Hey everyone, EE Becky here, I'm going to be (wo)manning the EE stands at the Christmas shows this year so come and say hi! This is where you can find us and get all the good stuff at some special show prices and defo no postage to pay!
We've teamed up with @penguinukbooks on a sweet giveaway on this brilliant new book A Galaxy of Her Own, written by Libby Jackson, a leading expert in human space flight. She tells and celebrates the story of the inspirational women who have changed history in the space industry. Our EE founder Lucy is a former student of astro-mathematics so we're nothing if not champions for #womeninspace and#womeninscience and generally breaking down limitations on women in the world of STEM! So many cool, inspiring stories and beautiful illustrations, get your hands on our giveaway copy by commenting on our relevant instragram post with #trailblazer.
We've got a cute story about the book in this blog post and we will also be posting a second part with an exclusive interview with Libby too very soon!
From small steps to giant leaps, A Galaxy of Her Own tells fifty stories of inspirational women who have been fundamental to the story of humans in space, from scientists to astronauts to some surprising roles in between.
From Ada Lovelace in the nineteenth century, to the women behind the Apollo missions, from the astronauts breaking records on the International Space Station to those blazing the way in the race to get to Mars. Illustrated with bold and beautiful artwork from the students of London College of Communication too.
We are really loving it! The guys over at Penguin even sent our little space cadet, EE Becky's six year old daughter Bella copy and something really magical happened! Over to Becky to tell us the tale...
Bella was instantly drawn to Brit geologist Monica Grady because she studies meteorites and crystals (as well as curated the asteroid collection at the Natural History Museum)! She got super excited about it because Bella also collects the type of agate crystals in the pictures, which showed Monica looking into a microscope, and Bella has one too, which she found even more amazing!
She said she liked Monica Grady because 'she thinks rocks from the moon and other types of rocks and crystals are fascinating and I do too.'
If we're honest this microscope hasn't seen much of the light of day since she got it last Christmas, but the next day before school, I found her examining all her stones, crystals! She then moved onto to just anything teeny tiny she could get her hands on to look at, inspired by Monica.
She was so inspired that she started a science book documenting what she found/saw!
"Did you know that if you looked at a piece of fluff [it] can be amazing? Well the ones who said no, that's wrong! It can be amazing. Like Rainbow-y..."
The title is Miss Lu Ya's Science book, as per her spelling! Lu Ya is her (Chinese) middle name- I don't know what she went with the middle name, but she did! I also only have myself to blame for the use of the word 'like', apologies.
She also said about Monica, 'I also like her because she was bossy, like me'.
I mean, fair enough, but I asked her what she meant and she said, ' because she did what she wanted to do and was in charge of things' which made me realise how important it is to talk to her about how positive (and normal!) it is that women are doing amazing things in science and about women at work in general, excelling in their career - as she obviously associated those things with her being bossy!
And you would never think a man was bossy just because he got to do the job he wanted to do and got to the top role in that field. It worried me to think that going against what was traditionally expected of her as a women AND being good at it, meant that she was bossy!
It may have been a vocabulary thing, she doesn't know words like forthright and assertive and capable and successful and inquisitive and confident and pioneering and trailblazer, so perhaps she just used the word bossy, but that was very pertinent to me and flagged an important issue up. So we like this book a lot and it sparked off not only her imagination but an important conversation for both me and her.
Enter our comp over on insta or you can order the book here.
To commemorate the 60th anniversary of Laika's space mission we are offering all of our Constellation Animal Necklaces at 20% off all weekend (starting Friday 3rd November and ending Monday 6th November 10am GMT). Just use discount code LAIKA at checkout.
Felis, Lupus and Ursa Major constellation necklaces.
This Friday 3rd November marks 60 years since Soviet space dog Laika was sent into space. She became one of the first animals in space and the first animal to orbit the Earth.
Laika, a stray dog from the streets of Moscow, was selected to be the occupant of the Soviet Spacecraft, Sputnik 2, that was launched into outer space on November 3, 1957.
Image credit: NASA
Soviet scientists chose to use Moscow strays since they assumed that such animals had already learned to endure conditions of extreme cold and hunger
We won't go into detail, because it's heartbreaking, but poor Laika was never meant to come back to earth as the technology to de-orbit had not yet been developed. She died in space a few hours after launch.
The mission sparked a debate across the globe on the mistreatment of animals andanimal testing in general to advance science.
Laika wearing her flight harness.
Image credit: Wikipedia
We will always remember Laika and all that she did for science and ultimately, animal welfare.
Every time you look up at the night sky, look out for the brightest shining star - Laika.
We are so excited to tell you about an incredible quest by Project Blue to photograph the first planet like Earth outside our Solar System. We have been asked to be a part of their Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for this amazing venture by creating an exclusive 'Sister Earth' necklace (below). This, and many other perks, are available if you would like to be a part of this mission by contributing on their website.
“I think the human race has no future if it doesn’t go into space,” writes Prof. Hawking. “We need to inspire the next generation to become engaged in space and science in general, to ask questions: What will we find when we go into space? Is there alien life, or are we alone?”
Project Blue is part of this quest, both to inspire and as a step towards answering whether we’re alone in the universe. Finding a planet similar in its size and orbit to the Earth in the Alpha Centauri system would be truly profound, and could ignite our commitment to journey to the stars.
Artistic rendering of an Earthlike planet orbiting one of the stars in Alpha Centauri. (Credit: ESO/L. Calcada/N. Risinger)
What is Project Blue?
Project Blue is a small space telescope to be launched into low-Earth orbit. Its coronagraphic camera will search for and photograph exoplanets in the habitable zones around the two Sun-like stars in Alpha Centauri. Finding a 'pale blue dot' could be a major advance in the search for life beyond Earth.
It is believed a sister Earth could exist not too far from the place we call home, and that our generation has a unique opportunity to discover it. Ten years ago, we didn’t know if planets like Earth were common in the universe. Then NASA’s Kepler mission launched and discovered thousands of rocky planets orbiting stars, some of which are at a distance from their parent star where liquid water could exist on the surface. It’s estimated that there are more Earth-like planets in the universe than people alive today. Taking a picture of one of these rocky worlds orbiting another star is the next big challenge.
Hubble Space Telescope image of the target stars, Alpha Centauri A and B.
With advanced optics technology, a technique called 'direct imaging' will be used to dim the light from the stars in Alpha Centauri, enabling any surrounding exoplanets to be seen. By working in visible light, they hope to gather key details about their composition. Capturing an image of a planet will help them begin to characterize its atmosphere and surface characteristics, especially its potential for oceans.
The ~50-cm (or slightly less than 20-inch) diameter aperture telescope is small enough to fit on a coffee table, but powerful enough to detect a small, rocky exoplanet in the Alpha Centauri system. The challenge is like trying to see a tiny firefly buzzing around two feet from a powerful lighthouse light from 100 miles away.
A rendering of the Project Blue space telescope in its low-Earth orbit observing the cosmos.
How can you be a part of this?
The aim is to raise $175,000 to get the ball rolling — that means establishing the detailed requirements for the mission, designing the system architecture, and then using computer simulations to test the design. You can back it now (and find out more about it) by clicking here.