Space voyage research paper


Although U. Dwight D. Eisenhower had decided not to compete for prestige with the Soviet Union in a space race, his successor, John F. Kennedy , had a different view. Other countries also viewed having a successful space program as an important indicator of national strength. Even before the first satellite was launched, U. Following on the success of its photoreconnaissance satellites, which began operation in , the United States built increasingly complex observation and electronic-intercept intelligence satellites.

The Soviet Union also quickly developed an array of intelligence satellites, and later a few other countries instituted their own satellite observation programs. Intelligence-gathering satellites have been used to verify arms-control agreements, provide warnings of military threats, and identify targets during military operations, among other uses. In addition to providing security benefits, satellites offered military forces the potential for improved communications, weather observation, navigation, timing, and position location.

This led to significant government funding for military space programs in the United States and the Soviet Union. Although the advantages and disadvantages of stationing force-delivery weapons in space have been debated, as of the early 21st century, such weapons had not been deployed , nor had space-based antisatellite systems—that is, systems that can attack or interfere with orbiting satellites.

The stationing of weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on celestial bodies is prohibited by international law. Governments realized early on that the ability to observe Earth from space could provide significant benefits to the general public apart from security and military uses.

The first application to be pursued was the development of satellites for assisting in weather forecasting. A second application involved remote observation of land and sea surfaces to gather imagery and other data of value in crop forecasting, resource management, environmental monitoring, and other applications.

The U. These satellites quickly found numerous civilian uses in such areas as personal navigation, surveying and cartography, geology, air-traffic control , and the operation of information-transfer networks. They illustrate a reality that has remained constant for a half century—as space capabilities are developed, they often can be used for both military and civilian purposes.

Another space application that began under government sponsorship but quickly moved into the private sector is the relay of voice, video, and data via orbiting satellites.

Canadian Space Milestones

Satellite telecommunications has developed into a multibillion-dollar business and is the one clearly successful area of commercial space activity. A related, but economically much smaller, commercial space business is the provision of launches for private and government satellites.

In a privately financed venture sent a piloted spacecraft, SpaceShipOne , to the lower edge of space for three brief suborbital flights. Although it was technically a much less challenging achievement than carrying humans into orbit, its success was seen as an important step toward opening up space to commercial travel and eventually to tourism. More than a decade after SpaceShipOne reached space, several firms were poised to carry out such suborbital flights.

Companies have arisen that also use satellite imagery to provide data for business about economic trends. Suggestions have been made that in the future other areas of space activity, including utilization of resources found on the Moon and near-Earth asteroids and the capture of solar energy to provide electric power on Earth , could become successful businesses. Most space activities have been pursued because they serve some utilitarian purpose, whether increasing knowledge, adding to national power, or making a profit.

Until humans resume such journeys of exploration, robotic spacecraft will continue to serve in their stead to explore the solar system and probe the mysteries of the universe. You are using an outdated browser. But, she cautioned, "I don't think that [the elongation] can really be viewed as the fountain of youth and that people might expect to live longer because they're in space. Bailey and other researchers also observed DNA damage, including chromosome rearrangements called inversions, as well as an elevated DNA-repair response.

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DNA damage from radiation exposure would likely increase for astronauts who ventured beyond low Earth orbit; astronauts traveling to Mars would experience about 8 times the radiation as Scott did. Researchers carefully tracked both twins over the course of the mission and afterward to observe how Scott's body and capabilities changed due to spaceflight. The researchers noted that many effects Scott experienced, including His immune response to a flu vaccine remained normal throughout the flight, despite increased stress on that system; his spatial orientation and motor accuracy, thrown off-kilter by his stay in space, returned to normal, as did his body mass.

The ratio of microbes in Scott's gut, called the microbiome , changed during flight but returned to normal after his return, and its diversity stayed constant. Yes, to track this, he had to send regular fecal samples down from the space station. According to Scott, he felt back to percent after about eight months at home, which was longer than for his previous spaceflights. Overall, though, his biggest hurdle after flight might have been psychological, Scott said: "You've experienced this significant event where you're living in a very controlled environment for a really long time, and then you don't have that anymore.

Space–brain: The negative effects of space exposure on the central nervous system

To get readjusted back to — not just physically readjusted, but generally adjusted to life back on Earth — seemed to take me about eight months. Of course, prospective space travelers will also have to contend with longer-lasting effects, which the researchers found — lingering DNA damage due to the radiation exposure, for one.

HOW IT WORKS: The International Space Station

Changes due to long-term shifts in fluids, because of microgravity, also led to a thickening of the carotid arteries that deliver blood to the brain, which can be a marker for heart disease. That same fluid shift caused changes in eye shape and other issues that hurt Scott's vision. The researchers are also tracking genes that are still showing differences in activation, such as some associated with DNA repair. Scott also showed a decrease in cognitive speed and accuracy six months after he returned to Earth, according to the paper.

And there could be increased risk for heart disease and some cancers in the cells which ended up with shortened telomeres. Many of these changes will be more significant for even longer flights, or ones that travel outside low Earth orbit. So the researchers hope to do more yearlong studies on more individuals, both in low Earth orbit, around the moon and someday farther out, to continue to track these changes.

The researchers emphasized that technology has changed since Scott's mission; now, an astronaut has sequenced DNA in space , and a new technique has also come out to analyze epigenetics in flight, the researchers said. All of these tools could enhance future studies. I wish every single person had a twin that was always doing something different and that we were always tracking them, but I don't think we would get IRB approval to copy everyone," Mason joked about his ideal research.

From Scott's perspective as an astronaut, the study findings are promising, he told Space. Scott said that, based on his experience, he thinks the time scales needed for a journey to Mars would be doable for astronauts. But for even-longer-duration flights, some new technology may be necessary, he said. Email Sarah Lewin at slewin space.

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