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This is Absolute Genius.
'So sit down, buckle up and get ready for take-off!
'Each show, we'll introduce you to a different genius,
'an amazing person, who had a genius idea which shaped the world.
'And they will inspire us to come up with our own genius idea
'at the end of each show.
-'But will it be any good?
-Will it be any good?
'It'll be Absolute Genius!
'And on today's show, a genius who helped send man to the moon!
'The brains behind the world's most powerful rocket.
'Standby for blast off!'
Three, two, one...
..two, one, zero...
All engines running.
We have a liftoff, 32 minutes past the hour.
'More than 40 years ago, the world watched as Neil Armstrong
'became the first man to walk on the moon.'
-It's one small step for man,
one giant leap for mankind.
This is exactly what it would have been like when Neil Armstrong
walked on the moon!
Right, get out!
And, if it wasn't for this week's genius mind,
then the NASA moon mission might have fallen flat on its face.
'He was the mastermind behind the rocket that blasted
'Apollo 11 to the moon.'
In the words of NASA, the greatest rocket scientist in history.
We give you Wernher von Braun!
Let me out!
Inspired by his genius idea,
we're going to be creating our own genius idea later on in the show,
as we send our very own little man into space.
But, first, let's find out how von Braun
rocketed his way into space history.
'Von Braun was born in Germany, in 1912.'
With me, it started with the moon, my parents gave me a telescope
and my interest in astronomy has never faded away.
'As a child, he was fascinated by the idea of going to space.
'So were a lot of other people,
'and they thought rocket power might be the way to get there.'
Now, pass me the tape.
'When he was 12, von Braun did something very dangerous,
'the kind of thing no 12-year-old should ever attempt.'
Right, so what he was trying to do,
he attached some rockets to the back of a wagon
and then he'd light the rockets,
set them off and see how far the wagon would travel.
'We've had expert help to make sure we don't blow ourselves up.
'Do not go lighting any rockets at home!'
Let's see if we can recreate it.
Here we go.
Three, two, one...
Rubbish! Absolutely rubbish!
It went two metres, what more do you want?
'Unlike ours, Von Braun's rocket experiment worked.
'The rockets propelled his wagon all over the place,
'leaving a trail of fire behind it.'
His little experiment did get him in big trouble, though.
He actually got arrested by the police.
Luckily, no-one was hurt.
Naughty von Braun.
The least said about that, the better.
'Von Braun studied maths and physics,
'to understand the science of how rockets work.
'But it would be years before he built one to go to the moon.
'Because when he was 20,
'Von Braun started developing rockets for the German Army.
'Then, in 1939, the Second World War started.'
'Von Braun led the team that developed the V2 missile
'used by the Nazis during the war.
'The V2 could hit targets up to 200 miles away,
'killing thousands of people.
'As a weapon of war, it was deadly,
'but as a rocket design, it was ground-breaking.'
'To find out why, we're boldly going where 2.4 million people
'have gone before...
'The National Space Centre in Leicester.
'And we're meeting a man who knows his rockets!'
'It's Genius helper and space expert, Anu Ojha.'
Why was the V2 such an important part of rocket history?
Dick, all the rockets that we've seen since the Second World War,
the Saturn V moon rockets, the Space Shuttle,
the rockets used to launch the International Space Station parts,
none of those would have existed without the V2.
You can think of it as being the granddaddy
of all of the rockets that are now in existence.
'The Nazis had cutting edge technology
'and rocket scientists like von Braun were the brains behind it.
'So in 1945, when Germany was defeated and the war ended,
'America secretly hired von Braun and other Nazi scientists
'like him to work for the US.'
It wasn't long after World War Two
and the public were fascinated with ideas about Mars,
could there have been life there? Ideas about the other planets
but, most importantly, how they could try and get across
that final frontier.
What was he like and how excited was he?
Dick, he was an unusual character because he was a brilliant engineer,
but he was also pretty good with the media
and he was a very good politician.
So, he could develop all of the new ideas but, more importantly,
he knew the right important people to influence
to try and pay for his project.
'In those days, America was in a race with the Soviet Union
'to explore space and the biggest prize of all
'was to be the first to get a man on the moon.'
And, it was von Braun's genius that helped them do it.
'Von Braun's genius idea was The Saturn V,
'the world's most powerful rocket.
'It stood 111 metres tall
'and fully fuelled, weighed about the same as 400 elephants.
'And in 1969, it sent man all the way to the moon
'in the Apollo 11 space mission.
Inspired by von Braun's space mission,
we'll be coming up with our own genius idea later.
But, but, but...
First, we need a bit of research,
where can we go where there's lot of rockets?
NASA... Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Yeah... No, I don't like sunshine. Maybe, Cambridgeshire?
Oh, OK, then.
While we're on our way there, you have a look at the top five things
that have been flung into space.
'The Genius Top Five!
'At five, fruit flies were the first living things sent to space.
'They were blasted up on a rocket in 1947,
'then parachuted back down again...alive!
'At four, astronaut Alan Shepard once whacked a golf ball into space
'from the surface of the moon. It travelled for miles!
'At three, look out for space junk.
'There are more than 500,000 bits of rubbish floating in Earth's orbit.
'Not that kind of rubbish!
'More bits of old spacecraft and broken satellites.
'At two, Jedward were flung into space for crimes against music!
'Relax, you two, we made it up!
'And at one, it's a message to aliens.
'NASA once sent up a recording of sounds from our planet
'including barking dogs, frogs and human laughter.
'All right, stop it, everybody. It's not funny!'
Now this might look like your average farmer's field...
but it's not because something extraordinary happens here.
On the first Sunday of every month, a bunch of amateur rocketeers
get together to build and launch rockets.
'That's right. We're at the home of the East Anglian Rocketry Society,
'EARS for short. We've asked one of their finest rocketeers to help us
'build and launch a rocket of our own.'
'It's Genius helper, Ben Jarvis.'
-How are you doing?
-All right, I'm good.
I see you're hard at work, already?
-Is this the rocket for us?
-This is your rocket.
I mean, it just looks like a big drainpipe. What is it?
This is what we call the air frame tube.
All rockets normally have a tube that forms
the main part of the body.
The fuel goes in the back, the pointy bit goes on the front.
We have a parachute attached to that piece of line
to bring it back safely. That's, kind of, it.
Can we crack on and do something now?
Absolutely, first thing to do is stick the fins onto it.
Don't muck around with glue at home,
we're professionals and we know exactly what we're doing.
-What are we doing? How much of it?
-That's about right.
If you spread a bit of glue on each of the flat edges,
-just along the bottom edge.
Slot it straight down into the tube, so it's all the way down.
Have a look along it and check that it's vertical.
Why is it so important that they're vertical?
The fins act to stabilise the rocket.
They act like the feathers on the back of an arrow,
to keep it pointing nose forwards.
We're going to paint our rocket!
'Our rocket is almost ready to fly.
'It just needs some rocket fuel, and a name.
'Mmm, something memorable like Von Braun's genius, Saturn V?'
We're going to name this rocket, Pat.
Oh, for goodness' sake!
'We're leaving Ben to add the rocket fuel and get Pat ready to fly.
'But what we still need to find out is exactly how rockets work.
'If only there was a friendly scientist around to explain.
'Luckily there is!
'Our Genius scientist, Fran, explains things in ways
'even WE can understand.
'Best of all, she loves a good experiment
'and she's guaranteed to pop up round the corner
'just when you need her most.'
Ah, Fran. We'd like to know how rockets go up?
To make something go up, all you've got to do,
is push something else down.
Not like that, we're going to do it with this pop bottle here.
It's got some water in and we're going to push that water down
and then that'll push the pop bottle up!
-I've seen these in toy shops.
And, to make the water go down,
-all you've got to do is pump some air in.
-You've got to put your foot on there, as well.
This'll burn off the pork pie I had for breakfast.
Brilliant, but rockets don't have liquid in there,
they have fire, right?
Yeah, rockets don't use water to power them,
-they use rocket fuel.
-So let's have a look at that.
Over here, I've got another bottle and it looks like it's empty
but it's actually full of highly-flammable rocket fuel.
-There's not rocket fuel in there.
-I'll show you.
-What we're going to do, I'm going to set it on fire.
That's going to make lots of hot gas
and that hot gas is going to be pushed out, backwards
-and that's going to send the bottle, forwards.
Right, it's pretty dangerous so I want you guys to step back a bit.
-We'll be like real men, we'll stand behind you.
I'm just going to take this lid off.
-Go on, Fran.
-Do you definitely know what you're doing?
-I know exactly what I'm doing.
Oh, look at that! Straight out, brilliant, that's amazing!
That's good, but rockets don't go sideways,
-they go up, don't they?
-They don't usually go sideways, no.
The thing is, to make them go up,
all you've got to do is make the flame go down.
Just pop this in.
Get my lighter.
Fire, rocket fuel, it went up
and we're going to transfer that knowledge of physics
-to a big, fat rocket.
-Let's go and launch...Pat.
Right, hopefully we're going to launch it 1,500 feet into the air,
which is about 400, 500 metres.
That's a long way.
Then the top will dislodge when it's up there,
releasing a parachute, which will fall, somewhere
and we're going to try and track it down and find it.
-What are you doing?
-Good luck, Pat.
-What are you doing?
-Saying, "Good luck" to Pat.
-Give Pat a kiss.
'He's not as big as von Braun's Saturn V, or as powerful,
'but Pat certainly looks the part.'
That's it, it's gone. Where is it?
'To reach the moon, Pat would have to travel half a million times
'further than this.
He hasn't got the fuel for that, but he's trying. Just look at that view!
-It's coming back!
-Move out of the way!
Here it comes.
-Come on, Pat!
-Come on, Pat! Come back to Daddy.
I've found Pat!
-Pat's in one piece!
-Oh, Pat, I love you.
-Pat's been right up there.
That was genius, but we don't want to stop there.
Inspired by Von Braun, we want to send a man all the way to space.
But Pat's used his rocket fuel, so we need another way to get there.
-Ben, we did it.
-Well, WE didn't, THEY did.
-Thank you, Ben.
How high d'you think it went?
Erm, looked about 1,200, 1,300 feet, something like that,
so it's about 400 metres something like that.
That's pretty impressive.
It was only very small in the sky, you could hardly see it.
Yeah, it was quite a good launch.
The problem is, we don't have enough money to build a bigger rocket
to go higher, so we're going to have to think of some more ideas.
Tell you what, we need to go to, instead of a field,
even though this was great, a proper launch site.
Where do you reckon we could go?
Erm, somewhere with a lot more space, somewhere...hmm,
-somewhere like Worcestershire, somewhere like that?
I love Worcestershire!
We've built our own rocket,
given him a name and launched him on a journey of a lifetime.
He soared as high as a cloud over a field in Cambridgeshire...
and came back again. Von Braun would have been proud.
Oh, yes! So proud!
-Come on, Pat!
-Come on, Pat!
Now we're ready to reveal our Genius Idea!
We've come to Worcestershire, home of the city of Worcester
and the world-famous Worcestershire sauce, and...
this airfield we've borrowed,
launch site for our space mission, a mission I think we can afford.
So we had a little powwow in the motel last night and we thought,
"How can we further on from the rocket experiment
"in the middle of the field?"
Let's have a bit of number crunching.
We can't afford a bigger rocket to send into space
so instead we're going to be using a balloon!
And here's the man we're going to be sending up, it's Diddy Dom,
complete with tinfoil space suit, cos we couldn't afford a real one.
-And a massive slaphead.
-This is our genius idea!
Our Genius Idea, to send our own Diddy Dom to space,
using the next best thing to a rocket, a helium balloon.
Our challenge, to get him back in one piece.
Our problem, we don't know where he's going to land!
To help get our idea off the ground,
it's genius helper Steve Randall, an expert in high altitude ballooning.
-All right, Steve?
-All right, Steve?
-I'm doing fine.
Can't wait for this. We want to send Diddy Dom here
-up to the outer rim of space.
-Is it possible?
Well, we'll stick him into this rig and take some photos on the way up.
There you are, Little Dom, you excited? 'Yes.'
You've always wanted to go into space, haven't you? 'Yes.'
And you're all dressed up for it, aren't you? 'Yes. I love space.'
Yeah, I do too, Little Dom.
Now, how long's it going to take him to get up into space?
-About two hours.
-Two hours, yeah, his balloon will pop
and a little parachute down to the ground.
-Can we get building?
-How many times have you done this?
-This is my 38th flight.
-What's the excitement behind it?
The excitement is the finding it, it's not so much the launching,
it's the going, getting it back and looking at all the pictures.
Diddy Dom will sit in his own polystyrene space pod.
Doesn't look very happy.
-Just looks like you on an average day, really.
-Yeah. Not very happy.
We're using mini-cameras to film him.
-We'll also put a little bottle of water here.
-What's that for?
-It's cold up there, it should freeze.
-How cold does it get?
It gets to minus 55.
-A radio tracking system...
-It goes in here.
..will transmit Diddy Dom's location to the car.
And finally, there we have it. Our space pod.
Von Braun would be proud of that.
-All we need now is a balloon to lift it up.
I think it's a bit small.
-Show us your balloon, Steve.
Bet it's bigger than that.
The balloon is now finally being filled with helium.
It's going to be massive!
The helium balloon should lift Diddy Dom
thousands of metres to the edge of space.
It's still growing!
-It's massive, Steve.
-It is, but it gets a lot bigger.
It gets to about the size of a house.
A balloon the size of a house!
It becomes so thin you can see through it like a sheet of plastic.
OK, and eventually it gets so thin and that's why it bursts.
We're almost ready to launch Diddy Dom,
and hopefully get him back again.
This is it! It's our Genius Idea.
But it's easy to lose things in space.
Yes, it's the Not-So-Genius Idea!
An astronaut was left red-faced after losing her tools in space.
She was working on the international space station in 2008
when she dropped the bag, thought to be worth £70,000.
It was the size of a briefcase,
and one of the largest items ever lost on a space walk.
A not-so-genius day at work.
We've been on a genius journey,
inspired by the world's greatest rocket scientist.
We've discovered how he got humans to the moon using rocket power.
And we've come up with our own genius mission
to send a man to space for a fraction of NASA's enormous budget.
Stand by for liftoff.
And Little Dom is going into space.
Just going to check the cameras.
You working? You working?
BOTH: Three, two, one...
It's incredible to think that's now on a one-way trip to near space.
It's going to look amazing. This is genius!
Come on, to the car! Go!
Just seconds after launch, he's already 275m high.
Ah, you! Come on, you come with us.
Going to enjoy this, von Braun, I'm telling thee.
Diddy Dom's leaving the clouds behind him,
as he heads to the next layer of Earth's atmosphere,
Right, Diddy Dom, come in, come in, Diddy Dom, we are coming after you.
We're tracking Diddy Dom's flight
using Steve's GPS system and sat nav.
I've got the computer on my lap and it's giving us
all the data of where Diddy Dom is now.
Diddy Dom is now at 10,000m. He's flying up!
Mission Control is not far behind,
currently hurtling along at 40 miles an hour.
Diddy Dom is now flying higher than most passenger planes.
He's more than seven miles off the ground.
So we've been driving for about an hour. Diddy Dom is now at 23,834m.
-Just imagine that for a second.
-Let's try and get in touch with Diddy Dom.
Diddy Dom, are you OK up there?
Can you see space?
It's beautiful up there.
Yes, it is beautiful.
Diddy Dom is floating almost 30,000m above Earth, and still rising.
So high, the blue's disappeared from the sky
and he can see the curvature of the Earth.
Diddy Dom loves space!
As the air pressure decreases,
Diddy Dom's helium balloon is stretching bigger and bigger.
Any minute now, it's going to burst!
But Houston, we have a problem.
We've lost contact with our man in space,
and you know whose fault it is?
See Steve's face?
It's not the face of a happy man.
Well, he was at 29-and-a-half thousand metres,
and I turned the volume up and the whole radio system went down,
and now we don't know where he is.
A whole programme about Von Braun, right, leading up to this moment...
I only turned the volume control up!
This moment, and you've just gone and mucked the whole thing up!
It's coming down.
From take-off, the balloon has grown to the size of a house.
And that's when it bursts.
Diddy Dom is hurtling back down to Earth.
The balloon has burst
-and it's coming down on the parachute right now.
Oh, we've missed the blooming point!
We've missed the whole flipping thing! The whole thing!
We may have missed the big bang, but we can watch it back later.
Well, that's if we manage to find Diddy Dom and our cameras.
Hold on, Diddy Man, we're coming for you!
We've just pulled over.
Steve's got out a sort of massive antennae and stuck it on top, look!
He's going to find Diddy Dom using the power of a television aerial.
Can you explain what's going on here?
Payload is in the last phase of landing and just,
what I'm trying to do now is get a last few signals from it
before it lands on the ground, just so that we know where to go to next.
-Diddy Dom has landed!
-We've got the exact location.
The last reading we got was at 194m, so not far up,
and we've got the latitude and the longitude,
so we're going to put them into this sat nav
and hopefully get there within the next ten minutes.
We've been on the road for almost three hours.
Final destination, the village of Gaydon in Warwickshire.
Our spaceman is cold, lost and exhausted.
-Hang in there, Diddy Dom, we're on our way!
Here we are, now, we think it's around here.
I'm pretty sure I saw a flash of blue just over that corner.
-These are the right coordinates, aren't they, Steve?
So let's go and see if Dom's right and it's just over that fence.
Could be wrong.
Dom! I've just found what it was that you were looking at!
What was it?
Time is running out. If we don't find him soon, it'll be dark.
What can you see, Steve?
Diddy Dom's been waiting for almost two hours.
Understandably, he looks a little bit annoyed.
Mr Horse, did you see Diddy Dom fly down from space into your field?
While we've been chatting to a horse,
Diddy Dom's finally been spotted!
Look carefully, see if you can spot him.
DICK GASPS Diddy Dom!
-Have you got him?
-Yeah, he's there. Here he is.
Is that still frozen? Yeah, still some ice in it, look.
It's still frozen!
The question is, Diddy Dom, how far did you actually go up,
cos I messed with the buttons and...
You're talking to a plastic toy. Why don't we just check the computer?
Can we check that? Will the stats be there?
Brilliant, I bet the camera footage is amazing as well!
We've been on an out-of-this-world adventure,
discovering how our genius, von Braun, blasted man to the moon.
We've launched our own rocket high over Cambridgeshire.
-We did it, von Braun.
-OK, right, you've got the footage for us?
And, like von Braun, we've sent a man to space. A diddy man.
-That is awesome!
-It almost seems unreal.
-This is really outer space!
-Von Braun, look!
You've inspired us to do this!
Thank you very much, Steve.
It's been an amazing experience, to be honest.
Constructing it all, sending it to space, tracking it all
and then eventually finding Little Dom in a graveyard,
then watching this, it's been mind-blowing.
It's still almost unreal.
And von Braun, it was you that inspired us to do this.
We salute him, because he is an Absolute Genius.
I am, thank you.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
It went right through me!
-Don't wobble it.
-I'm not doing anything!
-Just stand still, then!