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.
NASA image of Pioneer 10's famed Pioneer plaque, a pictorial message to any extraterrestrial being that may intercept the probe. It features a design engraved into a gold-anodized aluminum plate, 152 by 229 millimeters (6 by 9 inches), attached to the spacecraft's antenna support struts to help shield it from erosion by interstellar dust.
, IPA: [ˈmʲir]
) was a Soviet
and later Russian space station
. It was the world's first consistently inhabited long-term research station in space, and the first of the third generation type of space station, constructed from 1986 to 1996 with a modular design
. The station was in operation for fifteen years until March 23, 2001, when it was deliberately de-orbited, breaking apart during atmospheric re-entry
over the South Pacific Ocean
The station currently holds the record for the longest continuous manned presence in space, at eight days short of ten years, and was occupied for a total of twelve and a half years of its fifteen-year lifespan. Mir had the capacity to support a resident crew of three but could also support larger crews for short-term visits, the largest crew simultaneously aboard the station being six.
Through a number of international collaborations, including Intercosmos, Euromir and the Shuttle-Mir Program, the station was made accessible to astronauts from North America, several western European nations, Japan as well as cosmonauts from various eastern nations. Mir also marked the beginning of space tourism when Japanese journalist Toyohiro Akiyama made a paid visit in 1990.
Neil Alden Armstrong (August 5, 1930–25 August, 2012) was an American astronaut, test pilot, university professor, and United States Naval Aviator. He is the first person to set foot on the Moon. After serving as a naval aviator from 1949 to 1952 in the Korean War, Armstrong joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in 1955. Over the next 17 years, he was an engineer, test pilot, astronaut and administrator for NACA and its successor agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). As a research pilot, Armstrong served as project pilot on the F-100 Super Sabre A and C aircraft, F-101 Voodoo, and the Lockheed F-104A Starfighter. His first spaceflight was aboard Gemini 8 in 1966, for which he was the command pilot. On this mission, he performed the first manned docking of two spacecraft together with pilot David Scott. Armstrong's second and last spaceflight was as mission commander of the Apollo 11 Moon landing mission on July 20, 1969. On this mission, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface and spent 2½ hours exploring making him the first human to walk on the Moon, while Michael Collins remained in orbit in the Command Module. Armstrong is a recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.
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