Democracy in Space

BBC Inside Science

By BBC Radio 4

Democracy in Space

This week a US based billionaire launched a giant space rocket and sent a car vaguely in the direction of Mars. As a space mission it was to say the least unconventional, and for those involved in promoting space science it presents a quandary. Is such a mission largely a publicity stunt or is it useful for engaging people in the potential of space exploration? Gareth Mitchell looks at one project which enables schoolchildren to programme computers on the International Space Station and he talks to the European Space Agency about why a rock concert might be a good avenue for exploring space science. As more and more of our everyday lives are conducted online we ask what are the cyber-security threats of today, and how can science be used to counter them. Do we now need new kinds of science to locate, understand and stop new kinds of threat? Can bat science help human ageing research? New findings have show that some long lived bat species do not age in the same way as other mammals. They don't even seem to posses the DNA repair enzyme most commonly found in the animal kingdom. We look at the mystery of why bats seem to have evolved in this way. And have you lost a satellite? Don't worry: a computer geek will find it for you. That's exactly what's happened - an amateur space sleuth has detected signals from a NASA satellite thought to have been 'lost' for years.
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