Spaceflight

Spaceflight covers topics related to human presence in outer space. Learn about weightlessness, astronauts and space tourism in this section.

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He stood just 5 feet, 2 inches. But Gagarin cast an enormously long shadow in space exploration, both for his achievements and his mysterious death.

By Nathan Chandler

We’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s historic journey to the moon.

When there are 16 sunsets every day, getting some shut-eye becomes a bit of an issue. Do astronauts get through it with some warm milk as they float?

By John Fuller & Maria Trimarchi

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In the 1960s, space food was either cubed or tubed, and it wasn't very appetizing. Today's astronauts have a more palatable array from which to choose. Where is it developed?

By Maria Trimarchi

Some people don't believe a man walked on the moon. Others still think the Earth is flat. Are the Illuminati preparing the Earth to become an alien colony?

By Jonathan Strickland

Would you be able to hear the Starship Enterprise if it zipped past you in space? Would the destruction of the Death Star be completely silent?

By Jonathan Strickland

Almost everyone dreams of floating effortlessly like astronauts in space. The Zero Gravity Corporation offers this experience to the public. Go inside G-FORCE-ONE to find out what it's like to somersault in zero gravity and how simulating weightlessness works.

By Jonathan Strickland

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We know who won – top-runner SpaceShipOne. We know what the team receives for that accomplishment: $10 million and an obscenely gigantic trophy. But what about the story behind the contest? Learn about the rules, restrictions, red tape, test crashes, successful launches and the technological innovations that may get you into sub-orbit sooner than you think.

By Lacy Perry

In the early days of the space race, several animals went into orbit, including dogs, chimps and one intrepid cat. Who was this forgotten feline from the French space program?

By Nathan Chandler

Nobody's nose knows better than NASA's George Aldrich. He's the longest-serving member of the space agency's odor panel, which basically sniffs and smells everything that goes up into space.

By John Donovan

It's launch time for the first privately funded space flight. In the course of battle for the X Prize, a group called Scaled Composites has built and tested SpaceShipOne, a sub-orbital spacecraft intended to carry tourists on the ride of their life. Learn all about the craft.

By Robert Valdes

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On September 18, 2006, Anousheh Ansari, a telecommunications entrepreneur, became the first female space tourist and the fourth space tourist overall. Could you be next? Find out what's in the works to get you to space.

By Kevin Bonsor

Like a firefighter or a rock star, an astronaut is one of those jobs kids say they want to have when they grow up. If you're still serious, we can tell you what it takes.

By William Harris & Sascha Bos

How long can a human survive in outer space? In science fiction movies, this seems to be an area of much creative license, with some people exploding instantly, and others surviving for nearly a minute without long-term ill effect. I read once that one's blood would boil, but I read elsewhere that this isn't true. So what is it?

We are seeing a lot more space suits now that the international space station is occupied. Learn how space suits work and why they cost $12 million each!

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.

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A new space race is on -- who will be the first to build a space hotel? One company has gathered 3 billion dollars to do just that. Find out what life in a luxury space hotel might be like.

By Jacob Silverman

When nature calls, you have to listen. But when you're in microgravity, going to the bathroom can be a major challenge. How do astronauts get the job done?

By Stephanie Watson

I would like to know how an astronaut, who is in a space suit for hours, can eat, drink and eliminate fluid- and solid-waste byproducts? What "mechanics" are built into the suit and how do they operate?

When most people think of NASA, they probably think of astronauts and the Kennedy Space Center. But there's a whole lot more to this 60-year-old organization.

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D. & Patrick J. Kiger

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Space food has come a long way from Project Mercury's paste-filled tubes. Today's astronauts select menus that include everything from macaroni and cheese to brownies. So do astronauts really eat space ice cream?

By Stephanie Watson

Internet king turned rocketman? After making his fortune on the Web, Elon Musk entered the commercial space race. Will this businessman and his SpaceX company make space tourism affordable?

By Jane McGrath

As the International Space Station astronauts return to Earth after a three-month stay, learn about the effects of weightlessness on the body.

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.

Blasting a spacecraft into space is one thing. Bringing it back in one piece is another. Spacecraft are likely to burn up into bits if they aren't specially insulated and designed for the ride.

By Jane McGrath

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Believe it or not, to get to space and back, NASA relies on a piece of technology that's been around for centuries. Just what is a gimbal, anyway?

By Jonathan Strickland

These outer space abodes will have to protect inhabitants from extreme temperatures, radiation and flying moon dust. One man is actually selling deeds for lunar property at $20 a pop. Seriously?

By Cristen Conger