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Natural Science
NATS 1745
Robin Metcalfe

CH 12: THE SPACE RACE AND THE SEARCH FOR EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE March 11, 2013 Race into Space 1. 1942: The V2 rocket, a German WW2 missile became the 1st man-made object to breach Earth’s boundary (i.e the Karman Line, which is 100 km above sea level) 2. 1945: Werner von Braun, the German rocket scientist behind the V2, surrendered to the US. He later became one of the key architects of the American Space Program. 3. 1946: V2 rockets were used by the US military to take the 1st photos from space 4. Over the next decade, American and Soviet military used V2 rockets to conduct various experiments in space, including animal experiments 5. 1957: Soviets launched “Sputnik 1”, the 1st unmanned satellite to orbit the Earth. It remained in orbit for 3 months 6. 1959: Cold War fears of the soviet presence in space led to the creation of the American government funded space agency (i.e NASA; The National Aeronautics & Space Administration) 7. After Sputnik, NASA’s primary goal was to put a human into space. They succeeded in 1962. 8. Once again, they were beaten by the soviet union who launched Yuri Gagann into a complete earth orbit in 1961 9. 1959: The soviet’s 3 Luna crafts (unmanned) successfully orbited the moon landed on it and took the 1st photograph of it far side )not visible from earth due to the moons synchronous orbit) 10. 1962: JFK announces the US intentions to land man on the moon by the end of the decade 11. 1969: NASA lands Apollo 11 on the moon and astronaut Neal Armstrong becomes the first human to walk on the moon March 13, 2013 Missions to other Planets 1. 1962: A NASA spacecraft made the 1st planetary flyby (of Venus) 2. 1966-70: Soviet spacecrafts made the 1st planetary impacts and landings (on Venus) 3. 1971: A NASA spacecraft became the 1st to achieve an orbit around another planet (Mars). The orbit mapped most of the planet’s surface. 4. 1976: NASA’s Vikings 1&2 became the 1st crafts to land on Mars 5. . 2004: NASA’s Spirit & Opportunity became the 1st rovers on a planet (Mars) Space Flight 1. 1981-2011: NASA’s Space Shuttle (a rocket, orbiter and re-entry spaceplane) completed over 200 missions; eg. Satellite maintenance, space experiments & trips to the International Space Station (ISS) 2. 1998: The ISS, a habitable satellite for conducting space experiments, was launched into Earth-orbit in a joint effort by 5 space agencies. It has been continuously occupied for over 10 years March 15, 2013 3. 1982: the 1st “Canadram” (a 15-metre robotic arm (was used in a space shuttle mission, “Canadarms” have now been used in over 50 shuttle missions and are currently installed on the ISS Space Junk 1. The world’s satellites and space mission have created a shell of debris around the earth. Now estimated in the tens of millions, the debris includes defunct satellites, equipment & collision fragments Extraterrestrial Life in our Solar System 1. 1969: A camera that had been left on the moon for 2 years contained bacteria from Earth that had survived the Moon’s harsh conditions. This proved: organisms can survive in space 2. Extremophiles: life forms which can survive extreme conditions (conditions that cant sustain human life) 3. Extremophiles are the most likely forms of life to be found on other planets or moons in our solar system 4. Habitable zone (HZ): the distance from a star at which a planet can sustain liquid water on its surface (a necessity for carbon-based life) 5. Only Earth is within our Sun’s Habitable Zone 6. While the definition of HZ is carbon-centric, the unique ability of carbon to form complex molecules may suggest that carbon-based life is common 7. By searching for carbon-based life outside the HZ, we can learn ways to survive in inhospitable condit
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