The astronauts setting records beyond Earth’s atmosphere

Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko took a large leap into the historical past books this month after setting a exceptional report for the longest time spent in house.

He joined an elite band of house travellers who’ve achieved stellar feats in pursuit of unravelling the mysteries of life past Earth.

Every report helps make clear life in house and contributes to the development of science, with the “longest keep in house” permitting extra in depth analysis on how microgravity impacts the human physique.

The investigations are essential for future prolonged missions, similar to journeys to Mars and past.

Right here, The Nationwide lists among the record-breaking achievements of those galactic pioneers and the history-setting moments that await future heroes.

First human in house

Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet cosmonaut, turned the primary man in house on April 12, 1961. He was 27 years outdated.

His spacecraft, Vostok 1, accomplished an orbit of the Earth inside 108 minutes, marking a significant milestone in house exploration and making the cosmonaut a global hero.

On the time, the US and the previous Soviet Union have been in an area race, with engineers working numerous hours to get their countryman to orbit first.

Alan Shepard, turned the primary American in house simply weeks after Mr Gagarin, on Could 5, 1961.

First girl in house

The Soviets beat the People once more within the race to get the primary girl in house.

Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova turned the primary feminine in orbit on June 16, 1963, and circled the Earth 48 occasions, spending about three days in house.

She turned a logo of feminine achievement in a male-dominated area and helped to encourage extra girls astronauts.

Sally Trip made historical past as the primary American girl in house on June 18, 1983.

First human touchdown on the Moon

With the success of the Soviet house programme and the persevering with Chilly Struggle, Nasa was below strain to attain a Moon touchdown.

The Soviets had achieved a number of firsts in house exploration, together with the primary synthetic satellite tv for pc, Sputnik, in 1961 and the primary human in orbit – all which helped to put the nation as a pacesetter within the area.

In 1962, US President John F Kennedy dedicated the nation to touchdown a human on the Moon earlier than the top of the last decade, along with his well-known speech, saying: “We select to go to the Moon on this decade and do the opposite issues, not as a result of they’re simple, however as a result of they’re onerous.”

The Apollo programme was then created, with the Apollo 11 mission that helped astronaut Neil Armstrong develop into the primary man to step foot on the lunar floor on July 20, 1969, the place he famously declared: “That’s one step for man, one large leap for mankind.”

Buzz Aldrin joined him shortly after, whereas Michael Collins stayed within the command module.

Solely the People have landed people on the Moon, however nobody has been again for the reason that final Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

Longest keep on the Moon

Apollo 17 astronauts maintain the report for the longest keep on the Moon, at 75 hours.

There may be renewed curiosity for people to remain longer on the floor and to ship the primary girl there.

Longest moonwalk

Apollo 17 astronauts secured one other achievement, the longest moonwalk.

Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt spent seven hours and 37 minutes outdoors their lunar module.

Longest time in house

The Russian programme has develop into much less outstanding within the trendy house race, largely due to monetary limitations.

However as a companion nation of the Worldwide Area Station with a nonetheless dependable trip to orbit, the Soyuz, cosmonauts have entry to house.

And on February 4, Kononenko turned a record-breaker, having spent a cumulative time of greater than 878 days and 12 hours in house.

The 59-year-old cosmonaut beat his countryman Gennady Padalka’s report of 878 days, 11 hours, 29 minutes and 48 seconds set in 2015.

Kononenko has been on 5 missions to the Worldwide Area Station since 2008 and is presently on board the orbiting laboratory.

By the top of this expedition, he may have accomplished 1,000 days in house.

Cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov holds the report for the longest single house flight at 437 days and 18 hours, which he set aboard the Mir house station within the mid-Nineties.

Longest keep in house by a girl

Nasa was dominated by males within the first house race, however immediately girls are making landmark achievements.

Astronaut Christina Koch set the world report for the longest single house flight by a girl in 2020 when she accomplished 328 consecutive days aboard the house station.

She beat Peggy Whitson’s report of 289 days, which she had set in 2019.

Ms Koch fell 12 days wanting co-worker Scott Kelly, who had held the US report for the longest house flight.

Astronaut Frank Rubio presently holds the US report for the longest consecutive time in house, at 371 days.

His mission was initially just for six months however was prolonged by one other 180 days.

Longest spacewalk

Nasa astronauts James Voss and Susan Helms broke the world report for the longest spacewalk on March 10, 2001, with their stroll taking eight hours and 56 minutes.

Astronauts Pierre Thuot, Richard Hieb and Thomas Akers held the earlier report of eight hours and 29 minutes in 1992.

Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi, who’s now Minister of State for Youth Affairs, turned the primary Arab to carry out a spacewalk in 2023 when he spent nearly seven hours outdoors the ISS finishing up upkeep work.

First all-women spacewalk

In October 2019, an all-female spacewalk occurred when Nasa astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir ventured outdoors the ISS for greater than seven hours.

It was a big achievement and highlighted the rising function of girls in house exploration.

After their enterprise, the ladies wrote a Washington Publish op-ed expressing their goals to take away “defective stereotypes constructed up by a long time of limited-size spacesuits”.

They emphasised the significance of their technicians and trainers, who enabled them to securely execute their duties.

First house vacationer

American engineer and entrepreneur Dennis Tito reportedly paid $20 million to fly to the house station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft in 2001.

He spent almost eight days in orbit as the primary house vacationer.

First particular person to fly untethered in house

In 1984, Nasa’s Bruce McCandless turned the primary astronaut to drift untethered in house utilizing a particular spacesuit, referred to as the Manned Manoeuvring Unit.

He ventured as much as about 95 metres away from the Area Shuttle, creating an iconic picture of human house exploration.

The data nonetheless to return:

First particular person on a industrial house station

The ISS has been a pivotal platform for advancing house exploration and serving as a laboratory for microgravity analysis and a take a look at mattress for applied sciences.

However, because the construction ages and turns into too costly for house businesses, the main focus has shifted to commercialising low-Earth orbit and retiring the house station.

Firms similar to Axiom Area, Blue Origin and Nanoracks are racing to construct the primary personal station in orbit.

The primary one that enters it’ll float their manner into the report books.

First human on a lunar-orbiting station

Area businesses are actually specializing in constructing a station that orbits the Moon and returning people to the floor.

Nasa has plans to construct the Moon-orbiting station Lunar Gateway, with different house businesses from the UAE, Europe, Canada and Japan who will assist to develop it.

It will likely be a history-making second when an astronaut enters the station, or when the primary human for the reason that Seventies units foot on the Moon.

First human to land on Mars

Whereas house businesses and firms hope to create a human presence on the Moon, the final word aim is to launch rockets from there so astronauts can journey to Mars.

The UAE has bold plans to construct a settlement on the Crimson Planet by 2117.

The US and China have rovers and orbiters working on Mars to allow them to collect information on the planet.

Gordon Osinski, a planetary geologist at Western College in Canada, instructed The Nationwide that sending people there would assist scientists perceive the planet a lot better.

“The quantity of floor {that a} rover covers in a few years may be completed by astronauts inside a couple of days,” stated Mr Osinski, who has been chosen by Nasa for the Artemis 3 geology group.

“Astronauts can even accumulate many kilograms of samples, in comparison with the tons of of grams {that a} robotic mission may ultimately return to Earth.

“People even have a greater situational consciousness of their environment and, with the long-time delay for communications between Earth and Mars (as much as 40 minutes), they will make selections on the spot and usually improvise in a manner that robots won’t ever be capable to.”

Up to date: February 11, 2024, 12:05 PM


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