Record holders and newcomers: ISS meets anniversary expedition

DOSSIER: Interesting facts for the International Day of Human Space Flight

The 50th Anniversary Expedition will leave for the International Space Station on November 17 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Records and interesting facts from the life of the ISS - in the material m24. u.

Photo: TASS/Mikhail Japaridze

The Star Is Born

The International Space Station is the largest international space exploration project. The orbital complex is operated by Russia, the USA, Japan, Canada and numerous member countries of the European Space Agency.

The ISS is celebrating its birthday on November 20, 1998, when the first module, Zarya, was launched into space. The station is assembled on a modular basis right in the orbit of the Earth, like the "Death Star" from "Star Wars".

It has grown so much that it can already be seen from Earth with the naked eye. The ISS, the size of a football field, flies at an altitude of 400 kilometers and weighs almost 420 tons.

Roscosmos' Soyuz and Progress spacecraft fly to the international station more than others. For two, these workhorses flew more than all the ships of other states combined. Over the past five years, Soyuz has been the only spacecraft that carries astronauts to the station. The rest of the transporters deliver only cargo.

"Soyuz" performed 50 flights, "Progress" flew to the station 64 times. By comparison, the busiest American reusable spacecraft, the Space Shuttle, has completed 37 flights. The shuttles ceased their flights in 2011.

On May 22, 2012, cargo to the ISS was first delivered by a private transport vehicle. It was the Dragon apparatus, which was developed by the engineers of the famous SpaceX company Elon Musk. Dragon's track record already has a dozen successful flights to the station.

ISS record holders

225 people from 18 countries have visited the International Space Station. Their geography covers almost all continents, with the exception of Antarctica and Australia. At the same time, the Americans are the most devoted residents of the ISS. They fly to the station three times more often than Russians, not to mention other earthlings.

Record for the most time spent in space

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For the first time in history, his company SpaceX was able to launch and return to Earth a stage of a booster rocket that had previously been in space. What does it mean? The fact that the space launch market is facing serious changes. Musk has ambitious plans. He dreams of covering the entire planet with satellite Internet and putting space tourism on stream.

First reusable

The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket was not a test one (those are already over), but a commercial one - there was a communications satellite on board, which was successfully launched into orbit. The rocket itself, equipped with folding landing legs, returned and smoothly landed on a floating platform.

Until now, the first stage of any rocket burned up in the atmosphere, and it accounts for a significant (up to 70%) cost of the entire launch. Americans know how to count money, and the benefit is not only in making the first stage reusable. The market value of the Falcon 9 is $ 62 million, which is cheaper than the Russian Proton-M ($ 70 million).

“Musk has a significant reserve for lowering the launch price,” says Vladimir Prokhvatilov, president of the Real Policy Foundation, test engineer for spacecraft control systems. - In the future, we can expect a radical reduction in prices for space launches. I am afraid that in 10-15 years the chances of Roscosmos to remain in this market will approach zero. Yes, we are also planning to create a reusable launch vehicle, schemes for returning the first stage are being worked out. But generally speaking, having achieved in the 1960s. epoch-making successes, we not only lost our leadership, but also drifted to the sidelines of space routes. But the success of Elon Musk is really impressive. What used to be accomplished by the gigantic efforts of powerful powers is now within the power of a private entrepreneur. "

thousand satellites

The American billionaire has ambitious plans - to provide residents of the most remote corners of the Earth with inexpensive access to satellite Internet. To do this, it is necessary to send 12 thousand vehicles to low-earth orbit. Now communication satellites fly at an altitude of 35 thousand km. Internet "from Elon Musk" promises to be faster and in the future to squeeze traditional providers, transmitting signals via fiber.

Of course, Russia will forever remain a pioneer in space. We still make good rocket engines (and, by the way, we sell them to the States), we "carry" the same Americans and Europeans to the ISS. But you need to look into tomorrow, calculate what technologies will be in demand. And here, alas, we are still losing.

Will we have private astronautics?

“In the United States, almost all space-related companies are private, while in our country the overwhelming majority are state-owned companies. Or companies where the state's share is at least 50%, ”explains Alexey Belyakov, executive director of the cluster of space technologies and telecommunications at the Skolkovo Foundation. “But we shouldn't bite our elbows and urgently privatize the space industry. It is also possible to effectively master space within the framework of the model that has historically developed in our country.

Also, let's not forget that NASA actively participated in the promotion of SpaceX, transferring important technologies to it. In Russia, unfortunately, there are no established mechanisms for such a partnership. But now there is a search for new resources, the federal space program is being improved. I am sure that our private astronautics also has good prospects ”.

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April 12, at the initiative of the UN General Assembly, is proclaimed the International Day of Human Space Flight. It was on this day that Yuri Gagarin made the first space flight in the history of mankind. We suggest recalling some facts from the history of the development of cosmonautics in the world and in Belarus.

The theoretical development of space flights in the first half of the century was carried out by scientists in many countries of the world. Russian scientists Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky, Yuri Vasilyevich Kondratyuk, Friedrich Arturovich Tsander became recognized classics in the theory of rocketry and cosmonautics at the beginning of the century.

Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky is considered the founder of modern cosmonautics. In 1903, he published the first part of his scientific work "Exploration of World Spaces by Reactive Devices", where he proved that a rocket is an apparatus capable of making a space flight. Later, in his works, the scientist calculated the work on overcoming the force of gravity, determined the speed required for the vehicle to enter the Solar System ("second space speed") and the flight time. Tsiolkovsky laid the foundations of a liquid-propellant rocket engine, developed the theory of multistage rockets. He was the first to theoretically solve the problem of landing a spacecraft on the surface of planets in the absence of an atmosphere on them. Tsiolkovsky said: "At first thought, fantasy, a fairy tale inevitably follow, followed by an accurate calculation."

Yuri Vasilyevich Kondratyuk (Alexander Ignatievich Shargei - real name) in his book "For those who will read in order to build", published in 1919, independently of Tsiolkovsky derived the basic equation of the rocket motion, gave a diagram and description of a four-stage rocket using oxygen-hydrogen fuel. He proposed using atmospheric drag to brake the rocket during descent in order to save fuel. At the beginning of the 20th century, Kondratyuk calculated the optimal flight path to the Moon. These calculations were later used by NASA in the Apollo lunar program. Also, the Americans took advantage of his idea, when flying to other planets, to launch ships into orbit of an artificial satellite, and to use a small takeoff and landing ship to disembark a person on them and return to the ship.

Questions of human life support in space flight were considered by Friedrich Arturovich Zander. He proposed the idea of ​​space greenhouses, that is, growing edible plants directly on board the spacecraft. He was the first to express the idea that it would be expedient to use structural elements of an interplanetary spacecraft as fuel.

To carry out research and experimental work on the topic of rocket and space technology in 1955 in Kazakhstan, near the village of Tyuratam, the construction of a test site for intercontinental ballistic missiles began, then turned into the world's largest cosmodrome Baikonur.

Space Age

The beginning of the space era is considered to be the launch in the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957 of the world's first artificial earth satellite. It was named PS-1 (the simplest satellite-1). At the 315th second after the start, the callsigns of the artificial satellite were heard by the whole world. Information about the launch of PS-1 became a world sensation, the Russian word "satellite" was included in the dictionaries. Satellite PS-1 flew 92 days, until January 4, 1958, completing 1440 revolutions around the Earth. This event served as one of the main milestones in the progress and technological development of earthly civilization, and also launched the space race of the superpowers. In honor of the launch of the satellite in 1964, a 99-meter obelisk to the Conquerors of Space was erected on Prospekt Mira in Moscow in the form of a rocket taking off, leaving a trail of fire.

On November 3, 1957, the USSR sent a second satellite into space - with the dog Laika on board, which became the first animal-cosmonaut to be launched into Earth's orbit. The press in the USSR did not immediately realize the significance of the event. TASS officially announced the launch of Sputnik 2 on the same day, but the article first listed all the research equipment and only at the end did it say that there was a dog named Laika on board. It became a sensation in the Western press. The articles expressed admiration for her and at the same time worried. "The shagiest, loneliest, most miserable dog in the world," stated in a November 5, 1957 article in The New York Times. The return of Laika to Earth was not provided for by the design of the spacecraft, the dog died. However, the experiment confirmed that a living creature can survive launch into orbit and zero gravity. The monument to Laika was erected on April 11, 2008 in Moscow on Petrovsko-Razumovskaya alley on the territory of the Institute of Military Medicine, where a space experiment was being prepared. The two-meter monument is a space rocket passing into the palm on which Laika stands proudly.

The first animals to safely return from orbiting space flight were the dogs Belka and Strelka. The flight was made on the Sputnik-5 spacecraft on August 19, 1960. The ejection container, which contained dogs and other biological objects, was one of the container options developed for future human flights. It is noteworthy that Soviet scientists in those years chose dogs for space tests, and American scientists chose chimpanzee monkeys.

American scientists tried to keep up with their Soviet colleagues. The first American satellite, Explorer 1, was launched on February 1, 1958. On January 31, 1961, the chimpanzee Ham flew into space. Already in February 1961 in the United States, everything was ready for human flight. But the Americans were late.

Man's flight to the stars

On April 12, 1961, the first manned flight into space took place, which was made by a citizen of the USSR Yuri Alekseevich Gagarin. The Vostok spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome. This historic event paved the way for the exploration of outer space for the benefit of all mankind. The launch took place at 9 hours 6 minutes 56 seconds Moscow time. The first manned flight into space lasted 108 minutes. Having flown around the planet once, the cosmonaut received a descent command from the Earth. The descent vehicle landed at 10.5 in the steppe not far from Saratov. At an altitude of several kilometers, Gagarin ejected and made a soft landing by parachute not far from the descent vehicle. The first cosmonaut of the planet was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

Against the backdrop of daily news about how another private space company launched its first (second, third, and so on) rocket, carried cargo to the ISS, prepares for the opening of the space tourism season, and is also making plans on the colonization of the nearest neighboring planets, the news from the large state space agencies is somehow starting to get lost. In the meantime, we recall that the NASA aerospace agency has launched a very ambitious mission to explore the Sun.

The sun is hot as hell

On August 12, 2018, a Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle was launched from Cape Canaveral Florida Air Force Base. The cargo is a solar probe "Parker", the task of which is to overcome almost 150 million kilometers of outer space and rendezvous with the Sun. Parker will have to get as close to the star as no spacecraft has ever gotten to it. On the way to the Sun, the probe will carry out several gravitational maneuvers around Venus, becoming, according to NASA forecasts, the fastest man-made object in space. Today we'll talk about the 10 most interesting facts related to this mission.

Can I touch the Sun

Can a spaceship reach the sun?

The Parker Solar Probe has been tasked with a task that no man-made spacecraft could have accomplished before. He will study the outer atmosphere of the Sun. The so-called crown. To do this, he will get close to the star at a distance of 6.2 million kilometers, in fact, "touching" the outer layer of its atmosphere. The device will be engaged not only in solving the mysteries of the star, but also will replenish our knowledge of how the Sun affects the magnetosphere of our planet. The importance of this mission can hardly be overestimated, since technologies become more and more widespread, which are somehow influenced by the activity of our Luminary. It is possible that this mission will increase our ability to study the solar system as a whole.

How long does it take to prepare for a space mission

It seems that such a rocket can fly anywhere.

The launch of the probe in August 2018 was the culmination of over 50 years of development and planning for this space mission. The scientific community found out that the temperature of the solar corona can reach a million degrees Celsius back in the 40s of the last century. Confirmation of the existence of the so-called solar wind (highly charged ionized plasma particles ejected by the corona) took place in the 60s. However, scientists still cannot understand why the temperature of the sun's corona is much higher than the temperature of the star's surface. In addition, it is not clear what exactly accelerates the particles of the solar wind. The answers to these questions can only be obtained through direct contact with the solar corona, the researchers say.

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The first space tourist, Italian Dennis Tito, went into orbit in 2001 at the age of 61 - and this was the first in our collection of interesting facts about space. Tito's flight to the ISS was organized by the American company Space Adventures and the Russian space agency Roscosmos. The trip cost $ 20 million.

Perhaps someday tourist space flights will become more accessible. By that time, we will definitely know much more about the Universe than we do now. Or maybe we will have to reconsider existing ideas. Be that as it may, learning new things about space is always interesting. So do not deny yourself the pleasure!

It's impossible to cry in space

Astronauts can of course cry - after all, they are people too. But in zero gravity, tears cannot flow downward, as on Earth. The resulting moisture has nowhere to go. So the tears shed in space do not fall from the eyes. They form a conglomerate around the eyeball and remain there if not removed.

Astronauts on the International Space Station see near sunrises and sunsets every day

The International Space Station (ISS) orbits 408 kilometers above the Earth and moves at a speed of about 27,700 km/h. One flyby of the Earth takes about 92 minutes. So every 45 minutes, astronauts aboard the ISS see sunrise or sunset - a total of 15-16 times every 24 hours.

In the year, the United States detonated a hydrogen bomb in space one times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima

In the summer of 1962, the United States detonated a hydrogen bomb in space. The explosion took place at an altitude of about 400 km above the Pacific Ocean. The weapon test has turned into a light show that has never been equal in brightness - and hopefully never will.

There is an object in space that contains trillions of times more water than the oceans

Water, whose volume is 140 trillion times the volume of the world's oceans, surrounds a quasar called APM 08279 + 5255 at a distance of more than 12 billion light years from us. Quasars are some of the brightest astronomical objects in the universe. They are the nuclei of galaxies in which supermassive black holes "devour" the surrounding material, forming an accretion disk.

APM 08279 + 5255 is surrounded by water vapor. It occupies a space hundreds of light years across (a light year is about 10 trillion kilometers).

In space, the Sun looks white to humans, not yellow

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