is the movement of spacecraft
into and through outer space
, primarily using rocket
technology for propulsion
. Spaceflight is used in space exploration
, the endeavour to reach, explore, and exploit the space outside the Earth
's atmosphere, and also in commercial activities like space tourism
and satellite telecommunications
. It is generally based on the use of rockets
to transport machines, animals, and humans to, and subsequently through, space. Additional non-commercial uses of spaceflight include space observatories
, reconnaissance satellites
and other earth observation satellites
. Objects launched into space may follow a sub-orbital
trajectory and return to Earth immediately, stay in orbit
around Earth, travel in the space between the planets
, or aim to leave the space dominated by the Sun
Next scheduled launch
Sergey Pavlovich Korolyov (December 30, 1906 - January 14, 1966) was a Soviet rocket engineer and is widely regarded as the founder of the Soviet space program. In July 1932, Korolev was appointed chief of Jet Propulsion Research Group, GIRD, one of the earliest state-sponsored centers for rocket development in the USSR. In 1933, the group was reorganized into the Jet Propulsion Research Institute, RNII, where Korolyov worked as Deputy Chief of the institute. At RNII, Korolyov led the development of cruise missiles and of a manned rocket-powered glider. He also participated in the development of the Tu-2 bomber, a major aircraft of the Soviet Air Force during World War II. In 1945, he was commissioned into the Red Army, with a rank of colonel and, along with other rocket experts, he was flown to Germany to gather information on the German V-2 rocket. Korolyov worked on the R-1 missile which was a replica of the German V-2 ballistic missile. In 1947 the NII-88 group under Korolyov began working on more advanced designs, with improvements in range and throw weight. This led to the R-2 and R-3 ballistic missiles and finally the R-7 ICBM. He successfully convinced the Soviet leaders to fund the Sputnik program. The actual development of Sputnik was performed in less than a month. Finally on 4 October 1957, launched on a rocket that had only successfully launched once, the satellite was placed in orbit. This was followed by the launch of Sputnik 2 and 3. Korolyov's planning for a manned mission had begun back in 1958, when design studies were made on the future Vostok spacecraft. After the success of Vostok, Korolyov planned to move forward with Soyuz spacecraft that would be able to dock with other craft in orbit and exchange crews. For the moon race, Korolyov's staff designed the immense N1 rocket. He also had in work the design for the Soyuz manned spacecraft, as well as the Luna vehicles that would soft land on the Moon and unmanned missions to Mars and Venus. But, unexpectedly, he was to die before he could see his various plans brought to fruition.
Orbital Vehicle is the temporary name of an Indian manned spacecraft in development. The capsule will be designed to carry three people, and a planned upgraded version will be equipped with a rendezvous and docking capability. In its maiden manned mission, ISRO's largely autonomous 3-ton capsule will orbit the Earth at 248 miles (400 km) in altitude for up to seven days with a two-person crew on board.
It will be equipped with emergency mission abort and emergency escape that can be done at the first stage and second stage of the rocket. In spring 2009 the full-scale mock-up of crew capsule of OV was built and delivered to Satish Dhawan Space Centre for training of Indian astronauts.
The first OV model was launched on a suborbital test flight on December 18, 2014, atop a GSLV Mk II rocket. Manned use of the OV was originally planned to begin in 2015, but has been delayed. Manned missions will be launched on the LVM3 rocket.
On This Day
Did you know...
...that engineers claim the Ares I rocket (pictured) would be more aerodynamically stable if flying backwards than in the normal direction?
- ...that STS-80, a mission flown by the Space Shuttle Columbia, lasted 17 days, 15 hours, 53 minutes and 18 seconds, making it the longest Shuttle mission to date?
- …that the backup crew of Apollo 11 consisted of Jim Lovell, Bill Anders and Fred Haise, although after Anders announced his intention to retire, Ken Mattingly was also assigned in case the mission was delayed until after Anders had left? The backup crew, with Mattingly replacing Anders, was later assigned to Apollo 13.