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Weekly audio podcast by and predominantly amateur astronomers.

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Hosted by an amateur astronomer, AstrotalkUK is podcast looking at the role, activities and achievements of amateur astronomers in the UK. Mostly a prerecorded mp3 audio file but occasionally accompanied by a video too. The internet being what it is, content will not be limited to the UK nor will the contributors always be amateur astronomers.
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-11-15 15:02
last episode published
2019-11-15 06:00
publication frequency
53.21 days
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Number of Episodes
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Science & Medicine Natural Sciences



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

Episode 91 – ISRO and the Spy who was not

n 1994, Narayan Nambi an ISRO aerospace engineer was falsely arrested by the Investigation Beuro on charges of espionage. He was accused of passing on confidential launch vehicle flight test data to foreign nationals. In 1996 he was cleared by the Cent... author

Episode 90 – An update on ISRO’s activities with S Somanath and R Umamaheshwaran

This interview with S Somanath (director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre) and R Umamaheshwaran (Scientific Secretary) was recorded on 24th October 2019 during the International Astronautical Congress in Washington DC. It was not focused on a specif... author

IAC2019 Heads of Space Agency – Press Conference

This audio recording captures most of the Q&A that took place on Monday 21st October #IAC2019. The audio quality is variable. The agencies represented included #isro #nasa #jaxa #china #Russia The post IAC2019 Heads of Space Agency – Press Confere... author

Episode 89 – Carbon Nanotubes

In his 1979 novel, Fountains of Paradise, Arthur C Clarke imagines a cable stretching from the Earth's equator to Geosynchronous orbit. He called it a "space elevator" and imagined it would be constructed from continuous pseudo-one-dimensional diamond... author

Episode 88 – India’s Private Space Sector

As in other nations, the private space sector is now emerging in India. One name that pops up when discussing private and commercial space in India is Narayanan Prasad The post Episode 88 – India’s Private Space Sector appeared first on AstrotalkUK. author

Episode 87 – Apollo Era recollections of a Brit working in NASA

Dr David Baker has been involved with the USA since childhood. First attending a US school in England and then studying in the US under a scholarship program sponsored by Senator Clinton P Anderson. He returned to the USA and worked for NASA on various... author

Episode 86 – Moon: Art, Science, Culture

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing was a momentous event and expected to be marked by numerous publications. Most books cover the technologies, events, personal recollections and politics of the first human voyage to another world. One book ... author

Episode 85 – Russia’s Space programme with Brian Harvey

Brian Harvey is a Dublin based writer who has authored more than 14 books the space programmes of USSR/Russia, USA, India, Korea Japan and China. He has a deep understanding of the motivations and politics as well as the space technology that has emerg... author

Enabling democracy through an App?

GovernEye and is designed to facilitate democratic engagement by allowing voters elected politician and all stakeholders. @GovernEye founder Anant Ahuja talks about how Governeye works and what motivated it. The post Enabling democracy through an App?... author

Episode 84: NASA after the Shuttle. SLS and The Gateway

Why has NASA not been able to launch American astronauts to space on American rockets since 2011? What is the SLS and the Gateway? Will China and US cooperate in space? The post Episode 84: NASA after the Shuttle. SLS and The Gateway appeared first on... author

Episode 83 – India’s Human Spaceflight Programme with R Umamaheswaran - Episode 83 - India's Human Spaceflight Programme. R Umamaheswaren talks about @ISRO Human Space Flight Programme #gaganyaan and thinks the chances of a woman as a member of the first crew "highly likely". recorded at #IAC2018 The post... author

Episode 82 – Jaxa and International Collaboration with Professor Fujimoto Masaki

A conversation with Prof. Fujimoto Masaki about @JAXA current and future plans to explore the inner solar system and #samplereturn missions. Recorded in Bremen just after #IAC2018 The post Episode 82 – Jaxa and International Collaboration with Professo... author

Episode 81 – United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs Episode 81 - United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of UNOOSA# talks about some of UNOOSA's current projects. recorded during #IAC2018 The post Episode 81 – United Nations Office for Outer Space Aff... author

Episode 80 – S Somnat. Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre Episode 80. S. Somnath joined the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala in 1985 and today he is its director. Recorded at #IAC2018 The post Episode 80 – S Somnat. Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre appea... author

Episode 79 – – A single digital marketplace for the global space supply chain? - Episode 79 A digital marketplace for the global space supply chain? With @satsearchco. Recorded at #iac2018. The post Episode 79 – – A single digital marketplace for the global space supply chain? appeared f... author

Episode 78 – ISRO’s early Earth Observation Cameras with former chairman Mr Kiran Kumar

Mr Kiran Kumar studied physics, physical engineering and electronics in educational institutions in India including the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore. He specialised in electro-optical imaging systems and in 1975 was recruited by Dr Y... author

Episode 77 – Satellite tracking – the early days

Sven Grahn has been working in the space field in one way or another for over fifty years. Officially retired, he continues to work as a project leader of a student satellite at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. He is perhaps best known f... author

Episode 76 – Space law

One of the earliest characteristics of human civilisation (large populations living together in organised cities) was the creation of rules or laws that everyone who lived there agreed to abide by. The 50th anniversary of first humans to visit the Moon... author

Episode 75. China -back to the Moon with Chang’ E 4

One mission two spacecraft, China is going back to the Moon with Chang’E 4 mission that I think is the most exciting lunar mission since the 1970s. By the end of 2018, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) will launch Chang’E 4 that will explo... author

Episode 74. Space Debris and Sustainable use of Space

Space, as the author Douglas Adams said “is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is”. After 6 decades of launching spacecraft, some orbits are now congested with space debris from collisions and poor end-of... author

Episode 73. Using Commercial Of the Shelf (COTs) Components to build spacecraft

If you follow this podcast, you will notice a very long pause since the previous episode. I have been busy writing my second book, the Indian Space Programme which is now finally complete. So I am now back to my familiar but irregular podcasting mode. ... author

Quick Update

Its been a while since I posted episode 72.  Now that the book The Indian Space Programme has been published, I am resuming the podcasting. You can see some Amazon Reviews and if you have one, add your own too. More about that book on this short BBC ra... author

Episode 72: Satish Dhawan Space Centre

Located about 80km from Chennai on India's east coast, Satish Dhawan Space centre is used by ISRO to launch all of its satellites including those to the Moon and Mars. Also known as Sriharikota, it was established during the late 1960s but today it has... author

Episode 71 – TATA Institute for Fundamental Research

The Indian Space Program was initiated by a brilliant nuclear physicist Homi Bhabha who pretty much immediately handed over the space program to Vikram Sarabhai. Bhabha himself pursued the goal of bringing institutionalised fundamental research to Indi... author

Episode 70 – India’s Deep Space Network and ISRO Satellite Centre

India’s space program is now over half a century old. During this time its Infrastructure has evolved. This episode looks at the current communication capabilities used to support space vehicles during launch, in Earth orbit or on a interplanetary miss... author

Episode 69 Mars Orbiter Mission

Interview recorded at ISRO's satellite Centre in Bangalore with Mars Orbiter Mission program director Dr Mylswamy Annadurai. This interview was recorded on 26th March 2014 after MOM was launched but before it arrived at Mars.The postEpisode 69 Mars Or... author

Episode 68: Stephen H Smith – India’s forgotten rocketeer

Contribution of Stephen H Smith to development of rocketry and the Anglo Indian community in India of which he is a member. The post Episode 68: Stephen H Smith – India’s forgotten rocketeer appeared first on AstrotalkUK. author

Episode 67 : Technik Museum Speyer

This episode is a preview of some of the space related exhibits in Europe’s largest aerospace museum– Speyer Technik Museum, in Germany. If you ever go and the following may entice you to do so,  four space exhibits to look out for include the followin... author

Episode 66: Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre

November 21st 2013 was the 50th anniversary of a rocket launched from India in to space. The launch itself was an all Indian affair but with lots of international support. The rocket was American, carried a French Sodium Vapour payload with assisted by... author

Episode 65: ISRO – The early years

The Indian Space Research Organisation formally came in to being in 1972. By then, India had been developing its space program for almost a decade. The first launch to space from Indian soil was a two stage Nike-Apache rocket supplied by USA with a  so... author

Episode 64: Bangalore Astronomical Society

  Another episode in the current series about space and India. Bangalore Astronomical Society (BAS) is probably the most industrious astronomical societies in India. Founded in 2006, it has nearly 200 paid up members based in and around Bangalore but a... author

Episode 63 – Rakesh Sharma India’s first and only spaceman

With a population of 1.2 billion people, India has just one national with first hand experience of spaceflight. Rakesh Sharma, a now retired Indian Air Force wing commander in 1984 spent eight days in space aboard the Soviet space station Salyut 7. Thi... author

Episode 62 – Vikram Sarabhai

Vikram Sarabhai  is unanimously accepted across India as the“father” of its space program. Not really known well outside India, he died suddenly and prematurely at age of 52 in 1971. He had studied cosmic ray physics and gained his PHD from Cambridge i... author

Jim Reavis – Cloud Security Alliance

A short interview with Jim Revis recorded in London on 24th April during InfoSec 2013. In this interview Jim talks about the evolving definition of of Cloud Computing, the CSA’s Star Registry, CSA’s Cloud Computing Security Knowledge certification and ... author

Episode 61: Reg Turnill on Wernher von Braun

Like so many in the “space community” I was saddened to hear of the passing of Reg Turnill. He was  the BBC’s aerospace correspondent but is  best known  for covering the American Space program  throughout the 60s and 70s that he documents so well in h... author

Episode 60: Square Kilometre Array

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a global science and engineering project to build a revolutionary new radio telescope with extraordinary scientific ambitions. With funding from ten nations the building of the SKA will start in 2016 and be fully ope... author

Episode 59: Astrophotograpy

If you have ever been to London and used the underground Tube service, it may well have been driven by the speaker in this episode. That is his day job but Nik Szymanek  is one of Britain’s best known astrophotographers. This interview was recorded dur... author

Episode 58: Astronauts Joe Engle and Ron Garan

The first  interview in this episode is with astronaut Joe Engle was recorded during his visit to the UK in 2008.   Joe Engle was at the front of the queue  to go to the Moon when NASA cut its Apollo program. His place was taken by the geologist Harris... author

Episode 57: 15 October 2012 – Cassini Huygens Mission

Launched 15 years ago today, the Cassini Huygens mission has been one of the outstanding successes of solar system exploration and a model of NASA ESA collaboration. In episode 14 Professor John Zarnecki spoke about the science conducted from the surfa... author

Episode 56: 7th October 2012 – SpaceguardUK

As the dinosaurs on the Earth 64 million years ago discovered, comets and asteroids have the potential for unexpected arrival with devastating consequences. The spectacular collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter in July 1994 dramatically rais... author

Ben Kepes – Future of Cloud Computing

When I speak to anyone in a time zone with a 12 hours difference and in opposite hemispheres it implies we are about as far as two people on the planet can be. You can play or download the recording at the bottom of this page. Ben is known for amongst ... author

Episode 55: 4 August 2012: Mars Curiosity Rover

Since the mid 1970s six spacecraft (Viking 1& 2, Sojourner, Opportunity, Spirit and Phoenix)  have successfully landed on the surface of Mars. In probably the most audacious, breathtaking and risky space missions, in less than two days, another  Ma... author

Mars Curiosity’s seven minutes of terror – in less than 3 minutes

Mars Curiosity landing in a nutshell (less than 3 minutes audio below)  by Dr Anita Sengupta  from the Entry Decent& Landing and Advanced Technologies group at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Full interview in Episode 55– tomorrow.       The postMa... author

Episode 54: 23 July 2012 – Manchester Interplanetary Society and Stanley Davis

The August 2012 edition of Spaceflight, the monthly magazine from the British Interplanetary Society carried an article where I discuss the Northwest of England’s contribution in Rocketry during the 1930s. An extended version of that article is availab... author

Episode 53: 28th June 2012 – The Chinese Space program

Brian Harvey is a Dublin based writer, author, broadcaster and probably the most informed specialist on Chinese and Soviet/Russian space program in Ireland today. This conversation recorded during the Shenzhou-9 / Tiangong-1 mission orbiting the Earth ... author

Episode 52: 7th June 2012: Michael Wood Historian and Gagarin’s visit to Manchester

Historian Michael Wood's documentary, The Great British Story - A People's History, is currently being screened in the UK. Michael is from Manchester and was visiting Liverpool last weekend where he made time for this recording.The postEpisode 52: 7th ... author

Episode 51: 5th June 2012: Profile – Author David Shayler

You know what it is like, you buy a book on a subject of interest and enjoy it. Later you see a book on a similar subject that you probably were not going to buy but do so because it is from that same author. Gradually, you end up with several books fr... author

Transit of Venus and the Great British Story

The last hour of so of the transit of Venus on 6th June 2012 will be visible during sunrise from northwest of England. The following links should answer most if not all your queries. Listen to a short interview above on Radio Merseyside with Roger Phil... author

Episode 50: 26th March 2012: Manchester first Rocket Scientists

Robert Goddard in America , Sergei Korolev in the Soviet Union and Herman Oberth in Germany are three names credit with the development of rocket propulsion during the late 1920s and early 1930s. Each led a very small group with more dedication then re... author

Episode 49: 17th March 2012: National Astronomy Meeting 2012

This episode has no specific astronomical topic but draws attention to a very special astronomy meeting later this month. The Royal Astronomical Society’s annual National Astronomy Meeting last year was held in Wales, next year it will be in Scotland b... author