Questioning the universe: Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking is the former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and author of A Brief History of Time, which was an international bestseller. Now Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge, his other books for the general reader include A Briefer History of Time, the essay collection Black Holes and Baby Universe and The Universe in a Nutshell.

Could there be intelligent life on other planets? This question has piqued imagination and curiosity for decades. Explore the answer with the Drake Equation — a mathematical formula that calculates the possibility of undiscovered life.

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the satellite Sputnik and, with it, an international space race. The United States and the Soviet Union rushed to declare dominance of space for 18 years, until the two countries agreed to a more collaborative model. The real winner? Science. Jeff Steers describes the history — and the benefits — of the space race.

If you were to orbit the Earth, you’d experience the feeling of free fall, not unlike what your stomach feels before a big dive on a roller coaster. With a little help from Sir Isaac Newton, Matt J. Carlson explains the basic forces acting on an astronaut and why you probably shouldn’t try this one at home.

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