Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Galen, Ancient Medical Pioneer



Today on Far Future Horizons we present another exciting episode of the History Channel’s acclaimed documentary series “Ancient Discoveries” which focuses on the medical pioneer of classical antiquity  - Galen of Pergamon (modern-day Bergama, Turkey).



This episode of “Ancient Discoveries” discusses ancient medical devices and procedures, and profiles the Greek physician Galen, who practiced eye and brain surgery two thousand years ahead of his time.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Where's My Robot?





Today on Far Future Horizons we present the BBC Horizon documentary Where's My Robot? In today’s video feature we follow British filmmaker, comedian, writer and presenter Danny Wallace in his quest to find a robot that walks and talks just like him.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Great War ~ Episode 2 “Stalemate”





Today on Far Future Horizons we commemorate the centennial of the start of the First World War by presenting the second episode of the documentary series "The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century".



This documentary is a joint production of the BBC, the Boston affiliate of PBS (KCET) in association with The Imperial War Museum.

Modern Marvels ~ Future Tech



 
Today on Far Future Horizons we travel forward in time to the year 2060 and explore some of the Modern Marvels of the future.



Sunday, July 27, 2014

Stowaway to the Moon





Today on Far Future Horizons we present a motion picture which is sure to appeal to the childhood fantasies of those of us growing up during the height of NASA’s golden age of manned lunar exploration.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Isaac Asimov's Visions of the Future



Today on Far Future Horizons we present the pilot for a documentary series titled "Visions of the Future" which would have been hosted by the grand master of science fiction and popular science Isaac Asimov.

Friday, July 25, 2014

L5 First City in Space



Today on Far Future Horizons we would like to present a very hopeful vision of the human future rooted in the work of space visionary Gerard K. O'Neill and outlined in his groundbreaking book “The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space”. 


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Islands in Space: The Challenge of the Planetoids, the Pioneering Work of Dandridge M. Cole

Cut Away View of an Asteroid Hollowed Out and Transformed into a Space Colony

This essay was originally posted on the Discovery Enterprise blog site on August 8, 2007 and blog site of the National Space Society on August 13, 2009. 

This essay was cited in the article "Remembering Dandridge Coleby Paul Gilster on May 14th , 2012 in Centauri Dreams.

NASA is again considering the feasibility of manned missions to the asteroids. However, this idea is not without precedent. Scientists began seriously considering asteroids as targets of exploration in the 1960s. The leading proponent of such missions was American aerospace engineer and futurist - Dandridge MacFarland Cole.

October 30th, 2005 marked the 40th anniversary of his untimely passing. Dandridge Cole was only 44 years old when he suffered a fatal heart attack. The anniversary of his death seems to have largely escaped the notice and attention of the space community at large. This brief article seeks to redress that awful oversight.




Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked




Today on Far Future Horizons we present the feature length documentary Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked.

In this documentary, comic book superheroes are in the spotlight as their creative teams (from past and present) talk about the work they did with the comics. Living creators like Stan Lee also talk about how he created characters like Spider-man and many more.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Exploration of Space by Arthur C. Clarke




My most favourite non fiction book that came from the pen of Arthur C. Clarke is the "The Exploration of Space" published in 1951. 


Autographed copy of the Exploration of Space


Moon Graffiti - What If the 1st Lunar Landing Had Failed?



Today on Far Future Horizons we present Moon Graffiti - What If the 1st Lunar Landing Had Failed?

History has the strange quality that it easily could have been otherwise. You can experience one conceivable "what if?" in Moon Graffiti, an excellently executed radio story that plays out what could have happened had the first moon landing gone awry.


Monday, July 21, 2014

The Truth Behind The Moon Landings




Was one of the greatest scientific and technological achievements of our age just an elaborate hoax? Was Neil Armstrong’s one small step just that- a small step in a studio in Area 51?

Today on Far Future Horizons we present “The Truth behind the Moon Landings” a documentary that debunks the assorted Moon hoax conspiracy theories that have been circulating for the past decade.

Bill Kaysing the former head of technical publications for Rocketdyne is considered, by many, to be the father of moon conspiracy theorists.




MythBusters ~ Moon Landing Wasn't A Hoax


Today on Far Future Horizons we join Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, the hosts of Discovery Channel’s hit television series “MythBusters”, in laying to rest the myth that the Apollo moon landings were a staged hoax.




The MythBusters chose Marshall as one of several NASA locations for an episode to debunk the notion that NASA never landed on the moon.

The cast conducted tests involving a feather, a weight, a lunar soil boot print, and a flag in a vacuum. A team of Marshall scientists helped with the tests.

The MythBusters built a small scale replica of the lunar landing site with a flat surface and a single distant spotlight to represent the Sun. They took a photo and all the shadows in the photo were parallel, as the myth proposed.
They then adjusted the topography of the model surface to include a slight hill around the location of the near rocks so the shadows fell on a slope instead of a flat surface. The resulting photograph had the same shadow directions as the original NASA photograph from Apollo 14.




“Apollo 11: Remastered” - An Orbiter Film




The versatility of the Orbiter Space Simulator is truly amazing. I first wrote about this free space simulator program in my recent article "For All You Armchair Astronauts". Here is awe inspiring film made by TexFilms using Orbiter.




In “Apollo 11: Remastered” we can all vicariously embark on the epic voyage of Apollo 11 from launch to splashdown and relive this grand adventure. This film is a remake of TexFilms original Apollo 11 release featuring Orbiter Space Flight Simulator and AMSO Apollo addon.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

From Olduvai Gorge to the Sea of Tranquility

 


This is an essay I wrote five years ago to mark the fortieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing and was originally posted on the National Space Society's blog site on  August 10, 2009.



By far the two most remarkable photographs of the twentieth century are the ones shown above. For they encapsulate the whole evolutionary and cultural history of humanity and its possible destiny.


In 1978, paleoanthropologist Mary Leaky and her team discovered the earliest hominid footprints (dated to be three and a half million years old) preserved in the volcanic ash at Laetoli, forty-five kilometres south of Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. They belong to one of our proto-human ancestors - Australopithecus afarensis. The picture above shows one of these fossil footprints next to the boot print left by Neil Armstrong in the volcanic soil of Mare Tranquilitatis (the Sea of Tranquillity).

It is very symbolic of the giant evolutionary leap forward we have taken as a species. From Olduvai Gorge to the Sea of Tranquillity, we humans have travelled very far.

In the Shadow of the Moon




Today on Far Future Horizons we commemorate the forty-fifth anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing by presenting a retrospective of the entire Apollo program as seen through the memories of the Astronauts, scientists and engineers who made it happen.

Between 1968 and 1972, nine American spacecraft voyaged to the Moon, and 12 men walked upon its surface. They remain the only human beings to have stood on another world. IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON brings together for the first, and possibly the last time, surviving crew members from every single Apollo mission that flew to the Moon, and allows them to tell their story in their own words.


This riveting first-hand testimony is interwoven with visually stunning archival material which has been re-mastered from the original NASA film footage – much of it never used before. The result is an intimate epic that vividly communicates the daring, the danger, the pride, and the promise of this extraordinary era in history when the whole world literally looked up at America.

The participating astronauts include Jim Lovell (Apollo 8 and 13), Dave Scott (Apollo 9 and 15), John Young (Apollo 10 and 16), Gene Cernan (Apollo 10 and 17), Mike Collins (Apollo 11), Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11), Alan Bean (Apollo 12), Edgar Mitchell (Apollo 14), Charlie Duke (Apollo 16) and Harrison Schmitt (Apollo 17). Beautifully shot by Clive North in High Definition video, the astronauts talk directly to camera. They emerge as surprisingly eloquent, witty, emotional and very human.

The producers Duncan Copp and Chris Riley spent many weeks in the NASA film library examining cans of film some of which had not been opened for over 30 years. This search uncovered many gems, astonishing space shots which have been re-mastered from the original film rolls to reveal the Apollo program with a visual clarity and impact it has never had before. The mute 16mm rolls shot in Mission Control have been laboriously lip-synced with the 16-track audio recordings of the mission controllers’ voice loop to re-unite the pictures and sound of many historic moments for the first time, lending a striking immediacy to many dramatic scenes.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

The High Road to the Moon

BIS Moonship 1939 lander on the Moon© David A. Hardy


Neil Armstrong’s one small step for [a] man was the culmination of the greatest scientific, technological and cultural advance in human history. It was indeed a giant leap for mankind. It proved, beyond any question of doubt that humankind had taken the first evolutionary stride in becoming a multi-planetary species. While history will bear witness that July 20th, 1969 marked a technological and political victory for the United States, in its Cold War race to beat the Soviet Union to the moon, in point of fact it was also an international triumph. The tireless effort of numerous scientists, engineers and visionaries from many lands had finally come to fruition. Thirty years before this pivotal event, a group of far-sighted Brits known as the British Interplanetary Society (BIS) set forth the guidelines for such a lunar voyage.




Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11





Today on Far Future Horizons we present Moonshot, a dramatisation of the events leading up to the landing of Apollo 11 on the surface of the Moon on July 20th , 1969.

"That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." American astronaut Neil Armstrong spoke those words 45 years ago on July 20, 1969, just after stepping off the lunar landing module Eagle to become the first human ever to walk on the moon. 



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sin City - The Port Royal Project




Today we join a team of divers as they unlock an archaeological time capsule that provides us with a snap shot of life in the infamous pirate stronghold and haven of Port Royal, Jamaica.

This documentary covers the activities of The Port Royal Project, a joint program of the Nautical Archaeology Program of Texas A&M University, in cooperation with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) and the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) to excavate the undersea site of Port Royal which sank into the sea following an earthquake in 1692.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Floyd's Journey - 2001: A Space Odyssey - Orbiter Space Flight Simulator




"As far as he knew, it was the first time that an entire mission had been set up to take a single man to the Moon." ~ From Arthur C. Clarke's '2001: A Space Odyssey', Section 2 'T.M.A.-1', Chapter 7 ' Special Flight'




Today on Far Future Horizons I would like to direct your attention to a fantastic Orbiter Space Flight Simulator add-on: “The World of 2001” which brings to life the 2001 Universe of Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick.


Monday, July 14, 2014

For All You Armchair Astronauts




If you are one of the many thousands of people who ever dreamed of booking a holiday into Earth orbit, or dreamed of exploring the Moon, Mars and beyond, but, can't afford the price tag, here's the next best thing.







The Orbiter Spaceflight simulator by Dr. Martin Schweiger of UCL, it’s free, fantastic and downright addictive.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Weekend Science Fiction Line-up: Dark Skies

Frank Bach (J. T. Walsh) shows John Loengard (Eric Close) alien technology



Today on Far Future Horizons we present this weekend's Science Fiction feature. Today's focus is on a television series that had the potential to be the greatest government UFO conspiracy theory based television dramas of all time – Dark Skies.

This series had the potential to exceed even the X-files in popularity. Yet it was cancelled after just one season.



Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Lunar Rover

Apollo 15 Astronaut James Irwin with the Lunar Rover


Today on Far Future Horizons we present the final installment of the highly acclaimed documentary series “Moon Machines” which focuses on the design and development of the novel Lunar Roving vehicle carried to the Moon on the Apollo J-class missions commencing with the Apollo 15 mission.

Lost At Sea - The Search for Longitude


Today on Far Future Horizons we present Lost At Sea - The Search for Longitude an episode of the highly acclaimed PBS science documentary series NOVA.


This instalment of NOVA follows the search for the key to navigating the seas. It is based on the best selling book Longitude by Dava Sobel.

Lost at Sea: The Search for Longitude, begins with the story of Will Andrewes, as he joins a crew to try out and replicate a typical log and line method of the early 1700s to determine the speed and course of a sailing ship. 


Friday, July 11, 2014

The Apollo Space Suit


This fabulous photograph shows Neil Armstrong’s face through his space suit visor as he walks across the lunar surface. The image was captured in video footage by the movie camera mounted on the Eagle lunar lander. The image was retrieved by Spacecraft Films, an Ohio-based specialist in historical space footage, and was included in the newly published book, Voices from the Moon, by author Andrew Chaikin. Copyright NASA and Andrew Chaikin.


Today on Far Future Horizons we present the fifth and penultimate episode of the highly acclaimed documentary series Moon Machines.

The fifth installment of Moon Machines focuses on the teams that created the remarkable Apollo pressure suit.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Apollo Lunar Lander

Apollo 12 Lunar Module on the Surface of the Moon

Today on Far Future Horizons we present the fourth episode of the highly acclaimed documentary series Moon Machines.



The fourth instalment of Moon Machines features the Grumman Corporation’s project to build humankind's only true spacecraft - the Lunar Module.


Moon Machines is a Science Channel documentary miniseries of six episodes documenting the engineering challenges of the Apollo Program to land a man on the Moon. It covers everything from the iconic Saturn V to the Command Module, the Lunar Module, the Space Suits, the Guidance and Control Computer, and the Lunar Rover. It was created by the team who made In the “Shadow of the Moon” in association with NASA to commemorate the agency’s fiftieth anniversary in 2008.

Copyright Science Channel


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Apollo Guidance Computer


Neil Armstrong in Apollo Simulator Using the Apollo computer display and keyboard (DSKY) user interface unit

Today on Far Future Horizons we present the third episode of “Moon Machines” which concerns MIT's work on the development of the Apollo Guidance Computer.


Apollo computer display and keyboard (DSKY) user interface unit



Moon Machines is a Science Channel documentary miniseries of six episodes documenting the engineering challenges of the Apollo Program to land a man on the Moon. It covers everything from the iconic Saturn V to the Command Module, the Lunar Module, the Space Suits, the Guidance and Control Computer, and the Lunar Rover. It was created by the team who made In the “Shadow of the Moon” in association with NASA to commemorate the agency’s fiftieth anniversary in 2008.

Copyright Science Channel



Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Apollo Command Module



Today on Far Future Horizons we present the second episode of “Moon Machines” which concerns the construction of the Apollo Command and Service Modules in the wake of the Apollo 1 fire.


Moon Machines is a Science Channel documentary miniseries of six episodes documenting the engineering challenges of the Apollo Program to land a man on the Moon. It covers everything from the iconic Saturn V to the Command Module, the Lunar Module, the Space Suits, the Guidance and Control Computer, and the Lunar Rover. It was created by the team who made In the “Shadow of the Moon” in association with NASA to commemorate the agency’s fiftieth anniversary in 2008.

Copyright Science Channel


Monday, July 7, 2014

The Incident at Roswell

Today on Far Future Horizons we commemorate the 67th anniversary of the alleged Roswell UFO incident that helped ignite the UFO Conspiracy Craze of the modern era.

The Roswell UFO incident allegedly took place in the United States when an airborne object crashed on a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico, on July 7, 1947. Explanations of what actually took place are based on both official and unofficial communications. Although the crash is attributed to a U.S. military surveillance balloon by the U.S. government, the most famous explanation of what occurred is that the object was a spacecraft containing extraterrestrial life. Since the late 1970s, the Roswell incident has been the subject of much controversy, and conspiracy theories have arisen about the event.

The United States Armed Forces still maintains that what was recovered near Roswell was debris from the crash of an experimental high-altitude surveillance balloon belonging to what was then a classified (top secret) program named Project Mogul.

In stark contrast, many UFO proponents maintain that an alien craft was found, its occupants were captured, and that the military engaged in a massive cover-up. The Roswell incident has turned into a widely known pop culture phenomenon, making the name "Roswell" synonymous with UFOs. Roswell has become the most publicized and controversial of all alleged UFO incidents.

For your viewing pleasure we present two video features to mark today’s anniversary.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

The True Story of the Philadelphia Experiment



Today on Far Future Horizons we investigate the infamous Philadelphia Experiment.


The Philadelphia Experiment is the conspiracy theory regarding a naval military experiment conducted at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, conducted sometime around October 28, 1943, in which the U.S. Navy destroyer escort the USS Eldridge was to be rendered invisible or cloaked to human observers for a brief period of time. The Philadelphia Experiment is also referred to sometimes as Project Rainbow. Apparently something went amiss and ship and crew were allegedly teleported to another dimension with adverse effects to all those involved. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

2210: The Collapse?




Today on Far Future Horizons we are going to travel 200 years into the future to see what the world would look like after civilization as we know it collapsed. Guided by author Jared Diamond, we'll piece together the remarkable story of what on earth triggered our decline.


How could a civilization that mastered the planet suddenly Collapse? The following documentary is based on Jared Diamond's bestselling book "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed".


Imagine if hundreds of years from now, scientists excavated the abandoned ruins of some of our largest cities, what conclusions would future archaeologists come to regarding the collapse of our civilization?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Jared Diamond’s Guns Germs and Steel



Why has Western European Civilization become the most dominant culture on Earth? And, will the entire planet and Western Civilization with it become victims of that success? Today on Far Future Horizons we present Jared Diamond’s Guns Germs and Steel.


This documentary is based on Jared Diamond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name, Guns, Germs and Steel and traces humanity’s journey over the last 13,000 years from the dawn of farming at the end of the last Ice Age to the realities of life in the twenty-first century. Inspired by a question put to him on the island of Papua New Guinea more than thirty years ago, Diamond embarks on a world-wide quest to understand the roots of global inequality.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

America's War Plans Against the British Empire - Revealed



Long before the special relationship that exists between The United States of America and the United Kingdom of Britain and Northern Ireland there was War Plan Red – America’s Plan for war with the British Empire.

Today on Far Future Horizons we present a documentary which aired on Britain’s Channel 5 about War Plan Red, an American strategy to make war on Great Britain.