Portal:Human spaceflight

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The Human Spaceflight Portal

Aldrin Apollo 11.jpg Human spaceflight is a spaceflight with a human crew, currently being conducted as part of the Russian Soyuz programme, American Space Shuttle program and Chinese Shenzhou program, in addition to the long-term International Space Station.

Human spaceflight is conducted as part of space exploration, the endeavour to reach, explore, and exploit the space outside the Earth's atmosphere, and also in commercial activities, such as space tourism. The first human spaceflight, Vostok 1, was conducted in 1961. Since then, more than 500 people have travelled past the Kármán line, the official edge of space, in support of various Earth orbital missions, space station expeditions, spacewalks and missions to the Moon.

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Untethered U.S. astronaut Bruce McCandless uses a manned maneuvering unit
Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) is work done by an astronaut away from the Earth, and outside of a spacecraft. The term most commonly applies to an EVA made outside a craft orbiting Earth (a spacewalk), but also applies to an EVA made on the surface of the Moon (a moonwalk). In the later lunar landing missions (Apollo 15, 16, and 17) the command module pilot (CMP) did an EVA to retrieve film canisters on the return trip; he was assisted by the lunar module pilot (LMP) who remained at the open command module hatch. These trans-Earth EVAs were the only spacewalks ever conducted in deep space.

Due to the different designs of the early spacecraft, the American and Soviet space programs also define an EVA differently. Russians define an EVA as occurring when a cosmonaut is in a vacuum. An American EVA begins when the astronaut switches the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) to battery power. A "Stand-up" EVA (SEVA) is where the astronaut does not fully exit a spacecraft, but is completely reliant on the spacesuit for environmental support.[1] Its name derives from the astronaut "standing up" in the open hatch, usually to film or assist a spacewalking astronaut.

Selected biography

Glynn Lunney in 1974, as manager of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.
Glynn S. Lunney (born November 27, 1936) is a retired NASA engineer. An employee of NASA since its foundation in 1958, Lunney was a flight director during the Gemini and Apollo programs, and was on duty during historic events such as the Apollo 11 lunar ascent and the pivotal hours of the Apollo 13 crisis. At the end of the Apollo program, he became manager of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, the first collaboration in spaceflight between the United States and the Soviet Union. Later, he served as manager of the Space Shuttle program before leaving NASA in 1985 and later becoming a Vice President of the United Space Alliance.

Lunney was a key figure in America's manned space program from Project Mercury through the coming of the Space Shuttle. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the National Space Trophy, which he was given by the Rotary Club in 2005. Chris Kraft, NASA's first flight director, described Lunney as "a true hero of the space age", saying that he was "one of the outstanding contributors to the exploration of space of the last four decades".

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Space Shuttle Columbia before her maiden flight, STS-1
Credit: NASA/KSC, Image ID: KSC-81PC-0136 [1]

A timed exposure of Space Shuttle Columbia on launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Centre in preparation for her maiden flight, STS-1. To the left of the Shuttle are the fixed and the rotating service structures.

Next scheduled manned launch

The next scheduled manned launch is of Soyuz TMA-16M on a Soyuz-FG rocket, carrying three Expedition 44 crew members, including the first one-year crew, to the International Space Station. Launch from Baikonur Site 1/5 is scheduled on March 28, 2015.
For a full launch schedule see 2014 in spaceflight

Did you know...

  • Space Shuttle Enterprise

…that Space Shuttle Enterprise (pictured) was originally to be called Constitution, but was renamed after the USS Enterprise from Star Trek.

  • …that the Vostok 4 mission was shortened because cosmonaut Pavel Romanovich Popovich accidentally told flight controllers that he was "observing thunderstorms". This was a coded signal requesting an abort because the cosmonaut was feeling ill, however Popovich was actually trying to inform ground controllers that he could see thunderstorms from space.
  • ...that the last flight of the Space Shuttle program is scheduled for June 2011?

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  1. ^ NASA (2007). "Stand-Up EVA". NASA. Retrieved October 21, 2008.