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Communicating from space

I used to read science fiction stories as a boy.  Some of them imagined the first lunar landing, but not one of them anticipated that it would be followed live on TV by a worldwide audience.

When Felix Baumgartner made his thrilling (and supersonic) jump yesterday from 24 miles high, I was one of millions who followed it live on YouTube.  Exciting stuff, but so were the communications that gave us a ringside view as the event unfolded.

Cambridge University Spaceflight, whose Nova balloon series also explores the edge of space, have themselves developed some pretty impressive and innovative communications technology.  Last Friday’s, Nova 24, actually captured, among other images, a picture of the balloon as it burst at the top of its ascent.

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