Various Artists – Hidden Figures: The Album review

Soul meets space travel on the soundtrack for forthcoming film, Hidden Figures. It comes courtesy of Pharrell Williams – who also worked on the film’s score with Hans Zimmer – and features guest spots by Lalah Hathaway, Mary J Blige, Alicia Keys, Janelle Monáe and Kim Burrell. Continue reading

Orbiting Earth at 17,500 mph

Some recent posts by The Guardian about the International Space Station, a joint venture between NASA, the ESA and other space agencies, has prompted a sudden spurt of space fever within me.

Back in primary school, becoming an astronaut, working up in space and exploring the Solar System was my greatest dream. I would trawl through my cookbook-sized Dorling Kindersley space books, absorbing as much as could and daydreaming as I gazed at the many colour photographs of spacecraft and astronauts living in space. Techno Quest, a weekly science digest which came with the blessing of Wallace and Gromit and the occasional interactive floppy disc, allowed me to hone my knowledge of space, learning that scientists are looking back in time when they see quasars and that our Sun was a G-type star – Key Stage 2 exam questions were piece of cake.

Much to my disappointment, that hasn’t yet come to fruition, though I did ask the ESA if they had room for a freelance writer on their next mission. The International Space Station has now been in orbit for over 10 years. It makes 15.7 orbits per day, and not many people realise this, but it has to be boosted higher into orbit several times a year or else it would fall to Earth. You and I may not be able to go into space any time soon, but we can follow live tweets from @NASA_Astronauts who are orbiting up in the ISS right now. And failing that, we can always dream.