The Cosmic Shed

2018 BIS: Mark Hempsell

April 5, 2018

The British Interplanetary Society was founded in 1933 with its primary goal to make space travel happen more than it currently is, even today. We're joined by the current president of the society, Mark Hempsell, who is full of fascinating stories and, at times, controversial opinions about science fiction...


Steve and Maddy sat down with Mark Hempsell after we gathered in the shed to watch 2001: A Space Odyssey.

2001 in the Cosmic Shed (in 2017).

We were planning to celebrate what would have been Arthur C. Clarke's 100th birthday but this conversation with Mark was enough in its own right...and, anyway, what more is there to be said about all that?

Mark has worked on some amazing space missions including the Sklyon


Mark also tells us about another project he worked on to land rockets vertically, way before Elon Musk managed it...

DC-X Flight 8

The BIS is immortalised in the classic book from Arthur C Clarke, "Tales from the White Hart". Mark shares with us the nickname they had for Arthur...listen to the episode to find out what it is and why.


A very special episode concludes with a rather wonderful song from the Wardrobe Ensemble, a theatre group in Bristol who, among other things, make plays with a fair bit of science in them for families. 

Steve's copy of 2001 is heavily annotated.

Show notes

Steve mentions an article but can't remember who wrote it. It's here.

Mark mentions Project Daedalus

This stunning artwork is Dawn of Man by Jordan Collver. Get your own print of his work  here and be the envy of all your friends.


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