SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Space X director descended from Alistair Cooke 

torret movie: \uce74\uc9c0\ub178 (\ube14\ub799\uc7ad \uac8c\uc784\ubc29\ubc95)It may have been an American dream to send the first privately funded rocket into orbit this week.

But I can reveal that the SpaceX mission, which saw two astronauts blast off on Saturday and safely dock at the International Space Station less than a day later, has thoroughly British roots.

The Flight Director at NASA in charge of the mission Zebulon Scoville is in fact the grandson of the late, great broadcaster Alistair Cooke.

Cooke left Blackpool, where he grew up in humble circumstances, to find fame and, ultimately, fortune in the USA, from where he delivered Letter From America, his weekly radio report for the BBC, for 58 years.

I can reveal that the SpaceX mission, which saw two astronauts blast off on Saturday and safely dock at the International Space Station less than a day later, has thoroughly British roots

A SpaceX Falcon 9, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in the Dragon crew capsule, lifts off from Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center

The Flight Director 007카지노 at NASA in charge of the mission Zebulon Scoville is in fact the grandson of the late, great broadcaster Alistair Cooke (pictured) 

But the family appetite for venturing across new frontiers clearly remains undimmed. Scoville, 45, known in the family and to colleagues as Zeb, tells me that his grandfather — born just five years after the Wright brothers made the first aeroplane flight — was ‘fascinated by the space age’ and revered his close friend, astronaut John Glenn, who in 1962 became the first American to orbit the earth.

‘He had enormous respect and admiration for the men and women who committed themselves to the rigour and challenge of human space exploration,’ says Scoville, explaining that ‘Poppa’, as he knew his grandfather, ‘saw the future of spaceflight as the meeting point of human ingenuity, science fiction, and fantastic voyages’.

Scoville’s career intensified his grandfather’s excitement, particularly after he completed training at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. ‘He was certain I would someday end up on Pluto — back in the glory days when it enjoyed planet status,’ remembers Scoville.

He treasures a book by bestselling science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, given to him by his grandfather who inscribed it to ‘the only carbon-based biped in the family who will have any idea what it’s all about’.

His dreams of leading his family into space are as fervent as ever — boosted by NASA’s partnership with SpaceX.

‘It opens up access to human spaceflight,’ says Scoville, mentioning the impending Artemis Program missions to the Moon — ‘and, eventually, Mars’. His grandfather’s faith in the space age never wavered. Scoville visited him shortly before he died in 2004, aged 95.

‘Poppa had an absolute confidence that spaceflight would evolve to the point where the unimaginable would be common place. He would have seen the NASA and SpaceX mission as an example of the human potential fulfilled. Go boldly!’

 

Yours for a mere £3.75m – rooms with a royal woo

The plush country home where Prince Charles wooed Lady Diana Spencer and conducted his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles is on sale — for £3.75 million. Bolehyde Manor was previously home to the now Duchess of Cornwall while she was married to her first husband, Andrew Parker Bowles.

Prince Charles was said to be a frequent visitor during, and even before, the deterioration of his marriage to Lady Diana.

But it was also a favoured destination when he was initially wooing her some years earlier.

The sprawling, eight-bedroom property, near Chippenham, Wiltshire, is now being sold by its current owners, the Earl and Countess of Cairns — who bought the estate for £600,000 in 1986.

 

Margaret Thatcher would have been much more effective than Boris Johnson against Covid-19, says her former private secretary Caroline Slocock. ‘She would have been thinking ahead more, and been more across the detail, challenging scientists and her ministers, and coordinating everything,’ she says. ‘She was a scientist, and would have mastered the science, not let the experts master her.’ Ouch.  

 

Society jeweller Theo Fennell, whose clients include Naomi Campbell, Sir Elton John and Elizabeth Hurley, reveals lockdown has opened new horizons. 

‘Having time has given me the chance to write the book that I always promised myself, featuring key ink illustrations that relate to my inspiration for various pieces,’ he says. ‘I have managed to tidy countless drawers and bookcases, and realised I don’t have green fingers.’ 

 

Elspeth Howe, who was believed to be behind her husband Sir Geoffrey’s bitter speech that fatally wounded Mrs Thatcher’s premiership, has decided to leave the Lords at 88. She is the living embodiment of Lionel Richie’s song Three Times A Lady because she became Lady Howe when her husband was knighted, doubled it when he became Lord Howe, and hit the trio when she was made a ‘people’s peer’ in her own right. 

 

Sly and the family art

Hollywood star and artist Sylvester Stallone has claimed he is ‘a much better painter than actor’. Now his daughter Sophia, 23, is trying to follow in his footsteps.

The model, whose mother is Jennifer Flavin, shared a picture of herself standing next to the colourful canvas she created. ‘Felt like painting so I borrowed dad’s art supplies,’ she said.

The Rocky star, whose works sell for up to £400,000, commented: ‘That is absolutely fantastic. You’ve got talent, young lady!’

The model, whose mother is Jennifer Flavin, shared a picture of herself standing next to the colourful canvas she created

 

Wedding hitch for Natalia  

Supermodel Natalia Vodianova has postponed her wedding to the son of billionaire luxury goods mogul Bernard Arnault. The 38-year-old Vogue cover star got engaged to businessman Antoine, 42, in the New Year, and they hoped to tie the knot this summer.

Supermodel Natalia Vodianova has postponed her wedding to the son of billionaire luxury goods mogul Bernard Arnault

The 38-year-old Vogue cover star got engaged to businessman Antoine, 42, in the New Year, and they hoped to tie the knot this summer

‘We had planned to get married with our friends and have a nice party in June. But we prefer to wait rather than have a masked ball,’ confirms Antoine (pictured with Natalia), referring to the ubiquitous anti-virus face masks.

No doubt their wedding — which is now due to take place next year — will be one to remember with no expense spared.

Antoine’s father Bernard, the boss of the world’s largest luxury-goods company, LVMH Moet Hennessy, has an estimated £84 billion fortune — making him the world’s third richest person after Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Microsoft’s Bill Gates.

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Now Alice’s hair is deep in the red, too

The Duchess of Cambridge’s favourite bohemian designer, Alice Temperley, is in the red in more ways than one. Just months after winning fresh investment for her company, the 44-year-old has undergone a striking makeover.

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The Duchess of Cambridge’s favourite bohemian designer, Alice Temperley, is in the red in more ways than one

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