Posts Tagged ‘Space’

The space race was big news and in 1960, Komarov was picked, a Soviet test pilot and aerospace engineer, he was picked to be a cosmonaut. He was going to be one of the first man to go into low-earth orbit; alongside him was Yuri Gagarin, he was the first human that went into space.

The USSR decided to be brave several years later or just criminally reprehensible. They wanted to capture a docking between two Soviet spaceships in space. The Soyuz 1 would carry one cosmonaut and a second would have two more and one in space both spaceships would dock. The men would then switch spacecrafts and one would return to earth, a plan doomed from its very creation.

Soyuz 1 was to be Komarov’s craft, he knew it was doomed and so did a great many but the officials were going ahead with it regardless. Komarov knew it was pretty much a suicide mission, he also knew however that if he backed out his friend Gagarin was next to go in.

Komarov and Gagarin both showed up on April 23rd, 1967. This is the same year the US lost three astronauts in the Apollo fire. Gagarin apparently made strange demands and demanded a pressure suit, some through he may have intended to delay the launch. The mission went off according to the plan, well until Soyuz 1 made it to space. The ship did not operate properly and did not have enough fuel, one of the solar panels was compromised and when the capsule set for descent the parachutes did not open.

The parachutes failing and then their back-up entangling with a canopy meant to fill the larger spelt the demise of Komarov. The exact conversation has never been disclosed by the USSR, an unofficial account says in a sate of hysteria when he spoke with Alexsei Kosygin, a high ranking official, who cried with him saying that he was a national hero. He had a brief call with his wife about what to tell their children and they both plummeted through Earth’s atmosphere. It hit the ground with the force of a 2.8 ton meteorite. Some also say that he died screaming and cursing the people who contributed to his death.

His charred and unrecognisable body was then recovered and given an open casket, state sponsored funeral with military honours. It is worth mentioning again at this stage the stories about the alleged conversations and curses are speculation and probably just urban legend. What is worth mentioning is his incredible bravery and contribution to science and the exploration of space.

Fallen Astronaut.jpg
By NASA – Original image at http://history.nasa.gov/alsj/a15/as15-88-11894HR.jpg Another: http://images.jsc.nasa.gov/luceneweb/caption_direct.jsp?photoId=AS15-88-11894, Public Domain, Link

 

Well this one has been on the radar a while (yeah shoot me bad puns etc) but I thought it might be interesting to add to the list. I have had a search around the internet and found a few interesting facts about it. So here goes…

The story is that The Black Knight is a satellite that orbits the earth, and it is around 13,000 years old too! The story seems to have originated in 1954 when newspapers ran a report of two satellites orbiting earth had been detected, at this stage there was not meant to be the technology for our planet to do this so speculation began.

A photograph in 1988 was claimed to show the ‘alien artefact’, or perhaps what might be space debris from a previous attempt at sending machinery into space. However my thoughts on the latter contradict the idea we could not send that type of technology out… the first launch we know of was Sputnik in 1957.

Nikola Tesla was said to have intercepted a signal from the thing back in 1899. A HAM radio operator was said to have decoded a series of radio signals from TBK and interpreted it has a star-chart centred on the Epsilon Bootes star system. It is also where the information about it being 13,000 years ago seems to have originated too. It’s said that the radio signals had been picked up for around 50 years as well.

Whatever it was in the 1960’s has been located in Polar Orbit and was calculated to be over 10 tons of weight, making it one very heavy object and if man/alien made one of the largest ever created. NASA have also released images and this has spurred more interest in it, no one (or thing) has claimed to own it.

What makes it harder to wade through information like this is that so many projects use the name, for instance as Skeptoid points out, 22 UK launches between 1958-1965 gives you an idea. Tesla also did get radio signals but they were not from the satellite they were from space, Pulsars… giant deep space sources of pulsing radio signals. Duncan Lunan did not get a message from the satellite about the Epsilon Bootes star system either, it was collected from LDE radio reflections that allows him to build the map.

It seems that the Black Knight satellite is really more of an amalgamation of already quite interesting facts.

Black Knight Satellite

It is a Fast Radio Burst (FRB), it is a transient celestial radio pulse lasting only milliseconds, and thought to be of extra-galactic origin. Yeah you heard me!

There seems to be no real solid theory or explanation, a suggestion is that there could be a connection to gamma ray bursts. They changed rapidly in brightness and so it’s believed that the source must be very small.

It was spotted in 2007, it’s not alone either as four more have been identified since that point. They are very short bursts coming from anything from 5 to 11 billion light years away, so back in time their sounds now come to us to be heard.

We are effectively hearing explosions of the past which sounds pretty awesome to me! Are we hearing events from ancient alien civilisations? Echo’s of events mirroring things like the Big Bang? I’ll leave it up to you to decide.

 

Two former radio amateurs gave 50 years worth of interest (and still ongoing) for space conspiracy enthusiasts. In the 1960’s they claimed they had recording that showed the Soviet Space program covered up the deaths of Cosmonauts. These claims have met with rebuttals and the interests continues but that’s why I think it’s a great one for this blog.

They claimed to have monitored transmissions from the Soviet Sputnik program and Explorer 1. They said this included other recordings, like the sounds of a lost cosmonaut who was dying. 28th November 1960, one of those was also an SOS signal that was moving away from the Earth’s orbit and their information was picked up by a Swiss-Italian radio station who took them on as their space experts.

They also made a further claim that they had heard of a female cosmonaut yelling “I am hot” amongst other parts of that transmission. They stated that this was the sounds of her transmitting before she burnt up.

In total they had released nine recordings over a course of years:

  • May 1960, a manned spacecraft reporting its going off course.
  • 28th November 1960 the faint sounds of an SOS transmission as a spacecraft left orbit.
  • February 1961, the recorded sounds of a cosmonaut suffocating.
  • April 1961, capsule recorded orbiting Earth three times before it entered Earth’s atmosphere and this was days before Yuri Gagarin took flight.
  • October 1961, a cosmonaut looses control of his ship and goes into deep space.
  • November 1962, a capsule misjudges re-entry bouncing off the Earth’s atmosphere it then goes out into space.
  • November 1963, a female cosmonaut dies during re-entry.
  • April 1964, another cosmonaut killed when their capsule burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere.

People that have analysed this have stated they are dubious that certain protocol appears to have been ignored during those transmissions, for instance that the cosmonauts had not identified themselves during those transmissions. You could of course argue that burning up in space is a pretty good reason to forget this right?

There seem to be a lot of grammatical errors, or errors in sentence construction when it was generally accepted that the Soviet’s would only use highly trained and educated native speakers but again you could argue that panic would ensue and even the most articulate of people are going to loose that.

The technology the Soviet’s were using may well have been sending dogs into space but there is no suggestion they had enough technology to be putting a manned craft out of the orbit by that stage.

Another factor that was given to consideration, and perhaps this is the one that might convince me – with all the other countries listening into the space race and monitoring these transmissions why hadn’t the professionals found them too? The other countries would have little to no reason to avoid giving up that information as they were all in the race so-to-speak. So why did it fall to two amateur radio enthusiasts who self-taught themselves to get such potentially controversial details out into the public?

I also listened to a brilliant podcast and presentation by Brian Dunning, Skeptoid about this and felt it was a great tale for the blog.

The WOW! Signal was detected in 1977, 15th August by Jerrty R Ehman whilst working on a project at the Big Ear Radio Telescope. It was in Ohio, it bore the expected anticipated markings of being extra-terrestrial.

The noise lasted for 72 seconds and since then it has not been heard again.

The name WOW! came from Ehman writing it on the computer print out of the signal.

There have been further attempts to detect the sound again, but by 1999 after six 14-hour long observation attempts WOW! had not been picked up again.

In 2012, on it’s 35th Anniversary a response from humanity was beamed out. The idea is that if there are other lifeforms out there, they might pick us up on their travels.