Race to Space!

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Race to Space!
Nathan Holt & Steve Case
April 2006
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Wernher von Braun: Father of
Space Exploration
• Along with other German
scientists, developed the
first rockets during and
after World War II
• Came to the U.S. after
WWII, lived and worked in
Huntsville, AL from 1950
– 1970
• Work provided the basis
for all early NASA
missions
• First director of NASA
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Start of the “Space Race”
• October 4th, 1957, Russia
launched the first
artificial satellite, Sputnik,
into orbit
• Caused a wide-spread
panic in the U.S.
• People feared the Soviet
Union would dominate the
world in space exploration
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Formation of NASA
• Founded 1958 after Congress passed the National
Aeronautics and Space Act
• Formed in direct response to the launch of Sputnik
• Purpose to provide organization and direction of
U.S. space program
• First missions focused on getting humans into
space, studying effects of space on humans, and
returning astronauts safely to Earth
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Competitors in the Space Race
Soviet
Union
United
States
• After the launch of Sputnik, the U.S. and U.S.S.R. were
in direct competition to have most advanced space
program
• Viewed as contest between communism and capitalism
• National pride and fears for national defense played large
roles in motivating space race
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First Human in Space
On April 12, 1961, the Soviets succeeded in launching
the first human into space, Yuri Gagarin, and returning
him safely to Earth
Yuri and his
spacecraft,
Vostok 1
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First American in Space
Alan Shepard becomes the first American
astronaut to enter space, aboard the
Freedom 7 spacecraft, on May 5, 1961
Alan and his
spacecraft,
Freedom 7
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The Mercury Project
• NASA’s first
mission
• Mission goals:
– getting an astronaut
into space
– completing an orbit
– returning astronaut
to Earth safely
• Several preliminary
Mercury launches
were unmanned
The Mercury - Atlas I
spacecraft
Enos the chimpanzee, crew of the Mercury
– Atlas V spacecraft
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The Gemini Project
Astronaut Ed White, II
The
rendezvous
of the Gemini
VI and
Gemini VII
spacecraft
• Involved sending two
astronauts into orbit
for longer periods of
time
• Paved the way and
tested equipment for
the Apollo missions to
the moon
• Astronaut Ed White, II
performs the first
spacewalk by an
American during the
Gemini IV mission
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President Kennedy’s Challenge
• May 21, 1961:
President Kennedy
challenged the
United States to
land astronauts on
the moon and to
return them safely
to Earth
• Challenge provided
a “finish line” for
the space race
President John F. Kennedy
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The Apollo Missions
•
•
The Apollo 11 launch
Neil Armstrong
•
•
Buzz Aldrin, in Apollo 11
and on the moon (above
and right)
Apollo 11-17 involved landing
men on the moon; Apollo 13
was aborted due to a
malfunction
July 20, 1969, Buzz Aldrin
and Neil Armstrong of Apollo
11 were first men on the
moon
Each mission consisted of
three astronauts: one stayed
on Command Module in
lunar orbit, two descended in
Lunar Module to moon’s
surface
Total of 12 men have walked
on the moon
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When did the space race end?
• Some historians believe the Space Race ended
when Apollo 11 returned safely from the Moon
• Others believe that the Race ended when the
United States’ Apollo 18 spacecraft docked
with a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in 1975
A drawing of the
Apollo – Soyuz
rendezvous
(Apollo 18 is on
the left)
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Skylab: The First Space Station
• Launched by the U.S. in 1973
• Built from a modified Apollo command module
• Occupied by 3 different teams of astronauts for a total of 171
days
• Purposely burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere in 1979
• Over 2,000 hours of scientific and medical experiments
performed onboard
Two photographs of
Skylab, taken by
astronauts on their
approach to the space
station
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Space Shuttles
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Originally spacecraft were used only
once
In the 1980s, NASA developed reusable
spacecraft, the space shuttles
Launched like rockets but land like
modern-day airplanes
Considered the most complex machines
ever built
Used to take satellites and instruments
into space
Originally five shuttles, two of which
have been destroyed (Challenger,
Columbia), three remaining in service
(Atlantis, Endeavor, Discovery)
Fleet of shuttles scheduled to be retired
in 2010
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The International Space Station
(ISS)
• 15 nations
participating
• Assembly began in
1998; should be
completed by 2010
• Teams of astronauts
have lived aboard the
ISS since 2001
• Provides a permanent
laboratory for
conducting
experiments in space
Images
of the
ISS
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Unmanned Missions: Space
Probes and Landers
• Besides manned missions like Mercury,
Gemini, and Apollo, NASA launched a series
of unmanned missions
• Probes sent to study the outer planets and
to land on planets of the inner solar system
like Mercury, Venus, and Mars
• Probes also sent to gather information
about the moon before astronauts ventured
there
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Why send robotic probes
instead of human?
• Benefits:
– Cheaper: there’s no need to send along food, air, and
living space for astronauts or fuel for a round-trip
– Safer: there’s no danger to human life
• Drawbacks:
– Robotic probes can only do what they’re programmed to
do; they cannot grow or adapt to face unforeseen changes
– Robotic probes often must be controlled remotely from
Earth
– Some feel that robotic missions lack the romance of
discovery and experience of manned missions
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Voyager
• Launched in 1977, first
spacecraft to visit the
outer planets of our
solar system and send
back pictures of Jupiter,
Saturn, Uranus, and
Neptune
• Continue to function to
this day
• Now the farthest manmade objects in the
solar system
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Images of
Saturn (left)
and Jupiter
(below) from the
Voyager
spacecraft
The Hubble Telescope
From left: Images from the Hubble telescope of the Sombrero Galaxy, Orion Nebula,
Messier 101 Galaxy
• In 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was placed
in orbit by the shuttle Discovery
• Example of scientific instrument in space
• Used to measure the age and size of the universe
• Able to take extremely clear images that are
undistorted by Earth’s atmosphere
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The Cassini-Huygens Mission
An image of
Saturn relayed to
Earth by the
Cassini –
Huygens
spacecraft
• First spacecraft to explore Saturn and its rings and moons
from orbit
• Has been in orbit around Saturn since January 30, 2004
• The Huygens probe was released from the Cassini spacecraft
in January 2005 to study Titan, Saturn’s largest moon
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Mars Rovers
• Probes launched to Mars
with robotic rovers to
explore surface
• Spirit landed on Mars
January 4, 2004;
Opportunity landed
December 12, 2004
• Primary mission scheduled
to last ~ 3 months, but
mission has been active
over two Earth years
• Rovers remotely controlled
by scientists on Earth
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Top and bottom:
images of Mars
from the rovers.
Left: an artist’s
vision of Spirit on
Mars
President Bush’s Vision for
Space Exploration
•
•
•
•
•
•
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Presented plan to NASA
January 2004
ISS to be completed by
2010
Space shuttles to be
retired from service by
2010
Develop new manned
spacecraft by 2008 and
complete manned
mission by 2014
Return to the moon by
2020
Eventually send humans
to Mars
Image Sources
http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/academy/history/VonBraun/VonBraun.html
http://www.cohsoft.com.au/cohsoft/gene/images/1950map.png
http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/space/exploration/missiontimeline/vostok1.shtml
http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/shepard-alan.html
http://www.nasm.si.edu/galleries/ATTM/atmimages/S61-01928.f.jpg
http://www.nasa.gov/home/index.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury-Atlas_5
http://www.aerospaceguide.net/spaceexploration/gemini.html
http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/white-eh.html
http://www.nasa.gov/home/index.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury-Atlas_5
http://www.aerospaceguide.net/spaceexploration/gemini.html
http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/white-eh.html
http://grin.hq.nasa.gov/ABSTRACTS/GPN-2000-001488.html
http://www.hbci.com/~tgort/moon.htm
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Library/Giants/vonBraun/vonbraun_4.html
http://grin.hq.nasa.gov/ABSTRACTS/GPN-2000-001488.html
http://www.hbci.com/~tgort/moon.htm
http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/apollo11/
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Sources Continued:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Soyuz_Test_Project
http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/Images/skylab/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylab
http://www.ed.arizona.edu/ward/Sonic/shuttle.jpg
http://www.clipartgallery.com/travel_trans/space/space_shuttle_blastoff2.html
http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/science/
http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/2006/01/
http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/galaxy_collection/pr2003028b/
http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/2006/10/image/a
http://www.pbs.org/spacestation/station/issfactsheet.htm
http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/2006/01/
http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/galaxy_collection/pr2003028b/
http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/2006/10/image/a
http://www.pbs.org/spacestation/station/issfactsheet.htm
http://www.space.gc.ca/asc/eng/iss/facts.asp
http://www.issbabylon.com/html/cool_iss_pictures.html
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition13/exp13_dock
.html
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/overview/index.cfm
http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/54572main_rover1_br.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Mars_from_Spirit.jpg
http://marsrovers.nasa.gov/spotlight/20060302.html
http://www.astro.cz/clanek/tisk/1667
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/01/images/20040114-3_nasa1-515h.html
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