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
Next scheduled launch
John Watts Young
(September 24, 1930 – January 5, 2018) was an American astronaut
, naval officer
, test pilot
, and aeronautical engineer
. He became the ninth person to walk on the Moon
as Commander of the Apollo 16
mission in 1972. Young enjoyed the longest career of any astronaut, becoming the first person to fly six space missions over the course of 42 years of active NASA
service. He is the only person to have piloted and commanded four different classes of spacecraft: Gemini
, the Apollo command and service module
, the Apollo Lunar Module
, and the Space Shuttle
Before becoming an astronaut, Young received his Bachelor of Science degree with highest honors in Aeronautical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and joined the U.S. Navy. After serving at sea during the Korean War he became a naval aviator, and graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (Class 23), setting several world time-to-climb records as a test pilot. Young left the Navy in 1976 with the rank of captain.
In 1965 Young flew on the first crewed Gemini mission, and then commanded the 1966 Gemini 10 mission. In 1969 during Apollo 10, he became the first person to fly solo around the Moon. He then walked on the Moon and drove the Lunar Roving Vehicle on the Moon's surface during Apollo 16, and is one of only three people to have flown to the Moon twice.
Young also commanded two flights of Space Shuttle Columbia: STS-1 in 1981, the Space Shuttle program's first launch, and STS-9 in 1983. Young served as Chief of the Astronaut Office from 1974 to 1987, and retired from NASA in 2004.
, also known as UK-1
, was the first British satellite
. Its launch in 1962 made the United Kingdom the third country to operate a satellite, after the Soviet Union
and the USA. It was constructed in the United States
, under an agreement reached as the result of political discussions in 1959 and 1960.
NASA constructed and launched the satellite, whilst SERC provided the experiments, conducted operations, and later analysed and interpreted the results. Ariel 1 was launched aboard an American Thor-Delta rocket from Launch Complex 17A at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, on 26 April 1962. It decayed from orbit on 24 April 1976.
On This Day
Did you know...
…that the original videos of the Apollo 11 astronauts walking on the Moon (pictured) were lost after the mission, and were reported to have been found in June 2009?
- …that when investigating the Challenger accident, Richard Feynman threatened to remove his name from the report unless it included his personal observations on the reliability of the shuttle?
- …that the first words from the surface of the Moon were "Contact light, okay, engine stop", spoken by Buzz Aldrin?