Friday, May 19, 2023

Space flight to London; Scotland’s driverless bus; Snake robots on Saturn; and the long lost message in a bottle.


Supersonic travel

Driverless buses in Scotland

NASA robotic snakes

Message in a bottle

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If you are lucky enough to fly to England on a plane, the journey would take a little over 22 hours before you arrived to see Buckingham Palace or enjoyed a cup of English tea.

But imagine this – that journey time could be as fast as only 2 hours if you travelled by supersonic jet.

It’s crazy to think about, but it could be a reality by the time you guys are adults.

Right now you may have heard of the companies developing space flights like Virgin Galactic or Blue Origin.  They are experimenting with space tourism – taking passengers up to experience zero gravity and bringing them safely back down to Earth. 

The science behind this is how the supersonic plane would work.  Passengers would board the flight, and it would launch up into space, skim along in space for a little bit before descending and landing on the other side of the world.  


The aircraft would travel at a speed of 6 thousand km per hour – which is way faster than a plane, that flies at around 925 km per hour.

And get this … these awesome space planes could be around and ready for us to board in as little as 10 years’ time.  In 10 years time.

Today, space tourism comes with an astronomical price tag – but this future of travel may be affordable to everyone.

Imagine waking up and having vegemite toast for breakfast at home and then only two hours later – having marmalade sandwiches with Paddington Bear for lunch.   \



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Scotland, where the world’s first driverless bus service has begun.  

Yep, a bus that drives itself. It operates in the capital Edinburgh and takes people from a busy ferry station to the centre of the city.

Computers will steer the buses to make sure they travel on the right roads.  They have sensors on the outside to detect other cars and people and obstacles. r

And of course they can’t speed.  There are 5 of these high tech vehicles now driving around the Scottish capital.

So there’s a lot today on the future of travel; from supersonic jets and now driverless buses.

But I want to know, is how can Scotland be at the forefront of the robotic revolution, but they still can’t find the Nessie, Loch Ness Monster?




When you think of a robot, you often think they resemble television characters like Wall-E or R2D2.  With a head, arms, a peculiar shaped body and a funny voice.  

Well that’s nothing like the robot being unveiled by NASA for a particularly exciting mission to Saturn.  

This new robot actually looks like a snake. I’ll put a link in your episode notes so you can have a look yourself.  This serpent robot is called EELS is being tested by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab to be sent all the way to one of Saturn’s moons.

In fact to Saturn’s sixth largest moon to be precise.

Now, if you heard the podcast on Wednesday, Bryce talked about how Saturn has a whopping 145 moons spinning around it.

Why is the sixth largest the destination of choice?  Well this moon has an icy crust over a freezing cold ocean of liquid water, so scientists believe it makes it a prime candidate in  the search for aliens. .

And if the robot is shaped like a snake it will have the capability to go to locations where other shaped robots could not, like into deep crevasses or into underground oceans.

But get this, while these robots will be ready to launch into space next year, it will take them 12 years to travel through space and  reach Saturn and its moons – which are around 920 million miles away from Earth.




After 45 years bobbing about in the ocean, a message in a bottle has been discovered on the New South Wales South Coast.  But what’s just as amazing is that inside the bottle was a letter written to a young 12 year old girl.  That letter was in immaculate condition – so she’s been tracked down and had the letter rightfully returned.

Coastal care officer Luke Hamilton’s job is looking after the quality of beaches, so he is no stranger to finding objects and cleaning them up.  But last month he found this old bottle with a sealed lid, and inside was a letter addressed to a young girl called Martha – who was 12 back in 1978 when the bottle was thrown into the sea by an English sailor called Tom who was a friend of her family’s – and used to throw messages-in-a-bottle for Martha into seas all over the world. .

So Luke tracked down Martha, who is living in Sydney and is now 57 years old, and returned the letter to her

Martha was understandably delighted – and said over the years she’s had Tom’s letters returned to her from South America, the Philippines and the Solomon Islands. 

How cool is that?


Before you jump into today’s S’quiz – don’t forget every Saturday Bryce releases a fun Kids Versus Adults Weekly News S’quiz, to test who’s been paying the most attention to the week that just was … the perfect opportunity for you kids to prove once and for all that you ARE smarter than the adults in your life. If you subscribe to Squiz Kids in a podcasting app, the quiz will drop automatically first thing in the morning – or it can be found over the weekend on the Squiz Kids website. May the best generation win … 



This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …

  1. If supersonic planes become a reality, how long would it take to fly to London?
  2. Driverless buses are operating in the capital of Scotland.  Can you name that city?
  3. What long skinny creatures do NASA’s new robots resemble?




It’s May 19 –  Today is National Walk Safely To School day – your chance to stretch those legs and give the bus or car to school a miss … and no, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t count if mum or dad drops around the corner from school …  

It’s also a Friday … and you know what that means? Lots of birthday shout outs – and time to hit the birthday reggae tune ..

Happy birthday today to … Grace and Emily from Yass, Peyton from Ashmont, Oliver from Flagstaff Hill, Oscar from Sutherland, Sophie from Tabulam, Tulley from Merimbula, Sophia from Forest Lake, Sarah from West Leederville, Kaylee from Holsworthy and Lexi and Dakota from Pitt Town.

A belated wish to…Zane from Ellenbrook.

And let’s not forget all of those Squiz Kids having a birthday over the weekend…

George from Junee, Kingsley and Saorise from Parapurdoo, Freya from Moss Vale, Ben from Tullera, Sam from Maitland, Charlie from Strathmore, Annabel from Balwyn, Tilly from Bathurst, Amelie from Mount Hawthorn, Taj from Cronulla, Hassan from Oran Park, Milelah from Cannon Hill, Zachary from Paddington, Milena from Chinchilla, Lilah Rose from Mount Helen, Rhema from Cambridge Gardens, Olive from Coreen, Abdulla from Qatar, and Grace listening from over in Killorglin, Ireland. 

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. 2 hours
  2. Edinburgh
  3. Snakes


Don’t forget .. if you’ve got a birthday coming up and you want a shout out  – or if you want a classroom shout out – drop us a line at [email protected] or fill out the form on our website. 

That’s all we have time for. Thanks for listening to Squiz Kids Today – we’ll be back again tomorrow.

In the meantime, get out there and have a most excellent day.  Over and out.