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.
A Ukrainian Zenit-3SL rocket launches the Italian SICRAL 1B military communications satellite from the Sea Launch platform Odyssey, located in the territorial waters of Kiribati, on April 30, 2009. Sea Launch is a unique launch provider that ships rockets and payloads to be launched from a platform placed at the Equator, providing for optimal payload capacity and direct insertion to geostationary orbit (GEO) without the need to change inclination. Sea Launch has conducted 36 launches since 1999, with four failures.
is an interplanetary space probe
that was launched as a part of NASA
's New Frontiers program
. Engineered by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
(APL) and the Southwest Research Institute
(SwRI), with a team led by S. Alan Stern
, the spacecraft was launched with the primary mission to perform a flyby
study of the Pluto
system, and a secondary mission to fly by and study one or more other Kuiper belt
On January 19, 2006, New Horizons was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station directly into an Earth-and-solar escape trajectory. After a brief encounter with asteroid 132524 APL, New Horizons proceeded to Jupiter, making its closest approach on February 28, 2007. The Jupiter flyby provided a gravity assist that increased New Horizons' speed; the flyby also enabled a general test of New Horizons' scientific capabilities, returning data about the planet's atmosphere, moons, and magnetosphere.
Most of the post-Jupiter voyage was spent in hibernation mode to preserve on-board systems, except for brief annual checkouts. On December 6, 2014, New Horizons was brought back online for the Pluto encounter, and instrument check-out began. On January 15, 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft began its approach phase to Pluto.
On July 14, 2015, at 11:49 UTC, it flew 12,500 km (7,800 mi) above the surface of Pluto, making it the first spacecraft to explore the dwarf planet. Having completed its flyby of Pluto, New Horizons has maneuvered for a flyby of Kuiper belt object 2014 MU69, expected to take place on January 1, 2019, when it is 43.4 AU from the Sun.
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
…that the Vehicle Assembly Building is so large that rain clouds are reported to form inside it on humid days?
- …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 astronauts can't burp in space? A burp would need gravity to separate the liquid from the gas in their stomach.