Monday , May 16 2022

Space: how far have we gone – and where are we going? | Science


Who traveled in space?

The space flight is now to honor the industry. The first cosmic explorer of humanity, Soviet cosmonaut Iuri Gagarin, circled around April 12, 1961, about a century ago, more than half a century ago, when Britain remained a colonial power, and people were still used half-dozen to buy fish and chips.

Since then, more than 550 people have broken into a deep black ambise, although everyone does not agree on how far you need to go until you hit the space, so there is no internationally accepted figure. Only 10 of them were women, largely due to the sexist policies of NASA and the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

Where were we in the universe?

The Soviet Union continued with its first space walks, but US President John F. Kennedy's announcement that America would set the man on the moon in the late 1960s focused on the space race to that end. Apollo 11 touched our dusty neighbor on July 20, 1969.

A total of 12 men spent several months on the Moon, all Americans, but since then no one else has been there. In fact, since then no one has left the periphery of the Earth.

We imagine an astronaut floating in a free space or refusing to cry in the moon's craters, but most of those who are happy instead have turned their eye on the orbit of the Low Earth – between 99 and a few hundred kilometer high. There is a large number of communication and navigation satellites, accelerating thousands of kilometers per hour to avoid falling to the ground.

What are we going to do there?

Although we have not returned to a deep space, people began to live and work outside the Earth's atmosphere, often conducting experiments on themselves to determine the effects of weight or micro-trauma on the human body.

Space box 1

Until 1986, the Soviet Union launched the Peace Corps. When it finally fell to Earth (thanks to its uninitiated) and set on fire, our current space station, the International Space Station (ISS), was launched. Since 2000, people have been living in space. At this moment, the three are up, accelerating around the globe every 90 minutes.

What happens to the body in the universe?

For a long time and until we understand how imbalance affects people, we will not be able to send the pioneers of this era far to places like Mars or wandering asteroids. Scott Kelly, the former US combat pilot and long-time astronaut Nasa, spent a year bouncing around the ISS capsules in an attempt to understand the long-term impact of a spaceflight. He does not hold the record in the most developed role in the emptiness – according to Gennadi Padalka, who spent two and a half years of his life there on several missions – but Kelly's experiment had a natural advantage over others: he has twins.

Comparing their bodies as a whole, scientists were able to evaluate how bones, muscles, and other parts of the body are deteriorating in the universe. Even an ISS gym where astronauts can keep their muscles – they do not need to be suppressed – they are slowly consumed. But they must wear a hub to prevent them from floating from the conveyor belt. One big question is that eye problems are evolving, but Kelly discovered that his body was coming back quickly. He and his twin looked alike – good news for future missions in space.

Which countries have human space programs?

Only three countries, China, Russia and the United States, have human space programs because it is still too costly. However, they have provided lifts for travelers from 40 countries, including a member of the Saudi royal family, and even paying buyers, such as South African millionaire Mark Shuttlevorth, is only 28 years old.

How much does it cost to send them?

Astronomical. ISS is the most expensive machine ever built with a price of about $ 150 billion. Our space program, launched in the early 1970s, promising a safe and affordable access to the universe, hoped to cost only a few tens of millions of dollars per launch. However, since the shuttle was dropped in 2011 in a scrap chart, the agency estimated the total price of $ 209 billion – nearly $ 1.6 billion a year.

After the great battle over the shuttle, which looked fantastic, but also limited space travel to Earth's orbit, and cost a fortune, the United States took a side seat in the launch. Most astronauts have now been sent by a Russian space agency that sells its cruise on its land "Soiuz" for between $ 21 and $ 82m.

Is the human space flight worth the cost?

Anyone involved in a space trip will focus on this, but that's a good question, and space agencies often do not deliver enough achievements. Almost every sector of human progress used the sending of people into space. Just making an attempt to move, they forced scientists to invent new systems. The computer's guide was the predecessor of the microcomputer, which is now in all smartphones. Clothing is more resistant to fire due to research into space fires. Remote tracking of the astronaut's health has led to revolutionary systems for helping patients on Earth. Diseases behave and develop differently in micro-gravity, which helps scientists find drugs.

Others say that a human space flight payment pumps money into the economy, arguing that spin-off companies from space research and the growing commercial space industry generate seven to 14 times more mission costs. And NASA, the most important global player, does not spend as much as it was. The US government spends about $ 19 billion on its budget, roughly half the percentage of total federal spending. During the early Apollo program, it was between 4% and 5%.

How strong is the co-operation between countries?

The first space race was part of the Cold War collisions in the chest, but since then, the research of the human world has been more about countries that work together than against each other. ISS is a massive collaboration between five space agencies (NASA, Roscosmos, Japan Jaka, the ESA Pan-European Agency and the Canadian Space Agency) and has been compiled over a period of 13 years since 1998, slowly adding capsules such as Lego.

Space Box 2

A great exception to this is China, which went alone with its ambience in space, and never sent an astronaut to the ISS. During 2006, Beijing was reportedly testing lasers against US imaging satellites in what appears to be an attempt to blur or damage them, and US lawmakers later banned co-operation between NASA and the state agency of China.

However, the future of every effective human space flight will surely be cooperative, not antagonistic. Since 2011, national agencies in 14 countries have tried to align their dreams with one vision. The latest plan, released in January this year, said they agreed to "expand the human presence in the Solar System, with the surface of Mars as a common driving goal."

Are we going to the red planet? Hurray!

Do not start the countdown. To reach Mars, most people in the human spacecraft believe that it is first necessary to return to the Moon. "It's the only logical step," says Ian Cravford, professor of planetary science and astrobiology at Birkbeck, University of London. "I am for those people people on Mars, but technology, competence, experience – I think it's still out of reach".

The Moon has several advantages. It only took three days, and not a few months to complete a trip to Mars, and it was emphasized as a location for a research station similar to that in Antarctica. From their celestial laboratory, scientists were able to study the effect of radiation exposure and almost no weight on the body at closer distance from the Earth, but still in deep space, as they prepare for travel far.

So that then the month?

Okay. It's not. A global exploration road map suggests that a space station be first built as an orbital base from which the astronauts will be sent to the Moon. This will look similar to the ISS, unless, instead of spreading around the Earth, it will orbit the moon.

Will we ever get to Mars?

It is a mammoth undertaking and it would be wise to expect serious delays. "Where we go into space is decided by a combination of what people want to do and the realities of time and budget," says Henri Hertzfeld, director of the Institute for Kosovo Politics at the George Washington University in Washington and a former political analyst at NASA. "The idea of ​​putting people on Mars has been going on for a long time. If you read politics, it's obviously a long-term vision without date, but it's probably still lacking technology to keep people in a deep space for a long time."

Who are the new candidates in a human flight?

The US and Russia have given new players. In 2003, China became the third country to set up a person in orbit, and India plans to follow it in 2022. However, the influence that changes the sector undoubtedly comes from private space.

In what is hidden "billionaire sales," Elon Musk, the founder of Tels Electric Car, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Virginia Head Richard Branson want to send private citizens to space. Their companies, SpaceKs, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, are set on a cheaper route to travel to people.

They joined a group of commercial airline companies for flights already working as contractors for national space agencies. Boeing and Lockheed Martin send heavy launchers into space, but it costs at least $ 350 million per launch – several times more expensive than the new $ 90 million Space Falcon Heavi.

SpaceKs has already booked a $ 10 billion launch and saves costs over space launchers for many times where even rocket amplifiers are lowered back to earth and can be emptied for reuse.

And while it is increasingly likely that the ISS will be interrupted over the next decade, several private companies are considering to acquire or rebuild their space stations.

What's next?

As government agencies give priority to the Moon, others look at the right to Mars. Musk said his life goal was to create a successful colony of Mars as a human in the event of an accident in the event of a catastrophic event on Earth, such as a nuclear war or artificial intelligent strike in the Terminator style. For this, SpaceKs is developing the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), which it claims to be able to send flights to the red planet by mid-2020.

Musk says the BFR is partly inspired by Tintin's rocket and will be the largest ever built on close to 40 floors and capable of transporting as many as 100 passengers per trip, depending on how much luggage will be placed in the boat.

In addition to a healthy satellite launch, SpaceKs collects money by selling BFR tickets for travel, some would say cheerfully, about a month. Yusaku Maezawa, the Japanese fashion billionaire and art collector, finances such a mission that will be scheduled for 2023 and says he will invite artists with him for a week to re-engage in the wonders of our universe.

Additional literature

The Astronautic Guide to Life on Earth, Chris Hadfield

In space and back, Salli Ride

The real thing, Tom Wolf

Martian, Andi Veir

Durability: A year in space, the lifetime of discoveries, Scott Kelli

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