If you love gazing at the night sky, maybe you also asked yourself what traveling to space would feel like. Astronauts actually get to do just that, as they explore everything that’s beyond our Blue Planet. In this article, we will discover what it takes to become an astronaut, as well as how they make their amazing journey into space!
Table of contents
What is an astronaut?
A person who has undergone special training to travel to space is known as an astronaut. Depending on the mission, they are selected based on their technical and scientific skills and abilities. However, their level of physical and mental fitness is taken into consideration as well.
(Image courtesy NASA, Astronaut Michael Edward Fossum/ Astronaut Piers Sellers during the third spacewalk of STS-121, a demonstration of orbiter heat shield repair techniques)
Astronauts work for space agencies such as NASA, SpaceX, or ESA (just to name some), and they must complete years of intense hard training before they receive the opportunity to apply for a space mission.
How do astronauts get to space?
It is possible for humans to reach outer space by using multistage rockets. Designed in the tall thin “rocket” shape, these powerful vehicles are capable of reaching rapidly tremendous acceleration while defying Earth’s gravitational pull. Rockets take off vertically, and once in space, they can either orbit our Blue Planet or further investigate and explore the cosmos beyond it.
(Image courtesy NASA / ESA astronaut and Expedition 68 Commander Samantha Cristoforetti has fun with fluid physics as she observes the behavior of a free-flying water bubble inside the International Space Station’s Kibo laboratory module)
However, reaching space doesn’t come without its challenges. Space debris (also known as space garbage or space pollution) is a threat to both crewed and uncrewed spacecraft trying to enter into Earth’s orbit. Dead spacecraft, such as spacecraft that broke apart in space or satellites no longer functioning, equipment lost by astronauts, or boosters, are all space junk.
(Image courtesy European Space Agency)
How do astronauts go into orbit?
a) By car
b) By spaceship
c) By bike
What do astronauts do while they are in space?
Depending on the mission they are on, astronauts perform various activities and tasks while in space. Some astronauts explore and practically apply new ways of how to work in the absence of gravity, on the spacecraft and space station they are living in. Others carry out scientific research. They can study the stars and our amazing Blue Planet, as well as carry out experiments aimed at better understanding space. But living in space can have harmful effects on the body, that’s why astronauts also need to exercise daily to maintain their health.
Did you know?
- Yuri Gagarin, a Russian cosmonaut, became the first person to travel to space in 1961.
- To protect themselves from the harsh environment of space, astronauts must wear specialized spacesuits.
- Astronauts live and work on the International Space Station (ISS), a habitable artificial satellite that orbits the Earth.
(Image courtesy Macedonian Post)
Which person traveled to space first?
a) Neil Armstrong
b) Yuri Gagarin
c) Buzz Aldrin
Being an astronaut is an amazing career, but it also requires a lot of courage, commitment, and hard training.
Why don’t you try finding out more about the amazing work that astronauts accomplish? If you know yourself to be fascinated by science or space exploration, this might be the ideal profession for you! Who knows, one day you might be among the first humans to visit Mars or another planet!!
P.S. Don’t forget to leave your quiz answers in the comments!
(Image courtesy NASA, Astronaut Scott Kelly/ Scott Kelly takes this photo from the bay window of the International Space Station. The Bahamas can be seen below)
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