other space agencies have been working hard
on growing crops in micro gravity
and in 2015, they managed to grow the first edible crop of lettuce!
This was a massive technological achievement
because in micro gravity plants don't know which way to grow
as there is no up or down.
So, now we've found out where we'll live and what we'll be eating.
Next is something every true astronaut needs - a spacesuit.
And to tell us all about
the amazing tech involved in them
is NASA engineer Mallory.
-Hi. So nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you as well.
This is exciting. Where do you begin with a spacesuit?
Let's start with the helmet.
It's always good to start top to bottom. It's pretty heavy.
I've got a big nut.
That's OK. Not the biggest head I've seen, trust me.
I've always wondered why there's this golden tint.
-For protection for their eyes.
-Just like sunglasses, really?
Mm-hm. But these are the real sunglasses.
-Ah, that's the one I was thinking of.
So, this is 24-carat gold sprayed on the inside.
It's thinner than a human hair.
That way, the crew member can see outside, but we can't see in.
It protects their eyes from the sun.
There are 14 layers of protection in a spacesuit
and it takes astronauts 45 minutes to get into them,
which is the same amount of time it takes Dick to put on his socks.
Mallory, when I sat on my mate's space helmet when I kid,
they said it cost them £12.99.
How much is this one?
Well, our whole suit is estimated at around 15 million.
-Are you joking?
And if you count all the engineering time,
-it gets way more expensive than that.
Yeah, I'll take that. It's probably for the best.
So, it turns out that spacesuits are very expensive.
-Which means we shouldn't touch them.
-I'll take that.
But now it's time to get real.
We've been given the rare opportunity to have
some actual astronaut training at NASA's Virtual Reality Labs.
Setting us our space mission
is Eddie, who trains astronauts
before they go to the Space Station.
-How you doing?
-Good to see you.
-This is the Virtual Reality Lab.
What exactly happens here?
This is the laboratory where astronauts are trained
-for space walks.
-This is the closest an astronaut will get
to seeing what it's like in space?
They are immersed in a virtual reality with graphics
and this labs gives them the feel of being in space.
Do you think we're healthy enough and fit enough to be able to do it?
Yeah, we can put you in a scenario,
where you actually get untethered and released from the Space Station
and see if you can fly back without getting lost in space.
Monitoring us as we embark on our spacewalk
is a team of top NASA experts.
Let's see if they can spot our potential.
This is the situation - Rich has become detached
and is floating off, so I've got to try and get him back.
All I have to get myself home is this small box,
which controls a jet pack on my back.
What could possibly go wrong?
So, I'm going to have a little spin.
Oh, my life!
You've gone. Where are you?
-I'm just going round in circles.
-I can see you spinning.
How do I try and stop spinning?
Oh, wow, look at that. The whole Earth in front of me.
'Remember, Dick's mission is to try and get back to the Space Station.'
You've literally floated off into space.
No, you're going towards Earth. Come back!
This training mission is the exact same simulation
they put real astronauts through.
Well , let's hope they're better than us.
You're going to crash into the wing of the Space Station!
-No, you're going to crash!
This guy can't fly.
And it goes from bad to worse.
-That's my hair.
He's the worst astronaut we've ever seen.
DICK LAUGHS I wish this was real...
-Oh, my life!
..and I never saw him again! THEY LAUGH HYSTERICALLY
With me falling dangerously back to Earth and low on fuel,
the team have to make a drastic decision.
OK, Dick, I'm sorry to call it, but mission failed!
-Lost in space.
-Nice one, cheers - you've blown it for us.
But at least we got to experience what astronauts' lives are like
on board the International Space Station.
And we've seen the skills that are needed in space.
Come back! HE LAUGHS
And it's all thanks to our genius, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky,
who had the vision that technology would one day
allow us to live in space.
It was nothing.
Later in the show, Dom and I will be testing space tech to the max
as we have to negotiate three hazardous terrains
in our Tech Challenge.
It's going to tip backwards! HE SCREAMS
So, we've explored space
and we've explored what's it's like to be in space.
But what about boldly going where no man has gone before?
You know, living on other planets and stuff.
Which is why we've come here to NASA. But this time, it's NASA, LA!
And it's the home to our next genius.
The genius of...Rob Manning.
This is going to be one small step for me, one giant leap for you guys!
Rob Manning has been achieving the near impossible for over 25 years.
He's not only been sending things to Mars, but landing them there too!
His latest success was landing a robot called Curiosity Rover.
This vehicle is the size of a car
and is used to conduct experiments on Mars.
Our genius has invited us to one of NASA's most important places.
The ultra hi-tech Jet Propulsion Labs.
-Rob, great to meet you.
-Great to meet you, Dick.
-Pleasure to meet you.
-You too, Dom.
First things first, what is this room?
Because it looks some kind of space control centre.
Well, it is. This is the heart of the Deep Space Network,
which is NASA's communication system
to allow us to communicate with spacecraft
all over our solar system.
Now, Rob, you've landed rovers on Mars, which is mind-blowing,
but how far away is Mars and how on earth do you get a rover up there?
Mars goes around the sun about once every two Earth years.
So, the distance varies from being quite close to being quite far.
The shortest distance we can take is between seven and nine months.
How fast is the rocket travelling to get your rover to Mars?
It's flying around the sun at 30,000 to 35,000 miles an hour.
When it gets to Mars, it slows down as it gets further from the sun
and then it hits Mars as Mars goes by.
In fact, Mars comes in and hits our vehicle from behind,
-because our vehicle is moving slower than Mars is.
So, we're aiming for a spot in space
where Mars is going to be in the future.
So, our vehicle has to go, "Whoa, here comes Mars!"
And aim its heat shield toward the atmosphere of Mars.
I automatically assumed that
-Mars just sits there.
-There's Mars, sat there being red and beautiful.
-You know, the planets.
-And it goes...
SMOOTH WHIZZING SOUND
But no. Mars is going... CRASHING SOUND
So, we inflate a large supersonically deployed parachute
that allows us to slow down our vehicle down.
So, in the case of Curiosity,
about a kilometre above the surface of Mars...
..the Curiosity lights up a jet pack that's sitting on its back
as it gets closer to the surface of Mars.
Some day, we will be able to use these technologies to land
people on the surface of Mars.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you, Dom.
-You're an absolute genius.
-Thank you very much.
We've learnt that space is a dangerous place for us humans.
-Your insides start coming out of any hole it can find!
But technology has allowed us to overcome these problems.
We've invented spacesuits and built massive space stations
for us to live on.
-How much is this one?
-About 15 million.
Are you joking?
And technology hasn't stopped there.
We can now blast off to new planets and land robots on Mars.
Thanks to today's geniuses, we've not only been able to reach space,
but also explore other planets.
We're ready for our Genius Tech Challenge.
We are going to drive on Mars.
Well, not quite. Anyway, here's the plan!
Our challenge is to drive NASA's Space Exploration Vehicle
across three extra-terrestrial terrains.
First is the dreaded lunar craters.
Then it's across the astral rock field.
And finally, it's a sharp climb up the Martian Mountain!
The problem is that we're
going to have to keep our vehicle
extra steady, because we're going to be playing
our very own golden record.
Records are VERY sensitive,
so any bump could result in the needle jumping.
-Any more than three jumps...
..and we fail the challenge.
This Tech Challenge is truly out of this world.
The vehicle charged with getting through these tricky terrains
is this - the NASA Space Exploration Vehicle,
which has been designed to drive astronauts on Mars!
Helping us navigate these tricky terrains
is NASA vehicle expert Bill.
That's vehicle sorted. Now it's time to get the record player ready
and put on our golden record.
Ladies and gentlemen, the one and only Phil Collins!
-If you don't know him...
-Ask your grandparents.
It's a good album, this.
Let's do this.
All right, everyone, it's time for Challenge Number One -
Wow. We're on Mars!
-No, we're not. It's Houston.
-Right, are we ready?
Three, two, one.
Come on Phil! Let's do this.
MUSIC: In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins
All the terrains have been designed
to replicate the harsh surfaces of Mars.
There's a crater in front of us.
It doesn't feel right!
And I'm sure they didn't think about playing vinyl records
-when they designed them.
Don't forget - if the record jumps, we lose a life.
He's not jumped yet! Considering what we're up against, it's just...
# I can feel it coming in the air tonight
-# Oh, Lor... # Aaaarggh!
-# Oh, Lord... #
Luckily, our vehicle has been designed for these terrains,
boasting 12 wheels which can turn 360 degrees.
We're nearly at the finish line and it hasn't jumped yet!
Challenge One complete - and no scratches.
All our three lives are still intact!
Challenge Number Two. It's my turn to drive.
-Here, you take Phil.
-All right, Phil.
This is the Rocks.
# I know where you've been... #
The rock field simulates the surface of an asteroid
and has boulders up to half a meter high.
But luckily for us, this vehicle is the size of a pick-up truck
-and can drive sideways if needed.
-Bring it on!
Look at the size of some of these boulders!
-# In the air tonight... #
-He's not sounding well.
-# Oh, Lord... #
-This is bumpy. This is well bumpy.
-# Oh, Lord... #
I can't believe that... Look at the size of it!
-RECORD SCRATCHES Oh!
-Is he all right?
That's one scratch.
-The ride of our lives.
We've done it! But...
-So, it scratched?
-A little bit.
-Over the big rock. Yeah.
With two challenges completed, the record has only scratched once,
but we still have the hardest challenge left.
It's time for Challenge Number Three -
the Martian Mountain.
RECORD STARTS UP
This Martian mountain towers over six meters high
and it's a steep gradient to reach the summit.
# I'll be waiting for... #
It's going to tip backwards!
# Oh, Lord... #
# I can feel it in the air... #
-# Oh, Lord... #
-# Oh, Lord. #
Stop, stop, stop!
-We did it!
-We did it!
How about that? Three challenges...
Only one record jump. Unbelievable
And none of this would have been possible
without the NASA Space Exploration Vehicle
and today's geniuses who've pushed our understanding of space.
Because of their brilliance,
the dream of living in space is closer than ever before.
Tell you what, shall we have the drum bit again?
-Go on, then.
-Right, hold on.
Three, two, one - go! DRUM SOLO PLAYS
# I can feel it coming in the air tonight... #
Where's Rich gone?
A long line is a BEEP!
-Put my finger...
-His head's fallen off!
How did you find that? "Blew my head off."
-You can't end it like that!
Dick and Dom look to the stars and reveal three geniuses whose tech-tastic ideas have pioneered space travel. The boys go to Nasa to see where real astronauts train before going to space, meet the man who sent the Rover to Mars, and get to drive a real space vehicle!