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5. Manned Flights

In the last years a new line has emerged in cosmonautics. This line is manned flights in long-life orbital scientific stations. The first vehicle of this kind was the Salyut orbital station. The flights of the Salyut orbital station lasted nearly six months and consisted of several stages. The first stage was marked by the joint flight of the station with the Soyuz-10 spaceship. The crew executed the rendezvous and docking of the Soyuz-10 spaceship to the Salyut station. They checked the functioning of the onboard systems ensuring the delivery of the expeditions aboard the station. After the station had been a month and a half in orbit the Soyuz-11 transport spaceship delivered another crew to the station, which fulfilled a vast research program. The cosmonauts conducted a number of investigations and experiments in the interests of the national economy, they executed observations and took photographs of geological and geographical objects of the Earth’s surface, of atmospheric formations, of the snow and ice cover of the planet.

During this flight the crew carried out a considerable program of medical and biological experiments, measurements and tests to determine the optimal conditions for the life and work of cosmonauts and to establish the possibilities for the fulfillment of different jobs in space. After three and a half month manned flight the Salyut station functioned automatically.

Manned flights of our crews in circumterrestrial space cover a wide range of problems and tasks associated with space research and exploration. Among these the main are:

  • improvement of manned spacecraft, development of methods of navigation and control of spacecraft;

  • investigation of the physical characteristics of near space, of phenomena and processes occurring in it;

  • astrophysical research and observation of the Sun, Moon, stars and planets;

  • observation and survey of geological and geographical objects on the Earth’s surface to utilize the data thus obtained for the benefit of the national economy;

  • observation and photography of atmospheric formations, the snow and ice cover of the Earth to use the data obtained in short and long-term weather forecasting;

  • medical and biological research to study the effect of space flight factors on the human organism.

These tasks were being accomplished both with the help of orbital manned and automatic stations of the Soyuz spaceships. The space crew conducted a thorough comprehensive check and trial of the improved ship’s systems.

On the whole it was a test flight which confirmed the reliability of improved design, on-board systems and units.

The next purpose of the next flight was to conduct astrophysical observations of stars in the ultraviolet band.

6. Space tourism

The passed XX century was marked by incredible achievements, which were not known in the history of the human civilization before. The flight of a human being into space is considered to be a culmination of scientific-technical revolution of the last century: that was the Soviet fighter pilot, the first cosmonaut of the planet Yuri Gagarin who encircled the Earth on April 12, 1961. From this moment on the active exploration of space has started - new spacecraft were designed, automatic vehicles were sent to the planets of the Solar system, space stations were launched into orbit, a human being went into outer space and visited the Moon. The development of space industry has drawn more and more people of different professions in it - i.e. scientists, engineers, designers, test pilots. But only a few out of the hundreds thousands specialists were given a unique chance to fly to space.

Nowadays the space technologies are gradually transferring from the sphere of experimental and scientific research into the field of practical implementation. And now it's a high time for everyone not only to take use of the satellite communication, but also to fly into the real space without being a professional cosmonaut.

April 28, 2001 has become an official birthday of the space tourism - it was then that the "Soyuz TM-32" space vehicle having had aboard the first space tourist in the world was launched into space from the Baikonur launch site at 11:37 Moscow time. The American millionaire Dennis Tito has spent 7 days in orbit and dedicated his in-flight time to the Earth photographing from space. This mission successfully ended on May 6, 2001 at 9:41 Moscow time, when the descent capsule softly landed in the Kazakh steppes.

"Around 400 people have already been to space. It's a great privilege for me - to observe the Earth from space, encircling it every 90 minutes. My flight into space is not a walk, it is fulfillment of my life­long dream", - said Dennis Tito prior to take-off.

One year later, on April 25, 2002 the space tourist N2, resident of the South African Republic Mark Shuttleworth was launched into space. In contrast to Dennis Tito the second space tourist was allowed to freely move along the space station. In accordance with the agreement between ROSAVIAKOSMOS and NASA Mr. Shuttleworth was permitted to use onboard notebook computers for sending and receiving the e-mail. In addition, he was given a certain time for using the US communication system for down linking video and photo footage. When in space Mark Shuttleworth carried out his own scientific-research program, as well as participated in multiple press conferences (live broadcasting was transmitted in 30 countries of Africa).

After his 10-day space mission Mr. Shuttleworth has announced his firm desire to fulfill a new space mission "at any time". In order to commemorate this incredible event the second space tourist purchased a mock-up of the "Soyuz TM-33" descent capsule, which had successfully delivered him back to the Earth, as well as his space suit.

ATLAS aerospace company offers a real flight into space - the most unbelievable and challenging adventure. If you are able to afford this unusual space travel they will make your dream come true.

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