For an explanation, see the main splats page
SPLATS about Space exploration
- All matter has mass. Objects with mass exert a force on each other. Gravity is this force: it holds us on the earth, and it keeps the earth orbiting the sun.
- Our sun is a star like other stars, but it is much closer than the other stars we can see in the night sky. All of our energy comes from the sun originally.
- Gravitational forces operate in space and in a vacuum, although when a spacecraft is in free fall, it may seem to those inside as though there is no gravity.
- The accelerational force due to gravity diminishes with distance, in accordance with the inverse square law: double the distance, quarter the effect.
- Objects in free fall are always influenced by gravitational forces, mostly those of the nearest massive bodies, even if the forces are not detectable.
- The escape velocity from a body depends on the mass of the body being escaped from, and the distance from it. It is usually given as a value from the surface.
- One method of accelerating spacecraft for flight to other planets is the gravity assist, which adds velocity to the craft by taking some from a large body.
- A rocket operates in accordance with Newton's laws of motion, using reaction as a means of propulsion. Rockets can work even better in a vacuum than in air.
- A rocket is the only sort of vehicle which can operate in space, because it does not require oxygen to burn fuel, or need anything to push against.
- In 1869, Edward Everett Hale foresaw space stations when he wrote The Brick Moon. This was an artificial satellite placed in orbit as a navigational aid.
- In 1895, Konstantin Tziolkovsky proposed the use of liquid-fuel rockets for navigation in space, because they could be controlled, turned on and off.
- In 1903, Konstantin Tziolkovsky wrote of using rockets to reach outer space, space suits, and colonization of the solar system, the use of liquid oxygen.
- In 1919, Robert Goddard suggested a rocket could be used to reach the moon. He actually wanted to shoot for Mars, but felt the Moon was more plausible.
- In 1952, Wernher von Braun discussed the technical details of a manned exploration of Mars in The Mars Project. Like Robert Goddard, Mars was his big dream.
- In 1990, the launch of Hubble Space telescope took place, complete with faulty optics that took until 1993 to fix, when the first servicing mission flew.
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