The Evolution of Space Travel Part 1



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Dominic Fightmaster, Editor

Space, the final frontier. A place that only a few humans have been lucky to go to. A place full of millions of stars, and planets that we dream of being able to visit. There was the space race with the United States and the Soviet Union. We tried to get a man to land on the moon, which some people believe was fake. Now we are trying to get people to land on Mars. Humans strive to reach the stars and all of this wouldn’t be possible without rockets and space suits. They have changed a lot and are new and improved. Today you will see information on the two famous rockets and information on space suits.

President Jonh F. Kennedy made landing a man on the moon and bringing them back a national goal in 1961. This is was accomplished on July 20, 1969, and would produce the iconic quote “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The rocket used is the Saturn V SA-506. The spacecraft is Apollo CSM-107 and the launch mass is 32,390 pounds (14,690 kg) Earth orbit; 63,500 pounds (28,800 kg) Lunar. It also included the Apollo LM-5 which is the Apollo Lunar Module. Its launch mass is 33,500 (15,200 kg). The Saturn V being fully fueled weighed 6.5 million pounds (2,950,000 kg).

A more recent rocket the Falcon Heavy. It is a reusable heavy-lift launch vehicle that is derived from the Falcon 9 vehicle and that consists of a strengthened Falcon 9 first stage as a central core with two additional first stages as strap-on boosters. The payload to Mars is 16,800 kg (37,000 lb). Payload to LEO (low earth orbit) is 63,800 kg (140,700 lb). It is one of the best rockets in the world currently. It has a weight of 3.132 million lbs. It didn’t carry anyone on it.

All of this wouldn’t be possible if the people going up to space didn’t have space suits. A space suit is a garment worn to keep humans alive in the harsh environment of space. Space has low density and pressure, this is why it is called a vacuum (a region with a gaseous pressure much less than atmospheric pressure). Space suits have many layers comprised of different materials. The innermost layer is made of a Nylon tricot material. Another layer is made of spandex with another layer made of urethane-coated nylon. This layer helps with the pressurization of the suit. One of the first space suits worn was a close-fitting, two-layer, full pressure suit.

The Saturn V SA-506 and Falcon Heavy are vastly new different rockets. The Falcon Heavy weighs 3.132 million lbs and the Saturn V weighs 6.54 million lbs. These two rockets are some of the greatest rockets that were made, though the Saturn V was tested in 1967. The Saturn V was made to get people to the moon. Now we have rockets made to get things to mars. For clarification, the moon is 384,400 km from earth. Mars is 54.6 million km. To Mars, it takes 128 to 333 days to get there. It takes about 3 days to get to the moon. This is only a small glimpse of rockets and information on space suits. I will compare these rockets and more in the continuation article “The Evolution of Space Travel Part 2.”