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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Looking to the Stars

Written by Kyle Slagley

It seems like space exploration has gotten a lot of press lately. On October 14, 2012, Fearless Felix Baumgartner traveled to “the edge of space” and skydived from an altitude of 24 miles in what would be the most-watched live online broadcast ever. Now, thanks to the privatization of space travel, space tourism is getting closer to becoming a reality.

That being said, I think one of the biggest reasons for the public’s renewed interest in space travel lies solely in the hands of Canadian Astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield (as well as the Canadian Space Agency). For the first time – or at least the first time on this scale - Cmdr. Hadfield is showing the average person across the world what it’s like to live in space. Thanks to YouTube, we now see what happens when you wring out a wet cloth in space, how to clean up a spill in space, or how water is recycled on the International Space Station.

If you get your patrons, particularly the younger ones, hooked on CSA’s YouTube station, once they’ve exhausted all 175+ videos, they may come to you looking for some longer titles. Here are a few that we recommend.

Earth from Space (DVD or Blu-Ray): This two-hour video gives viewers some of the most definitive imagery of our planet as seen from space. It gives extensive detail on how environmental elements that are hundreds or thousands of miles apart interconnect to form the complex and delicate ecosystem of Earth.

Space Flight Collection from the Discovery Channel: A four-video anthology, each touching on a different element of space flight, from the first moon landing through the future of space travel.

Bill Nye the Science Guy: Outer Space: Bill Nye was the go-to man for pretty much any science-related question for children of the ‘90s. He explained it in an entertaining way that wasn’t overly complicated. In the Outer Space episode, Nye travels to the Mount Wilson Observatory in California to discuss the speed of light in space. Also check out the Space Exploration episode where Nye talks about the technology used in space.

Kids @ Discovery – Space: In this video, Canadian astronauts detail how the arm of the ISS that was built by the CSA, which has four cameras and can lift 100 tons, was built and functions. They also show viewers the rigorous training they go through and some of the equipment that is used in space.

Food In Space: This is a topic that every kid will want to know about! Do astronauts get pizza? What about ice cream or soda? Watch the video to see how the astronauts prepare and eat their meals.

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