Portal:Space

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The Space Portal


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Introduction

Earth-moon.jpg

Space (or outer space) describes the vast empty regions between and around planets and stars. The study of these, and other, astronomical objects is called astronomy, one of the oldest sciences. It is often said that space exploration began with the launch of Sputnik 1, the first man-made object to orbit the Earth. Then, in an almost unbelievable feat of human achievement, in 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin travelled to the Moon and set foot on the surface during the Apollo 11 mission. Recently, it has become clear that the possibility of space colonization may no longer be exclusively reserved for science-fiction stories, and many controversial issues surrounding space have come to light, including commercial spaceflight, space laws and space weapons.

Selected article

The official NASA patch for the Shuttle-Mir Program, showing a docked to the Russian ', flying above a stylised Earth. The patch is bordered by the colours of the flags of Russia and the USA.

The Shuttle–Mir Program was a collaborative space program between Russia and the United States, which involved American Space Shuttles visiting the Russian space station Mir, Russian cosmonauts flying on the shuttle and American astronauts engaging in long-duration expeditions aboard Mir. The program, under the code name 'Phase One', was intended to allow the United States to learn from Russian experience into long-duration spaceflight and to foster a spirit of cooperation between the two nations and their respective space agencies, NASA and RKA, in preparation for further cooperative space ventures. Announced in 1993 with the first mission occurring in 1994, the program continued until its scheduled completion in 1998, and consisted of eleven shuttle missions, a joint Soyuz flight and almost 1000 days in space for American astronauts over seven expeditions. The program was, however, marred by various concerns, notably the safety of Mir following a fire and collision on board the station, financial issues with the cash-strapped Russian Space Program and worries from astronauts about the attitudes of the program administrators. Nevertheless, a large amount of science, expertise in space station construction and knowledge in working in a cooperative space venture was gained from the combined operations, allowing 'Phase Two' of the joint project, the construction of the International Space Station, to proceed much more smoothly than otherwise possible.

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Sombrero Galaxy
Credit: NASA / STScI

The Sombrero Galaxy is a spiral galaxy in the Virgo constellation. It was discovered in the late 1700s. It is about 28 million light years away and is just faint enough to be invisible to the naked eye but easily visible with small telescopes. In our sky, it is about one-fifth the diameter of the full moon. M104 is moving away from Earth at about 1,000 kilometers per second.

Astronomical events

2 August, 20:45 New moon
4 August, 22:11 Moon occults Mercury
6 August, 03:30 Moon occults Jupiter
10 August, 00:06 Moon at apogee
12 August, 17:00 Perseids peak
16 August, 21:24 Mercury at greatest eastern elongation
18 August, 09:27 Full moon
19 August, 12:03 Moon occults Neptune
22 August, 01:27 Moon at perigee

Space-related portals

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