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Just a hundred years ago, space exploration was possible except in films (then still black and white) and books science fiction genre. However over the past sixty years humanity has shown tremendous progress by mastering Earth orbit, having been on the moon, sending research missions to Mars and other planets of the solar system, as well as studying the far space with the help of powerful telescopes. Nowadays finding people for 6-7 months in zero gravity at the International the space station no longer surprises anyone. Moreover, some private companies are seriously discussing such ambitious projects like building a space hotel, organizing tourist flights around the moon and the colonization of the Red Planet. Obviously, the further conquest of outer space is only a matter of time. But how did it begin, thanks to which Are all these incredible achievements possible? We invite you to commit a little trip into the past and recall the ten most significant space missions for all time.
Rating of the most important space missions in history
|Overview of the most important space missions in history||1||Sputnik-1||5.0|
|3||Cassini – Huygens||4.8|
|5||Voyager 1 and Voyager 2||4.6|
|6||International Space Station||4.5|
Officially, the world’s first artificial Earth satellite wore the codename PS-1, which stands for “Simple Satellite-1.” It was launched in 1957 from the world’s largest spaceport. Baikonur, which at that time was called Research test site number 5. As the carrier that brought the satellite into orbit, the converted intercontinental R-7 ballistic missile. Sputnik-1 remained on the trajectory around the globe for three months, of which 21 days carried out a radio signal, and then burned in dense layers of the atmosphere. The internal structure of the spacecraft modern standards were extremely simple – it contained radio transmitter, batteries, fan, thermostat and several sensors. All this was encased in aluminum alloy, equipped with four antennas. The satellite weight was about 83 kilogram, and its diameter is only 58 centimeters.
Thanks to the successful outcome of the first orbital mission, scientists were able to obtain important information about the density of the earth’s atmosphere. The launch was the beginning of the space age, provoking a prolonged For decades, the race between the USSR and the USA in space exploration, leading to the establishment of NASA and a number of historic achievements from both parties. In the end, rivalry escalated into international collaboration of scientists and astronauts from different countries.
The Hubble Autonomous Telescope was developed jointly by scientists NASA and the European Space Agency. Being on near Earth orbit allows it to capture electromagnetic radiation of space objects in the infrared and other ranges, almost invisible from the surface of the earth, since most of this radiation is not allowed through the atmosphere. Hubble began acting with 1990, after it was delivered to a height of 610 kilometers reusable transport shuttle “Discovery”. Initial start planned much earlier, but after the crash of the shuttle Challenger in 1986, resulting in the death of seven astronauts, flights were temporarily suspended. Own name The telescope received in honor of the outstanding American astronomer of the 20th century Edwin Hubble, who proved the existence of many others galaxies and discovered patterns in the speed of their removal from each friend.
During the operation of the telescope, more million images of various celestial objects near and deep space. One of the most famous photographs taken Hubble is the Hubble Deep Field. Get like image of distant galaxies from the Earth’s telescope was impossible, but without the influence of the atmosphere, the resolution increased almost 10 times. In addition, a number of important discoveries were made, such how clarification of the nature of quasars, the study of life cycles different types of stars, the discovery of another satellite of Neptune. But most importantly, thanks to Hubble observations, astronomers managed to make a more accurate calculation of the age of the universe, which current data is approximately 13.7 billion years.
Cassini – Huygens
The project of an automatic interplanetary station designed for exploring the planet Saturn and its moons, was embodied jointly American and European space agencies. Besides orbital station “Cassini”, the complex included a descent Huygens probe. The name of the project comes from the names of the engineer and astronomer Giovani Cassini, who made the discovery of four satellites Saturn and the astronomer physicist Christian Huygens, who created mathematical model of the rings of the planet Saturn. Right after your Launch in 1997, Cassini-Huygens set several records: he became one of the most expensive international space projects, as well as the largest interplanetary spacecraft, successfully left the Earth’s atmosphere. Seven years later the station reached Saturn and the apparatus successfully descended from it to Titan Huygens – this was the first ever landing in the Outer Solar system.
During the study, scientists received about half a million photos and a huge amount of important information. Cassini discovered a unique atmospheric phenomenon at the north pole of Saturn, representing a permanent storm formation hexagonal forms with a diameter of more than 215 thousand kilometers. Also during flight through the loops of Enceladus, he discovered chemical emissions from the satellite elements that possibly is indirect evidence of finding under the surface of organic substances. Huygens probe recorded the presence of hydrocarbon reservoirs on Titan, this was the first case detecting liquids outside the earth. Another achievement project can be considered verification and confirmation during the flight general theory of relativity.
During this mission, a man for the first time in history made an exit to outer space from the ship. Launching a manned vehicle with Baikonur cosmodrome was held in 1965, on board were Alexey Leonov and Pavel Belyaev. While in Earth orbit cosmonaut Leonov through a special multi-section transitional gateway left the ship and stayed beyond for more than 12 minutes. Its output was recorded by two television cameras transmitting signal to the surface of the earth. Oxygen connection and access to the suit provided through a halyard, also in case of unforeseen circumstances there was an emergency oxygen cylinder, and a partner Belyaev was ready to leave behind to assist in returning to ship. Before a real space flight, exit procedure carefully rehearsed on the plane, creating a temporary weightlessness achieved with a sharp decrease.
Despite all the precautions and preparation, the mission passed not at all smooth. During the release of Leonov into space, a dangerous situation that he had to solve on his own, and in a limited time. Trying to return to the gateway, he found that the spacesuit inflated in a vacuum would not allow this is. The only way out was to relieve internal pressure, but the slightest error in the calculations could cause boiling nitrogen in the blood, which leads to the destruction of blood vessels. TO fortunately, the astronaut managed to reduce the pressure in spacesuit and get back on board. In addition, when lowering the device to Automation failed the earth, and for the first time in history, astronauts had to to land in manual mode.
Voyager 1 and Voyager 2
Two identical automatic interplanetary stations were launched in 1977 through the launch vehicles “Titan-Centaurus”. Home them the mission was to research Jupiter and Saturn however flight lasted much longer and further than hoped creators of devices. Two years after the launch of Voyager 1 reached Jupiter and transmitted to Earth a number of images, as well as a large amount of data. Thanks to the information he collected, scientists managed find out the nature of the Great Red Spot, which is actually is an atmospheric vortex. Also on Jupiter, the device discovered the presence of lightning and active volcanoes. After research Jupiter and Saturn “Voyager 1” headed for the limits of the Solar systems, while Voyager 2 flew towards Uranus and Neptune.
The second device captured in 1986 and 1989 near the two most distant (with the exception of the dwarf planet Pluto) of our planet systems, he also discovered storms on the surface of Neptune. In 2001 Voyager 1 flew to the heliopause, and now the device completely went beyond the limits of the solar system, it is located approximately 20 billion kilometers from Earth. This project is rightfully considered the longest and unprecedented space mission. A curious fact – both interplanetary probes carry gold on board a plate with a message written on it for extraterrestrial civilizations in the form of text, images and music.
International Space Station
International Space Station is a manned multi-purpose complex designed for scientific research. It is in Earth orbit, at an altitude of about 350 kilometers and makes a complete revolution around the Earth every one and a half hours. The history of the ISS began in 1984, when work began on project of the orbital station. In 1992, the United States and Russia concluded space research cooperation agreement and six years later, the Russian Proton-K launch vehicle launched on orbit the first element of the International Space Station – block “Dawn.” The permanent crew has been on the ISS since 2000. For all the station’s existence, it was overgrown with new modules, the last of these, the BEAM experimental residential module, was docked in 2016.
ISS is the most expensive scientific project in history of humanity. The costs of its construction and maintenance amounted to 150 billion dollars. At the same time, thanks to her, it became possible hundreds of scientific experiments that cannot be performed in earth conditions. The crew of the station is busy with a number of areas activities including astronomy, space biology, meteorology, space medicine, astrophysics and much more. Especially valuable achievement is considered to be data on the influence of space on the human body that could become a determining factor in the organization of long-distance flights. In addition to practical value, the ISS has political significance, being a world famous symbol of cooperation earlier warring states.
Although there is strong scientific evidence for the Big Bang, the it is impossible to capture this event with any equipment, since only after a few hundred thousand years did the matter in the Universe cool down and spread enough to let photon radiation through. But the subsequent radiation of the microwave cosmic background register is possible. For this purpose, scientists built Satellite Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (Microwave Probe Wilkinson Anisotropy), short for WMAP. At first he bore the name just a MAP, but later it was renamed in honor of David Wilkinson, one of the former scientific leaders of the project. Probe delivery to the orbit of the Delta-2 launch vehicle took place in 2001, and through two years the first images were obtained.
In the period from 2001 to 2009, the device received radio waves of various lengths and transmitted data that served as the basis for create a complete CMB map. As a result of the mission confirmed the theory of uniformity of the temperature of the Universe around 14 billion years ago. Information received from the satellite also consistent with the previously proposed model of the universe by scientists, consisting of more than 70 percent of dark energy.
NASA’s Mars exploration mission launched in 1996 year. After a seven-month flight, the Delta-2 rocket delivered apparatus “Mars Pathfinder” to the Red Planet. Landing held in July 1997. On board the fixed station was light (10 kilograms) wheeled rover called “Sojourner” (which means “alien” in English). This rover became the first mobile research vehicle on Mars. It had six wheels spinning independently of each other. friend, which allowed us to overcome the slopes at an angle of up to 45 degrees, and was equipped with solar panels. World Data came from three cameras and a spectrometer. Sojourner’s Movement occurred in the Ares Valley region.
Mars Pathfinder Station performed an analysis of the atmosphere and climate, and the rover studied geological formations. During the mission which lasted from July to the end of September 1997, there were about 17 thousand images were sent, as well as analysis data found rocks. The results confirmed the hypothesis of what was happening. thousands of years ago volcanic activity and the presence of past rivers on the red planet.
After the successful mission of the Soviet Union to send the first man into space, for the United States landing on the moon in the next decade has become one of the priorities. And it was implemented in 1969 year, becoming the most famous and significant event in the history of NASA. Saturn-5 rocket carrying the Apollo 11 spacecraft, started from Cape Canaveral (then called Cape Kennedy) in 1969. The crew consisted of three people: Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin and Mike Collins. The process of take-off and entry into orbit The moons went smoothly, after which the lunar module “Eagle”, separated from Columbia command module and descended to the lunar surface. Landing was difficult, as planned the landing site was too rocky, so the landing took place six and a half kilometers further.
After descent in the Sea of Tranquility area, Neil Armstrong was the first stepped onto the surface of the Earth’s satellite. A little later to him Edwin Aldrin joined. Being outside the module for about two seconds half an hour, the astronauts took pictures, spent a number experiments, placed scientific instruments and collected soil samples. In addition, they installed a US flag and a sign with commemorative inscription. The total time spent on the moon was 21 hours 36 minutes, then the astronauts docked the Eagle in orbit with the command module where Mike Collins was expecting them, and four days later successfully returned home, splashed in the Pacific Ocean.
The early 1960s marked the space race between the two leading states: USSR and USA. One of the most important events demonstrated to the world the possibility of manned space flights, and at the same time the scientific potential of the Soviet Union was the launch human into space. Yuri Gagarin and German Titov, members of the squad future astronauts were selected by a special commission as the best candidates, but ultimately got the advantage Gagarin. The purpose of the flight was to study the effect of weightlessness on mental and physical condition of a person. Spaceship Vostok-1 launched by the Vostok three-stage launch vehicle 8K72K “, consisted of two departments. In the first there was a compartment control with instruments and equipment, the second was lander for landing.
The ship started on April 12, 1961 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The flight was carried out in a fully automated mode, since nobody then knew if the pilot could save performance in zero gravity. However, if necessary Gagarin could activate manual control using a special code. For 108 minutes of flight, the device made a revolution around the earth flying over the territory of the USSR, South America, the Atlantic and Africa. Gagarin observed friction of the skin during the approach about the dense layers of the atmosphere, and concluding that the ship is burning, briefly said goodbye to his colleagues in radio communications. However, the apparatus successfully withstood further descent, and at a seven-kilometer height the astronaut ejected from the capsule. Upon completion of the mission Gagarin became the most famous person on the planet and visited more thirty countries by invitation from governments.
Attention! This rating is subjective, not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.