Space - Technology

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Space - Technology

The Hubble Space TelescopeThe Hubble telescope is one of the most famous telescopes and the first optical space observatory telescope. The Hubble was launched on April 24, 1990 from the space shuttle Discovery, NASA. Since this telescope is in orbit and above the atmosphere, it can see the sky more clearly than ground telescopes. The large telescope travels around Earth at a speed of 5 miles per second and can observe for 24 hours a day. This space technology is used for taking pictures of every single object in the sky with incredible detail. The telescope was named after Dr. Edwin Hubble, who was the person who confirmed his theory of the expanding universe. The Hubble transmits about 120 gigabytes (measure of computer data) of data every week. The telescope should remain in space for 20 years. Weighing 24,500 pounds, it receives energy from the sun through two 25-foot solar panels. This space technology is 43.5 feet long and 14 feet wide. Orbiting Earth every 96 minutes, it has so far travelled about 5 billion km.Thanks to the Hubble telescope, the images from the Hubble help give lots of more knowledge about the objects found in the sky.


The Sputnik

The SputnikLaunched on October 4, 1957 by the Soviet Union (Russia), the Sputnik is the world's first artificial man-made satellite in orbit. This space technology is credited with starting the race between the United States and Russia to be the first country to land astronauts on the moon and to dominate space exploration. The Sputnik emits a continuous beep signal that could be heard by radio operators around the world and it is used to send information about outer space to Earth, like give information on the density of the atmospere. The Sputnik was actually the very first Man-made object that was put into space; the very first. It orbits Earth once every 90 minutes.

The Curiosity rover landing on Mars.

The RoverGenerally, what a rover does is that it explores the terrain of a planet. There are a number of different rovers, but this paragraph is about a rover called the Mars Curiosity Rover. Curiosity was launched on November 26, 2011 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. This rover was sent like others to determine if Mars could have ever supported life, and to study the climate and geology of Mars. This rover travelled 560 million km to Mars. Curiosity is the largest and the most sophisticated rover to ever land on Mars, with a weight of 1982 pounds! There are currently two other rovers that are with Curiosity: Spirit and Opportunity.

The Space ShuttleSpace shuttles are one of the most complicated machines ever built and it is used to carry astronauts to and from space, carry cargo into space, and to repair other crafts in space. So the space shuttle is like space transportation. The first shuttle was launched on April 12, 1981 from Florida. Since shuttles are mainly just transportation, the longest shuttle that has stayed in orbit is 17.5 days.The space shuttle fleet is made up of: Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour. It is interesting because the shuttle launches like a rocket, orbits like a spacecraft, and lands like a plane.

AstronautsAn astronaut is a person who goes into space. The Soviet Union (Russia) call them cosmonauts and western countries call them astronauts. Yuri Gagarin from the Soviet was the first person to travel to space. His flight took place on April 12, 1961. Neil Armstrong from the Unied States was the first person to walk on the moon. Astronauts can actually be up to 2 inches taller after returing from space because the cartilage disks in the spine expand without gravity. When astronauts are exploring outer space, they must have some sort of protection from the extreme heat or cold and need oxygen. Spacesuits are the solution: they protect an astronaut's body from the heat and cold, and they give oxygen to the astronaut. A space suit is like a really small house: it has air conditioning, heating, air, water and even a toilet!

SatellitesA satellite is an object that orbits a planet. There are natural satellites and artificial satellites. For example, the earth is a satellite because it orbits the sun and the Sputnik is a satellite because it orbits Earth. The first artificial satellite sent into orbit was the Sputnik 1 (launched in October 4, 1957). Artificial satellites have many different uses, like communication, weather, and the ISS. Satellites must power themselves. To do this, they have solar arrays (wings) that are attached to them, enabling them to get power from the sun. When satellites are in shadow, power is received from rechargeable batteries.

TelescopesTelescopes weren't invented just for space; they were invented a long time ago by Hans Lippershey. But space telescopes and regular telescopes have one thing in common: they are both used for viewing objects in detail from great distances away. Galileo Galilei, a well known astronomer, used a refracting telescope and Isaac Newton invented the reflecting telescope. The telescope was first used by astronomers at the start of the 17th century. Humans were then able to launch telescopes into space, such as the Hubble telescope. The Hubble was the first space telescope that was launched into space. Launched in 1990, the Hubble can take pictures of the most amazing objects in space. The data sent from the Hubble suggests that the universe is 13-14 billion years old! There are many different types of telescopes, like the radio telescope, x-ray, infrared, gamma ray, and ultraviolet telescopes.

This is a video of the launching of a space shuttle.

The ISS in orbit

The International Space Station (ISS)The International Space Station is the largest artificial satellite in orbit and is unique because it is a habitable satellite, which means that humans can live on the ISS. The ISS was built for a space environment laboratory and observatory. Astronauts can learn about living and working in space. Astronauts from different countries live in the ISS. It orbits Earth at an altitude of between 330-435 km, completes 16 orbits per day, and orbits Earth every 90 minutes. This space technology is 357 ft in length and weighs about 419,500 kg. Since people live on the ISS, there are 2 bathrooms, a gym and more room than a 6 bedroom house. Sixteen different countries worked to build the International Space Station including USA, Russia, Japan and Canada. The first piece of the ISS was launched on November 1998 from Russia. This satellite was called Zarya. Endeavour, which was a space shuttle from the United States, met Zarya in orbit. Unity (from the space shuttle Endeavour) was attached to Zarya. Over the next two years, more pieces were added. The first crew arrived at the ISS on November 2, 2000.

A picture of the Hubble Space Telescope.


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