The Story of Manned Space Stations: An Introduction (Springer Praxis Books)

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In , France decided to expand its plans for automated satellites for materials processing to include the development of a small 10 ton spaceplane to be launched on top of a future heavy-lifting Ariane rocket. This Hermes spaceplane would give Europe its own human spaceflight capability for shuttling crews between Earth and space stations.

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The European Space Agency backed the proposal. Unfortunately, after detailed studies, the project was cancelled in If Hermes had been introduced into service, it could have become the preferred "space taxi" for ferrying crews to and from the International Space Station.

But that opportunity was lost. This book provides the first look of the complete story of and reasons for the demise of this ambitious program. It also gives an account which pieces of Hermes survived and are active in the 2nd decade of the 21st century. This fascinating story will be a great read for space enthusiasts.

Human Spaceflight and Exploration

These stations are also designed from the outset to have their supplies provided by logistical support, which allows for a longer lifetime at the cost of requiring regular support launches. These stations have various issues that limit their long-term habitability, such as very low recycling rates, relatively high radiation levels, and a lack of gravity. Some of these problems cause discomfort and long-term health effects. In the case of solar flares, all current habitats are protected by the Earth's magnetic field, and are below the Van Allen belts.

Future space habitats may attempt to address these issues, and are intended for long-term occupation. Some designs might even accommodate large numbers of people, essentially " cities in space," which people would make their homes. No such design has yet been constructed, because even for a small station, the extra equipment is too expensive to place in orbit. Possible ways to deal with these costs would be building large numbers of rockets economies of scale , reusable rockets, In Situ Resource Utilization, or the hypothetical construction of space elevators.

Following the controlled deorbiting of Mir in , the International Space Station became the only space station currently in orbit; it has been continuously manned since October 30, As of September 9, , it was Crew and visitors counting is non-distinct. New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed the Wikipedia article in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards.

This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.

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Credit is due under the terms of this license that can reference both the New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation. The preparations for a renewal of human exploration beyond low Earth orbit must take into account both the physical and psychological challenges which human beings will face in making such journeys.

Projects addressing the psychological challenges of isolation are described, such as the recently concluded Mars simulation of a mission to Mars. These basic needs are the same for humans in space as on Earth, but nature must be copied by mechanical and physicochemical equipment. In particular, the limited volume and the very high cost of transportation require the application of individual weight, volume, and power-optimized systems for any given mission duration.

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The conditions are very similar to those in a submarine, apart from the fact that in an emergency the submarine can reach a safe condition in a short time. The similarities and systems used in submarines were amongst the first inputs for the design of spacecraft life support systems.

Concepts optimized to mission duration are mandatory because human needs and space missions are both very much time dependent. Modern life support systems can handle the recovery of oxygen and water to a very high degree, which reduces the resupply mass quite considerably.

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For future systems the food loop must be at least partially closed by growing plants from waste products in order to further reduce the difficult resupply or initial high transportation costs. This chapter provides an overview of possible regenerative functions and system concepts, life support systems employed in the first 50 years of human spaceflight, and options for future biological life support systems for long-term space exploration. A spacefarer, a fragile human being, working outside a spacecraft in space or outside a habitat on the surface of another celestial body such as the Moon or Mars, needs a breathable atmosphere, protection against vacuum or very low pressures, adequate mechanical, thermal, and radiation protection, communications, a means to move from worksite to worksite, and a way to use diversified tools.

To justify complex systems satisfying all these human-specific needs, it is desirable to exploit the advantages of a human being at work i. This can only be accomplished by providing the spacefarer with a suit that is tailored to the mission concerned. The first space suits 50 years ago fulfilled the single simple objective to provide a breathable atmosphere for an hour or two. In less than a decade, suits for use on the lunar surface had been developed and today spacewalkers annually spend hundreds of hours undertaking the construction and necessary maintenance of a space station.

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  • For a future mission to Mars, the challenging task is to design a suit with a mass less than half that of the suits used by the Apollo astronauts on the Moon. This chapter gives a historical overview of past and present space suits, and the important accomplishments achieved, and analyzes the problems in designing future suits and the technologies required. In this chapter a review is given of astronaut selection campaigns carried out to date.

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    The initial selections were undertaken in the United States and the Soviet Union. In the beginning the candidates were predominantly men having military backgrounds. Male engineers and doctors followed. With the exception of one occasion in the early s, it was not until around that women were admitted as astronaut candidates.