23 October 2008

Brigs in Space! Beagle and NASA in transatmospheric link-up.

Well, folks, to say it's been a good week for the Beagle Project would be a bit of an understatement. First we had confirmation that we've been granted charitable status (and are therefore eligible to receive Gift Aid among other things); then we had a brilliant turnout at the House of Lords reception given for us by Lords Hunt and Livsey; but oh, how we've saved the best for last...

The International Space Station as she flies above the ocean this summer.

The HMS Beagle Trust are now the very proud owners of signed NASA Space Act Agreement. Yes, you heard that right: The Beagle Project and NASA are an item. Regular readers will know that we've been dancing blogging around this for some time now, but today it's official!

We're going to be working with NASA on a joint science, education and outreach programme centred on a direct link between the International Space Station and the new Beagle as she retraces the 1831-1836 voyage that carried a certain young naturalist around the world.

You can read all the details in our press release.

To celebrate, we've popped more than a few corks (though sadly none of them have made it into orbit ...yet). We've also given our website a facelift for the great day.

Before we sign off, we want to extend a personal thank-you to NASA astronaut Mike Barratt who initiated contact with us and has put an enormous amount of energy into this on the NASA side. We understand Mike plans to take a small model of the Beagle into space with him in March (hence the title of this post).

~Karen and Peter

Media contact PeterMcGrath 0044 1947 840 222

A bit of backstory:
Houston, we have a partner
Pics in space
Show and tell: the Beagle legacy
A (NASA) picture is worth a thousand words


rpg said...


Bob O'Hara said...

Wot rpg wrote.

Does this mean they'll be able to direct the Beagle to go and look at interesting smears in the ocean?

coturnix said...


Anonymous said...

Great stuff.

Out of curiosity, have you had any contact with the Royal Navy? There must be a few sailors with who are keen on science and history who would want to celebrate the Navy's role in the original Beagle voyage.

Glendon Mellow: The Flying Trilobite said...


Mimi said...

This is really exciting. Gratz.

McDawg said...

Awesome =)

George Beccaloni (aka Wallace's Rottweiler) said...

That's very exciting - congratulations!!! I wasn't clear, however, whether it means that NASA are also stumping up the funds to build and run the neoBeagle.

the mad LOLscientist said...

wwwooooooaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh how unbefreekinlievable c0000000l is that! I'd say w00t but coturnix beat me to it. Oh wotthehell, it bears repeating:


Kevin Zelnio said...

To think, it took Darwin 5-6 years to sail in the Beagle around the world. The Beagle in the ISS will make it around the world in less than a day!

Sissy Willis said...

Brigs in space? Soooo-weeeeeee! Or, as Charlotte would have woven in her web, "What a brig!"

Eric Heupel said...

Coturnix and RPG took the words outa my mouth!! Wooot squeeeee!

Karen James said...

Thanks, everyone!

@bob - yes, and the other way around too!

@harry - good point; yes, we are in fact meeting with a 'surgeon-captain' of the Royal Navy in a couple of weeks to explore exactly that

@George - no, unfortunately, NASA is not going to be building the neoBeagle (I like that!); however this agreement will help us to fundraise by demonstrating our growing scientific credibility

@Kevin - the ISS orbits the Earth every 90 minutes!

Jamie said...

WAHOOOOOOO! I would have said wOOt as well, but it seemed taken. CONGRATULATIONS!