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About Space Exploration Questions

- What famous persons are against space exploration? by Gianna

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About Space Exploration

About Space Exploration Space exploration is the use of astronomy and space technology to explore outer space. Physical exploration of space is conducted both by human spaceflights and by robotic spacecraft.

After the first 20 years of exploration, focus shifted from one-off flights to renewable hardware, such as the Space Shuttle program, and from competition to cooperation as with the International Space Station. From the 1990s onwards, private interests began promoting space tourism.

Probably the most famous words spoken by any human being during the 20th century were those of Neil Armstrong when he stepped onto the surface of the moon: That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.' With these words the USA claimed the ultimate prize in a race that until then had been led by the USSR with the first man-made satellite, the first dog in space, the first man in space, the first woman in space, the first man-made object on the moon and the first spacewalk.

The first successful orbital launch was of the Soviet unmanned Sputnik (Satellite I) mission on October 4, 1957. The satellite weighed about 83 kg (184 pounds), and is believed to have orbited Earth at a height of about 250 km (150 miles). It had two radio transmitters (20 and 40 MHz), which emitted "beeps" that could be heard by any radio around the globe. Analysis of the radio signals was used to gather information about the electron density of the ionosphere, while temperature and pressure data was encoded in the duration of radio beeps. The results indicated that the satellite was not punctured by a meteoroid. Sputnik 1 was launched by an R-7 rocket. It incinerated upon re-entry on January 3, 1958.

This success led to an escalation of the American space program, which unsuccessfully attempted to launch Vanguard 1 into orbit two months later. On January 31, 1958, the U.S. successfully orbited Explorer 1 on a Juno rocket. In the meantime, the Soviet dog Laika became the first animal in orbit on November 3, 1957.

The first moon landing was such a significant event that it was watched on television by a fifth of the world's population, yet by the beginning of the following century shuttle flights were commonplace and space tourism was a reality. In 1990 TBS Television (Japan) paid for TV journalist Toyohiro Akiyama to become the first paying passenger in space, travelling with the crew of the Soviet Soyuz TM II. Just over a decade later 60-year-old Dennis Tito (USA) became the first private space tourist when he paid a reported £14 million for a trip to the International Space Station with the Russians, and by the following year the price of such an exotic holiday had gone down: Mark Shuttleworth (South Africa) paid a mere £13 million for his trip to the space station, an interconnected group of Russian and American capsules that he described as looking 'like a line of caravans stuck together'. Despite his surname, Shuttleworth, who made his fortune in computer software, said he would not have wanted to travel in the shuttle even if NASA had allowed it: 1 wanted to do it in a rocket. There's a huge retro element that appeals to me and I wanted to be part of a Sixties-style space experience.'

Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, orbited the Earth 48 times aboard Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963.

China first launched a person into space 42 years after the launch of Vostok 1, on October 15, 2003, with the flight of Yang Liwei aboard the Shenzhou 5 (Spaceboat 5) spacecraft.
image source : freeschoolclipart.com

Tags: space, astronomy, explore, spacecraft

Category: Science & Tech  - ( Science & Tech Archive)

Date Added: 27 February '08

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