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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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

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

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

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.

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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.

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? 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?

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

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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.

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