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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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Credit: NASA - image source
Progress M-61 seen from the International Space Station prior to docking in August 2007
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Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin (9 March 1934 – 27 March 1968) was a Soviet cosmonaut and the first human to orbit the earth. Yuri Gagarin joined the Soviet Air Force in 1955 and graduated with honors from the Soviet Air Force Academy in 1957. Soon afterward, he became a military fighter pilot. By 1959, he had been selected for cosmonaut training as part of the first group of USSR cosmonauts. Yuri Gagarin flew only one space mission. On April 12, 1961 he became the first human to orbit Earth. Gagarin's spacecraft, Vostok 1, circled Earth at a speed of 27,400 kilometers per hour. The flight lasted 108 minutes. At its highest point, Gagarin was about 200 miles (327 kilometers) above Earth. Once in orbit, Yuri Gagarin had no control over his spacecraft. Vostok's reentry was controlled by a computer program sending radio commands to the space capsule. Although the controls were locked, a key had been placed in a sealed envelope in case an emergency situation made it necessary for Gagarin to take control. As was planned, Cosmonaut Gagarin ejected after reentry into Earth's atmosphere at an altitude of 20,000 feet and landed by parachute. As pilot of the spaceship Vostok 1, he proved that man could endure the rigors of lift-off, re-entry, and weightlessness. As a result of his historic flight he became an international hero and legend. Colonel Gagarin died on March 27, 1968 when the MiG-15 airplane he was piloting crashed near Moscow. He was given a hero's funeral, his ashes interred in the Kremlin Wall. He is popularly known as “The Columbus of the Cosmos”.
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Soyuz 7K-ST No. 16L (sometimes known as Soyuz T-10a or T-10-1) was an unsuccessful Soyuz mission intended to visit the Salyut 7 space station, which was occupied by the Soyuz T-9 crew.
It was set to launch atop a Soyuz-U rocket on September 26, 1983. However, prior to launch, the rocket caught fire on its launch pad at Site 1/5, Baikonur Cosmodrome. The launch escape system of the Soyuz spacecraft fired two seconds before the launch vehicle exploded, saving the crew of commander Vladimir G. Titov and flight engineer Gennadi Strekalov. It is so far the only case in which a launch escape system has been fired with a crew aboard.
The mission was a visiting expedition to Salyut 7. The crew was scheduled to return in Soyuz T-9, leaving Soyuz T-10 for the crew on the space station to return in later. The failure briefly led to speculation in the West that the crew of Soyuz T-9 may be stranded on the space station, but this was never the case. That crew would return to Earth as normal on November 23, 1983, aboard Soyuz T-9.
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...that engineers claim the Ares I rocket (pictured) would be more aerodynamically stable if flying backwards than in the normal direction?
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Last edited on 16 May 2021, at 05:48
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