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Space exploration

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Astronautics. Astronautics (alternatively cosmonautics), is the theory and practice of navigation beyond the Earth's atmosphere.

Astronautics

In other words, it is the science and technology of spaceflight. Space food. Space medicine. NASA astronaut Dan Burbank (foreground), Expedition 30 commander, and Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, flight engineer, participate in a Crew Health Care System (CHeCS) medical contingency drill in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station.

Space medicine

This drill gives crewmembers the opportunity to work as a team in resolving a simulated medical emergency on board the space station. (Nasa[1]) Space medicine is the practice of medicine on astronauts in outer space whereas astronautical hygiene is the application of science and technology to the prevention or control of exposure to the hazards that may cause astronaut ill health.

Both these sciences work together to ensure that astronauts work in a safe environment. Aerospace engineering. Aerospace engineering is the primary branch of engineering concerned with the research, design, development, construction, testing, science and technology of aircraft and spacecraft.[1] It is divided into two major and overlapping branches: aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering.

Aerospace engineering

Aeronautics deals with aircraft that operate in Earth's atmosphere, and astronautics deals with spacecraft that operate outside the Earth's atmosphere. Aeronautical engineering was the original term for the field. As flight technology advanced to include craft operating in outer space, the broader term "aerospace engineering" has largely replaced it in common usage.[2] Aerospace engineering, particularly the astronautics branch, is often referred to colloquially as "rocket science",[3] such as in popular culture.

Overview[edit] History[edit] Elements[edit] Spacecraft design. The design of spacecraft covers a broad area, including the design of both robotic spacecraft (satellites and planetary probes), and spacecraft for human spaceflight (spaceships and space stations).

Spacecraft design

Origin[edit] Spacecraft design was born as a discipline in the 50s and 60s with the advent of American and Russian space exploration programs. Since then it has progressed, although typically less than comparable terrestrial technologies. Control engineering. Control engineering or control systems engineering is the engineering discipline that applies control theory to design systems with desired behaviors.

Control engineering

The practice uses sensors to measure the output performance of the device being controlled and those measurements can be used to give feedback to the input actuators that can make corrections toward desired performance. When a device is designed to perform without the need of human inputs for correction it is called automatic control (such as cruise control for regulating a car's speed). Multi-disciplinary in nature, control systems engineering activities focus on implementation of control systems mainly derived by mathematical modeling of systems of a diverse range. Overview[edit] History[edit] In his 1868 paper "On Governors", J. Control theory made significant strides in the next 100 years. Control theory[edit] Spacecraft propulsion. Spacecraft propulsion is any method used to accelerate spacecraft and artificial satellites.

Spacecraft propulsion

There are many different methods. Each method has drawbacks and advantages, and spacecraft propulsion is an active area of research. However, most spacecraft today are propelled by forcing a gas from the back/rear of the vehicle at very high speed through a supersonic de Laval nozzle. This sort of engine is called a rocket engine. All current spacecraft use chemical rockets (bipropellant or solid-fuel) for launch, though some (such as the Pegasus rocket and SpaceShipOne) have used air-breathing engines on their first stage. Space logistics. Space environment. Space environment is a branch of astronautics, aerospace engineering and space physics that seeks to understand and address conditions existing in space that affect the operation of spacecraft.

Space environment

A related subject, space weather, deals with dynamic processes in the solar-terrestrial system that can give rise to effects on spacecraft, but that can also affect the atmosphere, ionosphere and geomagnetic field, giving rise to several other kinds of effects on human technologies. Effects on spacecraft can arise from radiation, space debris and meteoroid impact, upper atmospheric drag and spacecraft electrostatic charging. Radiation in space usually comes from three main sources: (i) the Van Allen radiation belts; (ii) solar proton events and solar energetic particles; and (iii) galactic cosmic rays.

For long duration missions, the high doses of radiation can damage electronic components and solar cells. How Space Elevators Will Work" When the Space Shuttle Columbia lifted off on April 12, 1981, from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., to begin the first space shuttle mission, the dream of a reusable spacecraft was realized.

How Space Elevators Will Work"

Since then, NASA has launched more than 100 missions, but the price tag of space missions has changed little. Whether it is the space shuttle or the non-reusable Russian spacecraft, the cost of a launch is approximately $10,000 per pound ($22,000 per kg). A new space transportation system being developed could make travel to Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) a daily event and transform the global economy.

A space elevator made of a carbon nanotubes composite ribbon anchored to an offshore sea platform would stretch to a small counterweight approximately 62,000 miles (100,000 km) into space. Mechanical lifters attached to the ribbon would then climb the ribbon, carrying cargo and humans into space, at a price of only about $100 to $400 per pound ($220 to $880 per kg). Google X's Space Elevator: Why It Will Not Happen Soon. Some ideas just refuse to go away: trickle-down economics, the bolo tie, couscous.

Google X's Space Elevator: Why It Will Not Happen Soon

Add to this the space elevator. If you're not familiar with the space elevator, perhaps you've heard it referred to by one of its other names: the bean stalk, the orbital tether, the nonsynchronous orbital skyhook. No? Well never mind, because unlike the bolo tie, it doesn't exist. And unlike the tie too, it probably never will — not in this lifetime at least. The space elevator has been back in the news lately because of tech-world buzz that Google X — the secret Skunk Works where the company that gave us great doodles, a good Web browser and so-so e-mail — has included it on its list of what-if technologies it's trying to help develop. Space exploration. Saturn V rocket, used for the American manned lunar landing missions The Moon as seen in a digitally processed image from data collected during a spacecraft flyby While the observation of objects in space, known as astronomy, predates reliable recorded history, it was the development of large and relatively efficient rockets during the early 20th century that allowed physical space exploration to become a reality.

Common rationales for exploring space include advancing scientific research, uniting different nations, ensuring the future survival of humanity and developing military and strategic advantages against other countries. NASA's brand new spacesuit prototype really does look like Buzz Lightyear. I agree.

NASA's brand new spacesuit prototype really does look like Buzz Lightyear

They should just color code them like the Moon Zero Two spacesuits or Lego men. At least that way we can tell who's firing pew-pew lasers at whom when the inevitable lunar turf wars break out. Or maybe they were the best choice? I bet that the color scheme is to make it resemble Toy Story by design. These images are publicity shots, and the Toy Story movies are so popular. Actually, it makes total sense from for visibility. High visibility spacesuits could lead to easier filming and helping someone from getting... NASA Probe Successfully Orbiting Mercury—A First.

NASA made history tonight as the MESSENGER probe became the first spacecraft to orbit the tiny planet Mercury. Launched in 2004, the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging mission marks the first time a craft has gone near Mercury since 1975, when NASA's Mariner 10 probe conducted flybys. (Get MESSENGER facts and figures.) For the past six and a half years MESSENGER has been maneuvering itself into an orbital path via so-called gravity assists, using the tugs from flybys of Earth, Venus, and Mercury itself to speed up and alter course.

At 8:45 p.m. ET, MESSENGER performed a "burn"—essentially "riding its brakes" by firing its main thruster—to slow the spacecraft enough to be captured by Mercury's gravity. The mission control team at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland was monitoring MESSENGER's progress from 96 million miles (155 million kilometers) away. At 9:10 p.m. engineers confirmed that the burn had occurred. Mercury Probe to Fill in Blanks.