The Sun is by far the most important source of energy for life on Earth. It is a star at the center of the Solar System. It is made of hot plasma and is a nearly perfect sphere. The sun has a surface temperature of about 5, 779 K. Based on its spectral class, it is a G-type main-sequence star. Roughly, the sun is middle-aged. The Sun has not changed dramatically for more than four billion years, and will remain stable for around five billion more years. It compromises 99.86% of the Solar System. The Sun contains different layers which include the Core, Radiative zone, Tachocline, Convective zone, the Photosphere, and the Atmosphere. Around 1 million Earths could fit into the Sun. Without the Sun’s heat and light, the Earth would be a lifeless ball of ice-coated rock. The Sun also warms our seas, stirs our atmosphere, generates our weather patterns, and gives energy to the plants, or producers, that provide food and oxygen for life on Earth. The Sun’s gravitational pull is what keeps the planets in place in their orbits. While the sun is not very special compared to the other billions of stars in the universe, to the Earth and the other planets in our Solar System, nothing is more important.
Chances are, you’ve heard of the ISS (International Space Station). It’s one of the most famous spacecrafts in the world. But what exactly is it?
WHAT DOES IT DO? The ISS is important because of two main reasons. (1) It allows humans to live in space and allow NASA scientists back on earth to be able to identify outer space’s effects on their bodies and (2) allow inhabitants of it to perform research that can’t be done in any location on earth. This produces products in everyday life, called ‘spinoffs’. The International Space Station is also one of NASA’s first steps towards the exploration of other planets.
The ISS is one of the most important manmade creations in the world, aiding scientific researchers in exploration and maybe even colonization of other worlds.
The Hubble Space Telescope was launched in 1990 and still remains in operation. It was named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble. It is one of NASA’s Great Observatories, along with some others including the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, and the Spitzer Space Telescope. Hubble’s four main instruments observe in the near ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared spectra. It isn’t the first space telescope, but it is one of the largest and most versatile. Space telescopes were proposed as early as the 1923s. Hubble was funded in 1970s, with a proposed launch in the 1980s, but with problems like the Challenger Disaster, technical delays, and budget problems, the project had to be postponed. When it finally launched in 1990, the main mirror was found to have been ground incorrectly, putting the telescope’s capabilities at risk. The optics were corrected by a servicing mission in 1993. The Hubble Space Telescope is the only telescope in space that was designed to be service by astronauts. Some could say it is one of Space Travels greatest achievements.
Space Travel would be nothing if it weren’t for its most important part: the astronauts themselves. In this article, I will be telling you about some of the famous astronauts and the difference they made in space travel.
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin
These are probably two of the most famous astronauts of all time. They were the first people to ever step on the moon.
He is probably one of the most important astronauts. He is the first person to ever go to space. He orbited the earth once on his spacecraft.
He was the first American to be in space. In 1971, he walked on the moon.
He is the first American to ever orbit the earth, circling it three times. After retiring from NASA, he served as a democratic senator from Ohio.
She is the first woman to have flown in space. She piloted Vostok 6 on June 6, 1963.
He became the first person to ever walk in outer space and to exit the capsule.
She became the second woman in space. On her mission in 1984, she became the first woman to perform a spacewalk and the first woman to fly in space twice.
She was the third woman in space, and the first American woman in space.
He was the first Canadian to walk in space.
He was the first African American in space.
Mae C. Jemison
She was the first African American woman to travel in space.
He was the first Indian in space.
Astronauts on the Columbia Space Shuttle
On February 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon reentering Earth’s atmosphere, killing all seven crew members. They were astronauts Rick D. Husband, William C. McCool, Michael P. Anderson, Ilan Ramon, Kalpana Chawla, David M. Brown, and Laurel Blair Salton Clark.
She was the first Indian woman in space, but died during the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster.
Astronauts on the Space Shuttle Challenger
These astronauts all died on January 28, 1986, when the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight. The seven people were Francis R. Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe.
This is obviously not every single astronaut that ever traveled in space, but I think I covered a lot of the famous ones. Thank you for reading this article.
Every little kid’s dream is to become an astronaut when they grow up. At such a young age, soaring up to the stars seems like the greatest thing in the whole world. However, there are a lot of dangers when it comes to space travel, and a good amount of them are from the astronauts themselves. Imagine staying cooped up in a small rocket for months on end, or getting stuck in the ISS for years, with the same few people for company. Over time, it’d probably drive you mad.
Depression. It’s a serious issue on earth; despite the fact that being in space is pretty cool, it’s a problem there too. Whether on earth or in space, depression is pretty much the same. It’s the triggers that vary. In space, it could be a lot of different things. Boredom, cabin fever, isolation, or conflict with other crew members. Making a call to a therapist or a specialist who could help astronauts handle those kind of issues could be an issues, as astronauts in deep space would be much too far removed.
However, James Cartreine and colleagues, supported by The National Space Biomedical Research Institute, are developing self-directed modules to help astronauts treat themselves. Cartreine’s work focuses on treating negative behavioral issues and the risk of astronauts performing badly due to conflicts with their fellow crew members.
These modules are interactive programs, similar to a video game/3D graphic interface. The ‘patient’ goes through different interactive simulations based on the issue he/she is facing, and the module provides assistance and advice on how to deal with it. Unfortunately, this new technology doesn’t really solve the problem of boredom or irritation in space, but researchers are always looking to help astronauts cope with the issues of space travel, and it’s a good start!
Space Travel has been going on for a very long time. However, the supplies that astronauts use have not changed, though people have tried to improve them. Here are the supplies astronauts would need to travel in space.
Space Ship and Fuel
This is probably the most obvious and important thing you need in space. Without a space ship and fuel to power it, you can’t even get to space and escape the escape velocity of Earth.
Food and Water
Food and water are as important in space as they are in Earth. But the difference is they have to eat freeze-dried food and add water to it. Water is created when the hydrogen is turned into electricity.
Astronauts need space suits if they are going to go out of the space ship. Without protection, astronauts would quickly die in space, because of dangerous radiation. It is also very cold in space. There is no air pressure and no air to breath in space.
Hygiene and Health Supplies
Astronauts would need to be hygienic just as much in space than in Earth. But since water doesn’t flow in microgravity, astronauts need to use different methods.
Things you need to Sleep
When Astronauts sleep, they use sleeping bags that are strapped to the walls. Also, since the sun never sets in space, they usually wear blindfolds while they sleep.
Contact back to Earth
Astronauts need to be able to contact Earth so they know what they are doing.
This is not an absolute need, but you can imagine that you would get pretty bored just sitting around in space with nothing to do.
Thank you for reading this article, and I hope you learned something.
Space Radiation is made made up of 3 types of radiation; particles trapped in the Earth’s magnetic field, particles shot into space during solar flares, and galactic cosmic rays. It takes the form of subatomic particles from the sun. Radiation can be very dangerous for astronauts. They risk getting radiation caused cancer and more diseases. Pretty much every cell in the human body is susceptible to radiation damage. Space suits can give some protection against the UV rays, but they give a limited amount of protection from the particle radiation and gamma x-ray. If the particles have enough energy they could quite simply pass through the space suit. Radiation is very dangerous to everybody but it’s also pretty interesting.
One of the most serious issues of astronauts is zero gravity. This affects their body as it is used to dealing with the gravitational pull of earth. For example, the loss of pressure on bones can destabilize them causing bone loss.
As the Scientific American expertly puts it, “In microgravity, bone loss occurs at a rate of 1 to 1.5 percent a month, leading to an acceleration of age-related changes similar to osteoporosis.Decreases in bone density and strength are more pronounced in some skeletal regions, such as the pelvis, although much of the loss is reversible upon return to Earth.” The effects of space also increases the risk of bone fractures and the body’s ability to heal them.
Muscle loss is another one of the key factors of microgravity. For reasons unknown, microgravity changes the physiology of the heart. When these astronauts return to Earth, some of them may experience an ‘impaired orthostatic response,’ which is when their blood pressure get very low by moving from a lying down position to a sitting position.
These are just two of the many impacts of microgravity. I hope you finished reading this article knowing something new.