It Is Rocket Science

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Episodes

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0104 LAST2011033020130925
20150316 (BBC7)
20150317 (BBC7)
20161128 (BBC7)
20161129 (BBC7)

Helen Keen presents her off-beat comic take on the history of rocket science starring Peter Serafinowicz and Susy Kane.

Written by Helen Keen and Miriam Underhill

Produced by Gareth Edwards

This week Helen asks if humanity will ever make it to the stars, and ponders some of the greater mysteries of the universe, such as time travel, parallel universes and faster than light travel. And have aliens ever made it here? And if so have they been tempted to use their vastly superior intelligence to really clean up in pub quizzes.

Performed by Helen Keen and stars Peter Serafinowicz as the Voice of Space with other parts played by Susy Kane.

This week Helen asks if humanity will ever make it to the stars, and ponders some of the greater mysteries of the universe, such as time travel, parallel universes and faster than light travel.

And have aliens ever made it here? And if so have they been tempted to use their vastly superior intelligence to really clean up in pub quizzes.

The remarkable true history of rockets and the men, women and animals behind them.

Can we make it to the stars? Quirky true history with Helen Keen and Peter Serafinowicz.

02012012051620131002
20160111 (BBC7)
20160112 (BBC7)

Are there civilisations on other planets, and, if so, why do they never call?

Helen Keen stars alongside Peter Serafinowicz and Susy Kane for a second series of the factually-correct but funny exploration of the science and history of space travel. This week examines the Fermi paradox - if the universe is really infinite it should contain infinite life, and yet we have had no contact from alien civilisations. It also takes a look at different ideas through history of what life might be like on other planets, and some of the more surprising suggestions scientists have had on how to get in touch with it, from giant burning parallelograms in the Sahara to sending nude pictures into space -

Written by Helen Keen and Miriam Underhill

Produced by Garth Edwards.

Episode 01 of 04

02022012052320131009
20160118 (BBC7)
20160119 (BBC7)

Funny, factually-accurate look at space travel and explosive nuclear propulsion.

This comic but informative look at the history of space exploration looks this week at the role that leaps of the imagination have played in the science of rocketry, including the strange story of Russian Cosmism, and how their mission to bring back to life everyone who has ever lived produced pioneering work on multi-stage rockets: and the even stranger story of a plan in the 1950s for a giant spaceship capable of carrying a hundred and fifty people that could have been built using existing technology - Project Orion. There was just one snag - it was to be fuelled by nuclear bombs.

Starring Helen Keen, Peter Serafinowicz and Susy Kane

Written by Helen Keen and Miriam Underhill

Produced by Gareth Edwards.

Starring Helen Keen, Peter Serafnowicz and Susy Kane

02032012053020131016
20160125 (BBC7)
20160126 (BBC7)

Helen Keen, Peter Serafinowicz and Susy Kane star in the funny but true history of space exploration.

This week, given that on a rocket every ounce of saved weight is crucial, an astronaut who weighs 15% less and breathes less oxygen should have a tremendous advantage. So where were all of NASA's female astronauts? The story of Soviet pioneer Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, who at one time logged more hours in orbit than all the male American astronauts put together makes a thought-provoking contrast to the marginalised female astronauts of the USA, the so called Mercury 13, none of whom ever got to go into space.

Written by Helen Keen and Miriam Underhill

Produced by Gareth Edwards.

This week, given that on a rocket ever ounce of saved weight is crucial, an astronaut who weighs 15% less and breathes less oxygen should have a tremendous advantage. So where were all of NASA's female astronauts? The story of Soviet pioneer Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, who at one time logged more hours in orbit than all the male American astronauts put together makes a thought-provoking contrast to the marginalised female astronauts of the USA, the so called Mercury 13, none of whom ever got to go into space.

The women astronauts-who-never-were of the Mercury 13.

0204 LAST2012060620131023
20160201 (BBC7)
20160202 (BBC7)

Last in the series of Helen Keen's quirky comic but true look at the past and future of space exploration. This week looks at what we could do if a giant asteroid was heading straight for us and looks at where else we might be able to go in the solar system if Earth was destroyed, and how we might bet there. And we ask the most searching of all questions, why didn't the dinosaurs avoid extinction by developing a space programme of their own? And if they had, how could a T Rex have flown a spaceship with those tiny arms?

With Helen Keen

Peter Serafinowicz

Susy Kane

Written by Helen Keen and Miriam Underhill

Produced by Gareth Edwards.

Comedy taking a quirky look at the science and history of space travel.

What could we do if a giant asteroid were heading straight for us?

Last in the series of Helen Keen's quirky comic but true look at the past and future of space exploration. This week looks at what we could do if a giant asteroid was heading straight for us and looks at where else we might be able to go in the solar system if Earth was destroyed, and how we might get there. And we ask the most searching of all questions, why didn't the dinosaurs avoid extinction by developing a space programme of their own? And if they had, how could a T Rex have flown a spaceship with those tiny arms?

030120140402

A new series of Helen Keen's comic but scientifically accurate look at the science and history of space exploration.

This week's episode looks at how we might one day travel to Mars and beyond, and discusses the problems of long space voyages, with tips on a rather unsavoury way to stop cosmic rays and what to do if you feel like eating your crewmates.

Starring Helen Keen, Peter Serafinowicz and Susy Kane

Written by Helen Keen and Miriam Underhill

Produced by Gareth Edwards.

030220140409

The only radio comedy programme to give you an accurate overview of the science of space travel.

This episode examines humanity's enduring obsession with UFOs. How long have we been seeing them? What might they really be? And what questions might their possible occupants be asking about us?

Starring Helen Keen, Peter Serafinowicz and Susy Kane

Written by Helen Keen and Miriam Underhill

Produced by Gareth Edwards.

030320140416

The only factually accurate comedy about the history of space exploration looks at the forgotten and unacknowedged greats of astronomy, the men and (mainly) women who advanced our undestanding of the stars but never quite received the fame they deserved. People such as 18th Century disabled genius Caroline Herschel who polished lenses with dung and discovered new stars; and human computer Henrietta Swann Leavitt who taught Hubble a method for working out the distances between the stars and narrowly missed out on a Nobel prize when it turned out she had died some years earlier.

Starring Helen Keen, Peter Serafinowicz and Susy Kane.

Written by Helen Keen and Miriam Underhill

Produced by Gareth Edwards.

0304 LAST20140423

Last in the series of the comic but factually accurate history of space exploration. This week we look at Astronomical Errors. How mistakes have shaped the history of rocket science, including how the universe is made out of ice, or possibly isn't; when you should keep quiet about the shape of the solar system; and some of the more surprising activities of unpredictable genius Isaac Newton.

Starring Helen Keen, Peter Serafinowicz and Susy Kane

Written by Helen Keen and Miriam Underhill

Produced by Gareth Edwards.