english 3 - Life in Space | Audio Guide

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It doesn't matter what country or what political system you are from. Space brings you together.
Valentina Tereshkova
In the Apollo Soyuz test project, the Soviet Union and the United States agreed to dock an Apollo capsule and Soyuz spacecraft. This historic mission in 1975 featured American astronauts Tom Stafford, Vance Brand and Deke Slayton. The Soviet crew consisted of Valeri Kubasov and the first spacewalker, Alexei Leonov. Together, the countries developed hardware to allow the previously incompatible spacecraft to securely connect and perform joint operations. The crews trained in both the United States and the Soviet Union.

Alekséi Arjípovich Leónov is a Russian cosmonaut who made the first spacewalk on 18th March 1965, by coming  out of the capsule in which he was travelling, for some 12 mts and 9 seconds as extra vehicular activity. He died  last year at the age of 85 during 2019. Leonov was one of twenty pilots of the Soviet Air Force selected to be  part of the first group of cosmonauts in 1960. Like all Soviet cosmonauts, Leonov was a member of the  Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Another of his greatest achievements was to be the Russian commander  of the first joint Apollo-Soyuz mission. This was the costume design for that mission. Leonov defeated astronaut  Ed White for three months, being the first man to go into space. The Voskhod capsule carried two men into  space, just like the American Gemini capsule. There were moments of tension when Leonov once in space tried to return to the capsule. The swollen suit did  not allow him to penetrate the capsule. He had to deflate him losing pressure and putting his life at risk.

This is the seat of the Soviet Soyuz rocket. In this tiny cabin astronauts have to spend 2 days before arriving at the international space station. Over the years since the 1970s, the shape and the anchoring systems of the seats of the Soyuz spacecraft have not changed much. To carry it out, a study is made of the astronaut's back, making the molds that later create the impression of the chair. Each astronaut has his own place.

The Soviet radio-beacon "KOMAR" what means "mosquito" in Russian. This device helps the rescuers to find the cosmonauts after landing. The name of the radio transmitter reminds the signal what this beacon-beeper sends out when turned on. The orange inflatable cone is visible from the long distance after the beacon coordinates are determined by radio-radars. Such radio-beacons were used by the early Soviet spacecraft cosmonauts to be easy found if they land far from the expected area.
The beacon-beeper has interesting design - its body is quite heavy and its orange cone is inflatable by pressurized air what is containing in a special ballon. When the ballon trigger is pulled by a cosmonaut, the air inflates the orange cone what stands vertically after this procedure. The antenna is in the cone, so it stands vertically too, what is the best position for radio signal transmitting.

The Cosmonauts drinker made for the first orbital space station Salyut. The device has 2 sockets marked  "WATER" and "JUICE" closed by special valves. When cosmonauts connect to this drinker with their personal  space flasks - they push the valve what let the liquid (water or juice) go into the flasks. The also also has  ON/OFF switch and the indication light. The drinker has a built-in design to be integrated with the space station interior. It's front cover can be  opened. There is a manual rubber pump with a hose attached to it under the cover of the drinker. In addition  to the pump, there is a cylindrical adapter for connection to personal cosmonauts flasks with several valves  inside the drinker. The drinker was made for on-Earth training copy of the space station, so, cosmonauts had study its  functionality prior the mission.

This is a undergarment for cooling the Orlan D space suit that used in 1979 by Valery Rjumin (Валерий Рюмин) who entered the space on the space station Saljut-6 during the 175 days orbital flight. Unique case in history when the suit was actually brought back from space in order to check the condition of the wires and additional testing. The undergarment can be used with spacesuits with both manual and automatic thermal control systems. The suit is a meshy garment made of a knitted net-looking fabric through which elastic pipes of a cooling system are woven. The garment fits tightly to the body, pressing the pipes of the cooling system close to a cosmonaut body. The mesh structure of the fabric facilitates access of ventilating air to the surface of a human body. The suit can be used with spacesuits equipped with both manual and automatic thermal control systems. The principles of operation and its basic design solutions are the same as in the earlier version of the suit.
Made individually for every single cosmonaut.

The youngest person to make it to space was a cosmonaut, Gherman Titov. Titov was just five weeks  short of his 26th birthday, when he made it to space, in 1961.

The youngest astronaut to reach space was Sally Ride, in 1983. She was 32 years and threeweeks old. Fifteen cosmonauts have flown younger than Sally Ride.

It belonged to Gherman Stepanovich Titov, who was the second man to go to space and the first tospend 24  hours inside the capsule. Gagarin and he disputed the first seat to space losing it in favorof Yuri Gagarin.

Soviet engineers pioneered the use of cameras on spacecraft, obtaining the first images of the farside of the  Moon and the first images from the surface of the Moon and Venus. Soviet planetary spacecraft used  cycloramic and swept linear photometers rather than vidicon television cameras. On later American missions,  the Viking lander's panoramic camera and the Mars Odyssey linear pushbroom camera hark back to Soviet  camera designs. This one it’s a External Chrysolite VideoCamera for the Mir Station first and installed on ISS afterwards.

The Russian high-altitude flight suit VMSK-4 is similar to the SK-1, which Gagarin wore, with underwear. The SK-1 spacesuit was a type of emergency and rescue suit, which cosmonauts put on for launch and re-entry.  Interestingly, even the first spacesuits had a waste collection system, so they didn’t have to be taken off when a  cosmonaut needed to answer the call of nature. In the event of cabin depressurization, for example, the  spacesuits would have supported the cosmonauts for five hours. The VMSK-4 is the model developed in the following years, designed to provide individual life support to  spacecraft crews operating over ground and sea at high altitudes. The suit has its rubberized neck drape, as well  as its original tag sewn into the inside shoulder, numerous pockets on the front side and two pockets on the  back with GP- 2M-1 gloves inside, which are tethered to the suit. As the SK-1 this suit has a waste collection  system.

The Space shuttle, or space transportation system, was the first reusable spacecraft designed for low Earth Orbit.
The Space shuttle consist of three separate parts: the orbiter that carried the cargo and the crew, the white solid rocket boosters and the external tank that carried the fuel needed for launch. The shuttle program consisted of 135 flight from April 12, 1981 through July 21, 2011. The fleet includes five orbiters; Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour. The program pushed the boundaries of human spaceflight with the deployment and repair of the Hubble Space Telescope, groundbreaking micro-gravity research and completion of the International Space Station.

The space shuttle orbiter flight deck serves as the cockpit of the vehicle. With controls for electrical, life support and propulsion systems, as well as joysticks for steering during landing, the forward flight deck is the heart of the vehicle. Throughout the entire mission, the pilot and commander use this area to monitor and maintain the health of the vehicle. The commander sits on the left, with the pilot on the right. Both crew members are trained in all of the orbiter’s systems and are fully capable of flying the vehicle.

The aft flight deck seats additional crew members, known as mission specialists, during launch and landing. Once on-orbit, the aft panels and controls focus on the cargo in the payload bay. In this area are controls to open and close the payload bay doors, and joysticks to operate the mechanical arm or Canadarm. Customized control panels designed specifically for a particular mission are installed in aft panels. There are also two sets of windows, one on the back wall used to monitor ongoing spacewalks, and two overhead windows to monitor docking procedures.

When you look at it that way, it doesn’t make you mouth watering, but it’s still balanced, healthy, easy to  prepare and can be stored in extreme conditions for long periods of time: it’s astronaut menus, high-tech dishes designed, NASA’s Space Food System Laboratories experts. Here, since the 1960s, nutritionists, physicists and astronauts face the numerous challenges of space catering.  Yes, because on the ISS, since it is not possible to use open flames, it is not possible to cook in the true sense of the word: foods, even to reduce their maximum weight andsize, are all pre-cooked and dehydrated. When  astronauts sit at the table they just add to their dishes hot or cold water that brings them back to normal  state. The absence of gravity also deprives cosmonauts of the sense of smell and much of the sense of taste: all  foods must therefore be seasoned with special sauces that enhance the flavors. And then there is the  problem of packaging, which must be particularly accurate to withstand the extreme conditions of space.  Everything is under vacuum; just a minimum amount of oxygen inside the package to permanently  compromise the content and make it inedible. The process of dehydrationof foods and the cold sterilization  to which they are subjected, also deprives them of most of the vitamins and proteins: This is why  cosmonauts must however supplement their diet with various colored tablets that guarantee the correct supply of all nutrients.

One item is a sandwich. During the Gemini 3 flight, Wally Schirra had smuggled to John Young acorned beef  sandwich before takeoff. But the moment Young started eating it, crumbs began floating around the  capsule. It was the source of news headlines, and a congressional investigation, post flight. But NASA already knew that bread was a NO-NO for space food because of this problem. The crumbs could float into the astronauts’ eyes or get into electronic systems in the capsule. So breadis not used in space food. Even a 2014 YouTube of an astronaut making a peanut butter sandwich on the International Space Station  didn’t use bread but a tortilla. And yes, now you know why burritos are a space food: because the flour tortilla doesn’t break up into crumbs.

It’s a good question. We can’t definitely say who developed the first “space foods”. In 1961 Yuri Gagarin ate the first squeeze tube of food during his Earth orbit. The initial American suborbitalMercury flights followed the  Soviet orbital mission but these Mercury flights were too short to experiment with foods. In 1962 John Glenn  was the first American to orbit the Earth. During histhree orbits he also ate from a squeeze tube of applesauce  (and, yes, drank a vitamin enrichedsqueeze bulb of liquid later marketed as Tang). The Mercury squeeze foods were pureed fruits, puddings, and stews based on military rationsrepackaged  in “toothpaste tube” form for ease of consumption and minimum chance of loose food bits damaging electrical and mechanical components of the capsules. Although I can’tfind specific sources, I suspect Soviet squeeze tube foods had similar origins. The interesting part is the first solid foods created for space. These were freeze dried “space food cubes” created  by a team led by Howard Kauman, a Pillsbury Foods employee. Thesewere first flown with Scott Carpenter in his  orbital flight in 1962 (about three months after Glenn’s flight). However, none were consumed on that flight due  to packaging issues leading to Carpenter expressing concern over loose crumbs. Further Mercury flights  changed the packaging but squeeze tubes remained the standard. Later American Gemini flights carried both  squeeze tube and a dehydrated/freeze dried food made by the US Army and Whirlpool Corporation (these contained packages allowed rehydration with little risk of crumbs or liquid escaping). These solid foods were  initialled consumed on the Gemini 3 mission. Note that rehydration was done with cold/lukewarm water — hot water was not available until the Apollo missions. There were various “illicit” and authorized solid foods carried on Mercury and Gemini missions (candy bars,  a commercial corned beef sandwich (not eaten due to crumb concerns), and a few personal items rumored  to have been secreted on board Gemini flights). From what I can find the“illicit” items — other than the corned beef sandwich — are apocryphal. In the late 1960s the dry space cubes were marketed commercially in a slightly different form as  “Space Food Sticks” and Pillsbury played up their role in the Mercury and Geminiprograms. I can’t locate definite sources for the squeeze tube contents used by the Soviets or their version ofthe  dehydrated foods. It appears they were internally developed by the nation’s space agency andlikely based on  military rations. Hopefully another responder will have better/additional informationon the Soviet food programs.

SPACE SUIT LES – Space Shuttle
The Launch Entry Suit (LES), known as the "pumpkin suit", is a partial-pressure suit that was wornby all Space  Shuttle crews for the ascent and entry portions of flight from STS-26 (1988) to STS- 65 (1994). It was completely phased out by STS-88 (late 1998) and replaced by the ACES suit. The suit was manufactured by the David Clark Company of Worcester, Massachusetts. The LES was first worn by U.S. Air Force pilots replacing a similar suit worn by SR-71 and U-2pilots, and was identical to the suits worn by X-15 pilots and Gemini astronauts. Each suit was sized individually, although most suits could be worn by astronauts of differentheights. It included a parachute and flotation device.

Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space | January 1981
"I’ve discovered that half the people would love to go into space and there’s no need to explain it to them. The other half can’t understand and I couldn’t explain it to them. If someone doesn’t know why, I can’t explain it."

"The stars don't look bigger, but they do look brighter."

“The dream is alive.”

– John Young after landing STS-1

“Anyone who sits on top of the largest hydrogen-oxygen fueled system in the world, knowing they’re going to light the bottom, and doesn’t get a little worried, does not fully understand the situation.”

– John Young after being asked if he was nervous about making the first Space Shuttle flight in 1981.

Which space shuttle missions had the highest impact?
I think we have to ask the question: highest impact on *what* ? To our mind, the whole shuttle program had a huge impact on technology and the way we get into space. It also delivered spectacular results for science, allowing astronauts to perform experiments in low gravity that could not be done on the Earth. The shuttle allowed the US and dozens of partner countries to build the International Space Station, which has been a major success and is delivering some incredible science results as well as pioneering new space technologies, new ways of manufacturing, and researching the effects of long-term space travel, among many other biology experiments. But my own “favourite” impact was that the shuttle allowed astronauts to service and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope, without which there would have been no observatory.

SNOOPY CAP – Alan Bean
One of the problems that arose when preparing space travel was the communication of astronauts while they were wearing their space suits. Within the helmet, they needed communication devices with which to communicate both with the mission control and with each other. The solution that was found and is still used today is to wear a hat in which microphones and headphones that allow communication are installed.

Russian Soyuz capsules do not fall on the sea but land on the Siberian steppes, where they impact like bullets on the ground. On occasion, contact with cosmonauts has been lost. In the event that the loss of contact will last for hours, even days, cosmonauts are endowed with various objects in order to survive in the immensity of the steppe. A set of flares with which to mark the position, a life jacket in the event that the capsule deviated and fell into the sea, as well as a survival kit with food rations and other basic utensils such as flashlights, Swiss army knives, etc...
In this situation this American Life Jacket was always present inside the kit because the command module always landed on the sea.

The Orbiter's Thermal Protection System (TPS) was a major innovation in the space age with the project of creating the first reusable space vehicle, the Columbia Space Shuttle, depending on its success. The TPS consists of various materials applied to the outer surface of the orbiter for protection in extreme temperatures, primarily during re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere. The orbiter's vulnerable aluminum structure could not withstand temperatures above 350 degrees F, and TPS materials were the only defense against its exposure. During re-entry the TPS materials performed in temperature ranges from minus 250 degrees F, in the cold soak of space, to atmospheric re- entry temperatures that reach 3,000 degrees F. Installing the re-entry enabling TPS tiles onto each Space Shuttle was not only one of the most critical stages involved in the orbiter assembly, it was incredibly complex as well. This artifact was used by technicians as a reference to aid with those rigorous calculations on the OV-102 Columbia. Fit Check Tiles, such as this one, were each custom designed and fabricated to be temporarily installed on the Columbia Orbiter's body, as a reference in testing size/shape within the Orbiter's tile configuration.

It was used on the Buran ship as a thermal protection. This is a ceramic tile made for the Soviet space shuttle Buran. The Buran was a Soviet effort to replicate the American space shuttle program. The spacecraft had one voyage, without a crew in November 1988. After that, the program was cancelled. For years, there has been speculation as to how close a replica the Buran was to its American analogs. Like the American shuttle, the Soviets used three kinds of materials to protect the craft from the extreme temperatures of reentry. The leading edges of the nose and wing were protected with carbon fiber reinforcement. The underside of the craft was protected by black tiles and the upper side by white ceramic tiles. And also similar to the American case, each Soviet tile was marked with a serial number to that its location and performance would be documented over time. It can withstand temperatures up to 1500 degrees Celsius. The tile is very light, made of a special quartz material. The cost of making such tiles in the 1980s was 500 rubles, which was 2-2.5 salaries of an engineer.

What caused the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster?
A piece of foam.

The external fuel tank of the Columbia was covered in thermally insulating foam, to prevent the formation of ice on its surface (it contained liquid hydrogen and oxygen). During the launch, a piece of said foam broke off and struck the left wing. This was in fact detected, but was not investigated too much since the crew couldn't really do anything about it. The Director of Mission Operations John Harpold is quoted as saying: You know, there is nothing we can do about damage to the TPS [Thermal Protection System]. If it has been damaged it's probably better not to know. I think the crew would rather not know. Don't you think it would be better for them to have a happy successful flight and die unexpectedly during entry than to stay on orbit, knowing that there was nothing to be done, until the air ran out? When the shuttle was re-entering the atmosphere, air friction at extremely high speeds (over Mach 20) with the damaged left wing lead to hot gases penetrating the internal structure which destroyed it.


STS062-22-010 - STS-062 – Pilot Andrew Allen in sleep restraints aboard Columbia

You are ready for your bed now, but there are no beds on space. A sleeping bag is attached to one of the walls of your cabin with bungee cords instead. With no need to support your body and head against gravity, you sleep vertically in Space, not horizontally. You poke your arms through the holes, and as you relax, your hands float out in front of you, making you look a little like a marauding zombie. Some astronauts find it difficult to sleep like this, so they fold their arms or tuck them inside the sleeping bag. You can shorten the cords so you’re more tightly bound to the wall. Others enjoy the freedom of floating around the cabin during their slumber, although you might just bump into things and startle yourself awake. Being trussed up also mean it takes a longer to free yourself if you need to make a trip the bathroom in the night.

Why are the Columbia and Challenger space shuttle missions infamous?
The Columbia and Challenger space shuttle missions are infamous for being destroyed on launch, or on atmospheric entry and killing their crews. Space shuttle Columbia never made it back from orbit, it disintegrated into thousands of pieces during atmospheric reentry and took the lives of astronauts Rick Husband, William McCool, Michael Anderson, Kalpana Chalwa, David Brown, Laurel Clark, and Llan Ramon.

Space Shuttle challenger never made it to orbit. The One of the shuttle’s O-rings in an SRV failed, leading to the spacecraft breaking apart 73 seconds after launch taking the lives of Francis Scobee, Michael Smith, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, Christina McAuliffe, and Gregory Jarvis.

When was the last space shuttle flight?
July 8, 2011
It's been 10 years since NASA's space shuttle Atlantis ended an era. NASA's final space shuttle mission, which launched 10 years ago this week, almost didn't happen. The mission on space shuttle Atlantis, called STS-135, launched on July 8, 2011.

What are some lesser known facts about NASA's Space Shuttles?
1. Top speed
While in orbit, the space shuttle travels around Earth at a speed of about 17,500 miles (28,000 kilometers) per hour. At this speed, the crew can see a sunrise or sunset every 45 minutes.

2. Well traveled
The combined mileage of all five orbiters is 513.7 million miles (826.7 million km), or 1.3 times the distance between Earth and Jupiter. Each orbiter, except for Challenger, traveled farther than the distance between Earth and the sun.

3. Presidential attention
Only one president has been on hand to witness a space shuttle launch. President Bill Clinton, along with his wife Hillary Clinton, watched Mercury astronaut John Glenn's return to space on the STS-95 flight on Oct. 29, 1998 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. President Obama had planned to watch the shuttle Endeavor lift off on its final mission STS-134, on April 29, 2011, but that launch was delayed.

4. Space science
The space shuttle isn't just a mode of transport: It's a laboratory, too. There have been 22 Spacelab missions, or missions where science, astronomy, and physics have been studied inside a special module carried on the space shuttle. Spacelab, a reusable laboratory built for use on space shuttle flights, allowed scientists to perform experiments in microgravity . Starting in 1983's Challenger missions, animals became a prime component of space science. On the STS-7 mission, the social activities of ant colonies in zero gravity were examined, and during STS-8, six rats were flown in the Animal Enclosure module to study animal behavior in space.

5. Taking the heat
The space shuttle's Thermal Protection System, or heat shield, contains more than 30,000 tiles that are constructed essentially of sand. All of the tiles are thoroughly inspected before liftoff – they are a crucial tool that allows the space shuttle to endure the intense heat endured when the shuttle re-enters Earth's atmosphere to land. After the tiles are heated to peak temperature, the tiles can cool fast enough to be held in your hand only a minute later.

6. Packing on the pounds
The heaviest space shuttle orbiter, Columbia, weighed 178,000 pounds (80,700 kg), roughly the weight of 13 African Elephants. Columbia, the first space shuttle to fly, weighed the most because NASA was still searching for lighter materials to use, and integrated some of these into the later orbiters.

7. Official monikers
The space shuttle program is officially known as the Space Transportation System (STS), and so each shuttle mission is designated with the prefix "STS." Initially, the missions were given sequential numbers indicating their order of launch, from STS-1 through STS-9. However, because the then-NASA administrator James Beggs suffered from triskaidekaphobia (the fear of the number 13) and wanted to avoid associations with the unlucky Apollo 13 mission, the agency drew up a new numbering system for space shuttle missions, according to NASA history accounts by several astronauts at time. What would have been STS-11 was named STS-41-B, STS-12 became STS-41-C, and STS-13 was STS-41-D. The first number was the last digit in the fiscal year (1984), the second number indicated the launch site (1 for Kennedy Space Center, and 6 for Vandenberg Air Force Base), and the letter indicated the sequence (A was the first launch of the year, and so on). After the 1986 Challenger shuttle disaster, when that orbiter and its STS-51-L mission crew were lost, the agency resumed the sequential numbering system, starting with STS-26.

8. Tweeting from space
On May 11, 2009, astronaut Michael J. Massimino, a crewmember of the space shuttle Atlantis’ STS-125 mission, became the first person to use the microblogging site Twitter in space. Writing as @Astro_Mike, he tweeted "From orbit: Launch was awesome!! I am feeling great, working hard, & enjoying the magnificent views, the adventure of a lifetime has begun!" Since then, many astronauts from NASA and other space agencies have posted Twitter messages from space. One, NASA spaceflyer Doug Wheelock, won a Twitter Shorty Award earlier this year for the posts and photos he shared from space using the website during his months-long stay aboard the International Space Station. For NASA's final space shuttle mission, all four of Atlantis' crewmembers have Twitter alias. They are: commander Chris Ferguson (@Astro_Ferg), pilot Doug Hurley (@Astro_Doug), mission specialist Sandy Magnus (@Astro_Sandy) and mission specialist Rex Walheim (@Astro_Rex).
Atlantis's final mission is STS-135 and will fly a 12-day mission to deliver vital supplies and spare parts to the International Space Station. NASA is retiring all three of its shuttles after 30 years to make way for a new program aimed at sending astronauts on deep space missions to an asteroid and other targets.

9. $209 Billion: The estimated total cost of NASA's 30-year space shuttle program from development through its retirement.

10. 3,513,638:
The weight in pounds of cargo that NASA's space shuttles have launched into orbit. That's more than half the payload weight of every single space launch in history since 1957 combined.

11. 229,132:
The amount of cargo (in pounds) that NASA's shuttles have returned to Earth from space through 2010.

12. 198,728.5:
The number of man-hours NASA shuttles spent in space during their 30-year history. That's about 8,280 days of manned spaceflight, NASA officials said.

13. 20,830:
The number of orbits of Earth completed by NASA shuttles before the last 13-day mission of Atlantis during the STS-135 flight. Atlantis will add another 200 orbits to that tally.

14. 3,000:
The scorching hot temperatures (in Fahrenheit) experienced by NASA shuttles in the hottest moments of atmospheric re-entry during landing.

15. 1,323:
Number of days in space spent during NASA shuttle flights between April 1981 and July 2011. That includes the 13 days of the final shuttle flight, as well as the other 31,440 hours, 59 minutes and 33 seconds of all 134 other missions.

16. 833:
The total number of crew members of all 135 space shuttle missions, with some individuals riding multiple times and 14 astronauts killed during the Challenger and Columbia accidents.

17. 789:
The number of astronauts and cosmonauts who have returned to Earth on a NASA shuttle. Some spaceflyers actually launched into orbit on Russian Soyuz vehicles and returned home on a shuttle.

18. 355:
The actual number of individual astronauts and cosmonauts who have flown on the space shuttle. That breaks down to 306 men and 49 women hailing from 16 different countries.

19. 234:
The total number of days space shuttle astronauts spent at the International Space Station between 1998 and 2011, the construction phase of the orbiting laboratory.

20. 180:
The total number of satellites and other payloads, including components for the International Space Station, deployed by NASA space shuttles.

21. 135:
Total number of NASA space shuttle missions that will have flown between 1981 and 2011. NASA added the prefix of "STS" (Space Transportation System) to each shuttle mission. Of the 135 missions, 133 flights went as planned, with two ending in disaster.

22. 52:
The total number of satellites, space station components and other payloads returned from orbit on NASA shuttle missions.

23. 37:
The number of times a NASA shuttle has docked at the International Space Station during the outpost's lifetime.

24. 14:
The number of astronauts killed during the space shuttle Challenger accident of 1986 and Columbia accident in 2003. They are: (Challenger's STS-51-L Crew) Commander Francis "Dick" Scobee, pilot Mike Smith, mission specialists Judy Resnik, Ellison Onizuka and Ron McNair, and payload specialists Greg Jarvis and Christa McAuliffe; (Columbia's STS-107 Crew) Commander Rick Husband; pilot William McCool; mission specialists Michael Anderson, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla and Laurel Clark, and payload specialist Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut.

25. 9:
The number of times a NASA shuttle docked at Russia's space station Mir between 1994 and 1998.

26. 8:
The largest number of astronauts to fly on a NASA shuttle at one time. It happened at least twice: during the STS-61A shuttle mission in 1985, then again in 1995 during the STS-71 flight's return from the Russian Space Station Mir.

27. 7:
The total number of missions by shuttle astronauts to retrieve, repair and then redeploy a satellite in orbit.

28. 5:
NASA's final tally for the number of spaceworthy vehicles built for the space shuttle fleet. The shuttles that have launched into space are: Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour. Challenger and Columbia were lost during spaceflight tragedies. Another shuttle prototype, the Enterprise vehicle, only flew in Earth's atmosphere and never launched into orbit.

29. 3:
The number of main landing sites for NASA space shuttles at the end of their missions. They are: the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. (primary site), Edwards Air Force Base in California (backup), White Sands Space Harbor in White Sands, New Mexico (backup). In addition to these three sites, NASA has a long list of airport runways that could be suitable for a shuttle landing in an emergency.

30. 2:
The final number of female space shuttle commanders after 30 years of shuttle flight. They are: U.S. Air Force Col. (retired) Eileen Collins and U.S. Air Force Col. (retired) Pamela Melroy.

31. 1:
The number of NASA's Original Seven Mercury astronauts to fly on a NASA shuttle. In October 1998, Mercury astronaut John Glenn launched on the space shuttle Discovery during the STS-95 mission. At age 77, Glenn (then a U.S. Senator) was the oldest person ever to fly in space. Glenn celebrated his 90th birthday this week during NASA's final shuttle flight. NASA is retiring the space shuttle fleet to make way for a new exploration program aimed at sending astronauts on deep space missions to an asteroid and, eventually, Mars.

At this point, Who has been the most interesting astronaut of all time and why is that?
John Young was the first person to fly in space six times (twice each on Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle missions), the first person to circle the Moon alone, the first Space Shuttle mission commander, and the first to command another Space Shuttle mission. He served as an astronaut longer than anyone to date: 42 years (1962-2004).
John Young logged more than 24,000 hours in aircraft and 835 hours (35 days) in space, with 20 hours spent in extravehicular activity (spacewalks) on the Moon. His record of six spaceflights held until 2002. John Young first entered space as Pilot on Gemini III with Gus Grissom as Command Pilot. This was the first time the U.S. sent two men into space. Next, in 1966, he was Command Pilot on Gemini X with Michael Collins as Pilot. In 1969, he was Command Module Pilot for Apollo 10 along with Mission Commander Tom Stafford and Lunar Module Pilot Eugene Cernan. The mission was a “dress rehearsal” for Apollo 11. As Mission Commander for Apollo 16, Young joined the prestigious ranks of the very few men who have walked on the surface of the moon. With Lunar Module Pilot Charles Duke, Young explored the moon’s Descartes Highlands from April 20-23, 1972. Jumping on the moon and saluting the American flag, Astronaut John Young became one of the few people who have walked on the lunar surface during the Apollo 16 mission in 1972.
Young made history with his fifth mission as Spacecraft Commander of STS-1 in 1981, the inaugural mission of the first Space Shuttle, Columbia. Young became the first person to fly four different types of spacecraft. His last mission was as Spacecraft Commander of STS-9 Columbia in 1983.

EMU - The Space Shuttle Space Suit
Well-known as an extravehicular mobility unit (EMU), this suit is used for space walks by astronauts on the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. The suit incorporates fully autonomous life support (survival pack) and a communication system. It is like an individual spaceship. The EMU consists of several modular components, the rigid upper torso part (including the portable life support system), the lower torso part and gloves. Each individual element is available in different sizes and can be combined with others to achieve a tailored fit. The red stripes on the EMU are used by the mission control team to distinguish one space 'walker' from another. On the International Space Station the EMU and the Russian Orlan (sea eagle) suit are used for outdoor exits.

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