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Space tourism

“Humanity will not remain forever on Earth, but in pursuit of light and space, it will first timidly penetrate beyond the atmosphere, and then conquer the entire solar space” (K. Tsiolkovsky).

A few decades ago, these words were perceived as the fantasies of a provincial eccentric who dreamed that thousands of people would live and work in space. There will be astronomical observatories for studying the universe, research institutes and experimental workshops. There will be sanatoriums for weightlessness treatment of heart patients. Orbital stations there will densely fill the near-earth space. Connecting with each other, they create whole islands floating in the sky. The stations will receive thousands of tourists wishing to look at the Earth from the outside.

And here we will stop. Because it is already becoming a reality. Already in 2002, a conference dedicated to round-the-world travel was held in Washington, at which representatives of NASA announced that the era of mass space tourism was approaching, and this would happen in 2004, and in 15 years the first real hotel on the moon would appear.

Already in Japan and the USA there are travel agencies offering space tours. The Japanese firm KNT, one of Japan's largest tour operators, has announced that space tourism will be the main driving force behind the 21st century travel industry. To begin with, KNT tackled more affordable flights in lower orbits. They will cost about 98 thousand US dollars. The training of personnel has begun: soon the Rochester University of Technology of the USA will conduct a graduation in the specialty "Space tourism".

Travelers are attracted by the opportunity to live in space hotels - first, small accommodation facilities for 10–20 guests will appear, then hotels from 100 beds to hotels with 1000 beds with gyms, casinos, swimming pools and other entertainments will be built. Engineers at the Shimizu construction company have designed a whirligig dwelling that will be located 450 km from Earth. Buildings, restaurants, concert halls and utility rooms are supposed to be located around its axis. Another Korean corporation claims that in 2017 it will equip an orbital hotel, the guests of which will eat food grown right here, have fun in zero gravity and go into outer space. Humanity will have to explore the Moon and Mars.

A project of orbital cycler hotels is proposed, which will fly between Earth and Mars. The project is based on an inexhaustible source of energy - the gravitational forces of two planets. The distance of 285 million km will be covered in 6-9 months.

Specialties of the College of Professional Education Velenje:

In total, there are now about 20 operating ground-based cosmodromes in the world for launching carrier rockets with payload or cosmonauts into space, of which 5 are located on the territory of the former USSR on the territory of Russia and Kazakhstan.

The most advantageous location of the cosmodrome is at the equator - so at the start the Earth's rotation energy is used to the greatest extent, which helps to save about 10% of fuel and increase the payload in comparison with launching a rocket from middle latitudes. So, the linear speed of rotation of the Earth at the latitude of Plesetsk is 212 m/s, Baikonur - 316 m/s, and located almost at the equator of the Kourou international cosmodrome in French Guiana - 460 m/s.

However, on the equator, there are mainly third world states that do not have their own space programs, and therefore there is even an international floating cosmodrome in neutral waters at the equator of the Sea Launch project.

So, we present to you 5 of the most important cosmodromes in Russia - from those that stood at the origins of Soviet cosmonautics to the most modern ones.

Kapustin Yar (Astrakhan region)

This was the first secret missile range in the USSR, which began operations in 1946 shortly after the end of World War II. The name is often shortened to Kap-Yap. To service the landfill, the closed city of Znamensk (Kapustin Yar-1) was built, in which about 25 thousand people now live.

It is located in the Astrakhan region in the middle of the steppe near the Akhtuba River in the area of ​​the ancient village of the same name Kapustin Yar at a latitude of 48 ° 34 "N. Until 1957, Kap-Yar was the only test site for Soviet ballistic missiles, and in 1962 year was converted into a full-fledged cosmodrome, from which small space research satellites were launched, however, tests of short and medium-range missiles, cruise missiles and air defense systems, including those with nuclear charges, continued at the test site. the test site continues its work.

However, the launch sites for launch vehicles are constantly maintained in working order, and, if necessary, can be used at any time.

Baikonur (Kazakhstan, Kyzylorda region)

The largest and most famous cosmodrome is Baikonur, which is of great international importance. It was opened in the steppes of Kazakhstan at a latitude of 45 ° 57 "N. near the village of Tyuratam in 1957 and is located closest to the equator from the Soviet cosmodromes. During the period of active space exploration in the 1960s, up to 40 missile launches were carried out on it. year, and for the entire period of the cosmodrome's existence, more than 1500 launches were made from it.In addition to launches of spacecraft for various purposes, more than 100 intercontinental ballistic missiles were launched.

It was from here that, having said "Let's go!", on April 12, 1961, the world's first cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin went into space, as well as subsequent cosmonauts on the Vostok and Soyuz spacecraft. In 1988, the orbital shuttle "Buran" was launched from here on the first and only automatic space flight.

The city of Leninsk, renamed into Baikonur in 1995, as well as the Krainiy airport were built to accommodate the maintenance personnel near the cosmodrome. In the 90s, the number of residents of the town decreased greatly and now amounts to about 40 thousand ate.

After the collapse of the USSR, the land for the spaceports was transferred to Kazakhstan, and Russia had to lease it until 2050 for 115 million US dollars a year. In the 2000s, a phased transfer of the cosmodrome with all the infrastructure from the Ministry of Defense to Roskosmos took place. In 2016, Roskosmos, through accredited tour operators, began organizing excursions for tourists to the cosmodrome and launching rockets.

Historically, photographic reconnaissance with the use of aeronautical vehicles began with the emergence of photographs as such. On October 23, 1885, a system of aerostatic photography from aircraft gondolas was patented in order to study the earth's surface for cartographic needs and for tracking territories. Thus, a new method was born - photographic reconnaissance. This technology was further developed after the launch of the first artificial satellite - then military intelligence became interested in photography.

The main space powers - the USA and the USSR - paid special attention to the reconnaissance satellites; they assigned them the most important places in their space projects.

Main tasks of reconnaissance satellites

Reconnaissance artificial satellites are engaged in:

  • High-resolution photography (aerial reconnaissance);
  • Eavesdropping on communication systems and locating radio equipment (radio and electronic reconnaissance);
  • Nuclear test ban enforcement;
  • Missile launch detection (missile attack warning system).

United States Space Intelligence

Throughout the Cold War, the US military space program was mainly aimed at collecting intelligence information about the USSR. The main role in this was assigned to the CIA. So, since 1956, the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft constantly "ply" over the Soviet territory.

Since 1954, the United States has been engaged in "Advanced Intelligence Systems", in which it worked on two projects. These were reconnaissance artificial earth satellites (AES) of the type: "Samos", which was under the patronage of the Air Force, and "Korona", which solved tasks for the CIA.

The Discoverer series of satellites was intended for military space photographic reconnaissance, or rather spy satellites. They also studied the potential of humans and animals in space. Discoveryr-1 was first launched in February 1959. At the same time, the start of serial launches (there were 38 of them), which were carried out within three years.

The last Discoverer-38 was launched in February 1961. After that, all information about them was classified. The program was resumed only in the 1990s under the name "Crown".

Space tourism is perhaps the most exotic and extreme type of tourism. Nowadays, with a large amount of money, good health and desire, anyone can fulfill their childhood dream and spend about two weeks on the ISS.

As of today, the price of a space flight ranges from US $ 30 million to US $ 40 million. For an additional fee, you can also go into outer space.

Preparation and training takes place in Star City and can take from six months to nine months. The flight admission is issued right before the start, after the most captious medical examination that is possible.

Accommodation conditions on the International Space Station are far from a five-star hotel. An individual "hotel room" is more like a medium-sized wardrobe. But the unforgettable view from the windows of the Italian Cupola module smoothes out such difficult living conditions.

Dennis Anthony Tito, an American multimillionaire, became the first in the history of space tourists. He was in space from April 28, 2001 to May 6 of the same year.

From 2001 to 2016, only 7 tourists visited the ISS. Particularly distinguished was Charles Simonyi, who traveled there twice.

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The history of space exploration is the most striking example of the triumph of the human mind over recalcitrant matter in the shortest possible time. Only a little more than fifty years have passed since the man-made object first overcame the gravity of the earth and developed sufficient speed to enter the Earth's orbit - nothing by the standards of history! Most of the planet's population vividly remembers the times when the flight to the moon was considered something from the realm of fantasy, and those who dreamed of piercing the heavenly heights were recognized, at best, as insane for society, harmless.

Today, spaceships not only "plow the open spaces", successfully maneuvering in conditions of minimal gravity, but also deliver cargo, astronauts and space tourists to Earth's orbit. Moreover, the duration of a flight into space can now be as long as you like: the watch of Russian cosmonauts on the ISS, for example, lasts 6-7 months.

And over the past half century, a person managed to walk on the Moon and photograph its dark side, made Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury happy with artificial satellites, "recognized by sight" distant nebulae with the help of the Hubble telescope and is seriously thinking about the colonization of Mars.

Why do you need to conquer outer space

At the moment, experts identify a large number of reasons for this. It is not only the thirst for knowledge that drives the projects of human space exploration:

  • Survival. In a certain situation, humanity may be on the verge of extinction. It is assumed that only evacuation to another planet will help to save the remnants of civilization.
  • Mining. It is believed that asteroids have the most valuable deposits. Accordingly, therefore, human exploration of outer space plays an economic role. Rare earth metals are not that rare in other stellar systems. Thus, it will solve many problems.
  • Ability to resist global threats. Now comets and asteroids have been elevated to this rank. Previously, these theories only frightened viewers from TV screens, but the Chebarkul meteorite that fell in 2013 near Chelyabinsk showed the full power of cosmic bodies.

Stages of space exploration

Dreams of space

For the first time, progressive mankind believed in the reality of flight to distant worlds at the end of the 19th century. It was then that it became clear that if the aircraft was given the speed necessary to overcome gravity and kept for a sufficient time, it would be able to go beyond the Earth's atmosphere and gain a foothold in orbit, like the Moon, revolving around the Earth. The problem was in the engines.

Existing at that time copies either extremely powerful, but briefly "spat" with energy emissions, or worked on the principle of "gasp, shake and go to itself little by little." In addition, it was impossible to regulate the thrust vector and thereby influence the trajectory of the vehicle.

Finally, at the beginning of the 20th century, researchers drew attention to the rocket engine, the principle of operation of which has been known to mankind since the turn of our era: fuel burns in the rocket body, simultaneously lightening its mass, and the released energy propels the rocket forward.

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