. Courtesy of NASA Sleeping soundly When it’s time for sleep, astronauts have the option of crawling into strappeddown sleeping bags, climbing into the commander or pilot seats, or making use of several bunk beds. A Quick Spin around the Universe From the time when humans first began making maps, they’ve had an urge to map the skies. Future Soviet probes to Mars and other planets were all put on hold thanks to the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union. The superpower rivalry between the Soviet Union and the U.S. was described as the Cold War, a term that encompasses all the tensions, hostilities, and outright competition between the world’s greatest nations following World War II. Commander Zhai Zhigang performed China’s first spacewalk, testing out a new Chinese-designed spacesuit while crew member Liu Boming, wearing a Russian spacesuit, stayed nearby in the airlock in case of any problems. Developing models for future commercial space travel Because SpaceShipOne could carry just three passengers at maximum, it was really built as a demonstration of the potential for privately funded spaceflight rather than an actual model for future commercial flights. After 50 million years or so, the protostar’s center reached extreme enough conditions of temperature and pressure to allow nuclear fusion to occur, and the protostar became a full-fledged star, fusing hydrogen molecules together to make helium. Telescopes in Space The Compton Gamma Ray Observatory’s High-Energy Mission (1991–2000) Gamma rays are a very high-energy, short-wavelength form of electromagnetic radiation given off by some of the most energetic, and rarest, celestial phenomena such as supernovas (star explosions), black holes that are in the process of pulling in mass, solar flares, and pulsars (rapidly spinning stars). However, the Viking missions (which you can read about in Chapter 11) had failed where it really counted: finding life on Mars. 281 282 Part IV: Current Space Exploration Waste not, want not Because the limited confines of the Space Shuttle and the Soyuz spacecraft prevent them from transporting waste from the ISS back to Earth, ISS waste products are recycled whenever possible. Table 13-1 The Space Shuttle Fleet Orbiter Name Date of First Launch Date of Last Launch Number of Completed Missions Columbia April 12, 1981 January 16, 2003 28 Challenger April 4, 1983 January 28, 1986 10 Discovery August 30, 1984 TBD (2010?) The pilot works with the commander to operate the spacecraft, deploy satellites, and perform other major functional tasks while in space. A repeat of many experiments on the failed Mars Climate Orbiter (described in Chapter 15), Mars Odyssey was also designed to relay communications from future Mars landers. 340 Part VI: The Part of Tens If Einstein’s theories continue to be borne out in the future (and so far they’ve passed every test), then it would be possible for a spaceship to travel, say, at 99.99 percent of the speed of light (186,000 miles, or 300 million meters, per second), although that would require huge amounts of energy. Side goals were to practice maneuvering in space and come down in a more-controlled landing than had been seen in the days of Project Mercury. ✓ The mid fuselage houses the payload bay. Ô=;wWÀO. . The program was quite popular: It had 11,000 applicants in its first year. But in order to return an American to the Moon, NASA officials determined some additional robotic research was worthwhile. By combining that idea with the concept that the laws of physics are the same for all observers, he showed that things get really weird as you approach the speed of light: Time stretches out, lengths get shorter, and really the only thing that remains the same is the speed of light! Astronauts get to pick from a range of meals, and the amount of food each astronaut is allocated is calculated according to his or her body weight and type. It also became clear that, at least from a distance, the Earth was one united entity. Originally intended to operate for about two years, SOHO is still operating as of this writing and has returned valuable data regarding solar winds, solar structures, coronal waves, and new phenomena such as solar tornadoes (see Figure 16-2). Three dwarf planets are currently known to exist: ✓ Pluto, which orbits in the Kuiper Belt ✓ Ceres, which orbits in the asteroid belt ✓ Eris, which is located in the Kuiper Belt Here’s some info that may help you win your hometown trivia night some day (and if you do, we’d be happy to go in on the winnings with you): Eris, discovered in 2006, was the object that caused all the hubbub in planetary definitions. The first cosmonauts to reach Mir, Leonid Kizim and Vladimir Solovyov, got a ride on the Soyuz T-15 mission in March 1986, which remained with Mir for about 50 days before taking a trip to the older Salyut 7 space station, which was still in orbit. In fact, at the time of its launch, CGRO was the heaviest satellite devoted to astrophysics ever flown. For all the results and images from Phoenix, go to phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu. The plaque includes a drawing of a naked man and woman next to a schematic of the spacecraft, for scale. The Mercury 13 were ✓ Myrtle Cagle ✓ Geraldyn “Jerrie” Cobb ✓ Jan Dietrich ✓ Marion Dietrich ✓ Wally Funk ✓ Janey Hart ✓ Jean Hixson ✓ Gene Nora Jessen ✓ Irene Leverton ✓ Sarah Ratley ✓ Bernice Steadman ✓ Jerri Truhill ✓ Rhea Woltman ✓ Alan Shepard, the first American in space: The astronaut with the honor of being the first American in space is none other than Alan Shepard. . . With the high pressure of oxygen in the cabin, even materials like the aluminum instrument panels and the cabin’s Velcro lining were highly flammable. Want the full scoop on the BepiColumbo mission? There’s no reason to think that such a mixture would be replicated elsewhere just through random chance. . These extensions continue to provide plenty of power to keep the robots moving, as long as they don’t get too dusty! It was the first computer to use integrated circuits (an early form of the microchips found in almost all of today’s electronic devices), and it had an extremely low amount of memory (just 36K of RAM). . Storage Area Networks For Dummies 2 Extrasolar Planets and Stars and Galaxies, Oh My! In many ways they set the gold standard for planetary protection.