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.
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation
) is an American aerospace manufacturer
and space transport
services company with its headquarters in Hawthorne, California
, United States
. It was founded in 2002 by former PayPal
entrepreneur and Tesla Motors
CEO Elon Musk
with the goal of creating the technologies to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonization of Mars
. It has developed the Falcon 1
and Falcon 9
launch vehicles, both of which were designed from conception to eventually become reusable
, and the Dragon spacecraft
which is flown into orbit by the Falcon 9 launch vehicle to supply the International Space Station
(ISS) with cargo. A manned version of Dragon
is in development.
SpaceX's achievements include the first privately funded, liquid-propellant rocket (Falcon 1) to reach orbit, in 2008; the first privately funded company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft (Dragon), in 2010; and the first private company to send a spacecraft (Dragon) to the ISS, in 2012. The launch of SES-8, in 2013, was the first SpaceX delivery into geosynchronous orbit, while the launch of the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), in 2015, was the company's first delivery beyond Earth orbit. On December 21, 2015, SpaceX successfully returned a first stage booster back to the ground at Cape Canaveral, the first such accomplishment by an orbit-capable rocket.
NASA awarded the company a Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) contract in 2006, to design and demonstrate a launch system to resupply cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). SpaceX, as of May 2015 has flown six missions to the ISS under a cargo resupply contract. NASA also awarded SpaceX a contract in 2011 to develop and demonstrate a human-rated Dragon as part of its Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program to transport crew to the ISS.
Alexey Arkhipovich Leonov
(born May 30, 1934) is a retired Soviet
and Air Force Major general
On March 18, 1965, he became the first human to conduct extravehicular activity (EVA), exiting the capsule during the Voskhod 2 mission for a 12-minute spacewalk. During the spacewalk, he encountered severe difficulties due to the design of his spacesuit.
Leonov had been tapped to be a commander for the Soviet manned lunar programs, and would've commanded the first manned Soyuz 7K-L1 Zond mission if it were ever cleared to proceed. He was selected as commander of Soyuz 11, the second planned (and first successful) mission to the Salyut 1 space station, but the entire crew was swapped out when crewmate Valeri Kubasov was suspected of contracting tuberculosis. This saved him from dying when Soyuz 11 de-pressurized during re-entry, killing the cosmonauts on-board.
Leonov was then selected as commander of Soyuz 19, the Soviet side of the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project, again with Kubasov. They would be joined by Apollo astronauts Tom Stafford, Vance Brand, and Deke Slayton, on the mission in July 1975.
Leonov would serve as "Chief Cosmonaut" from 1976 through 1982, and retired from the Soviet space program in 1991. He would spend time in the private sector in post-Soviet Russia, most notably at Alfa-Bank, until he retired for good in 2001. He has written several books about his space experience, including a joint biography with American astronaut David Scott in 2006.
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