More Women are Becoming Astronauts

Women were not initially accepted as astronauts. Not so much because of concerns about harassment, though that occur somewhat by the press of the time. It was more that there were concerns over whether they would be able to handle the isolation as well and would face worse physical difficulties. However, as soon as Valentina Tereschkova proved that she could not only handle going into space just as well but also promote it, agencies gradually began accepting and training women as astronauts. First, it took getting rid of the requirement of astronauts being military test pilots, since that wasn’t available to women for decades, either.

History

While Sally Ride was the first U.S. woman in space in 1983, Valentina Tereschkova of Maslinnekovo was the very first woman in space in 1963. She spent the equivalent of three Earth days circling the planet almost 50 times in a capsule called Vostok 6. It was her only trip into space. However, she later became an ambassador for Soviet science and also worked to promote Soviet politics. Svetlana Savitskaya was the second woman in space in 1982. In 1984, when she went up for the second time, she also became the first woman to perform a spacewalk. In 1983, Sally Ride made a new record for being the youngest U.S. astronaut to travel into space at the age of 32.

Found on Pexels.com

Then there was the tragedy of Christa McAuliffe in 1986. What made McAuliffe stand out was that she was a high school social studies teacher who was selected from over 11,000 applicants from the NASA Teacher in Space project. She planned to teach two lessons and conduct research. However, NASA unwisely launched the flight in spite of weak O-rings and the the spaceship exploded just over 70 after liftoff killing McAuliffe and everyone else on board. NASA grounded all flights for two years afterward.

New Anti-Discrimination Laws

In 1978, NASA finally accepted female applicants for astronauts. However, Ride later recalled being asked unnecessary questions about her reproductive abilities and whether she was prone to break down emotionally if something went wrong by the press.

Today

By now, over 40 U.S. women have been in space. Today, that total is around 60 from almost 10 countries. That number is expected to continue to increase.

In fact, an article in the July 2019 issue of the National Geographic claims that women may be better suited for space flight. It argued that women actually tend to suffer from space-related physical issues less because of their smaller statures. Women’s personality traits tend to be more suited for long periods of isolation.

It is true that difficult wilderness coping studies have found that most women were able to bounce back with their original fat indexes afterward. However, whether this will be so for long space missions remains to be seen.

Conclusion

I agree that more women should go to space if they wish. After all, no significant differences have been found as far as physical challenges and emotional coping skills are concerned. As the fight for gender equality marches on, the number of women in space is expected to continue.

When are we actually going to Mars?

Humanity has been fascinated by Mars and other planets since long before the first astronaut landed on the moon. It has been reported that we are finally ready to start sending some people to Mars.

The Four Phases

The plan includes five phases of the journey. Phase 0 involved conducting a lot of tests at the ISS (International Space Station) and developing partnerships with private space agencies. Phase I is the current phase, which involves a lot of testing of SLS rockets, which will be service stations for the route to Mars. They are designed to be located near the moon.

Phase II will launch the Deep Space Transport tube toward the lunar stations sometime between 2027 and 2029. Astronauts are expected to live in the tube for at least 400 days. Then Phase III will be restocking the Transport and the crew through the SLS. Phase IV will be the journey itself.

Found on VentureLessons.com

Challenges

If all goes according to the plan, it means we’re only about 14 years away from completing the mission that has only been dreamed about for the past several decades. However, there have been some financial challenges to meeting the goals. As of 2017, NASA’s budget was barely .05 percent of the U.S. budget. In comparison, it was over four percent for the Apollo missions.

There is also the issue of maintaining the astronauts health and well-being. Since the mission is expected to take two or three earth years, the astronauts will need to take enough food, air, and supplies to keep them selves sustained for that long. Mental health will also need to be taken into consideration as they will be sealed in the tube with no outlet for an emergency return once it leaves the Cislunar port.

One experiment that has shown some promising results is the HI-SEAS isolation experiments. This is an experiment which involves sealing off small crews near the peak of the Maura Loa volcano. However, we can’t really predict what’s going to happen to humanity on Mars while we’re still on Earth. The best prediction that we can safely make is that going to Mars probably won’t be for everyone. Not everyone will probably want to go, either.

As before, NASA also has some competition. Only this time, it’s with Space X and Boeing. Both have said that they expect to launch by or on 2020, with the goal of arriving by 2022. However, NASA expects the competition to be friendly. They are hoping that if the private companies work out the challenges that they will be able to build on that and able to spend their budgets on other challenges.

The end goal, of course, is for us to establish a permanent colony on Mars. The plan is for this to occur by 2117. However, the challenges are not expected to stop there. After all, we will have to adapt to the conditions of Mars. As a result, we will need to be equipped to handle disruptions, health issues, and emotional challenges. There is also a concern that consanguinity or being descended from the same ancestor could bring about genetic glitches.

More About the HI-SEAS

HI-SEAS stand for Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation. The Maura Loa was chosen because its environment is very similar to Mars. It is located over 8,000 feet above sea level. It has very little variation in weather conditions and its environment alone makes for a space-like exploration. It is still affected by lava from fairly recent explosions so it doesn’t currently have very much vegetation or animal life.

It has a habitat volume of about -13,000 feet and a floor space of approximately -1200 feet, which is useful for crews of six at a time. It contains small sleeping quarters, a kitchen, laboratory, restroom, airlock, and some space for the gritty work in the geographical fields. There is also a hospital that is an hour long drive away in case of emergencies.

The crew selection is not controlled by researchers. Instead, they are selected by HI-SEAS more or less by chance from places such as Antarctic conditions. They have also managed to establish a mission control communication system the way it is predicted to be during a trip to Mars with a 29-minute delay between the reception of messages.

Conclusion

The trip to Mars is predicted to be a challenging one. The plan is not a means to an end. The plan is an entire move of human life from Earth to Mars. It is not predicted to be an easy one either mentally or emotionally. However, populating Mars will be the safest thing we can do until we design something that will get us out of the Milky Way galaxy.

5 Cars That Drove in Space

Astronauts David Scott and James Irwin landed on the Moon forty-eight years ago. It was only NASA’s fourth mission to the Moon aboard Apollo 15 on July 30, 1971. I know as some of you are reading this article silently to yourself and thinking so what. Well, for starters their mission was even more of a paradigm shift in our unquenchable thirst to explore the Moon. David Scott and James Irwin were the first astronauts to drive on the Moon’s surface. I know right? Is your mind blown just thinking about driving on the Moon’s surface in a dune buggy sized rover. So, not only did they go into space they had fun on the surface of the Moon. I think this gives new meaning to whistle while you work.

The Apollo 15 would not be the only mission where there would be cars in space. In 2004 the third car would be Spirit and the fourth would be the Opportunity Rover. Since they were twins they both had the same mission on the Red Planet we call Mars. The mission was to look for liquid water and to find out if the planet could sustain life. Spirit and Opportunity both took pictures and transmitted videos back to NASA for image analysis. That is where the significance or the discovery that Mars was once wetter than previously thought. This now brought up the question of life on Mars and how would it have developed. The ability to have roving vehicles on Mars has helped increase the knowledge about the once mysterious planet and its atmosphere.

The fifth car in space was the Curiosity Rover. The Curiosity Rover was launched from Cape Canaveral on November 26, 2011. Its mission is pretty straight forward to explore the crate Gale on Mars. The Curiosity functions as part of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission. There is impressive engineering onboard the Curiosity. It has a nuclear-powered battery source and at first, NASA thought its mission would last two years, but now believe they can make it last indefinitely. I don’t know about you but speaking for myself I am excited about what the future of space travel holds.

Found on Pixabay

I look forward to all of the new pictures from space . I guess that is why I follow NASA on social media. Addendum note that the Lunar Rover was the first car on the moon, but the dune-buggy used by Scott and Irwin was the first battery-powered rover. I am not perfect just trying to keep my facts straight. I hoped you enjoyed traveling with me on my own space writing odyssey. I highly recommend watching The documentary Chasing the Moon: Apollo 11 Mission it is very information filled piece of work. I would give it 5 stars for sure as far as giving a peek into the astronauts’ lives after the mission was completed. I found the facts about how they were treated on college campuses very upsetting. I don’t want to spoil it for you so just know that is only this writer’s personal opinion.

Just for a quick recap of the 5 space cars:

#1 Lunar rover
#2 Dunebuggy
#3 Spirit
#4 Opportunity
#5 Curiosity

Reflecting on Apollo 11

July 16, 1969 is a day that will be forever burned into the memories of not just the American people, but the entire world as a whole. The Apollo 11 mission was the culmination of a declaration by President John F, Kennedy who stated, “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated before he could see the realization of his speech at Rice Stadium come to fruition. Apollo 11 explained the reasons why we had to go to space. The astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, and Michael Collins blasted off into space headed for the moon, no one knew for sure how their mission would turn out. There were so many unknown variables about the effect of space travel that were a mystery at that time. Who knows what would have become of our space exploration future, if they had not succeeded. I know that seeing this inspirational moment made people think of space in a whole new way.

They landed on the Moon people were able to see the pictures of a place baron and desert-like with craters everywhere. Neil Armstrong tested the gravity by holding on to the ladder before venturing all the way out from the space capsule to do his now-famous spacewalk. Buzz Aldrin soon followed as the second man to walk on the moon. Michael Collins stated in the documentary Casing The Moon that Neil Armstrong did not have a prepared speech for when they landed. It was only after the press asked him before the launch what was he going to say to the world when they landed on the moon. Neil Armstrong stated, “I’ll know when I get there.”

There are so many things that people did not know at that time like that the astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin”Buzz” Aldrin spent over 21 hours and 36 minutes on the Moon’s surface. Once they landed they were instant stars and celebrated all over the world not just in America. What some people may not know is that they were not welcome on a lot of college campuses in America. Chasing The Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission documentary highlights the unfortunate fact that it was not unusual for the astronauts to be booed, heckled or to have eggs thrown at them while trying to speak on college campuses. Michael Collins believed that the younger people saw them as part of the Nixon establishment. The anti-war people were raising their voices about Vietnam and their opposition to it. I think it was just a different time then and people were caught in all of the emotions that came with the war in Vietnam.

NBC created a beautiful short video summarizing the Apollo 11 mission.

Video found on Youtube.com

Apollo 11 to me personally means that I could dream of traveling to space as a tourist like Dennis Tito did in 2001. I feel there would never have been an International Space Station. I also feel that we would have never even dared to have thought about traveling to Mars or colonizing it. There would not be billionaires like Elon Musk, Richard Branson and whoever else is joining up to offer tours to the Earth’s lower orbit. Space X has launched and landed the first reusable Falcon rocket for future space missions to send supplies to the International Space Station. I think that all of these new space innovations were born from the work and the laid foundation of German engineers and American engineers working together for a common cause at NASA. I am one grateful sky watcher and I one day hope to be able to afford to go into space on one of the tours. In the next few years, we are going to see a whole new industry that will compete with the airline industry. The long flights could soon be a thing of the past.

Where To Take The Best Space Photos in Arizona

You’ve gotten used to working with a telescope and have delved into the amazing world of astronomy for a bit. Now, you want to capture the beauty the night sky. How? By taking space photos, of course!

How to Take Space Photos:

Taking clear, beautiful images of space, or astrophotography, is easy. You don’t have to be an expert to capture these night sky images. In fact, all you need is your telescope and smart phone–it’s as simple as attaching your mobile phone to your telescope and start snapping! However you need to know where to go. Arizona is possibly one of the best states for capturing the night sky. Here’s a helpful list of five of the best places to take space photos in Arizona.

Tempe Town Lake

Space Photos Tempe Lake
Image from Wikipedia.org

Tempe Town Lake, located in the heart of Tempe, AZ, is a 2-mile long man-made lake created from the dry Salt River. This beautiful reservoir stretches across a surface area of 224 acres, some of which is known as Tempe Beach Park, where numerous activities take place year round. Because of the many activities taking place here, from boating, fishing, hiking and more, Tempe Town Lake would make an excellent and safe environment for space photography.

Phoenix Mountain Preserve

This cluster of parks located among the Phoenix Mountains in Phoenix, AZ include: Piestewa Peak, Camelback Mountain Park, Papago Park and other beautiful parks. The desert-type environment throughout these parks in Phoenix Mountain is predominately made-up of small mountains and foothills. Because of this small mountainous terrain, capturing the best space photos would be perfect here, atop one of these mountains or foothills.

Estrella Mountain Park

This breath-taking park is part of the Sierra Estrella Mountain range in Phoenix, AZ. The park occupies a span of 19,840 acres of land, and offers a variety of activities to pursue. If you’re looking for a quiet, isolated type area to capture the most amazing space pictures, I suggest Estrella Mountain Park.

Oracle State Park

Named after the nearby town of Oracle, AZ, Oracle State Park is a wildlife refuge area, preserving 3,948 acres of land in the northeastern foothills of Arizona. This beautiful park is home to an abundance of unique plants, from Prickly Pear Cacti, to the occasional Juniper. It is also home to a variety of wildlife species, including: golden eagles, great horned owls, javelinas, cougars, jack rabbits, box turtles, Arizona alligator lizards, bull snakes and so many more. Oracle State Park is a great wide-open place to take fascinating space photos, and possibly sneak a few wildlife photos, as well.

Grand Canyon National Park

Finally, one of the most popular and beautiful tourist attractions in the U.S is, of course, the Grand Canyon. Not only do people from all over the world come here for the breath-taking sites of the Grand Canyon itself, but the astounding Colorado River, and many other attractions. Covering a grand total of 1,217,262 acres, the Grand Canyon National Park is the go-to spot for its awesome views and epic adventures that happen once in a lifetime. These reasons alone might be why one would visit to get some impressive space images, not to mention the clarity and depth of the night sky here is completely unreal.

These are just a few of the best and most beautiful space photo spots in Arizona that I can think of. So, if you’re ever in the great state of Arizona, or if you happen to already live there, you want to remember to take your telescope and a good mobile phone along with you when visiting these places. Go and capture the beauty of space and wonder what the night sky has to offer.

Hobby Astronomer Guide To Telescopes

Are you looking for an exciting new hobby to delve into, and love the beauty of space? Then, it’s time to get a new telescope! You will get a chance to view and learn all about the celestial wonders of space right from the comfort of your backyard.

To make getting started with your new hobby easier, I’ve created a Telescope Guide detailing three of the best telescopes for any Hobby Astronomer and space enthusiast. So, whether you’re just starting out, or have years of experience gazing through the wanders of space, I hope this will be your guide to finding the perfect telescope that is right for you.

Emarth Telescope

Beginner telescope

The Emarth telescope is one of the best Hobby Telescopes for kids and beginners. It includes a 360mm (f/5.1) magnification focal length and a 77mm aperture, high-quality optics complete with a 5×24 finder scope and interchangeable eyepieces and finally, it has easy and convenient usability. Emarth is an especially good choice for traveling, as it’s portable and doesn’t require any tools to set it up, plus it comes with an adjustable tripod and carry bag.

Celestron NexStar 6SE Telescope

Hobby astronomer telescope


This high-quality telescope provides the most optimized viewing experience, complete with an updated but familiar iconic “orange tube” design that brings the latest features. With a light gathering power of 459x compared to the human eye, you will be able to view great distances. Celestron also provides a 6-inch aperture with light gathering ability capable of viewing the Moon, planets and other celestial objects with accurate precision, and with SkyAlign technology, you’re telescope will automatically align in minutes. Plus, with a fully-automated GoTo mount that includes an impressive database, you can locate objects with ease. Celestron is an excellent choice for anyone wanting the most accurate view of the night sky.

Orion 9827 AstroView 6 Equatorial Reflector Telescope

 astoomer

With a 6-inch aperture and a 750mm (f/5) focal length Newtonian reflector, Orion lets us discover the most satisfying viewing experience yet–from close-by celestial objects to distant galaxies and nebula’s. This high-quality telescope also provides eyepieces allowing up to 30 to 75x views, a 6×30 finder scope, an adjustable tripod, Starry Night software and much more. Orion is not only good for viewing distant objects in deep space, but providing a wide view of the entire sky.

Whether you’re new to the celestial viewing journey, or have a lot of experience, hopefully one of these telescopes is the perfect fit for your next stargazing adventure.

Apollo 11: Celebrating 50 Years Since The Moon Landing

Celebrate one of the biggest accomplishments of mankind with us. Apollo 11 and its crew landed on the moon 50 years ago.

Here are some of our favorite space shots:

With a few interesting projects on the radar for the next 10 years, when do you think we’ll revisit the moon? Would you rather like to visit the moon or mars? Let us know in the comments.