A Brief History of Space
A cast of 25 (easily adapted up or down) Duration 15 – 20 minutes (up to 30 minutes with the inclusion of music)
A Brief History of Space includes 8 Astronauts, 8 Astronomers, 8 Scientists … and a rather ‘challenged’ Narrator! It covers a brief history of Space, the final section attempting to throw a little more light on this fascinating but sometimes rather bewildering subject!
This is the first of a series of scripts on Space, written as a set of 4, the others being The Planets, The Ancients and the Stars and Stepping Back into Space: Past and Future. These can be bought separately along with Space Quiz based on the scripts’ content .. plus a few other ‘fun facts’! (This Quiz is also available separately)
Astronaut 4: And let’s not forget us women! We weren’t going to be left behind in the kitchen! I, Sally Ride, was the first American woman in space – in 1983!
(Exit Astronaut 3 & 4)
(Enter Cosmonaut 3 & 4)
Cosmonaut 3: ‘Course, I was actually there ahead of her, in 1963!
Narrator: (Shaking his head) So competitive, these space people!
Cosmonaut 4: Well, it was a race, remember!
Narrator: And you are?
Cosmonaut 3: Valentina Tereshkova
Cosmonaut 4: And Alexei Leonov
Narrator: (To Cosmonaut 4) And your claim to fame?
Cosmonaut 4: I was the first human to walk in space! 18th March 1965. ‘Course, it wasn’t a total ‘stroll in the park’
Narrator: Er, no. Was that what you were expecting?
Cosmonaut 4: (Rolling eyes) That was meant to be a figure of speech! But I sure wasn’t expecting my space suit to swell up like a balloon – to the point where I couldn’t get back into the space craft!
Narrator: Woo! Scary! So how did you fit back in?
Cosmonaut 4: I had to first lower the air pressure in my suit
Narrator: Lucky you knew what you were doing!
Cosmonaut 4: Hmm. That bit wasn’t so hard. But finding our way back …. We ended up landing 1,200 miles wide of our landing site – up in some mountains!
(Exit Cosmonaut 3 & 4)
Narrator: Oops! This space travel – a risky business! But of course, just as important as taking those risks (pointing upwards) up there, is the research work done down here.
(Enter seven Astronomers – Astronomer 6 left sitting with headphones on)
Narrator: Wow! Something tells me I’m in rather ‘smart’ company! (Looking through notes) Best try not to show myself up too much amidst these geniuses of mankind!
(Narrator walks over to line of Astronomers, all ‘lost in thought’ or with heads buried in books)
Narrator: (Coughing) Ahem! Excuse me, gentlemen! Sorry to disturb your learned selves
(Aside to Audience) A very serious lot we have here!
(Consulting notes) But wait! Aren’t we missing one?
(Astronomer 5 shrugs irritably, tutting, and walks back to Astronomer 6, nudging him and pointing to rest of Astronomers; Astronomer 6 takes off his headphones and accompanies Astronomer 5 back to group of other Astronomers)
Astronomer 6: So sorry! Didn’t mean to keep you waiting!
Narrator: Oh that’s quite all right! I expect you were working on some mystery of the universe?
Astronomer 6: Who? Me?
Narrator: (Consulting notes) Well, you are the great Edmund Halley – Astronomer Royal no less?
Astronomer 6: Well, yes! Everyone did seem rather impressed with my work, including my great friend Isaac Newton!
Narrator: And there was a certain comet, I believe?
Astronomer 6: (Suddenly full of life) Comet? Did you say, comet? Oh yes! Now you’re talking!
Music 6 Rock Around the Clock – Bill Halley and the Comets
(Astronomer 6 leaps around, singing and dancing to Music 6; Narrator looks on in disbelief whilst other Astronomers shake their heads in dismay)
Narrator: Wha… what was that all about? Rockin Around the Clock? What has that got to do with Space?
Astronomer 1: Please excuse Edmund Halley, here! You see, he gets a little confused at times and thinks he’s Bill Halley … and the Comets!
Narrator: Ahh! Now I see! Well, just as long as the rest of you aren’t going to subject us to … let me think
Music 7 Rockin All Over the World – Status Quo
(Astronomers dancing and singing)
Narrator: (Sighing) I guess I asked for that one!
Astronomer 1: Status Quo? Hmm. I’m hearing a little Latin there ..
Narrator: And you are?
Astronomer 1: Hipparchus! The oldest guy here today, I’m guessing!
Narrator: And you date from?
Astronomer 1: The Second Century B.C.!
Narrator: Good heavens! And he’s not even wearing glasses!
Astronomer 1: Glasses? What on earth are they?
Narrator: Well, things you use to see long distance. I mean, how could you even see those stars in the sky, let alone study them?
Astronomer 2: Oh, us Ancients had to make do with our naked eyes. No fancy telescopes in our day!