Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Returning from Space with Ran Levy

As usual with science history podcasts, with each episode the balance varies, sometimes there is a little more science, sometimes a little more history. Under the title What goes up, must come down (מה שעולה חייב לרדת), Ran Levi's Making History podcast took on the problem space travel faces with the return to earth. (עושים היסטוריה עם רן לוי)

So the issue starts with a scientific and technological problem. Getting out of the atmosphere is one thing, but much more difficult and dangerous is entering the atmosphere. Meaning, for the early stages of space travel, returning to earth and living to tell the tale, was nearly overlooked. Almost naturally the attention went to getting out, few realized the dangers of return and the price was high. Ran Levi excels as usual in explaining the physical problem.

In addition, he reveals the history. How did the scientist approach it and more interestingly: how did the politics of Cold War and Communism affect the outcome in the Soviet Union. Fantastic are the tales of NASA, Apollo and the Space Shuttle, but more bizarre and stunning are the stories of Soyuz, Sputnik and the hardships of the Soviet Cosmonauts. Ran brings it all.

More Making History:
Douglas Adams,
Sophie Germain,
Max Planck,
Isaac Newton,
Making History with Ran Levy - Hebrew Review.

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