24.02.22 Liveryman Dave Connor

Ground control to… the National Space Centre

On 27th January, the Master led Coachmakers and guests through a space exploration journey like no other. We visited the National Space Centre, enjoyed a private tour and later, heard our guest speaker, renowned space expert and author Pat Norris, who gave us a presentation in the planetarium. His theme was his crucial role in Apollo 11’s moon landing. This was followed by a fascinating 360-degree visual display to explain and help us to understand the physical and mental challenges which face astronauts as they navigate in space.

We saw moon rock samples and spacesuits, examples of zero-gravity space experiments and examined the Blue Streak rocket. Today this pioneering vehicle requires pressurised fuel tanks to prevent the 1mm thin walls from buckling under atmospheric pressure.

It was a delightful afternoon learning about some 50-plus years of space exploration and what the future might hold. Messrs Musk, Branson and Bezos will help provide the next instalment while NASA and others continue quietly to drive the science and engineering.

In about five billion or so Earth years we shall need to leave so that we are not fried when the yellow-dwarf star that is our sun is defeated by lack of fuel. The National Space Centre, NASA and other research stations will provide the ignition and engines to help us boldly go.