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Astronomy Cast Episode 271: Who Does What in Space and Astronomy?

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39:29
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We always think about humans in space, but the cold hard reality is that animals have always been first in space. First to fly, first to orbit, and sadly, first to die. Let's learn about how our animal companions have been our trusty partners in space exploration, and let's recognize their noble sacrifices over decades of experiments.
51:52
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The number of moons, the age of the Sun, and our placement in the Milky Way all had an impact on the formation of the Earth and the evolution of life on our planet. But what if things were different? What would be the implications?
56:33
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06:20
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Have you ever wondered why some telescopes are launched into space while others are built on remote mountain tops? What is actually the best for astronomy? Here we provide a ringside view of the fight for the elusive photons from deep space - is it a battle of the telescope giants? This episode is available for download in different formats from http://www.spacetelescope.org/videos/hubblecast06a/
40:41
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When an object is orbiting the Earth, it's really falling. The trick, described in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, is how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. There are several different kinds of orbits, and they're good for different reasons. From suborbital jumps to geostationary orbit, time to learn everything there is to know about going around and around and around.

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