Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen is considered one of the father’s of modern polar exploration. He would be the first person to cross Greenland, and make a famed effort for the North Pole. In doing so, he pioneered many tactics used by successful polar explorers to this day. But Nansen wasn’t just an explorer. He was a ground breaking scientist and a diplomat, and received a Nobel Prize for his humanitarian efforts later in his life.
In this episode, we look at the life of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, who in 1961, would become the first human to achieve space flight. This show follows Gagarin’s early years, how he got into the Soviet space program, the rivalry between the Russians and the Americans, his famous flight, and the his latter years.
In this episode, we look at the life – a legendary voyage – of Irish monk Saint Brendan of Clonfert (aka Brendan the Navigator, Brendan the Voyager, and Brendan the Bold). We dive into the text of Brendan’s voyage to paradise – and investigate what – if any of it – has a place in the real world. Could Brendan have reached North America a thousand years before Columbus? And 500 years before the Vikings?
In this episode, we have a wide-ranging discussion with award-winning author Mick Conefrey, who’s new book, Everest 1922 – The Birth of an Obsession – goes into depth on the first ever attempt on the world’s highest peak.
The Opening of Japan (Available only to Patreon supporters)
This Patreon-only episode takes a look at the first Europeans to reach the island of Japan in 1543. The two men – António Mota and Francisco Zeimoto – were Portuguese merchants, and their appearance would have huge ramifications within Japan.
Jacques Cartier was an explorer from the region of Brittany in France in the early part of the 16th century. He is famed for being the first European to discover the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the St. Lawrence River. This would be the building blocks for French colonization of the New World.
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