Monday, June 21, 2010

PBS: History Detectives: Space Exploration

On Monday June 21 PBS Weta presented “History Detectives: Space Exploration”, with descriptive link here.

The program summarized the early history of communications satellites after Sputnik, including Echo and Echo 2, of which a mylar piece might have been a component. (But there may have been mylar-like material recovered at Roswell in 1947, maybe from a weather balloon.)

The most interesting segment was about Ray Radis, a Westinghouse engineer, who described Westinghouse’s policy of allowing engineers to work on projects of their choice as long as Westinghouse kept an interest. Radis invented a magnetic boot which may have been used by NASA later.

There was also a little chip with work of several artists, including Andy Warhol, whose contribution was based on alphabetic letters manipulated to look like a particular body part. Investigation shows that there is a good chance this chip is still on the moon.

Here’s a PBS YouTube video segment of the “Moon Museum” episode of “History Detectives”

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