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Chapter 3 Part 3

Chapter 3 Part 3

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Chapter 3 Part 3

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  1. Chapter 3Part 3 The History of Space Travel

  2. Skylab • America's first space station, Skylab, was launched in May 1973 by a Saturn V rocket in the compartment that served as the third stage for the Apollo missions. • Skylab was 119 feet long, had a 27 foot diameter, weighed 200,000 pounds, and had a volume of 12,000 cubic feet.

  3. Skylab • Severe damage was sustained by Skylab during launch, including the loss of the station's micrometeoroid shield/sun shade and one of its main solar panels. Debris from the lost micrometeoroid shield further complicated matters by pinning the remaining solar panel to the side of the station, preventing its deployment and thus leaving the station with a huge power deficit.

  4. Skylab • Eleven days after launch, a crew of three astronauts was sent to fix the problems. They were reasonably successful and remained a total of 28 days in the station. • Although the astronauts exercised, they still suffered a loss of red blood cells, bone calcium, weight, and muscle.

  5. Skylab • Two more crews would visit Skylab. The second in 1973 would stay for 59 days and the third 84 days from 1973 to 1974. • Skylab would remain in orbit until July 1979 when it burned into the Earth’s atmosphere over the Indian Ocean.

  6. Skylab • Achievements: • Astronauts spend a total of 171 days aboard Skylab. • Astronauts performed ten space walks totaling over 40 hours. • Skylab logged about 2,000 hours of scientific and medical experiments. Many of the experiments were on the astronauts' adaptation to extended periods of microgravity, and each Skylab mission set a record for the duration of time astronauts spent in space.

  7. Salyuts • A program to send a series of space stations by the Soviet Union took place in the 1970s into the 1980s. • Seven Salyut space stations about 20 tons each were made. Three failed before they could be boarded in space. • Two Salyuts were military while the others were civilian.

  8. Salyuts • The second crew of three cosmonauts to Salyut 1 was killed upon returning to Earth. • The last two space stations were particularly successful as they received 16 and 10 crews respectively. • The maximum stay time aboard was 237 days (in Salyut 7). • The last crew left Salyut 7 in 1986. They had well paved the road to the next generation of space stations – the modular space stations.

  9. Space Station Peace (Mir) • Building of the Mir Space Orbital Station was initiated in February 1986 with the launch of the Base Block. A crew of two cosmonauts moved in the next month. • Over the next 10 years, six modules would be attached for a total weight of about 130 tons. Mir measured about 100 feet long and 90 across. • It was humanity's first permanently inhabited long-term research station in space.

  10. Mir • The space station was originally designed to last 5 years but instead endured until 2001 (a total of 15 years) when it was deliberately de-orbited. • It survived a fire, collisions with spacecraft, and even attacks on its wiring by microbes that ate metal and glass! 

  11. Mir • Mir was home to 28 different crews. All together 104 cosmonauts and astronauts (44 American) from 12 countries visited Mir. • Mir made nearly 90,000 orbits and served as a base for 23,000 scientific experiments. • The Russian cosmonaut Dr. Valeri Polyakov spent 14 months on board from January 1994 to March 1995 setting a record that still stands today.

  12. The Space Transportation System (STS) a.k.a. The Space Shuttle • With the major Apollo development effort winding down in the second half of the 1960s, NASA started looking to the future of the space program. They envisioned an ambitious program consisting of a large space station being launched on huge boosters, served by a reusable logistics "space shuttle", both providing services for a permanently manned Lunar colony and eventual manned missions to Mars.

  13. The Space Shuttle • However reality was to interject and NASA found themselves with a rapidly plunging budget. Rather than stepping back and looking at their future as a whole given their new financial situation, they attempted to save as many of the individual projects as possible. The mission to Mars was quickly eliminated, but the Space Station and Shuttle continued on. Eventually only one of them could be saved, so it stood to reason that a low-cost Shuttle system would be the better bet, because without it a large station would never be affordable.

  14. The Space Shuttle • The shuttle program was launched in January 1972, when President Richard M. Nixon announced that NASA would proceed with the development of a reusable low cost space shuttle system. • The first complete orbiter, Enterprise was rolled out in September 1976 and later conducted a very successful series of landing tests which was the first real validation of the gliding abilities of the design.

  15. The Space Shuttle • The final design for the space shuttle was a combination of rocket, spacecraft, and glider. The shuttle is unique in that it launches vertically as a rocket and returns to Earth horizontally like an airplane as it lands on a concrete runway, is recycled, and launched on another mission. • It was the first spacecraft that did not partially disintegrate upon returning to Earth. • The first shuttle to launch into space was Columbia on March 12, 1981.