Spaceflight 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 completely.
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Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova
: Валенти́на Влади́мировна Терешко́ва
) (born 6 March 1937) is the first woman in space, now a retired Soviet cosmonaut
. Out of more than four hundred applicants and then out of five finalists, she was selected to pilot Vostok 6
on 16 June 1963 and become the first woman to fly in space
. This also made her the first civilian in space (she was only honorarily inducted into the USSR's Air Force as a condition on joining the Cosmonaut Corps). On this mission, lasting almost three days in space, she performed various tests on herself to collect data on the female body's reaction to spaceflight.
Before being recruited as a cosmonaut, Tereshkova was a textile-factory assembly worker and an amateur parachutist. After the female cosmonaut group was dissolved in 1969, she became a prominent member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, holding various political offices. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, she retired from politics and remains revered as a hero in Russia.
is an interplanetary space probe
that was launched as a part of NASA
's New Frontiers program
. Engineered by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
(APL) and the Southwest Research Institute
(SwRI), with a team led by S. Alan Stern
, the spacecraft was launched with the primary mission to perform a flyby
study of the Pluto
system, and a secondary mission to fly by and study one or more other Kuiper belt
On January 19, 2006, New Horizons was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station directly into an Earth-and-solar escape trajectory. After a brief encounter with asteroid 132524 APL, New Horizons proceeded to Jupiter, making its closest approach on February 28, 2007. The Jupiter flyby provided a gravity assist that increased New Horizons' speed; the flyby also enabled a general test of New Horizons' scientific capabilities, returning data about the planet's atmosphere, moons, and magnetosphere.
Most of the post-Jupiter voyage was spent in hibernation mode to preserve on-board systems, except for brief annual checkouts. On December 6, 2014, New Horizons was brought back online for the Pluto encounter, and instrument check-out began. On January 15, 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft began its approach phase to Pluto.
On July 14, 2015, at 11:49 UTC, it flew 12,500 km (7,800 mi) above the surface of Pluto, making it the first spacecraft to explore the dwarf planet. Having completed its flyby of Pluto, New Horizons has maneuvered for a flyby of Kuiper belt object 2014 MU69, expected to take place on January 1, 2019, when it is 43.4 AU from the Sun.
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