The Red Planet has always been visible from Earth. It’s a tiny red speck in the sky that you can cover with your thumb, yet it remains millions of miles away. Mankind has had their eyes on Mars for quite a while — and we’re inching ever closer to landing the first crews there.
Fabric grocery bags. Stainless steel water bottles. Insulated lunch bags. Rechargeable batteries. Plastic plates. Cloth diapers.
When will we have reusable materials for space travel?
One of the most exiting activities of spaceflight have occurred when astronauts and cosmonauts left their spacecraft and floated free in space. The early spacewalks or Extra Vehicehicular Activities (EVA) were done to learn if man could function free in space. Later he built and repaired structures.
NASA’s twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, were slated for a three month life. Both far exceeded that. Spirit is now dead but Opportunity continues its trek of exploration over Mars since 2004. The images it continues to return are staggering.
Work is currently underway to construct a space surveillance and tracking system that will keep watch over objects in orbit around the Earth. This project, known as the Space Based Surveillance System (SBSS), is designed to protect satellites from damage by space debris - or from military attack.
While it’s certainly rocket science, understanding the differences between what is a manned and unmanned spacecraft is easier than one might think. Breaking them down into categories such as their abilities, mission length, and objectives brings space closer to home.
Water recycling and reuse is extremely important aboard spaceships that must support life for long periods of time. Modern-day methods of purifying and recycling water can be used out in space. Read on to learn more about current and future spacecraft water management technology.
Long since a steady facet of science fiction, the use of nuclear missiles in space has become a real possibility. During a brief period of time, nearly two dozen tests were conducted in Earth’s orbit. Since the Cold War, however, this has been relegated to a place of fear for humans in orbit.
Sounding rockets are used to measure the properties of the upper atmosphere as well as to take ‘snapshots’ of phenomena in outer space. These rockets simply fly straight up, then fall back to Earth. But in doing so they give us much data on mysteries in and above the atmosphere.
The Sun affects every aspect of life on Earth and understanding it becomes more vital as we extend technology and working environments into space. NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) will provide new insights into the Sun and how certain solar events take place.