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Transcript
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Block:___________
The Space Program Notes

NASA
o
History changed on October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union successfully launches Sputnik I, the world’s
first artificial satellite.
o

The Sputnik I launch also led directly to the creation of
the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in July
1958.
Apollo Missions
o
The Apollo program was designed to land humans on the Moon.
o
Apollos 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17 achieved this and returned with lunar rock samples.
o
Experiments included soil mechanics, meteoroids, seismic, heat flow, lunar ranging, magnetic fields, and
solar wind experiments.

o
Apollo 11 carries Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon in 1969.
o
Apollo 13 did not land on the Moon due to a malfunction.
The Shuttle Missions
o
The United States’ current manned launch vehicle
usually
carrying five to seven astronauts.
o
1960’s-2010
o
Missions: carrying payloads to various orbits
(including
the International Space Station), providing crew rotation for the International Space Station, and
performing service missions.

The Unmanned Missions
o
Mariner 2 was the first successful probe to flyby Venus in 1962.
o
Mariner 4 took the first close up images of Mars in 1965.
o
Pioneer 10 was launched in 1972 and made the first approach to Jupiter in 1973
o
Mariner 10 made 3 flybys of Mercury in 1974 and 1975.
o
Viking 1 and 2 were launched in 1975 with landers touching down on the surface of Mars in 1976 and
sending back pictures and data.
o
Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were launched in 1977, passed Jupiter in 1979, Saturn in 1980, Uranus in 1986
and Neptune in 1989. Voyager 1 entered interstellar space in 2013 and is still transmitting data.
o
In 2006, NASA dispatched an ambassador to the planetary frontier: The New Horizons spacecraft, now
more than halfway between Earth and Pluto, is on approach for a dramatic flight past the icy dwarf
planet and its moons in July 2015. Observers are using telescopes on Earth to search for Kuiper Belt
Objects (KBO’s) the spacecraft can fly by after Pluto.
o
The Dawn space mission was launched in 2009 and is exploring the asteroids Vesta and Ceres between
2011 and 2015.

The International Space Station
o
The International Space Station (ISS) is a research facility being assembled in space.
o
Its in-orbit assembly began in 1998.
o
The ISS is a joint project among the space agencies of
the US, Russia,
Japan, Canada, and 11 other European countries.

The Hubble Telescope
o
The Hubble Space Telescope is a large, space-based observatory providing deep views of the universe,
ranging from our own solar system to remote galaxies.

Recent Missions to Mars
o
Spirit and Opportunity, 2004 
o
Mission: analyze rocks, investigate surface features, and search for evidence of water.
Phoenix, 2010

Mission: search for environments suitable for microbial life on Mars, and to research the history
of water.

Orion Missions
o
Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort
capability, sustain the crew during the space travel, and provide safe re-entry from deep space return
velocities.
Notes on the Planets

Mercury is the smallest planet and closest planet to the sun at 0.39 A.U. Its rotation is 59 earth days and its
orbit takes 88 earth days. Mercury is a terrestrial planet with a rocky cratered surface. It has no moons, no
rings and a thin atmosphere.

Venus is slightly smaller than earth and 2nd closest to the sun at 0.79 A.U. A day or rotation on Venus is actually
longer than its year or revolution around the sun. Venus is a terrestrial planet, with no moons or rings. It is the
hottest planet because of the greenhouse effect caused by constant thick clouds of sulfuric acid. Venus is the
only terrestrial planet which spins backwards.

Earth is 1 A.U. from the sun, has 1 moon, no rings and supports life as we know it. 70% of earth’s surface is
covered in water. The atmosphere is 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen.

Mars is the 4th planet at 1.52 A.U. It has 2 small moons, which are Phobos and Deimos. It is terrestrial with no
rings. Mars has a thin atmosphere, mostly carbon dioxide and has a red surface due to rusting iron.

The asteroid belt is between Mars and Jupiter. Asteroids are solid, rocky, irregularly shaped with no
atmospheres. The largest asteroid is Ceres, which is classified as a dwarf planet. All the asteroids combined are
smaller than the earth’s moon.

Jupiter is 5th planet from the sun at 5.2 A.U. It is a Jovian or gas Giant planet and is the largest in the solar
system. It rotates in only 10 earth hours. Its atmosphere is mostly hydrogen and helium and it has faint rings.
Jupiter’s great red spot is a gigantic storm. Jupiter's four largest moons - Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto were first observed by the astronomer Galileo Galilei in 1610 using an early version of the telescope. These four
moons are known today as the Galilean satellites. Ganymede is the largest moon in the solar system and the
only moon known to have its own magnetic field; and a liquid-water ocean with the ingredients for life may lie
beneath the frozen crust of Europa, making it a tempting place to explore

Saturn is the second largest planet, 6th from the sun at 9.5 A.U. It is a gas giant with more than 50 moons and
large distinct rings, with an atmosphere mostly of hydrogen and helium. It is the least dense planet, and would
float in water. Its moon, Titan, the 2nd largest in the solar system, is shrouded in a thick, nitrogen-rich
atmosphere that might be similar to what Earth's was like long ago.

Uranus is the 3rd largest planet, 7th from the sun at 19.19 A.U. It rotates backwards like Venus and rotates on its
side. It has over 20 moons and very faint rings.

Neptune is the 4th largest planet, 8th from the sun at 30.07 A.U. Made up of water, ammonia and methane. It has
more than 10 moons and 6 rings. The largest moon is Triton. Neptune's winds can be three times stronger than
Jupiter's and nine times stronger than Earth's. Axis tilted 47

Pluto is a dwarf planet. Most dwarf planets are located in the Kuiper Belt, a region of icy objects beyond the orbit
of Neptune. Dwarf planets are rocky with no rings. Some have moons.

A meteoroid is a little chunk of rock or debris in space. Meteoroids become meteors -- or shooting stars -- when
they interact with a planet's atmosphere and cause a streak of light in the sky. Debris that makes it to the surface
of a planet from meteoroids are called meteorites.

Comets are cosmic snowballs of frozen gases, rock and dust. A comet warms up as it nears the sun and
develops an atmosphere, or coma. The coma may be hundreds of thousands of kilometers in diameter. Shortperiod comets (comets that orbit the sun in less than 200 years) reside in the icy region known as the Kuiper Belt
beyond the orbit of Neptune from about 30 to 55 AU. Long-period comets (comets with long, unpredictable orbits)
originate in the far-off reaches of the Oort Cloud, which is five thousand to 100 thousand AUs from the sun.

The Oort Cloud is a spherical shell, occupying space at a distance between five thousand and 100 thousand AU.
The known icy worlds and comets in the Kuiper belt and Oort cloud regions are much smaller than Earth's moon.
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