space travel

Article

January 26, 2022

Space travel is the human activity in space, outside the earth's atmosphere. According to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), space begins at an altitude of 100 kilometers, the Kármán Line. However, the United States Air Force and the United States Aviation Authority (FAA) maintain a minimum altitude of 50 miles (80.5 kilometers). Space travel is made possible through various launch systems, often via rocket launch from a launch site. During launch, a rocket produces a thrust greater than Earth's gravity, causing the rocket to ascend. Subsequently, the horizontal speed is often increased, so that the rocket, or at least the payload, is put into orbit around the earth. Some spacecraft remain in space indefinitely, some disintegrate during atmospheric reentry, and others reach a planetary surface. Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first human in space aboard Vostok 1. Examples of manned spaceflights include the Apollo moon landing and the United States' space shuttle program, the Russian Soyuz program, as well as the International Space Station (ISS). Examples of unmanned space travel are space probes that leave Earth orbit, or satellites in orbit around the Earth, such as communications satellites. Space travel is used in space research, such as exploration of the solar system, and in commercial activities such as space tourism and satellite telecommunications. Other non-commercial applications of spaceflight include space telescopes, spy satellites, and other satellites that observe Earth or other celestial bodies.

Literature and founders

Stories and fantasies in which man leaves the earth and the way in which this is done are very old. Around the year 160, the Greek published Lucian of Samosata (Aletheis Historiai, True Stories) and the dialogue Ἰκαρομένιππος (Ikaromenippos, The Sky Voyage) in which he describes how a ship is blown into the sky in a heavy storm and lands on the moon .

In the literature

In 1865 Jules Verne publishes his book De la terre à la lune (From the Earth to the Moon), in which he describes in detail how a spacecraft is fired by a cannon (in Florida, United States) and travels to the moon. Striking are the many similarities between his book and the Apollo flights to the moon that took place more than a hundred years later. Around 1900 the writer H.G. Wells include The War of the Worlds and The First Men in the Moon, stories in which space travel plays an important role.

Founding fathers of modern space travel

Six important founders of modern space technology are the scientists Hermann Ganswindt (1856-1934), Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935), Robert Goddard (1882-1945), Hermann Oberth (1894-1990), Sergei Korolyov (1906-1966) and Wernher von Braun (1912-1977). They would all have confirmed to be inspired by the stories of writers such as Verne and Wells.

History of space travel

First reach of the room

The first man-made object to reach space, according to a later definition, was a German-developed ballistic missile called the V-2. This happened during a test flight in June 1944. The first successful flight of the V-2 rocket (also called A2) took place almost two years earlier in Peenemünde on October 3, 1942. After the German defeat in the Second World War, these rockets came into hands of the Americans and the Soviets who seized the missiles in large numbers. The German rocket scientists were also deployed after the war for the space programs of both countries.

First satellite: start of space race

The first Soviet-made artificial satellite was Sputnik 1 in 1957. In the same year, the first

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