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Three fathers of rocket science, and why space travel is like coach travel. Quirky true history with Helen Keen. From March 2011.

Funny, off-beat but factually accurate account of the science of rockets and the brilliant but occasionally warped brains behind it all.

Helen Keen, Peter Serafinowicz and Susy Kane look at the three fathers of modern rocket science:

* 19th Century self-taught Russian visionary Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky and his dreams of orbiting space stations and Martian colonies;

* American Robert H Goddard, derided in The New York Times in the 1920s for his prediction of a lunar landing (A retraction was printed after the Apollo 11 launch);

* Transylvanian-German Hermann Oberth with his brilliant theories about space travel and his horrifying theories about racial supremacy.

Plus Helen reveals the surprising connection between space travel and a coach tour of the Jewels of the Rhineland.

Written by Helen Keen and Miriam Underhill.

Producer: Gareth Edwards

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in March 2011.

13 minutes

Last on

Tue 7 Jan 2020 09:45

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Role Contributor
Performer Helen Keen
Actor Peter Serafinowicz
Actor Susy Kane
Producer Gareth Edwards
Writer Helen Keen
Writer Miriam Underhill


  • Wed 9 Mar 2011 23:00
  • Wed 4 Sep 2013 23:15
  • Mon 23 Feb 2015 23:45
  • Tue 24 Feb 2015 09:45
  • Mon 7 Nov 2016 23:30
  • Tue 8 Nov 2016 09:30
  • Mon 6 Jan 2020 23:45
  • Tue 7 Jan 2020 09:45