Monday, 19 April, 2021

Historic helicopter on Mars; Britain farewells a prince; Lions win grand final fairytale; and penguins breathe a sigh of relief.



Iceberg satellite images:






One small helicopter trip for a contraption called Ingenuity – one giant leap for humankind. That’s what’s scheduled to take place millions of miles away later this afternoon on planet Mars, when the mini-helicopter called Ingenuity is scheduled to make its first flight. 

You’ll remember we’ve talked before about the Mars rover Perseverance – and how it’s up on Mars as we speak, roving around, collecting rocks and looking for signs of life?

Well it took with it a little helicopter, called Ingenuity. And after a weekend spent testing its rotors – which are the blades that spin and make the craft fly – scientists are preparing for Ingenuity to take its first flight into the Mars atmosphere.

The flight is expected to take no more than 20 seconds and see Ingenuity hover about three metres above the surface of Mars. So –  given it will only fly for 20 seconds and only to a height of three metres – why is it such a big deal? 

Because if successful – it will be the first time humans have achieved the miracle of flight on a planet other than Earth.

The flight is expected to happen around 5.30pm this afternoon with video of the flight expected to reach Earth and be broadcast sometime tomorrow. But just think: when you sit down to dinner tonight, a little bit of  history will hopefully have just been made on Mars.   




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed at Windsor Castle – just outside of London, where the eyes of the world were focused over the weekend for the funeral of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip – aka the husband of the Queen.

As you may have heard during the holidays, Prince Philip passed away peacefully at home, at the age of 99, only months shy of his 100th birthday. 

He and the Queen have been married for 73 years – which is really something. 

Because of the coronavirus and restrictions on gatherings in the United Kingdom, the Queen could only have 30 mourners at the funeral. A mourner is what we call people who attend a funeral – and ‘mourn’ is a word that means to show sorrow for someone when they die. 

The Queen, Prince Philip’s children and grandchildren – including Princes William and Harry – were all in attendance – coming together to celebrate the life of their husband, father and grandpa. 




Last year, the AFLW season ended without a winner – because, coronavirus … This year, it ended with a fairytale on Saturday, when the Brisbane Lions defeated the Adelaide Crows by 18 points to claim their first ever premiership.

More than 22,000 fans packed into Adelaide Oval to watch the home side fight valiantly, but finally go down to the visitors from Queensland who won by 38 points to 20.

It was third time lucky for the Lions – who had been in two previous grand finals but never won. And the victory was made even more sweet for banana benders by the fact that in the past couple of years, the ranks of the Brisbane Lions have been targeted by other teams poaching players – which means convincing them to swap teams and play for another club. 

It was a good weekend too for the Lions’ mens’ team – which smashed Essendon by 57 points in wet and wild conditions at Brisbane’s Gabba. Good weekend to be a Queenslander .. 




There’s a large colony of penguins in the Antarctic breathing a massive sigh of relief today following news that an iceberg the size of a small country which was heading towards their home has broken up into hundreds of smaller icebergs and no longer poses a threat to them.

The iceberg, called A68, broke off from an enormous ice shelf in the Antarctic almost 4 years ago and was making a beeline for the penguins home on the island of South Georgia. Scientists were worried that if the iceberg – which had an area of 6,000 square kilometres – remained intact, it could block the penguins’ route to their favourite fishing grounds. And that could leave a lot of them hungry. But the ocean waves and warmish temperatures coming down from the Atlantic did their thing and broke the iceberg up into many smaller bergs. Penguin bellies will be full. Everyone relax.




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

  1. What’s the name of the helicopter that is scheduled to fly on Mars this evening? 
  2. Who was the Royal Family member farewelled at a funeral watched by millions around the world over the weekend?
  3. What’s the name of the team who won the AFLW grand final on Saturday in Adelaide?




It’s April 19   … on this day in 1770, Captain James Cook first sighted the coastline of Australia .. also on this day in 1984, Advance Australia Fair was officially proclaimed as Australia’s national anthem, and green and gold announced as our national colours.

It’s also a special day for these kids celebrating a birthday today … Jacob from Fairfield Heights, Penny from Shoal Bay, Chase from Invermay, Thea from Panania and Patrick from New Gisborne.

And we had so many birthdays over the Easter holidays that we can’t do them all today, so we’ll spread them out over this week’s episodes. The first batch of belated Easter birthday shoutouts to… Rose from Brighton East, Riley and Max from Craigburn, Caitlin and Junayd from Sydney, Stella from Spreyton, Ki (as in key) from Fairfield Heights, Toby and Lochie from Shoal Bay, Zoe, Emily, Branner and Leo from Brisbane, Kobus from Ithaca Creek, April from Mortlake, Isha from Wentworthville, Dot from Pascoe Vale, Summer from Albany Creek, Spencer and Lewis from Mount Hawthorn, Evelyn from Brookfield, Tilly from Tintinara, Isabel from Balwyn, Luella from Coogee, Lachlan from Geelong, Emma and John from Porepunkah, and Ellie from Mona Vale.

Happy birthday one and all.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Ingenuity
  2. Prince Philip
  3. Brisbane Lions