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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How do spacecraft re-enter the Earth's atmosphere?

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.

How Fixing the Hubble Spacecraft Works

Since the Hubble Space Telescope launched in 1990, it has been plagued with problems that require frequent repairs. How does NASA fix it?

How RocketCam Works

This video camera hitches a ride on the space shuttle to provide ground control with a bird's eye view of the launch. How could RocketCam have prevented the Columbia space shuttle tragedy?

Astronaut Pictures

Astronauts have a reputation for being the brave and skilled few willing to risk their lives by strapping themselves aboard a rocket and blasting into outer space. This collection of images highlights some of the many challenges they face.

How Virgin Galactic Works

The not-so-distant future, regular people will be able to take flights into space. So how do you score a spot on a Virgin Galactic flight?

How Astronauts Work

Astronauts risk their lives in the pursuit of science. How does NASA know who can be an astronaut? And what do they do when they're not in space?

Why are there dozens of dead animals floating in space?

Neil Armstrong may have been the first man on the moon, but he wouldn't have gotten there without fruit flies, rhesus monkeys or a dog.

How Space Junk Works

Humans produce plenty of trash on Earth, but you might be surprised to learn how much we've managed to leave in space. What's floating around up there? And will it come crashing down on our heads?

Top 10 Space Conspiracy Theories

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?

How do astronauts eat in space?

How do you eat when you're in a low-gravity environment? Space programs have come up ingenious contraptions and packaging methods to make astronauts' meal times as normal as possible.

Is space tourism safe?

If you had the money, would you pay $200,000 to launch into space? For at least one couple, the answer is yes. But is a space tour safe for the average citizen?

Can humans hear in space?

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?

How Space Food Works

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?

How could a hotel orbit the Earth?

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.

Neil Armstrong Is the First Man on the Moon

Neil Armstrong's "one small step" signified a completely new achievement for humankind. Learn about the mission that put the first man on the moon.

Behind the X Prize

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.

How SpaceShipOne Works

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.

How Project Mercury Worked

Project Mercury launched the first American into space. Have a look back at this historic mission.

How Weightlessness Works

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

How do astronauts function in their space suits for hours at a time?

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?

How long can a human survive in outer space?

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?

How do I become an astronaut?

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.

How Space Suits Work

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!

How Space Tourism Works

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.

How does going to the bathroom in space work?

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?


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