There are two main ways to travel to space: by spacecraft or by rocket. If you’re planning to go into space, you should know that the journey could take several hours or even days. For a long-term mission, a space flight may require several days, while a few hours could reach the International Space Station, which is 240 miles from Earth. The trip could also take a few days to reach the moon, or even Venus, which is about 38 million miles away.
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket takes 22 hours to reach space
A Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX has successfully lofted the Crew Dragon capsule into orbit where it will spend the next 22 hours docking with the International Space Station. The rocket’s first stage separated from the booster about 12 minutes after liftoff, allowing it to fire its onboard thrusters and reach orbit. The capsule’s eggshell-shaped nose cone opens up to reveal the docking hardware that will connect it to the space station.
The rocket’s crew of four is composed of four astronauts: three from NASA and one from the European Space Agency. One of those astronauts, NASA astronaut Raja Chari, is making his first trip to space. The crew also includes former Air Force fighter pilot Kayla Barron, a former test pilot and businessman Mark Pathy, who is chief executive of the Canadian company Mavrik. SpaceX’s crew also includes astronaut Tom Marshburn, who has flown two previous flights and is currently a vice president at a Houston-based space company.
NASA’s Space Launch System
The Space Launch System, or SLS, is an extremely powerful mega-rocket that is being developed by NASA. The SLS will carry astronauts to Mars and the Moon. Its debut is expected to be in early 2022, making it the most powerful launch vehicle since the 1960s. By the end of the decade, NASA hopes to send astronauts to the Moon. By then, the agency hopes to land humans at the lunar south pole. In the meantime, NASA has contracted companies to send robotic landers to the Moon. These landers will carry NASA-funded instruments, enhancing the science collected by astronaut missions.
The SLS has many complex systems, including electrical and mechanical systems, as well as interfaces with the launch pad support equipment. During the development process, engineers had to solve a number of problems that hampered progress. One of the most significant issues was the malfunction of an upper-stage helium valve. The helium fuel line jammed, and the valve jammed.
Blue Origin’s Falcon Heavy rocket takes 19 hours to reach the Karman line
The rocket is named New Shepard after Alan Shepard, who became the first American in space in May 1961. The rocket has full reusable technology, like the Falcon 9, and can carry people or payloads to the Karman line, which is 62 miles above Earth. The company has also named a rocket after astronaut John Glenn. If the company succeeds in reaching the Karman line, it plans to send astronauts into space.
Space flight systems must have the right performance envelope to reach the Karman line, which is 100 kilometers (62 miles) above Earth’s surface. This performance envelope will determine the flight path and duration. The first stage burns all the fuel, then the 2nd stage switches on. The more powerful the engines, the easier it is to leave Earth’s atmosphere. As the space flight system reaches the Karman line, the second stage will switch on and finish the job.
SMART-1 spacecraft traveled in a slow spiral to the Moon to conserve fuel
SMART-1 was an experimental mission that traveled to the Moon for three years. It collected data from the lunar surface, photographed the Moon, and tested a new technique called ion propulsion, which uses electrical energy to propel spacecraft. The mission was a huge success and it paved the way for future missions to the Moon. Its mission was extended until August 2006 and included more than 30 experiments, including a mission to Mercury.
SMART-1’s ion engine was powered by solar arrays to generate the 1,350 watts of energy needed to power the ion engines. The mission was launched on an Ariane 5 hypergolic EPS upper stage in August 2005. It then slid into geostationary transfer orbit. The rocket’s Aestus engine provided about 5,700 pounds of thrust. From there, the spacecraft used its electric propulsion system to spiral to higher elliptical orbits. The European Space Operations Centre is located in Darmstadt, Germany, where mission controllers oversee SMART-1’s mission.