Rank #1: Caravans in Space
These are not dreamers - although they all have an ambitious dream - but well qualified experts. Several work at Nasa, others have day jobs at universities and research institutes.
Richard hears of proposals to build giant space stations and worldships - vessels packed with the best of humanity. These caravans in space might be lifeboats to escape an approaching asteroid or perhaps the first step to colonising the galaxy.
With contributions from Technical Adviser to Nasa's Advanced Concepts Office Les Johnson, Director of the Space Engineering Centre at the University of Arizona John Lewis, architect Rachel Armstrong and anthropologist Cameron Smith.
This programme first aired in November 2016.
Jan 14 2017
Rank #2: How to Survive in Space: Deep Space
Dec 31 2015
Rank #3: Enceladus: Is There Life On Saturn's Moon?
Dec 17 2015
Rank #4: How to Survive in Space: Into Orbit
Dec 30 2015
Rank #5: Sounds of Space 1: The Solar System
Dec 18 2015
Rank #6: We Shall Fly - Part One
"Quite a few false starts have been made in Africa," wrote the Ugandan philosopher and writer Taban Lo-Liyong, "...but most of us know the direction we are going – straight into the 21st Century. And to arrive there we are not going to go the way our grandparents would have gone – on foot and by canoe. We shall fly, we shall go by missiles, we shall go with the white man, we shall go with the yellow man. And we shall go by all means."
We follow this poetic, aspirational spirit through the continent’s history, from speaking to the South African hoping to be the first black African in space, to a surprising and touching example of amateur space exploration in 1960s Zambia. What do these ambitions mean, and who believes in them?
This programme was first broadcast in October 2016.
(Photo: Back dropped by planet Earth the International Space Station (ISS) is seen from Nasa space shuttle Endeavour, May 2011. Credit: Nasa)
Jan 12 2017
Rank #7: Why Does The Moon Fascinate Us So Much?
Dec 26 2015
Rank #8: The Apollo 13 Space Emergency
Dec 27 2015
Rank #9: Sounds of Space 2: Deep Space
Dec 23 2015
Rank #10: Women with the Right Stuff
Wally has first hand experience of the early days of space travel in America. She undertook secret tests to become an astronaut in 1961 and, along with 12 other female pilots, passed the extremely tough physical tests to become an unofficial member of the ‘Mercury 13’ – the women who, given a chance, could have gone into space before Russia’s Valentina Tereshkova made history.
Wally hears from astronauts Jessica Meir, Helen Sharman, Eileen Collins and Samantha Cristoforetti; mission control flight director Mary Lawrence; space historian David J Shayler; and shares her 1961 astronaut medical tests with NASA flight surgeon Shannan Moynihan. Over 50 years after those tests, Wally is still flying (she takes her producer above Dallas in a Cessna) but she is yet to get into space. However Wally is on the waiting list for one of the first commercial space tourism flights and is prepared to make history as yet another woman with the right stuff. This is a Boffin Media production for BBC World Service.
Jul 17 2016