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21st July 2011
After both the crew of Atlantis and mission controllers in Houston confirmed undocking, the familiar voice of the commentator came in: "Undocking confirmed at 1:28am central time. Atlantis weighs anchor from the International Space Station for the last time." A few moments later, a bell rang out. It was astronaut Ron Garan ringing the station's bronze ship's bell in the traditional farewell to a departing vessel.
I heard that "weighs anchor" as a reminder of the continuity of human exploration, and I heard that bell's ringing as a promise, to past, present and future generations, that our irrepressible human instinct to venture ever outward will not let us down... Read more
21st July 2011
E! Science News
As Atlantis drops anchor for the last time, Dr Karen James of The HMS Beagle Project trusts that our irrepressible human instinct to venture ever outward will not let us down.
This morning, the space shuttle Atlantis – "the last of the magnificent space flying rocket birds" – rolled to her final wheelstop. It's a tough day for those of us who count ourselves fans of manned space exploration, but something I heard on NASA TV as the shuttle undocked from the International Space Station for the last time on Tuesday gave me hope… Read more
18th October 2010
Science Weekly podcast, Guardian online
A project to recreate the ship in which Charles Darwin sailed to the Galapagos, NASA's shuttle tweetup, how to dial the space station, Hubble turns 20, why Arabic science has been falling behind, and Stephen Hawking sells out the Royal Albert Hall.
All the way from Maine, Dr Karen James joins us in the studio to tell us about The Beagle Project, which aims to recreate the ship in which Charles Darwin sailed on his world-changing voyage of discovery.
Karen is also a huge space fan and will watch the penultimate shuttle launch as part of NASA’s tweetup. She also tells us about getting a call on her mobile phone from the space station…Listen
15th September 2010
A collaboration between the Beagle Project and NASA is working to inspire kids to follow in the path of Charles Darwin.
Before joining NASA as a space medicine specialist, astronaut Michael Barratt had been a zoology graduate. He described himself as a James Cook freak, a sailing enthusiast and, at one time, a wannabe marine biologist.
Three years ago, still an astronaut-in-training, Barratt came across a news snippet that caught his attention. A British team was planning to rebuild HMS Beagle, the ship that bore Charles Darwin on his historic voyage of discovery 180 years ago, as a way to "put the awe back into science"… Read more
11th November 2008
The original HMS Beagle took scientist and naturalist Darwin around the world between 1831 and 1836.
The voyage gave him the key evidence he needed to develop his theory of evolution by natural selection.
The new vessel will be built in Milford Haven in Wales. She will be identical to Darwin's on the outside - but will contain radar, GPS, two auxiliary diesel engines and lab equipment.
'The only noticeable difference from the outside will be a GPS on the mast,' said Mr McGrath. 'However, inside it will be very modern, as obviously we need the latest scientific equipment, and to travel in comfort’… Read more
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