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Pythagorean Astronomy: Isolation Space

Artist’s Impression of Mars Express in orbit around Mars. Image credit: ESA/Mars Express/Alex Lutkus

In these unprecedented times, it’s hard to argue that much of space science and astronomy is key infrastructure, or its staff key workers. And while that’s true, like many organisations work cannot simply stop altogether.

The European Space Agency runs a multitude of missions, from space observatories to interplanetary explorers, and from solar probes to space stations. Prof Mark McCaughrean, Senior Science Advisor at ESA, tell Chris North how the agency is coping with the lockdowns in force around the world, with staff either self-isolating or working from home.

Of course, there are also astronauts on the International Space Station, and they really don’t want a serious illness infecting the crew

Finally, are there lessons we can learn from those who have entered isolation voluntarily, in places like Concordia Base in Antarctica, or as part of the Mars500 programme.

An extended edition of an original broadcast on 2nd Apr 2020 as part of Pythagoras’ Trousers on Radio Cardiff.