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Luna Moon Mission Program

 

Luna Moon MissionThe Luna moon mission program (from the Russian word Луна “Luna” meaning “Lunar” or “Moon”), occasionally called Lunik by western media, was a series of robotic spacecraft missions sent to the Moon by the Soviet Union between 1959 and 1976. Fifteen were successful, each designed as either an orbiter or lander, and accomplished many firsts in space exploration. They also performed many experiments, studying the Moon’s chemical composition, gravity, temperature, and radiation.

Twenty-four spacecraft were formally given the Luna designation, although more were launched. Those that failed to reach orbit were not publicly acknowledged at the time, and not assigned a Luna number. Those that failed in low Earth orbit were usually given Cosmos designations. The estimated cost of the Luna program in 1964 was US$6–10 billion.

Luna 1 (launched Jan. 2, 1959) was the first spacecraft to escape Earth’s gravity. It failed to impact the Moon as planned and became the first man-made object to go into orbit around the Sun. Luna 2 (launched Sept. 12, 1959) was the first spacecraft to strike the Moon, and Luna 3 (Oct. 4, 1959) made the first circumnavigation of the Moon and returned the first photographs of its far side. Luna 9 (Jan. 31, 1966) made the first successful lunar soft landing. Luna 16 (Sept. 12, 1970) was the first unmanned spacecraft to carry lunar soil samples back to Earth. Luna 17 (Nov. 10, 1970) soft-landed a robot vehicle, Lunokhod 1, for exploration. It also contained television equipment, by means of which it transmitted live pictures of several kilometres of the Moon’s surface. Luna 22 (May 29, 1974) orbited the Moon 2,842 times while conducting space research in its vicinity. Luna 24 (Aug. 9, 1976) returned with lunar soil samples taken from a depth of seven feet (about two metres) below the surface.


Seventeen of the 45 Luna missions were successful.

A few Luna missions won key victories in the space race between the United States and the former Soviet Union. Luna spacecraft were the first to impact and make a survivable landing on the Moon, photograph the far side of the Moon (never before seen by humans) and orbit the Moon.

Salyut Space Station

Despite an array of problems, the first space station, Salyut 1, made important progress toward living and working in space long-term and paved the way for future space stations. Launched by the Soviet Union in 1971, the port orbited the Earth almost 3,000 times during its 175 days in space before it was intentionally crashed into the Pacific Ocean.

Shaped like a cylinder, Salyut 1 bore three pressurized compartments for astronauts and one unpressurized area containing the engines and control equipment. The station was about 65 feet (20 meters) long and 13 feet (4 meters) in diameter at its widest point. Two double sets of solar panels extended like wings on the exterior of the compartments at either end.

Salyut 1 Space StationSalyut 1 launched unmanned from the Soviet Union on April 19, 1971.  Two days later, Soyuz 10 lifted off, carrying a crew of three toward the space station with the intention of remaining in space for 30 days. The cosmonauts attempted to dock with Salyut 1, but although they were able to lock onto the station, a problem with the hatch kept them from being able to enter it. They returned home early and unsuccessful. During the re-entry process, a problem rendered the air supply of Soyuz 10 toxic, and one of the cosmonauts slipped into unconsciousness. All three survived with no long-term effects.

On June 6, Soyuz 11 transported cosmonauts Georgi Dobrovolski, Vladislav Vokov, and Viktor Patsayev to Salyut 1, where after three hours, they successfully docked with the station. They remained on board for 383 orbits in the course of just over three weeks, setting a new space endurance record. On June 16, smoke from a control panel caused the crew to consider abandoning the station, but the unit was switched off and the problem averted.

 


On October 11, 1971, the engines on Salyut 1 fired for the last time, bringing the space station into a lower orbit that would result in its eventual plunge into the Pacific Ocean. But despite its early death, Salyut 1 set the stage for stations to come after. The Soviets continued to put short-term stations into space for several years until they felt they were ready for a long-term project.

Lunar Gateway

The Lunar Gateway, or simply the Gateway, is a planned small space station in lunar orbit intended to serve as a solar-powered communication hub, science laboratory, short-term habitation module, and holding area for rovers and other robots. It is expected to play a major role in NASA’s Artemis program, after 2024. While the project is led by NASA, the Gateway is meant to be developed, serviced, and utilized in collaboration with commercial and international partners: Canada (CSA), Europe (ESA), and Japan (JAXA). It will serve as the staging point for both robotic and crewed exploration of the lunar south pole, and is the proposed staging point for NASA’s Deep Space Transport concept for transport to Mars.Formerly known as the Deep Space Gateway (DSG), the station was renamed Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway (LOP-G) in NASA’s 2018 proposal for the 2019 United States federal budget.

Lunar Gateway to MoonThe Gateway will be an outpost orbiting the Moon that provides vital support for a sustainable, long-term human return to the lunar surface, as well as a staging point for deep space exploration. It is a critical component of NASA’s Artemis program.

The Gateway is a vital part of NASA’s deep space exploration plans, along with the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, Orion spacecraft, and human landing system that will send astronauts to the Moon. Gaining new experiences on and around the Moon will prepare NASA to send the first humans to Mars in the coming years, and the Gateway will play a vital role in this process. It is a destination for astronaut expeditions and science investigations, as well as a port for deep space transportation such as landers en route to the lunar surface or spacecraft embarking to destinations beyond the Moon.

NASA has focused Gateway development on the initial critical elements required to support the 2024 landing – the Power and Propulsion Element, the Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO) and logistics capabilities.

Space Tourism

What is Space Tourism?

Space tourism is human space travel for recreational purposes. There are several different types of space tourism, including orbital, suborbital and lunar space tourism. To date, orbital space tourism has been performed only by the Russian Space Agency. Work also continues towards developing suborbital space tourism vehicles. This is being done by aerospace companies like Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic. In addition, SpaceX (an aerospace manufacturer) announced in 2018 that they are planning on sending space tourists, including Yusaku Maezawa, on a free-return trajectory around the Moon on the Starship.

What is Space Tourism?There are several options for space tourists. For example, Crouch et al. (2009) investigate the choice behaviour between four types of space tourism: high altitude jet fighter flights, atmospheric zero-gravity flights, short-duration suborbital flights, and longer duration orbital trips into space. Reddy et al. (2012) find the following motivational factors behind space tourism (in order of importance): vision of earth from space, weightlessness, high speed experience, unusual experience, and scientific contribution.

During the period from 2001 to 2009, 7 space tourists made 8 space flights aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft brokered by Space Adventures to the International Space Station. The publicized price was in the range of US$20–25 million per trip. Some space tourists have signed contracts with third parties to conduct certain research activities while in orbit. By 2007, space tourism was thought to be one of the earliest markets that would emerge for commercial spaceflight. Space Adventures is the only company that has sent paying passengers to space. In conjunction with the Federal Space Agency of the Russian Federation and Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, Space Adventures facilitated the flights for all of the world’s first private space explorers. The first three participants paid in excess of $20 million (USD) each for their 10-day visit to the ISS.

Russia halted orbital space tourism in 2010 due to the increase in the International Space Station crew size, using the seats for expedition crews that would previously have been sold to paying spaceflight participants. Orbital tourist flights were set to resume in 2015 but the one planned was postponed indefinitely and none have occurred since 2009.

On June 7, 2019, NASA announced that starting in 2020, the organization aims to start allowing private astronauts to go on the International Space Station, with the use of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft and Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft for public astronauts, which is planned to be priced at 35,000 USD per day for one astronaut (not including the cost to get there).

Read more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_tourism

International Space Station ISS

International Space StationThe International Space Station is a modular space station in low Earth orbit. It is a multinational collaborative project involving five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA. The ownership and use of the space station is established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements.

The station is divided into two sections: the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS), operated by Russia; and the United States Orbital Segment (USOS), which is shared by many nations. Roscosmos has endorsed the continued operation of ROS through 2024,having previously proposed using elements of the segment to construct a new Russian space station called OPSEK.The first ISS component was launched in 1998, and the first long-term residents arrived on 2 November 2000. The station has since been continuously occupied for 20 years and 32 days, the longest continuous human presence in low Earth orbit, having surpassed the previous record of 9 years and 357 days held by the Mir space station. The latest major pressurised module, Leonardo, was fitted in 2011 and an experimental inflatable space habitat was added in 2016. Development and assembly of the station continues, with several major new Russian elements scheduled for launch starting in 2020. As of December 2018, the station is expected to operate until 2030.

NASA Artemis Program

NASA is committed to landing American astronauts, including the first woman and the next man, on the Moon by 2024. Through the agency’s Artemis lunar exploration program, we will use innovative new technologies and systems to explore more of the Moon than ever before. We will collaborate with our commercial and international partners to establish sustainable missions by 2028. And then we will use what we learn on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap – sending astronauts to Mars.

What is the NASA Artemis Program?

What is NASA Artemis ProgramWhy Go to the Moon?

With the Artemis program we will:

  • Demonstrate new technologies, capabilities, and business approaches needed for future exploration including Mars
  • Establish American leadership and a strategic presence on the Moon while expanding our U.S. global economic impact
  • Broaden our commercial and international partnerships
  • Inspire a new generation and encourage careers in STEM

How Do We Get There?

NASA’s powerful new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), will send astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft nearly a quarter million miles from Earth to lunar orbit. Astronauts will dock Orion at the Gateway and transfer to a human landing system for expeditions to the surface of the Moon. They will return to the orbital outpost to board Orion again before returning safely to Earth.

When Will We Get There?

Ahead of the human return, we will send a suite of science instruments and technology demonstrations to the lunar surface through commercial Moon deliveries beginning in 2021.

The agency will fly two missions around the Moon to test its deep space exploration systems. NASA is working toward launching Artemis I, an uncrewed flight to test the SLS and Orion spacecraft together, followed by the Artemis II mission, the first SLS and Orion test flight with crew. NASA will land astronauts on the Moon by 2024 on the Artemis III mission and about once a year thereafter.

Artemis Program