Spaceflight is the movement of spacecraft into and through outer space, primarily using rocket technology for propulsion. Spaceflight is used in space exploration, the endeavour to reach, explore, and exploit the space outside the Earth's atmosphere, and also in commercial activities like space tourism and satellite telecommunications. It is generally based on the use of rockets to transport machines, animals, and humans to, and subsequently through, space. Additional non-commercial uses of spaceflight include space observatories, reconnaissance satellites and other earth observation satellites. Objects launched into space may follow a sub-orbital trajectory and return to Earth immediately, stay in orbit around Earth, travel in the space between the planets, or aim to leave the space dominated by the Sun completely.
NASA image of Pioneer 10's famed Pioneer plaque, a pictorial message to any extraterrestrial being that may intercept the probe. It features a design engraved into a gold-anodized aluminum plate, 152 by 229 millimeters (6 by 9 inches), attached to the spacecraft's antenna support struts to help shield it from erosion by interstellar dust.
, IPA: [ˈmʲir]
) was a Soviet
and later Russian space station
. It was the world's first consistently inhabited long-term research station in space, and the first of the third generation type of space station, constructed from 1986 to 1996 with a modular design
. The station was in operation for fifteen years until March 23, 2001, when it was deliberately de-orbited, breaking apart during atmospheric re-entry
over the South Pacific Ocean
The station currently holds the record for the longest continuous manned presence in space, at eight days short of ten years, and was occupied for a total of twelve and a half years of its fifteen-year lifespan. Mir had the capacity to support a resident crew of three but could also support larger crews for short-term visits, the largest crew simultaneously aboard the station being six.
Through a number of international collaborations, including Intercosmos, Euromir and the Shuttle-Mir Program, the station was made accessible to astronauts from North America, several western European nations, Japan as well as cosmonauts from various eastern nations. Mir also marked the beginning of space tourism when Japanese journalist Toyohiro Akiyama made a paid visit in 1990.
Eugene Francis "Gene" Kranz
(born August 17, 1933) is a retired NASA Flight Director
and manager. Kranz served as a Flight Director, the successor to NASA founding Flight Director Chris Kraft
, during the Gemini
programs, and is best known for his role in directing the successful Mission Control team efforts to save the crew of Apollo 13
, which later became the subject story of a major motion picture of the same name. He is also noted for his trademark close-cut flattop
hairstyle, and the wearing of dapper white "mission" vests (waistcoats
), of different styles and materials made by Mrs. Kranz, during missions for which he acted as Flight Director. A personal friend to the American astronauts of his time, Kranz remains a prominent and colorful figure in the history of U.S. manned space exploration, literally, the embodiment of 'NASA tough-and-competent' of the Kranz Dictum. Kranz has been the subject of movies, documentary films, and books and periodical articles. Kranz is the recipient of a Presidential Medal of Freedom
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