The Cosmic Shed


April 2, 2015

In this IMAX-size episode, Andrew, Laura and Ben try to articulate their love for Gravity, and hear from Commander Chris Hadfield about the books and films that inspired him to become an astronaut.

We discuss some of the science behind the film, the nitpicks pointed out by people including Neil deGrasse Tyson, and the lessons we can learn from people who have lived in space.

Inspired by Chris Hadfield's zero-gravity musical renditions, we talk about cover versions we'd like to perform on the International Space Station. We were also lucky enough to have a visit from singer-songwriter Hattie Briggs, who played two beautiful songs for us in the Shed.

Following the news that a sitcom based on Chris Hadfield's life is under development, Andrew asks Laura and Ben to suggest other astronaut stories that might make successful films, TV or theatre shows. We soon realise that this is just an excuse for Andrew to show off his Russian language skills.


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The Cosmic Shed is supported by The Lab, who provide us with delicious free coffee for our recording sessions courtesy of their Slow Brew Club subscription service.

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Show notes

For more information on Hattie Briggs, have a look at her website, follow her on Twitter, or buy her album on iTunes.

Hubble 3D, the film Andrew talks about, can be seen at the Science Museum in London, and other science centres around the world.

Laura mentions the interactive stage show Apollo 13: Mission Control, which sadly seems to have finished its run.

Our choices for astronauts to make films or shows about were: Valentina Tereshkova and Yi So-yeon. If you're wondering what kimchi is, and why it's a challenge to take it into space, read this Popular Science article.

The article Ben mentions is from Ain't it Cool News, and is called Copernicus On The Science Of GRAVITY!!

For more about Drugstore and their seven missing years, have a look at Isabel Monteiro's blog.

Andrew and Ben saw The Flaming Lips play as part of Transmission 001 at Jodrell Bank in 2011. For information on more concerts in front of giant radio telescopes, look at the Live from Jodrell Bank Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.

Chris Hadfield gave a brilliant TED Talk about dealing with high-pressure situations called What I learned from going blind in space. The video Andrew mentions, Mixed Nuts in Space can be found on YouTube, and Chris Hadfield's book An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth is available almost everywhere books are sold.

For more of our Chris Hadfield interview, listen to episode 3 of The Cosmic Shed.

According to Andrew, the best book written by anyone is Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut's Journey by Michael Collins.

4DX cinemas can be found in many places other than Busan, South Korea, including Milton Keynes.

For an idea of the amount of debris in Earth's orbit, have a look at this scary animated GIF.

Finally, here is Ben's concrete poem about the Soyuz:


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