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Golden Guides and Golden Field Guides!
Golden", A Golden Guide", and Golden Press"
are trademarks of Wester Publishing Company, Inc.
The author woul d like to thank many peopl e for thei r con
tri buti ons to tbrs book: fi rst of al l , Carol i ne Greenberg and
Remo Cosenti no at Gol den Press for thei r t i rel ess hel p,
expertise, and fri endshi p; col l eagues Bonny Lee Mi chael son,
Dr. Robert E. Murphy of NASA, Frederi ck I . Ordway, I l l , l an
Pryke of ESA; Leonard Davi d, Dr. Gl en P. Wi l son, and
commercialastronaut Charl es Wal ker for thei r assi stance;
other coll eagues on the Board of Di rectors and the staff of
the Nati onal Space Soci ety; Ron Mi l l er for hi s arti sti c con
tri buti ons; and the peopl e at the photo l i brari es of NASA
Hedquarters, Johnson Space Center, and Jet Propul si on Lab
oratory, as wel l as others who suppl i ed photographs and
assi stance.
Fi nal ly, I woul d l i ke to express my i ndebtedness to the l ate
Dr. Wernher von Braun, whom I never qui te had a chance to
met, but whose i des and writi ngs, many yers ago, rst i ntr
ested me in space explorati on.
M. R. C.
JJ Western Publ i shi n

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INTRODUCTION ...................................................................... 5
HISTORY OF SPACE FLIGHT ............................................................ 9
Early rockets; Spaceflight in science fiction; Space Age begins;
Manned spaceflight; Lunar exploration; Apollo program; Space sta
tions; Skylab; Planetary exploration
THE SOLAR SYSTEM ............................................................... 22
EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE .......................................................... 24
THE SPACE ENVIRONMENT .................................................... 26
SPACE MEDICINE ................................................................... 31
LIVING IN SPACE ................................................................... 34
SPACESUITS AND EVA ........................................................... 37
ASTRONAUTS ........................................................................ 39
WHAT KEEPS A SATELLITE UP? .............................................. .41
Kepler's Laws; Orbits; Space navigation; Space tracking
ROCKET PRINCIPLES ................................................... , .......... 52
U.S. ROCKETS ................................................................... , ... 57
Early rockets; Scout; Atlas; Delta; Titan; Space shuttle; Aerospace
plane; Agena; Centaur; Payload assist module; Transfer orbit stage
and advanced maneuvering stage; Inertial upper stage; Pegasus
SOVIET ROCKETS .................................................................. .77
A and B series; C and D series; F and J series; Energia; Space
shuttle and spaceplane
EUROPEAN ROCKETS ............................................................. 84
Ariane; HOTOL; Hermes; Sanger/Horus
JAPANESE ROCKETS .............................................................. 89
Lambda, Mu, and N series; H series
CHINESE ROCKETS ................................................................. 91
INDIAN ROCKETS .................................................................. 93
ISRELI ROCKET .................................................................... 94
OUT TO LUNCH ................................................................... 95
LUNCH SITES ....................................................................... 98
Kennedy Space Center; Vandenberg Air Force Base; Wallops Island;
Plesetsk; Tyuratam; Kapustin Yar; Tanegashima; Kagoshima; Jiuquan;
Xichang; Guiana Space Center; Sriharikota; San Marco; Esrange
SATELLITES .......................................................................... 1 1 4
Anatomy of a satellite; Research and applications satellites; Hubble
Space Telescope; Galilee; AXAF; Ulysses; Phobos; CRAF; Commu
nications satellites; Remote sensing satellites; Landsat; Spot; GOES;
NOAA; Navstar; Manufacturing in microgravit
MIR SPACE STATION ............................................................ 1 40
U.S. SPACE STATION ........................................................... 1 42
MILITARY USES OF SPACE .................................................... 14
FUTURE SPACE MISSIONS .................................................... 1 49
Lunar bases; Mission to Mars; Asteroid mining; Space settlements;
Solar sails; Starflight
ORGANIZATIONS AND RESOURCES ..................................... 1 55
Space organizations; NASA facilities; Space museums and exhibits;
Books and magazines; Photo credits
INDEX ................................................................................. 1 57
The space program is one of the most exci t i ng and si gni fi
cant endeavors i n human h i story. We have reached out i n
per son t o E arth or bi ts and t he Moon, wi t h our robot
spaceprobes beyond t he edge of t he sol ar system, and wi th
our i nstruments to the edge of the un iverse.
Al though the Space Age began as a contest beteen the
Sovi et Uni on and the Uni ted States of Ameri ca {and to some
extent sti l l i s}, many other nati ons are now "space-capabl e, "
i ncl udi ng Bri tai n, France, I ndi a, Japan, Chi na, and I srael . Sev
eral more wi l l gai n that capabi l i ty soon. Hundreds of oper
ati onal satel l i tes and spaceprobes are i n orbi t ri ght now,
and the number i s growi ng. Moreover, not onl y nati ons but
private fi rms are now bui l di ng and l aunchi ng both rockets and
satel l i tes.
Over the past coupl e of decades, the Soviet Uni on has typ
ical ly l aunched about 1 00 satel l ites a year, the U. S. 20 to 25,
and other nati ons combi ned another hal f dozen or so. Most
of the Sovi et l aunches are mi l i tary i n nature, al though that
nati on makes l ess of a di sti ncti on beteen mi l i tary and ci vi l
i an spacecraft than do West
ern nati ons.
The mai n focu s of th i s
book i s t h e ci vi l i an space
effor around the worl d. Much
space hardware and termi
nol ogy, however, came from
mi l i tary programs, and so a
sect i on on mi l i tary uses of
space i s al so i ncl uded.
Boot pr i nt i n t he l u nar dus t
COSTS OF SPACE EXPLORATI ON seem hi gh, but there are
al so great rewards. In the Uni ted States, the enti re ci vi l i an
space budget cost l ess than 8/ 1 0 of 1 percent of t he federal
budget yearl y duri ng the 1 980s. A maj or space endeavor,
such as the Gal i l eo spaceprobe to Jupi ter, costs each per
son in the U. S. onl y about $4. 50, about the pri ce of a
hamburger, fri es, and a shake in 1 990.
BENEFI TS OF SPACE EXPLORATION are great but are not
easy to quanti f. Besi des the i ntel l ectual rewards of expl or
i ng and understandi ng our pl ace i n the uni verse, there are
real economi c benefi ts. What is the val ue of a human l i fe
saved by a search- and- rescue satel l i te? How much money
is it worth to know a hurri cane wi l l hi t a certai n ci ty? What
i s i t worth to mai ntai n a l ead i n h i gh technol ogy? Even
more nebul ous, how much i s it worth to know about the satel
l i tes of J upi ter or the exi stence of bl ack hol es?
Whi le it i s di fficul t to come
up with defi nite numbers, it is
cl ear that space programs
around the world have made
i t possi bl e to manage beter
t he pl anet t hat has been
cal l ed "Spacesh i p Earth , "
and hel p make i t a better,
safer pl ace to l ive.
Over t he n ext decade
commerci al f i r ms , not j ust
governments, wi l l begi n to
use the resul ts of space pro
grams to benefi t everyone on
Earth photographed from space
SATELLI TES can be exci ti ng,
but you have t o be i n te
ri ght pl ace at the ri ght ti me.
Rocket l aunches take place
from onl y a few locations: I n
the U. S. , the onl y one easi l y
avai l abl e to the publ i c i s the
Ken nedy Space Center i n
Fl ori da. Although the publ i c i s
not al lowed on the grounds
dur i ng a l aunch, there are
many nearby beach areas
from whi ch l aunches can be
seen . Ci vi l i an l aunches are
u s u a l l y a n n o u n ced i n
advance; mi l i tary l aunches
a l mos t n ever a re . Ni g h t
l au n ches a re part i cu l ar l y
spectacul ar. Once you have
seen a real rocket l aunch you
wi l l never forget i t.
Satel l i tes are vi si bl e from
Earth when they pass nearl y
over your l ocati on . Onl y a
Rocket launch NASA
few are bri ght enough to be
seen wi th the unai ded eye. The best ti mes are near" dusk and
dawn, when you are i n darkness but t he satel l i te hi gh above
you is sti l l in sunl i ght. Some l ocal pl anetari ums, observatori es,
space- i nterest groups, and NASA faci l ities offer i nformati on
about satel l i te passages vi si bl e from your area. Personal
computer programs are avail abl e for tracki ng satel l ites, par
ti cul arl y those satel l i tes used by amateur radi o operators.
SPACE LW There is no formal l egal defi n i ti on of where
ai rspace ends and "outer" space begi ns . There i s, howev
er, an operati onal defi ni ti on that is more-or-l ess accepted:
60 mi l es up, the hei ght at whi ch a satel l i te can make at l east
one orbi t before ai r drag makes i t fal l back to Earth .
Spacecraft are subj ect to laws very di fferent from those that
apply to the most nearly analogous si tuati ons: flyi ng i n the ai r
or sai l i ng on t he hi gh seas i n i nternati onal waters . Whereas
there are admi ral ty laws deal i ng wi th flotsam, j etsam, and
abandoned shi ps, no such laws appl y i n space. And whi l e i t
i s an accepted part of i nternati onal law that a nation owns the
earth below and the ai rspace over i ts borders, the same i s not
true of "outer" space.
The United States and most space-fari ng nati ons are par
ties to several space treati es. These deal wi th regi steri ng
space objects, te rescue of astronauts, l i abi l ity i n case a space
craft does damage on Earth, and peaceful uses of space.
Another treaty, whi ch the Uni ted States di d not si gn, cl ai ms
that the Moon and other bodies i n space are "the common her
i tage of manki nd. " Many space entrepreneurs are afrai d
thi s wi l l be i nterpreted t mean that no one can mi ne the Moon,
asteroi ds, or other pl anetary bodi es.
Exi sti ng space treaties were written at a ti me when no one
thought private companies could afford space activities, so the
treaties do not recogni ze private enterpri se. For i nstance,
there does not exi st i n space the concept of a "common car
rier. " A nation that al l ows a l aunch, or whose citizens own the
satel l ite, i s l i abl e for damages i n case somethi ng goes wrong.
Thi s has had a dampeni ng effect on pri vate enterpri se. I t
wi l l be i mportant to revise current space l aws and make new
ones that wi l l carry us i nto the 2 1 st century.
As space becomes a pl ace to do busi ness, new l aws and
regul ati ons wi l l be needed i n such areas as patents, ci tizen
shi p, taxati on, and i nsurance.
The Bate of K'ai-fung-fu
The pri nci pl e of the reacti on motor was known as far
back as 360 B. C. , when Aul us Gel l i us descri bed a steam-pow
ered model of a pi geon. A Greek named Hero is sai d to have
i nvented a steam- dri ven rotati ng "aeropi l e" about 2, 000
years ago.
Most peopl e credi t the Chi nese wi th the i nventi on of the
rocket i tsel f, powered by burni ng bl ack powder, a mixture of
charcoal , sal tpeter, and sul fur. Some hi stori ans cl ai m the
Chi nese had powder rockets al most 1, 000 years ago, but i t
i s certai n that rocket- powered arrows were used by the Chi
nese mi l i tary i n t he 13th century. "Fi rearrows" drove off the
atacki ng Mongol s at the Batl e of K' ai - fung- fu i n 1232. Oth
er armi es soon took up the i dea, and i n 1241 Mongol tri bes
used the same ki nd of weapons at the Battle of Sej o ( neor pre
sent-day Budapest) .
Al so in the 13th century, the Engl i sh sci enti st Roger Bacon
and the Arab sci enti st a I- Hasan ai -Rammah descri bed bl ack
powder and rocketry. Soon thi s technol ogy was i n use by
armi es throughout Europe and Asi a.
An aeropile Wan Hoo's rocket-pi led chai r
A few non- mi l i tary uses were tried, i ncl udi ng fi reworks. I t
i s sai d that around the year 1 500 the Chi nese Wan Hoo had
47 bl ack- powder rockets atached to a sedan chai r and i gni t
ed at the same ti me by 47 serants. He was not seen agai n.
By t he l ate 1 700s and earl y 1 800s, rockets carryi ng
explosive warheads were a standard but smal l part of the arse
nal s of most countri es.
Si r Wi l l i am Congreve greay i mproved rockets for warfare.
Hi s rockets, carryi ng ei ther i ncendi ary or explosive warheads,
Congreve rockets
coul d be fi red a coupl e of mi l es and wei ghed up to 60
pounds. They fi rst saw maj or use i n 1 806. Congreve rock
ets were l ater used by the Bri t i sh i n the War of 1 8 1 2,
notabl y i n the n i ght attack on Fort McHenry. These were
i mmortal i zed i n the words of Franci s Scott Key when he wrote
of "the rocket' s red gl are. "
Later that century, Congreve' s rockets became obsol ete
because of advances in arti l l ery. Si mi l ar rockets were adapt
ed for use in throwi ng l i fesavi ng ropes to stranded shi ps, and
t o some extent thi s i s sti l l done today.
Around the begi nni ng of the 20t century advances i n tech
nol ogy, and popul ar fantasi es of trips to the Moon and l i fe on
other worl ds, led to the work of the three great rocket pi oneers
and vi si onari es: Konstanti n Tsi ol kovsky in Russi a, Hermann
Oberth i n Germany, and Robert Goddard i n t he Uni ted
In the mi d-tentieth century, rockets agai n entered the arse
nal s of most nati ons.
The Bote of Ft. McHenr
Spacefl ight fantasies
SPACEFLI GHT in the i magi nati on is thousands of years ol d.
Sci ence fi cti on, unt i l t he 20th century, was much more fi c
ti on than sci ence.
Luci an of Samosata, a Greek of the 2nd century A.D.,
wrote of a tri p to the Moon by a sai l i ng shi p caught in a whi rl
wi nd. In 1 0 1 0, the Persi an poet Fi rdusi descri bed a throne
pul l ed to the Moon by eagl es. The astronomer Johannes
Kepl er wrote a fanci ful tal e of a l unar tri p i n 1 634, and was
perhaps the fi rst to real i ze that the ai r di d not extend al l the
way to the Moon. About the same ti me, Engl i shman Franci s
Godwi n wrote of men carri ed to the Moon by geese. Around
1 650 the famous wri ter Cyrano de Bergerac wrote stori es of
tri ps to the Moon and the Sun. His fi rst pl an of travel was to
ti e botles of dew to hi s belt and thus ri se i nto space when the
Sun evaporated the dew! Another idea he had was to use fire
works rockets. Around 1 705 Dani el Defoe, better known for
Robinson Crusoe, wrote a tal e of l unar travel .
1 2
Onl y in the l ate 1 9th century di d such stori es become
more real i sti c. The father of modern sci ence fi cti on i s Jul es
Verne, who wrote From the Earth to the Moon i n 1 865. The
concept of a manned space stati on and commerci al navi ga
t i on satel l i te comes from Edward Everet Hal e and hi s 1 869
story "The Br i ck Moon. "
One of the earl i est spaceAi ght motion pictures was Georges
Mel i es' short fi l m A Tip to the Moon in 1 902. Most sci ence
Rction fi l ms have been l itle more than fantasies or "space west
erns. " Onl y a few fi l ms have approached the subj ect real i s
ti cal l y. The fi rst such fi l m was The Woman i n the Moon,
di rected by Fri tz Lang in 1 929. Hi s techni cal advi sors went on
to establ i sh the early German rocket program. Thi s fi l m made
a permanent contri buti on to the space program when Lang
i nvented, purely for dramatic purposes, the countdown before
l aunch . In 1 950, producer George Pal made Destination
Moon, a real i sti c depi cti on of what spacefl i ght mi ght be l i ke.
The spaceshi p controls i n the 1 939 film Buck Roers ORDWAY
October 4, 1 957, when the
Sovi et Uni on l aunched the
worl d's fi rst arti fi ci al satel l ite,
Spu t n i k 1 . T h o u g h i t
wei ghed onl y 1 84 pounds,
was less than 2 feet i n di am
eter, and stayed i n i t s 1 40-
mi l e-hi gh orbit only 92 days,
i ts l aunch provoked shock
waves of pu bl i c react i on
around t he worl d.
Sputni k 1
Th i s f i rst sat el l i te was
l aunched from the T yuratam
( Bai konur) Cosmodrome on a Type-A rocket. It carried exper
i ments to study the densi ty of the atmosphere at its orbi tal al ti
tude and the transmi ssi on of radi o waves through the atmo
sphere. I ts i nstruments were powered by batteri es, whi ch ran
out three weeks after l aunch.
Sputni k 2, wei ghi ng 1 , 1 20 pounds and carring a l i ve dog,
was l aunched on November 3, 1 957.
The U. S. di d not l aunch i ts fi rst satel l i te, Expl orer 1, unti l
January 3 1 , 1 958, after i ni ti ati ng a crash program i n an
attempt to catch up wi th the
Soviets, and after to atempt
ed Vanguard satel l i te l aunch
es had fai l ed. The fi rst suc
cessful Vanguard satel l ite went
into orbit on March 1 7, 1 958.
An Atl as rocket became the
fi rst commun i cati ons satel l i te
l ater that year .
.xplorer 1 model NASA
1 4
MANNED SPACEFLI GHT began on Apr i l 1 2, 1 96 1 , when
Sovi et Lt. Yuri Gagari n made one orbi t l asti ng 1 08 mi nutes,
250 mi l es above Earth, in hi s Vostok- 1 spacecraft.
The fi rst American i n space was Al an B. Shepard, who took
a 1 1 5- mi l e- hi gh suborbi tal fl i ght in a Mercury-Redstone cap
sul e on May 5, 1 961 . He was fol l owed i n another si mi l ar Ri ght
by Vi rgi l I . ( Gus) Gri ssom on Jul y 2 1 . On August 6, the Rus
si an cosmonaut Gherman Titov spent 25 hours and 1 7 orbi ts
in space aboard Vostok 2.
The fi rst Ameri can to orbi t the pl anet was John Gl enn. On
February 20, 1 962, he rode a Mercury-Atl as rocket that
John Glenn NASA Alan Shepard NASA
made three orbi ts 1 60 mi l es up in 5 hours. Scott Carpenter
fol l owed on May 24 i n a si mi l ar mi ssi on.
The fi rst woman i n space was Val enti na Tereshkova,
aboard Vostok 6 on June 1 6, 1 963. She made 48 orbi ts i n
71 hours. No other woman went i nto space unti l 20 years l at
er, when astronaut Sal ly Ride was part of the five- member crew
aboard the space shuttl e Chal l enger on June 1 8, 1 983.
1 5
Flight model of Sureyor craft NASA
LUNAR EXPLORATION began when the Soviet Luni k 1 fl ew
wi thi n 4, 600 mi l es of the Moon i n J anuary 1 959. That
March the U. S. Pi oneer 4 passed the Moon at a di stance of
37, 000 mi l es. I n September, Luni k 2 became the fi rst man
made obj ect t o h i t t he Moon. Luni k 3, i n October, was the
fi rst to take photographs of the far si de of the Moon.
Begi nni ng i n 1 964, U. S. Ranger craft crash-l anded on the
Moon, photographi ng areas that mi ght be used for l ater
manned l andi ngs. Luni k 9 i n January 1 966 became the fi rst
craft to soft- l and on the Moon, returni ng tel evi si on pi ctures of
the surface.
U. S. Surveyor craft al so soft- l anded, taki ng photographs
and di ggi ng trenches to analyze surface properti es. Lunar
Orbi ters provi ded excel l ent photographs of most of t he sur
face. Several orbi ti ng Soviet Luni k craft al so mapped the
Moon. The Sovi ets sent several unmanned craft to the Moon
to scoop up soi l and return i t to Earth. Some depl oyed a smal l
rovi ng vehi cl e cal l ed Lunokhod t o sampl e l unar soi l over a
wi de area.
1 6
FI RST VISIT TO ANOTHER WORLD was the goal of the U. S.
Apol l o program. A three- man spacecraft, consi sti ng of a
command modul e attached to a two- secti on l unar modul e,
establ i shed orbi t around the Moon. The l unar modul e car
ri ed to men to the surface, and i ts separabl e ascent stage
brought them back to l unar orbi t to rendezvous wi th the com
mand modul e, whi ch then returned to Earth .
The fi rst manned l unar orbi t was achi eved by Apol l o 8,
l aunched December 2 1 , 1 968, carryi ng Frank Borman, James
Lovel l , and Wi l l i am Anders. Apol l o 1 1 , l aunched J ul y 1 6,
1 969, made the fi rst manned l unar l andi ng. Mi chael Col l i ns
remai ned i n the command modul e whi l e Nei l Armstrong and
Edwi n Al dri n l anded on the Moon's Sea of T ranqui l l ity at 4: 1 7
P.M EDT on J ul y 20. Nei l Armstrong became the fi rst human
t o set foot on another worl d at 1 0: 56 P.M.
Fi ve more Apol l o mi ssi ons l anded on the Moon. Apol l o 1 3
encountered probl ems and returned to Earth afer swi ngi ng
around the Moon. The successful mi ssi ons di d experiments and
returned al most 850 pounds of l unar rocks for anal ysi s. The
l ast mi ssi on was Apol l o 1 7, i n December 1 972. No one has
been to the Moon si nce.
Apollo 1 1 on the Moon NASA
THE FI RST SPACE STATION was the Soviet Salyut 1 , l aunched
Apr i l 1 9, 1 971 . Wei ghi ng over 25 tons, it had a total
l ength of 47 feet and a maxi mum di ameter of 13 feet. A crew
of three were carri ed up to the stati on by Soyuz vehi cl es.
Unfortunatel y, thei r Soyuz- 1 1 craft mal functi oned as the
crew returned to Earth, and the three cosmonauts di ed. The
Sal yut- 1 stati on was shortly thereafter commanded to reen
ter the atmosphere and burn up after onl y si x months i n orbi t.
Other Sal yut stati ons fol l owed. Sal yut 6, l aunched i n
1 977, was a bi g step i n Soviet spacefl i ght. Over 49 feet
l ong, wei ghi ng 41 ,000 pounds, and with docki ng ports fr to
Soyuz craft, thi s space stati on was occupi ed by 33 di fferent
crewmen and docked with 30 di fferent spacecraft duri ng its
3-year-and-8-month l i feti me. Unmanned Progress craft repeat
edl y carri ed suppl ies to the crews.
Salyut 7, l aunched Apri l 1 9, 1 982, was approximately the
same si ze as its predecessor, but i t had many i mprovements.
I ts crews have i ncl uded the fi rst woman to "wal k" i n space,
Svetl ana Savi tskaya. I t fel l back to Earth in 1 991 .
Saylut 1
First U.S. space station NASA I nside Skylab NASA
SKYLB, in 1 973, was the fi rst and so far the onl y Ameri
can space stati on . I t was constructed i nsi de the upper stage
of a Saturn rocket, wi th to mai n rooms for experi ments and
l i vi ng quarters. The wei ght of thi s enti re 1 1 8- foot- l ong, 2 1 -
foot- di ameter stati on was al most 200, 000 pounds. The fi rst
28- day mi ssi on was fol l owed by another a month l ater,
when a three- man crew spent 59 days i n space. The thi rd
and l ast crew broke space- endurance records up unti l then
( 1 97 4) by stayi ng 84 days i n orbi t. The crews performed
many i mportant experi ments in sol ar studi es, space medi ci ne,
materi al s processi ng, and Earth studi es.
Atmospher i c drag sl owl y pul l ed Skyl ab l ower, and
Congress cut funds that woul d have provi ded a booster
engi ne to keep the stati on i n orbi t l onger. Fi nal l y, on July 1 1 ,
1 979, Skyl ab fel l to Earth over the I ndi an Ocean. A few
pi eces l anded in Austral i a without damage to property. Si nce
then Ameri ca has had no space station, and wi l l not have one
unti l l ater thi s decade.
1 9
SPACEPROBES to the pl anets began i n 1 959, when Luni k 1
became the fi rst man- made craft to escape Earth perma
nentl y. The fi rst cl ose-up pi ctures of Mercury and Venus came
from the Ameri can Mari ner-] 0 probe i n 1 973. The U. S. S. R.
al so has many expl oratory fi rsts for Venus: fi rst fl yby, Ven
era 1 i n 1 96 1 ; fi rst Venusi an i mpact, Venera 3 i n 1 965; fi rst
Venus atmosphere probe, Venera 4 in 1 967; fi rst soi l anal
ysi s, Venera 8 i n 1 972; fi rst pi ctures from t he surface, Ven
era 9 i n 1 975.
The Soviet Uni on al so boasts t he fi rst Mars flyby, by Mars
1 in 1 962; fi rst Mars crash l andi ng, Mars 2 in 1 971 ; and the
fi rst soft l andi ng on Mars, Mars 3 the same year. Fi rst pi ctures
of Mars from space came from the U. S. Mari ner 4 in 1 965,
and the fi rst photographs from the surface were made by the
to U. S. Vi ki ng l anders in 1 976.
The fi rst cl ose- up pi ctures of Jupi ter and i ts moons came
from the U. S. Pi oneer- 1 0 probe i n 1 972, and of Saturn and
i ts satel l ites by Pi oneer 1 1 i n 1 973. Voyager-] and Voyager-
2 probes took more detai l ed pi ctures. Voyager 2 went on to
fly by Uranus in 1 986, and by Neptune in 1 989.
The fi rst mi ssi on t o a comet was by t he U. S. I nternati onal
Cometary Expl orer (ICE) to Comet Gi acobi ni -Zi nner i n 1 985.
I n 1 986, t he U. S. S. R. , t he European Space Agency, and the
Japanese al l sent mi ssi ons to rendezvous wi th Comet Hal l ey.
Thi s decade spaceprobes wi l l encounter asteroi ds, study
Jupi ter' s atmosphere, and study the Sun' s pol es.
Venera 9 TASS Venus' surface seen from Venera TASS
Venus (middle) and Mercur's surace (right) seen by
Voyager spacecraft (left); Jupi ter (middle) and Saturn (right) seen by
Voyager NASA
Above: Viking lander; Mars' surface seen by Viking NASA
Below: Gioto comet probe (left) ESA; Comet Halley as seen by
Gioto (right) MPAE
Our solar system
The sol ar system is the regi on i n whi ch al l our spacecraft, so
far, have expl ored. Wh i l e our earthl y and spaceborne tel e
scopes have probed to the depths of the uni verse, our craft
have gone onl y j ust beyond the edge of the pl anetary
The Sun is the center of the solar system, and has more than
99 percent of al l its materi al . Orbi ti ng the Sun are ni ne
maj or pl anets, more than five dozen satel l ites, hundreds of
thousands of mi nor pl anets ( asteroi ds) , and perhaps bi l l i ons
of comets. Except for the comets and some of the asteroi ds,
these al l revolve i n paths l i mited to a narrow di sk around the
Sun. Comets may have hi ghly i ncl i ned orbits. Most are locat
ed many bi l l i ons of mi l es from the Sun, only occasi onal ly
pl ungi ng i nto the i nner sol ar system where we can see them.
Astronomers measure pl anetary di stances i n terms of the
Earth' s di stance from the Sun, cal l ed an astronomi cal uni t
( a. u. ) , equal to about 93 mi l l i on mi l es. Pl uto on average i s
more than 39 times thi s fr from the Sun, but because of Pl uto's
el l i ptical orbi t, Neptune wi l l actual ly be the most di stant pl an
et unti l March of 1 999.
Another way to measure di stance i s the ti me i t takes l i ght
or radi o waves, movi ng at 1 86, 000 mi les per second, to trav
el that di stance. Li ght takes about 8 mi nutes to go 1 a. u. ; i t
takes 5 hours to get from the Sun to Pl uto. The nearest star to
our sol ar system is more than 4 l i ght-years away, about 25
tri l l i on mi l es.
Spaceprobes have roboti cal l y expl ored al l the pl anets
except Pl uto, al though Pi oneer 1 0 has passed the orbi t of Pl u
to and is now more than 4. 2 bi l l i on mi les away, the most di s
tant man- made obj ect. The l i mi t of manned explorati on, so far,
is the Moon, onl y 240,000 mi les from Earth.
I n pl anni ng for space mi ssi ons, a more i mportant factor
than ti me or di stance is the energy needed to get some
where. Each pl anet has a strong gravi tati onal pul l . A space
craft goi ng to another pl anet must fi rst escape the gravitational
fi el d of Earth, travel to the pl anet, and then maneuver wi th
in its gravi tati onal fiel d. Al ong the way, the craft is subj ect to
the gravi ty of the Sun.
EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE i s composed of about 78 percent
ni trogen, 21 percent oxygen, and 1 percent trace gases such
as water vapor, carbon di oxi de, and argon .
THE TROPOSPHERE, the l owest 1 0 mi l es of ai r, i s where al l
weather occurs and al l l i fe exi sts. At the surface the pressure
i s al most 1 5 pounds per square i nch. From the surface
upward the pressure and densi ty of the ai r l essen rapi dl y.
Onl y a few ai rcraft can f l y hi gher t han 1 0 mi l es up, but the
ai r here i s sti l l much too thi ck for an unpowered satel l i te to
orbi t. Yet at thi s al ti tude, the ai r i s too thi n for a person to
l i ve-except i n a pressure sui t or a pressuri zed cabi n .
THE STRATOSPHERE l i es from 1 0 mi l es up to about 30
mi l es. A very few ai rcraft can fl y thi s hi gh. Hi gher sti l l i s the
mesosphere, extendi ng up to about 50 mi l es, and above that
the thermosphere. At 60 mi l es above Earth the pressure i s
onl y a bi l l i onth, and the densi ty i s onl y three ten- mi l l i onths,
what i t i s at the surface.
THE EXOSPHERE i s the name someti mes gi ven to the outer
most tenuous atmosphere where it gradual l y bl ends into the
vacuum of space.
There is no l egal or physi cal "top of the atmosphere. " But
many peopl e consi der 60 mi les up a practical l i mit, for at thi s
al ti tude a smal l satel l i te can make one orbi t. Most satel l i tes
orbi ti ng Earth are more than 1 00 mi les up, but even there the
atmosphere exerts a resi sti ng "drag" force whi ch sl ows them
down so that an orbit eventual l y "decays" and the satel l ite fal l s
back to Earth. Usual l y i t burns up l i ke a meteor, but a few
pi eces of satel l i tes have l anded on Earth. The smal l er, denser,
and hi gher a satel l i te, the l onger i t wi l l stay in orbit. Above
a few thousand mi l es, a satel l ite experiences al most no atmo
spheri c drag.
Structure of the atmosphere
Space is a harsh envi ronment. Our spacecraft desi gners must
take i nto account these new condi ti ons, wh i ch di ffer great
l y from those on Earth .
THE VACUUM OF SPACE causes many otherwi se stabl e
materi al s, such as rubber and many l ubri cants, t o turn i nto
gas and di sperse. Such materi al s can onl y be used i n satel
l i tes i f they are encl osed. Materi al s l i ke gl ass become more
bri ttl e i n a vacuum. Humans must ei ther work i nsi de pres
suri zed contai ners or use spacesui ts for work outsi de.
WEI GHTLESSNESS i s t he condi t i on of anythi ng i n space
that i s not under power; i t i s al so cal l ed free fal l or " mi cro
gravi ty" or zero g, where the "g" stands for "gravi ty. " An
Satellite after l aunch from shutle NASA
obj ect sti l l has mass in space, even if it does not have any
wei ght, so i t sti l l takes work t o start i t movi ng and t o stop i t.
The l ack of gravi ty creates compl i cati ons i n desi gni ng a
spacecraft and i n l ivi ng i n space.
SUNLI GHT stri kes spacecraft, produci ng heat. Above the
absorbi ng atmosphere the Sun i s stronger, and exposed sur
faces may get hotter than the temperature of boi l i ng water.
The l ack of ai r means there i s no convecti on to carry excess
heat away from the satel l i te; the onl y way a satel l i te can get
ri d of heat i s by radi ati on . On the other hand, when a
satel l i te is i n shadow its temperature may fal l to more than
1 00 degrees bel ow zero Fahrenhei t i n j ust a few mi nutes .
Si nce temperature extremes can damage spacecraft com
ponents, thermal control i s an i mportant part of satel l i te
desi gn .
Si mulating zero g in a watertonk NASA
COSMIC RAYS are charged atomi c parti cl es, many of them
the nucl ei of atoms. These come from the Sun as wel l as from
the depths of space. They may gi ve the spacecraft an el ec
tri cal charge, whi ch can be damagi ng i f i t causes sparks.
They al so gradual l y reduce the effi ci ency of the sol ar cel l s
(wh i ch convert sunl i ght i nto el ectri cal energy) . Very hi gh
energy cosmi c rays may even penetrate the el ectroni c chi ps
i n t he satel l i te' s control ci rcui try, causi ng temporary or per
manent changes i n the commands gi ven to the craft.
METEOROI DS are sol i d materi al s fl yi ng through space at
tremendous speeds, usual l y many mi l es per second. Most
meteoroi ds are smal l er than a grai n of sand, and are cal l ed
mi crometeoroi ds. Over a typi cal 1 0- to 1 5-year l i feti me, a
satel l ite wi l l get a few pi npri cks a tenth of an i nch in si ze and
a l i ght "sandi ng" of i ts exposed surfaces, i ncl udi ng the
Grabbing a satellite for repai r NASA
Distribution of space debris
sol ar panel s. So far we know of no l arge ( meani ng greater
than a few tenths of an i nch i n di ameter} meteoroi ds havi ng
hi t satel l i tes. But the chances i ncrease wi th ti me and wi th the
si ze and greater number of spacecraft we have i n space.
Spacecraf have been hi t by man- made space debri s, how
SPACE DEBRI S i n Earth orbi t i s a seri ous and i ncreasi ng
probl em. There are now wel l over 7, 000 trackabl e obj ects
i n orbit. Onl y a few hundred are active satel l i tes. There are
more than 35,000 obj ects the size of a marbl e, perhaps mi l
l i ons of smal l er pi eces. The debris consi sts of used thi rd stages
of rockets, the remai ns of expl oded ( acci dental l y or i nten
ti onal ly) spacecraft, chi ps of pai nt knocked off satel l i tes, hard
ware l i ke bol ts and spri ngs rel eased when satel l i tes are
depl oyed, and parts knocked off satel l i tes by col l i si ons.
Much of t he debri s has come from t he testi ng of anti satel l i te
Even very smal l obj ects are hazardous because they are
movi ng at speeds up to 25, 000 mi l es per hour. One of the
space shuttl es was hi t on its wi ndshi el d by a ti ny chi p of al u
mi num pai nt, causi ng a smal l pi t i n the gl ass. Several satel
l i tes are strongl y suspected of havi ng been destroyed by col
l i si ons. The Soviet space stati on Sal yut 6 had some of i ts
external parts damaged by col l i si on. The more satel l i tes there
are in space, and the more frequently they col l i de, produci ng
sti l l more fragments, the worse the probl em wi l l become.
Not unt i l after the year 2000 wi l l we begi n to have the tech
nol ogy t o retrieve used- up satel l i tes and bri ng them back
from hi gh orbi ts.
Space debri s i s becomi ng a probl em for astronomers,
too. I ncreasi ngl y, debri s shows up i n photographs of the sky
made wi th l arge tel escopes, prompti ng fal se di scoveri es .
One reported di scovery of a pul sar turned out to be sunl i ght
reflecti ng off t he sol ar cel l s of a dead satel l i te!
Debris caused this pit in shutle window NASA
When a human enters space
there are physi ol ogi cal and
psychol ogi cal changes. Some
body functi ons conti nue to
al ter as l ong as she or he i s
wei ghtl ess; others reach a
steady l evel wi th i n days or
weeks. Upon return t o Earth
most body funct i ons return
to normal . Si nce the l ongest
conti nuous peri od a cosmo
naut has spent i n wei ght
l essness i s about a year, we
sti l l do not know if some of
these changes mi ght become
permanent after a very l ong
stay i n zero g.
SPACE SI CKNESS, c al l ed
" s pac e a d a pt at i on s yn
drome" by NASA, affects
about hal f of al l peopl e who
go i nto space. L i ke ot her
forms of moti on si ckness, i t
ari ses i n the astronaut' s i nner
Astronaut Don Wi l l i ams exercis
es aboard t he space s hutt l e
ear, the mechani sm that senses ori entati on and accel erati on.
The symptoms i ncl ude col d sweati ng, nausea, and vomi ti ng.
These coul d be dangerous t o an astronaut i n a spacesui t.
Most peopl e who get spacesi ck get over i t i n a coupl e of
days. A few astronauts have bri efl y reexperi enced i t after
thei r return to Earth.
3 1
CHANGES I N THE BODY i ncl ude a l oss of body fl u i ds and
sol i d materi al . I n space, an astronaut' s bones are no l onger
needed to support the body and so begi n to weaken . The
heart pumps faster; i t grows l arger but pumps l ess bl ood.
Muscl es grow weaker si nce they have l ess work to do. The
number of red cel l s i n the bl ood decreases whi l e the num
ber of whi te cel l s i ncreases. After return to Earth it takes from
weeks to months to bri ng bl ood cel l s back to pre-fl i ght l ev
el s. Astronauts regul arl y exerci se whi l e in space to try to mi n
i mi ze these probl ems.
RADIATION i s another probl em i n space. Whi l e not too seri
ous i n l ow Earth orbi ts, the hi gh-energy parti cl es trapped i n
the Van Al l en bel ts around Earth are a danger. One bel t
extends from about 300 mi les to about 750 mi les up, the oth
er from 6, 000 mi l es to a hei ght dependent on the acti vi ty of
the Sun. Some radi ati on l eaks through to lower al ti tudes.
Van Allen radiation belts
A medi cal c hec kup in space
Testing the efects of space on the body NASA
Astronauts headi ng away from Earth must pass qui ckl y
through these radi ati on zones to mi ni mi ze exposure. Outsi de
the Van Al l en bel ts, space travelers are exposed to a conti n
ual dosage of radi ati on. Long-durati on space mi ssi ons must
carry heavy shi el di ng of some sort. Once in a whi l e the Sun
produces a sol ar fl are that coul d give a l ethal dose of radi
ati on to an unprotected astronaut.
PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS come from l engthy confi ne
ment, l i vi ng i n an unnatural envi ronment, cl ose quarters, l ack
of pri vacy, and the ever- present hazards of l i vi ng i n space.
Usi ng studi es of s i mi l ar si tuati ons-for i nstance, aboard
submari nes-space- mi ssi on pl anners try to mi ni mi ze poten
ti al probl ems. I t wi l l be i mportant to provi de many forms of
recreati on and rel axation for crews on l ong mi ssi ons aboard
space stati ons and manned mi ssi ons to other pl anets .
MUCH RESEARCH i s needed to deter mi ne human tol er
ances for extended mi ssi ons ei ther i n low orbi ts or to the
pl anets . Thi s wi l l be one of the more i mportant goal s of the
proj ected U.S. space stati on l ater th i s decade.
Wei ght l essness compl i cates even si mpl e tasks in space.
Spacecraft need speci al systems to provi de the th i ngs
requi red for l i fe.
OXYGEN for breathi ng i s carri ed i n tanks. Some spacecraft
use a reduced atmospheric pressure enri ched in oxgen. Oth
ers have an envi ronment much l i ke natural ai r. Exhal ed
carbon di oxi de is absorbed by chemi cal f i l ters and the
puri fi ed ai r i s reci rcul ated. Ai r must be i n moti on at al l
ti mes i n a spacecraft : an unmovi ng astronaut coul d suffo
cate in a bubbl e of her own exhal ed breath because, wi th
out ai r ci rcul ati on, i t woul d not move away from her body.
EATI NG i n space can be messy. Free l i qui d woul d fl oat out
of an open gl ass and coul d be a hazard i f i t escaped. Thus
dri nks come i n squeeze bottl es. Foods may be sol i ds and
pastes. Sauces are often used to make the foods sti ck to
pl ates. Meal s are us ual l y
p repa r ed o n E a r t h a n d
stored for fi nal preparation
as needed.
WATER for dr i nki ng, cook
i ng, and washi ng i s carri ed
in tanks, may be produced
on board by fuel cel l s, and
may be recycl ed from body
waste. Excess water i s al so
fi l tered out of the ai r.
Eati ng in space can be a chal
l enge NASA
The space shutl e's gal ley area
Sal l y Ri de sl eeps aboard the
space shutl e NASA
Taking a space shower aboard
Skylab NASA
The toi l et of the space shuttle
BODY-WASTE ELIMI NATI ON is more compl i cated. I n earl y
spacecraft { and sti l l i n spacesui ts} uri ne was col l ected by a
tube and hel d i n a bag. Sol i d waste was el i mi nated i nto a
pl asti c bag hel d to the body wi th adhesive, and then stored
unt i l the end of the mi ssi on. The space shuttl e, and the
future space stati on, have a speci al l y desi gned zero-g toi l et.
Thi s uses ai r to pul l the waste materi al i nto the toi l et where
a rotati ng fan separates the sol i ds from the l i qui ds. The
l i qui d may be ei ther steri l i zed and recycl ed or expel l ed
from the spacecraft. Sol i d waste is dri ed and stored for
return to Earth .
IN WEI GHTLESSNESS, as in a pool of water, the rel axed
body natural l y assumes a sl i ghtl y curl ed- up posi t i on, wi th
arms and l egs fl oati ng freely i n front of the body. An astro
naut cannot l i e on a bed to sl eep; i nstead he zi ps hi msel f i nto
somethi ng much l i ke a sl eepi ng bag, whi ch may be attached
to a wal l or cei l i ng or somepl ace el se out of the way.
ORIENTATION can be a problem. The terms "wal l " and "cei l
i ng" have much l ess meani ng i n zero g. I n the space shut
tl e the surface that is the floor when the shuttl e is on the
ground is sti l l often thought of as "down" wi thi n the space
craft. When th i nki ng about thi ngs outsi de a spacecraft i n
orbi t around a pl anet, i t i s most natural to thi nk of "down"
as the di recti on toward the pl anet.
Future space stati ons and space settl ements wi l l probabl y
i ncl ude growi ng pl ants, and possi bl y ani mal s, as part of the
ecosystem. Some types of al gae di gest waste products, and
others produce oxygen. Large space structures may revolve to
provi de an "arti fi ci al gravi ty" that wi l l el i mi nate many of the
probl ems caused by wei ghtlessness (although i t wi l l i ntroduce
some probl ems of i ts own} .
Spacesuit and Manned Maneu
vering Unit
Spacesui ts are desi gned to
provi de the astronaut wi th
a self-contai ned envi ronment
for several hours of work
outsi de the pressuri zed cab
i n. Thi s i s cal l ed extravehi c
ul ar acti vi ty, or EVA. The
sui ts suppl y oxygen, absorb
exhal ed ca r bon d i oxi de,
and provi de for some body
waste e l i mi n at i on . Some
provi de water th roug h a
tube in the sui t's hel met. Sen
sors i nsi de the hel met gi ve
the astronaut i n for mat i on
about t he sui t' s status, such
as the amount of remai ni ng
oxygen .
Newer s u i t s a l l ow fu l l
atmospheri c pressure, rather than the reduced pressure used
in ol der ones. The sui ts are in several parts: the l ower part,
or l egs, attached to the upper part wi th ai rti ght seal s, and the
helmet. The spacesui ted astronaut may atach hi msel f to a l arge
backpack unit contai ni ng oxygen, or be tethered to the space
craft by an umbi l i cal hose. Once outsi de the cabi n, astronauts
move around by pul l i ng and push i ng themsel ves on the
NEWER SPACESUITS, l i ghter and more fl exi bl e than present
ones, are bei ng desi gned to make i t easi er for astronauts to
work i n space for extended peri ods of t i me.
UNITS ( MMUs) are j et- pow
ered backpacks for excur
si ons away from t he craft. A
hand cont rol l er much l i ke
on e on a v i d e o a r c ade
game i s used to f i re the j ets
in any combi nat i on of si x
di recti ons, al l owi ng moti on
or turni ng i n any di recti on.
As t ron au t s u s i n g MMUs
don' t have to be tethered to
the spacecraft. Shoul d an
astronaut get i nto troubl e,
t he spacecraft can al ways
go after hi m.
One compl i cati on of zero
g is that speci al tool s must
Astonaut uses a Manned Maneu-
often be used because if, say,
vering Uni t NASA
an astronaut tries to turn a
screw, s he wi l l al so tu r n,
obeyi ng Newton's Thi rd Law (see p. 41 ). She must ei ther brace
hersel f agai nst the craft, or use so-cal l ed "reaction less" tools.
One way to mi ni mi ze thi s probl em is to attach the astro
naut fi rmly to part of the spacecraft, usual l y by cl amps on the
boots. For EVA on the space shuttl e, astronauts are often
attached to the Remote Mani pul ator Arm ( see p. 67) .
WALKI NG ON THE MOON, and i n the future on other
smal l pl anets, can present other probl ems. For i nstance,
the Moon' s gravi ty i s onl y a si xth of Earth' s, and the Apol
l o astronauts found that a bounci ng, l opi ng ki nd of gai t was
the best way to get around there.
The Uni ted States and many
other nati ons cal l space trav
el ers "astronauts, " the Sovi
et Uni on cal l s thei rs "cosmo
nauts, " and the French term
is "spati onaut . "
Most as t ron a ut s have
come from the mi l i tary ser
vi ces and have had trai ni ng
as test pi l ots. The fi rst astro
nauts had l i ttl e control over
thei r craft. Later, especi al l y
in the space shuttle, the pi l ots
have actual l y control l ed the
spacecraft much of the ti me.
I n the mi d- 1 960s, the U. S.
began recrui ti ng non-pi lot sci
enti sts and engi neers from
universi ti es and i ndustry for
space miSSions.
Trai ni ng for a spacefl ight i n a
For the space shuttl e the
si mulator NASA
crew consi sts of to pi lots and
up to fi ve Mi ssi on Speci al i sts and Payl oad Speci al i sts. These
l ater have responsi bi l ity for depl oyi ng satel l i tes, conducti ng
experi ments, and other non- pi l oti ng tasks. Most o
the crew
of the future space stati on wi l l not be pi l ots.
Al l astronauts go through l ong and ri gorous trai ni ng.
They must understand everythi ng about thei r spacecraft, i t mi s
si on, its payl oad { cargo) , and what to do i n case of emer
genci es. Thi s i s i n addi ti on to thei r parti cul ar areas of exper
ti se, such as medi ci ne, physi cs, astronomy, materi al s pro
cessi ng, and so on.
A payload speci alist at work NASA
The best preparation for bei ng an astronaut, say the cur
rent astronauts, i s becomi ng good i n whatever fi el d you l i ke.
Later you can appl y that experti se to space.
NASA peri odi cal l y advertises for astronauts to fi l l vacan
cies. Appl icants are given several aptitude, psychologi cal , and
physi cal exami nati ons . Those that are accepted become
astronaut-candi dates, and then fi nal l y astronauts when they
have compl eted about a year of trai ni ng. They get thei r
astronaut wi ngs upon compl etion of thei r fi rst spacefl i ght. (The
U. S. awards astronaut wi ngs to anyone who has been more
than 50 mi l es up; thus several pi l ots of the X- 1 5 research plane
are techni cal l y astronauts although they have not fl own in
spacecraft. ) There are usual l y 50 to 1 00 men and women i n
the U. S. astronaut corps at any one ti me.
The moti on of any obj ect i n space, whether that obj ect is a
mi crometeoroi d or the Sun, is control l ed by the l aws of
physi cs.
NEWTON'S LAWS OF MOTION descri be how an obj ect
I . A body at rest remai ns at rest, and a body i n moti on
remai ns i n moti on, unl ess acted on by an outsi de force.
II. The change i n the moti on of a body i s i n the di recti on
of, and proporti onal to, the strength of the force appl i ed to i t.
Ill. For every acti on, there i s an equal and opposi te reac
ti on.
THE LW OF GRAVIT descri bes the maj or force acti ng i n
The gravi tati onal attracti on between two obj ects pul l s
them together wi th a force that i s proport i onal t o the prod
uct of thei r masses and i nversel y proporti onal to the square
of thei r separati on .
The Law of Gravit
An orbit i s a bal ancing of forces
Newon' s i maginar cannon
AN ORBIT i s the motion of one obj ect about another. An
obj ect remai ns i n orbi t because the momentum of its forward
motion bal ances the gravitational pul l beteen i t and the oth
er object. I t is si mi l ar to the way rou can swi ng a bal l on the
end of a stri ng: the i nward pul l o the stri ng bal ances the out
ward momentum of the bal l . A satel l i te once pl aced in orbi t
(outsi de the atmosphere, whi ch causes drag on ai rcraft
and l ow-orbi t spacecraft} can conti nue i n that orbi t wi thout
havi ng to conti nual l y f i re i ts rocket engi nes.
Newton gave t he fol l owi ng exampl e: suppose there were
no atmosphere around the Earth to sl ow thi ngs down . A
cannon on top of a very hi gh mountai n coul d fi re a bal l that
goes some di stance. As the bal l travel s, i t fal l s toward the
ground, but the curvature of Earth makes the ground "fal l
away" under i t . I f t he cannon fi res wi th suffi ci ent energy, the
bal l can be made to travel at such a speed that the Earth fal l s
away at t he same rate that the bal l fal l s toward Earth. I n oth
er words, the bal l wi l l never touch the ground: it wi l l b in orbit.
ESCAPE VELOCIT is the mi ni mum vel oci ty needed to escape
permanentl y from a pl anet. The speed requi red depends on
the mass of the pl anet and the di stance of the satel l i te from
i t. At any di stance i t wi l l always be 1 . 4 ti mes the speed nec
essary for a ci rcul ar orbi t.
KEPLER'S LAWS, di scovered around 1 6 1 0 by Johannes
Kepl er, descri be any orbi tal moti on:
I . The orbi t of each pl anet i s an el l i pse, wi th the Sun at
one focus of the el l i pse.
I I . There i s a uni que rel ati onshi p beteen the di stance of
a pl anet from the Sun and how fast i t moves: i ts speed wi l l be
slower when far from the Sun and faster when nearer the Sun.
I l l . The average di stance beteen the Sun and a pl anet, L
i s rel ated to the ti me it takes the pl anet to orbi t the Sun once,
t. Expressed mathemati cal l y, i t i s t = a3.
I f you substi tute the word "satel l i te" for "pl anet" and
"Earth" for "Sun, " the l aws are sti l l true.
Kepler' s Laws describe orbits
How to draw an elli pse Types of open and closed orbits
AN ELLI PSE is a cl osed curve that can be made by sti cki ng
to pi ns i nto cardboard, l oopi ng a stri ng around them,
and then, keepi ng the stri ng taut wi th the ti p of a penci l , mov
i ng around the pi ns. The penci l wi l l draw an el l i pse. The
poi nts wi th the pi ns are cal l ed the foci ( si ngul ar, focus) of the
el l i pse. The farther apart they are, the more eccentri c the
el l i pse wi l l be. I f the pi ns are moved together, the el l i pse
becomes a ci rcl e.
The Sun woul d be where one of t he pi ns i s; t he other
focus i s vacant. The l ong di mensi on of the el l i pse i s cal l ed the
maj or axi s; hal f of i t i s the semi maj or axi s, whi ch i s the aver
age di stance beteen the Sun and a pl anet. Ci rcul ar and el l i p
tical orbi ts are cal l ed "cl osed" orbi ts. If a satel l i te has reached
escape veloci ty, its orbi t wi l l have the shape of a parabola or
hyperbol a, whi ch are exampl es of "open orbi ts" si nce they
don' t repeat.
Actual l y, no orbi t i s perfectly el l i ptical because the grav
i tati onal pul l s of al l the other obj ects in the sol ar system al so
afect the motion. These smal ler frces are cal led perturbations,
and can be very compl i cated.
ORBITAL PARAMETERS descri be an orbi t i n space. The si ze
i s descri bed by the semi maj or axi s ( hal f the l ong axi s of the
el l i pse) , whi ch i s the average di stance from the center of
Earth .
ECCENTRI CITY descri bes the shape of the orbi t. For cl osed
orbi ts th i s i s a number beteen 0 ( for a perfectl y ci rcul ar
orbi t) and 1 (a parabol i c escape orbi t) . A hyperbol i c escape
orbi t has eccentri ci ty greater than 1 .
INCLI NATION is the angl e the orbi t makes wi th the equator.
An orbi t l yi ng over the equator has an i ncl i nati on of 0
degrees; for one fl yi ng over the pol es the i ncl i nati on is 90
degrees. A satel l ite wi th i ncl i nati on beteen 90 degrees and
1 80 degrees i s goi ng from east to west, and i s sai d to have
a retrograde orbi t. Several other numbers descri be the ori
entati on of the orbi t i n space.
PERIOD, the l ength of ti me i t takes to orbi t once, depends on
the al ti tude of the satel l i te. The space shuttl e, orbi ti ng a
coupl e hundred mi l es hi gh, has an orbi tal peri od of about
90 mi nutes.
El l i ptical orbits come i n many shapes
I ncl i nation of an orbit to the equator
PERI GEE is the poi nt on the orbi t where the satel l i te is cl os
est to the Earth ( from "peri - " meani ng "cl ose" and "gee"
meani ng "Earth" ) . A satel l i te moves fastest at peri gee.
APOGEE i s the poi nt i n an orbi t farthest from the Earth. Here
a satel l i te moves sl owest.
TRAJECTORY is a term someti mes used to descri be a path
from one orbi t or pl anet to another. "Transfer orbi t" i s
another term for the same thi ng. To go from one orbi t to
another one, you must f i re a rocket to speed up the satel
l i te ( to get to a hi gher orbi t) or sl ow i t down ( to get t o a l ow
er one) . Thi s wi l l pl ace the satel l i te in a transfer orbit. When
i t gets to the new orbi t, you must agai n fi re a rocket to gi ve
the satel l i te the correct speed for the new orbi t.
LOW EARTH ORBITS are those wi th i n a few hundred mi l es
of the surface of Earth. The lowest practi cal orbi t i s about 1 00
mi l es up.
HI GHER ORBITS are those above about 1 , 000 mi l es. The
hi gher the orbi t, the l onger the peri od ( the ti me i t takes to
compl ete an orbi t) , and more of the Earth' s surface that can
be seen from the satel l i te.
GEOSYNCHRONOUS EARTH ORBIT i s a special orbi t 22, 300
mi l es above Earth' s surface. Here a satel l i te has a peri od of
24 hours, the same ti me i t takes the Earth to rotate once.
GEOSTATIONARY ORBIT i s a geosynchronous orbi t wi th zero
i ncl i nati on . In thi s speci al case the satel l i te wi l l seem to be
stationary in the sky as seen from Earth. An antenna on Earth
poi nted at such a satel l i te woul d not have to move at al l . The
useful ness of such an orbi t for communi cati ons satel l i tes
( commsats) was poi nted out i n 1 945 by author-engi neer
Arthu r C. Cl arke. Thi s orbi t i s often cal l ed a "Cl arke orbi t"
in hi s honor.
SUN-SYNCHRONOUS ORBITS cause the satel l ite to pass over
every pl ace on Earth at the same l ocal ti me of day. Thi s i s
done by choosi ng the proper i ncl i nation for the orbi t. A satel
l i te i n l ow orbi t wi l l have a Sun- synchronous path i f i ts
i ncl i nati on is about 98 degrees.
Several tpes of orbits
Relationship of distance and peri
od of orbits
I NTERPLANETARY ORBITS are those around the Sun. The
numbers that descri be these paths are si mi l ar to those of
Earth orbi ts, but di stance i s measured from the Sun, and the
i ncl i nati on i s measured compared to the Earth' s orbi t around
the Sun. The nearest and farthest poi nts i n orbi t are cal l ed
"peri hel i on" and "aphel i on . "
Geostationary, or Cl arke, orbit A "sl i ngshot" trajectory
SLI NGSHOT ORBITS, whi ch are al so cal l ed gravity-assi st tra
j ectori es, are those in whi ch a spacecraft is sent cl ose to a
pl anet i n order to use the gravi ty of the pl anet to sl ow down
or speed up the craft { usual l y to speed i t up) , changi ng i ts
traj ectory. In thi s way we can send spaceprobes on mi ssi ons
we coul d not otheri se accompl i sh because of the l i mi ted fuel
capaci ty and power of our space vehi cl es.
Fi ndi ng one' s way around in space is more compl i cated than
i t i s on Earth . Si nce a spacecraft ( l i ke an ai rpl ane) can
move i n three sets of di recti ons ( forward, backward, ri ght
l eft, and up- down } , there are th ree numbers needed to
determi ne one's position. On a surface such as the Earth, wi th
no up- down di mensi on, you need j ust two, such as l ati tude
and l ongi t ude.
commonl y used for satel l i tes
in orbi t around Earth . They
are tracked by radi o and
radar ( and someti mes opti cal
tel escopes) , and thus ground
control l ers conti nual l y know
thei r posi ti on .
i nvol ves observi ng the rel a
t i ons h i p of the satel l i te to
stars, pl anets, and the Sun.
Star trackers, whi ch are actu
al l y s mal l el ect ron i c tel e
scopes, keep known stars i n
vi ew, and the satel l i te' s com
puter system cal cul ates i ts
posi ti on and ori entation from
the di recti ons to several stars.
Stering by te strs and by radio
I NERTIAL NAVIGATION is a system of devi ces i n the satel
l i te that measures al l changes i n moti on and ori entati on . I t
computes where the satel l ite i s based on where i t was at some
other ti me.
ATITUDE is the term used to describe the ori entati on in space
of a satel l i te. Satel l i tes must know thei r ori entati on for poi nt
i ng a camera to take pi ctures or for poi nti ng a radi o anten
na back to Earth . Li ke an ai rpl ane, there are three axes
around whi ch the craft can turn . Moti on around the axi s
poi nti ng i n the di recti on of fl i ght i s cal l ed rol l . Up- and
down moti on, wi th respect to t he orbi t, i s cal l ed pi tch. Si de
to- si de moti on i s cal l ed yaw.
TRCKI NG NETORKS of l arge antennas around the worl d
are used to detect and communi cate wi th spacecraft. Some
ti mes satel l i tes may be used to l ocate other satel l i tes, and to
rel ay data from wi del y spaced Earth stati ons to a central
tracki ng faci l ity. For NASA, the focus of al l tracki ng activ
i ti es is at the Goddard Space Fl i ght Center in Maryl and.
Principles of i nertial navigation
SPACE TRACKI NG i s an around- the- gl obe, around-the
cl ock acti vi ty. Both the U. S. and the U. S. S. R. mi l i tary have
extensive networks that not onl y track thei r own spacecraft
but have the addi ti onal duty of watchi ng for mi ssi l e attacks.
To do thi s they must know what i s i n orbi t and where, and
they must moni tor every l aunch .
Not much is known ( i n the non-cl assi fied worl d) about the
Soviet tracki ng system. The U. S. system has i ts focus i nsi de
Cheyenne Mountai n, near Col orado Spri ngs, at the j oi nt
headquarters of t he North Ameri can Aerospace Defense
Command and the U. S. Space Command. They use a worl d
wi de netork of opti cal and radar tracki ng equi pment that
sends i n over 45, 000 si ghti ngs a day for i denti fi cati on and
anal ysi s. The opti cal system i s cal l ed GEODSS, for Ground
based El ectro-Opti cal Deep- space Survei l l ance, whi ch uses
el ectroni c telescopes located in New Mexi co, Hawai i , Korea,
Portugal , and Di ego Garci a I sl and in the I ndi an Ocean. It i s
sai d these can detect space obj ects onl y a few i nches across
i n l ow orbi ts, and onl y the si ze of a footbal l i n orbi ts out to
about 25, 000 mi l es.
A system of 26 radi o and radar si tes spaced around the
Earth contri butes i nformation on obj ects in orbi t. These i ncl ude
the U. S. Navy' s Space Survei l l ance System. I n the future,
space obj ects wi l l i ncreasi ngl y be moni tored from space by
orbi ti ng survei l l ance satel l i tes.
Private satl l ite operators-fr i nstance, of commsats-may
have thei r own tracki ng and control faci l i ti es for thei r satel
l i tes, and may perform these functi ons under contract for
other satel l ite owners as wel l . Such systems are of course much
l ess el aborate than the mi l i tary systems.
Low-orbi t satel l i tes someti mes relay thei r si gnal s through
hi gher-orbi ti ng satel l ites. For i nterplanetar probes, NASA uses
its gl obal Deep-Space Netork of ver l arge antennas.
5 1
Rockets are the technol ogy used for spacefl i ght . A rocket i s
a device that carri es its own fuel and oxi di zer so i t can work
in a vacuum, unl i ke a j et engi ne that uses the oxygen in the
ai r to burn i ts fuel . A rocket motor works because of New
ton' s Thi rd Law of Motion { p. 41 ) . The combusti on of the fuel
and oxi di zer produces a force in al l di recti ons i nsi de the
rocket chamber. One end of the chamber-the nozzl e-i s
open. The burni ng gases escape out the nozzl e, creati ng an
unbal anced force pushi ng the rocket forard. A toy bal l oon
bl own up and rel eased works the same way, with ai r rush
i ng out one si de and the bal l oon goi ng i n the opposi te
di recti on . Rockets do not work because thei r exhaust push
es agai nst the ai r; i n fact, they work better i n a vacuum
because they do not have ai r to push out of t he way. I n some
very smal l rockets, such as those used for mi nor maneuver
i ng and ori entati on of a spacecraft, the rocket { often cal l ed
a thruster) is si mpl y a jet of pressurized { someti mes heated)
gas escapi ng through a nozzl e.
Action and reaction make a rocket work
THRUST of a rocket is the amount of push i t has, usual ly mea
sured in tons or pounds of force. For a rocket to be abl e to
take off, the thrust of the motor must be greater than the
wei ght of the rocket. The ti me duri ng whi ch a rocket i s
thrusti ng i s someti mes cal led a "burn . "
SPECI FI C I MPULSE measures how effi ci ent a rocket fuel /oxi
di zer combi nati on i s. Th i s i s the ti me duri ng whi ch one
pound of f uel can produce one pound of th rust. The most
powerful combi nati on i n use i s l i qui d hydrogen and l i qui d
oxygen; i ts speci fi c i mpul se i s around 350 seconds.
SOLI D-FUEL ROCKETS use a sol i d mi xture of f uel and oxi
di zer. The earl i est sol i d fuel was gunpowder, a mi xture of
sul fur, charcoal , and sal tpeter. Today' s sol i d fuel s are mi x
tures of rubbery materi al s contai ni ng powdered al umi num
and oxi dizer chemi cal s. They are usual ly mixed i n l iqui d form
and then poured i nto the rocket casi ng, where they sol i di
fy. The thrust of a sol i d- fuel rocket depends on t he amount
burni ng at one t i me, whi ch can be control l ed by desi gni ng
the i nsi de of the rocket properl y. Once a sol i d- fuel rocket i s
i gni ted, i t cannot be shut off; i t burns unt i l al l f uel i s gone.
LIQUI D- FUEL ROCKETS use a mi xture of l i qui d fuel and an
oxi di zer as propel l ants. Some chemi cal s must be i gni ted by
a fl ame or a spark. Others spontaneousl y i gni te when they
come i n contact; these are cal l ed hypergol i c propel l ants.
Some common l i qui d fuel s are al cohol , puri fied kerosene, l i q
ui d hydrogen , and hydrazi ne. Common oxi di zers i ncl ude
ni trogen tetroxi de and ni tri c aci d, as wel l as l i qui d oxygen .
A l i qui d- fuel engi ne can be control led in power, shut off, and
restarted at wi l l . Supercol d propel l ants l i ke l i qui d hydrogen
and oxygen, cal l ed cryogeni c fuel s, are tri cky to handl e,
requi r i ng t he hi ghest technol ogy, but are very powerful .
I on
Types of rocket engi nes
ELECTRIC PROPULSI ON, someti mes cal l ed an i on rocket, i s
a techni que not yet perfected. I t works by pl aci ng an el ec
tri cal charge on the mol ecul es of a si ngl e fuel , whi ch can be
water, hydrogen, mercury, or many other chemi cal s. There
is no combusti on, so no oxi di zer is needed. The charged
mol ecul es ( i ons) are propel l ed out of the rocket by a strong
el ectri cal fi el d, produci ng thrust. The total thrust produced
by ion rockets is very l ow, but they use fuel with great effi
ci ency and can functi on for a l ong ti me. I n the future they
may be used for i nterpl anetary and maybe even i nterstel l ar
MSS RATIO i s the rati o of the wei ght of the payl oad { what
you want to get i nto space) to the total fuel ed wei ght of the
rocket. Thi s i s often very smal l , onl y a few percent. For thi s
reason, rockets are usual l y bui l t t o operate i n stages.
STAGI NG is the techni que of bui l di ng a rocket i n secti ons,
or stages, each of whi ch provi des t hrust for a t i me and
t hen i s di scarded. The reason for thi s i s t o save wei ght, for
the fuel tanks and rocket engi nes themselves are very heavy.
Typi cal rockets ( often cal l ed l aunchers) have two to four
stages. The fi rst stage usual l y burns for onl y a coupl e of mi n
utes, getti ng t he rocket goi ng and l i ft i ng i t up several mi l es
through the th i ckest l ayers of the atmosphere. After i ts fuel
tanks are empty, i t drops away and a second, smal l er stage
i gni tes, carryi ng the rocket hi gher and faster. Thi rd and fourth
stages may be used to conti nue the process unti l the payload
reaches the proper al ti tude and speed for i ts mi ssi on. Stages
after the fi rst one are cal l ed upper stages.
EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHI CLES ( ELVs) are l aunchers, or
rockets, t hat are used once and thei r parts di scarded. Most
l aunchers fal l i nto thi s category. Most are l aunched from
l aunch pads; a few smal l rockets are l aunched from ai rcraft.
So far, the U. S. and Sovi et space shuttl es are the onl y
reuseabl e spacecraft .
TO ACHI EVE ORBI T t he satel l i te must get both hi gh enough
and fast enough to stay there. For th i s reason there i s often
a period of coasti ng beteen the burni ng of the rocket' s
stages. To pl ace a communi cati ons satel l i te i n a geosyn
chronous orbi t, a rocket wi l l typi cal l y use three stages to fi rst
pl ace it in a hi ghl y el l i pti cal transfer orbi t with a peri gee of
200 mi l es and an apogee at the geosynchronous al ti tude of
22, 300 mi l es. The thi rd stage may be cal l ed a peri gee ki ck
motor or a Payl oad Assi st Modul e ( p. 73) . After t he satel
l i te has been checked out fol l owi ng several of these orbi ts,
and after i t has reached i ts apogee, a sol i d- fuel rocket fi res
to ci rcul ari ze the orbi t at the proper al ti tude. Thi s rocket i n
the base of the satel l i te i s cal l ed an apogee k i c k motor.
G FORCE is a measure of the accel erati on produced by a
rocket. One g, or "gee, " is the force of gravi ty. The space
shuttl e crews and cargo experi ence a peak force of about
3 g' s. An unmanned rocket may reach 1 1 g' s or more.
COST OF LUNCHI NG i s sti l l very hi gh. I n the 1 980s, it cost
roughl y $25 to $ 1 50 mi l l i on to pl ace a few- thousand
pound expendabl e- rocket satel l i te i nto Earth orbi t . Thi s
transl ates i nto costs of $ 1 0,000 to $50,000 per pound. And
thi s covers onl y the costs of bui l di ng the rocket, the fuel , the
payl oad preparati on, and so on. I t doesn ' t i ncl ude the cost
of the payl oad i tsel f, or such devel opmental costs as desi gn
i ng t he rocket or bui l di ng t he l aunch pad. One of t he maj or
goal s of al l space programs i s t o reduce t he cost- per-pound
to orbi t.
Several stages ore used to reach orbit
At the end of Worl d War I I , both the U. S. and the U. S. S. R.
captured German rockets, rocket parts, and rocket sci enti sts
and engi neers. These then became the basi s of both nati ons'
rocket programs.
THE V- 2 ROCKET, al so cal l ed t he A- 4, i nvented i n t he ear
ly 1 940s by a team of German engi neers worki ng under Dr.
Wernher von Braun, was the worl d' s fi rst rocket to reach
space. I t was 46 feet hi gh and 66 i nches i n di ameter,
wei ghed 27, 000 pounds, and used al cohol and l i qui d-oxy
gen fuel to generate a thrust
of 56, 000 pounds, carryi ng
V- 2 rocket ORDWAY
a one-ton payload 200 mi l es
down range and 60 mi l es
hi gh. Dur i ng t he l ast years
of Worl d War I I i t was used
to bombard Engl and. Later,
U. S. sci enti sts used several
to set new al ti tude records.
JUPITER-C, or Juno I , put the
f i r s t Ame r i can sat e l l i t e,
Expl orer 1 , i nto orbi t Jan
uary 3 1 , 1 958, and carri ed
the f i rst two U. S. man ned
suborbi tal spacefl i ghts. Juno
I wa s 7 1 f eet h i g h a n d
al most 6 feet i n di ameter. I t
had a l i qui d-fuel ed, 83,000-
pounds-of-thrust fi rst stage,
and three sol i d- fuel ed upper
VANGUARD was the second
U. S. rocket to orbi t a pay
l oad. I t stood 72 feet hi gh,
3. 7 feet i n di ameter. The fi rst
stage used kerosene and l i q
u i d oxyg e n to p r od u c e
28, 000 pounds of th rust ,
topped by a second stage
usi ng fumi ng ni tri c aci d and
di methyl hydrazi ne propel
l ants and a sol i d- fuel ed thi rd
devel oped for the manned
space program. The Saturn
l b, wi th 1 . 3 mi l l i on pounds
of thrust, pl aced t he Apol l o-
7 crew i nto Earth orbi t, and
l ater l aunched three Skyl ab
The three- stage Saturn V,
the l argest rocket ever made
by the U. S. , was 363 feet
hi gh, 33 fet i n di ameter, and
produced 6. 4 mi l l i on pounds
of thrust. I t was used for the
Apol l o program of l u n a r
fl i ghts, and a converted thi rd
stage beca me t he Skyl a b
space stati on .
A Jupiter-C rocket NASA
Vanguard launcher NASA
Sat urn V, the Apol l o rocket
Scout Ariane-4
H-2 arch
U. S. shute Titan 4 Energi a/Buran Proton
SCOUT i s the smal l est U. S. satel l i te l aunch vehi cl e. It is al so
used as a soundi ng rocket-those that take smal l payl oads
above t he atmosphere and back agai n . I t was the fi rst
Ameri can al l - sol i d- propel l ant l auncher. There are many
versi ons of the Scout, but a typi cal confi gurati on has four
stages and stands 7 5 feet
hi gh, 3. 7 feet in di ameter,
and wei ghs 47,000 pounds.
The fi rst stage has 1 09, 000
pounds of thrust; the second
s t a g e p rov i d e s 64, 000
pounds of th rust; the th i rd
stage is an 1 8, 700- pound
t hrust motor; and t he fourth
s t a g e p rod u c e s 5 , 700
pou.d s of t h r u s t . I n t h i s
a r r an gemen t , Sc out c a n
pl ace a payl oad o f about
425 pounds i nto an orbi t
300 mi l es hi gh.
I ts fi rst successful l aunch
was of Expl orer 9 i n 1 961 .
Scouts have car r i ed s uch
satel l i tes as the Smal l Astron
omy Satel l i te , the Meteoroi d
Technol ogy Satel l ite, ond sev
eral amateur radi o satel l i tes.
Scouts have been l aunched
from al l U. S. l au nch si tes,
most often Wal l ops I sl and,
and from many other nations.
Scout l auncher NASA
Atlas launcher NASA
ATLAS was the fi rst opera
ti onal U. S. I CBM ( I ntercon
t i nenta l Bal l i st i c Mi s s i l e) ,
begi n n i ng i n 1 959. These
mi ssi l es were gradual ly wi th
drawn from seri ce and con
verted to satel l i te l aunchers.
Atl as i s cal l ed a "stage
and-a-hal f" rocket because i t
uses a s i ngl e mai n engi ne
together wi th to booster engi nes; al l are powered by l i qui d
fuel . The three engi nes are i gni ted on l i ft-off, and t he boost
ers fal l away hal fway through the fi rst- stage burn.
An Atl as-D l aunched Ameri ca' s fi rst manned orbi tal fl i ght
wi th John Gl enn i n 1 962. Others have carri ed such satel l i tes
as Mari ner, Ranger, Surveyor, Hi gh Energy Astronomi cal
Observatory, and many mi l i tary payl oads.
Several versi ons of Atl as carry ei ther t he Agena or Cen
taur upper stage. The Atl as
Centaur confi gurati on i s the
cu rrent commerci al l aunch
vehi cl e. An Atl as-Centaur i s
1 32 feet h i g h , 1 0 feet i n
di ameter , a n d c a n pl ac e
1 3,000 pounds i nto low orbit,
4, 900 pounds i nto a transfer
orbi t, or send 2, 600 pounds
i nto an i nterpl anetary orbi t.
Mercury-Atlas NASA
DELTA l au nc hers come i n
several confi gurat i ons, di f
feri ng mai nl y i n the number
of sol i d- fuel strap-on booster
rockets, and in what upper
s tage i s u s ed . The Del t a
3920 u s es n i n e st rap- on
motor s tota l i n g 766, 000
pounds of thrust on t he l i q
u i d- fuel ed fi rst stage, whi ch
i t s el f pr oduc es 205, 000
pounds of thrust. The l i qui d
fueled second stage provi des
9,800 pounds of thrust. The
thi rd stage produces 1 8, 500
pounds. The payl oad i tsel f
may contai n a Payload Assi st
Modul e ( p. 73) .
Overal l , the rocket stands
1 1 6 feet hi gh, i s 8 feet i n
di ameter, an d when fuel ed
wei ghs 426, 000 pounds. I t
can pl ace 2, 750 pounds of
payl oad i nto geostati onary
transfer orbi t and more i nto
low Earth orbi t.
An i mproved Del ta model
i s now i n us e as t he Ai r
Force' s Medi um Launch Vehi
c l e a n d fo r c ommerc i a l
l aunches.
A Delta commerci al l auncher
TITAN rockets, whi ch began
flyi ng i n 1 959 as I CBMs, are
currentl y the most powerful
unmanned U. S. l aunchers .
The Ti tan Model 3B has to
mai n stages and an upper
stage that depends on the
payl oad. Ti tan- 3C and - 3D
add to sol i d-fuel boosters to
the fi rst stage. Ti tan- 3E is a
NASA versi on used to hurl
the Vi ki ng and the Voyager
i nterpl anetary probes i nto
escape orbi ts.
The Ti tan 4, al so known
as the Ti tan 34D-7, i s 204
feet l ong, wi th a payl oad 40
feet long and 1 6 feet in di am
eter. I t i s capabl e of l i fti ng
40,000 pounds to l ow orbi t
or 1 0,000 pounds to transfer
orbi t. I ts to fi rst-stage sol i d
boosters have 1 . 6 mi l l i on
pounds of thrust each, added
to 546, 000 pounds for the
l i qui d- fuel ed engi ne. Second
st age p rovi des 1 04, 000
pounds of thrust, and a Cen
taur upper stage adds 33,000
pounds of thrust. Ti tan can
al so carry i nstead an I nerti al
Upper Stage ( p. 75) .
The Titan l auncher NASA
Space shuHie an its crawler transporter NASA
SPACE SHUTLE, offi ci al l y cal l ed the Space Transportati on
System, i s the worl d' s fi rst l argel y reusabl e spacecraft. There
are three maj or components .
THE ORBITER vehi cl e l ooks l i ke an ai rpl ane and i s about the
si ze of a Boei ng 737 j et, wi th a l ength of 1 84 feet and a
wi ngspan of 78 feet. A to- l evel crew compartment i n the
nose hol ds up to seven crew members . Ami dsh i p there i s a
60-foot- l ong, 1 5- foot-wi de cargo bay ( bi g enough to hol d
a bus, or four medi um- si zed communi cati ons satel l i tes} that
Ccn carry up to 65, 000 pounds of payl oad i nto a l ow
i ncl i nati on orbi t or 32,000 pounds i nto a pol ar orbi t. Typ-
i cal fl i ght al ti tudes are 200 mi l es up, wi th a maxi mum of
about 600 mi l es. An ai rl ock exi ts i nto the payl oad bay so
astronauts can perform tasks i n space. A Canadi an- bui l t
Remote Man i pul ator Ar m i s used t o pi ck up and retri eve
satel l i tes from the cargo bay. The orbi ter is powered on
l aunch by three l i qui d- fuel ed motors, provi di ng 375, 000
pounds of thrust each, as wel l as by smal l er rockets for
maneuveri ng i n space.
SOLI D ROCKET BOOSTERS ( SRBs) , each provi di ng 2. 65
mi l l i on pounds of thrust, are i gni ted at l i ft-off al ong wi th the
space shuttl e' s mai n engi nes on the orbi ter. They burn for a
l i ttl e over to mi nutes, by whi ch ti me the shuttl e is about 28
mi l es up. Then they detach and parachute i nto t he ocean, to
be recovered by shi ps, towed to shore, refurbi shed, and used
agai n . Each booster is 1 50 feet l ong, hol ds 1 . 1 mi l l i on
pounds of fuel , and i s desi gned t o be used about 20 t i mes.
Inside the space shutle
the l i qui d hydrogen and oxy
gen f uel for t he or bi ter' s
engi nes. Both the orbi ter and
the sol i d rocket boosters are
attached to i t, and it is the
onl y maj or part not reused.
After 8. 5 mi nutes of fl i ght,
the tank i s empty and i s j et
ti soned to fal l back i nto the
ocean and si nk. The tank i s
A space shuttle heads into space
made of al umi num; i t i s 1 55
feet l ong, 28 feet i n di ame
ter, and 1 . 65 mi l l i on pounds when fuel ed.
A shutle i s assembled in the Vehi cl e Assembly Bui l di ng sev
eral mi l es from Launch Pads 39A and 39B at the Kennedy
Space Center, or at Vandenberg Ai r Force Base. The orbi ter
and the external tank are atached to the boosters, whi ch stand
on a Mobi l e Launch Pl atform. The whol e "stacked" shuttle i s
then moved by a gi ant tractor t o the l aunch pad.
At 6. 6 seconds before l i ft-
off the mai n engi nes i gn i te
and bui l d up to ful l thrust,
whi ch si gnal s the boosters to
i gni te, and the shuttle takes
off. The boosters drop away
two mi nutes l ater, and the
s h utt l e cont i nues to c l i mb
usi ng its mai n engi nes. The
tank separates at eight mi n
utes i nto the fl i ght, fal l i ng i nto
the ocean, whi l e the orbi ter
conti nues on i nto orbi t usi ng
i ts smal l Orbi tal Maneuver-
Space shutle l ands l i ke an ai r
pl ane NASA
i ng System rockets. When its
mi ssi on i s compl ete, the shut
t l e i s t u r ned a rou n d : t he
maneuveri ng engi nes are
fi red to sl ow it down, then the
orbiter fl i ps over to point nose
fi rst.
The shuttl e then reenters
the atmosphere, gett i ng very
hot as it reduces speed usi ng
t he drag of the ai r. I t i s com
pl etel y unpowered, but has
the abi l i ty to fl y several hun
dred mi l es t o ei ther si de of
its orbi tal path. I t l ands l i ke a
gl i der on a runway.
After l andi ng, unused fuel s
are removed and the orbi ter
i s refu r bi s hed for anot her
fl i ght . I f t he shuttl e must be
transferred some other pl ace
for l aunch, i t i s carri ed on
the back of a modi fi ed 7 47
ai rpl ane.
The des t r u c t i on of t h e
space shuttl e Chal l enger and
death of i ts crew on January
28, 1 986, l ed to a several
years hal t i n t he shuttl e pro
gr am an d l eft on l y t h ree
operat i onal orbi ters, named
Col umbi a, Di s covery, and
Atl anti s. A new one, Endeav
our, has now j oi ned them.
A space sh.otle seen by a nearby
satel l i te NASA
pl anned as a hypersoni c wi nged craft that coul d take off l i ke
an ai rpl ane from a runway, accel erate to orbi tal vel oci ty,
maneuver in low orbi t, and then return to Earth, l andi ng l i ke
an ai rpl ane agai n. Such a veh i cl e coul d provi de access to
low orbi ts at a cost per pound of payl oad much l ower than
ordi nary rockets or the space shuttl e. A commerci al ve.rsi on
of i t may be used as a transoceani c ai rpl ane, ni cknamed the
"Orient Express, " able to travel from San Franci sco to Tokyo
in about three hours.
Requi ri ng very hi gh- strength, l i ghtei ght, heat- resi stant
materi al s, several desi gns are bei ng studied for constructi on
i n the l ate 1 990s. One cal l s for usi ng methane as a fuel , with
atmospheri c oxygen whi l e in the l ower atmosphere, then
switchi ng to l i qui d hydrogen and l i qui d oxygen at hi gher al ti
tudes. Other pl ans consi der the use of ramj ets and supersoni c
combusti on ramj ets { cal l ed scramjets) .
Conception for a U. S. aerospace plane
AGENA i s the ol dest U. S.
u pper stage, u s ed s i n c e
1 959 more than 300 ti mes
wi t h great success . I t has
been us ed as t he u pper
stage for Atl as, Thor, an d
Ti tan 3B l aunchers.
Several mi l itary spy-satel
l i te payloads are based on
Agena. An Agena was the
fi rst space-docki ng target,
and other Agenas l aunched
s u c h payl oad s as t h e
Mari ner-Mars and Mari ner
Venus probes.
The l atest vers i on , t he
Agena-D, can be used with a
wi de vari ety of payl oads ,
and its l i qui d- fuel ed engi nes
can be stopped and restarted
in space for versati l e maneu
Some Agena stages have
been used for mi ssions lasti ng
more than si x months i n orbit.
Thi s stage is 23 feet l ong, 5
feet in di ameter, and wei ghs
1 5,000 pounds, 91 percent
of whi ch i s fuel .
Atlas rocket with Agena upper
stage NASA
CENTAUR upper stage has been used wi th Atl as and Ti tan
l aunchers to orbi t such Earth-orbi t payl oads as l arge com
muni cati ons satel l i tes and orbi ti ng astronomi cal observato
ri es. I t has al so been used for many i nterpl anetary mi s
s i ons , i n c l u di n g Pi oneer ,
Vi ki ng, Mari ner, and Voy
A typi cal Centaur stage
i s 30 feet l ong and 1 0 feet i n
di ameter; i t burns 3 1 , 000
pounds of cryogeni c fuel i n its
two e n g i n e s , p rod u c i n g
33, 000 pou nds o f t hrust .
These engi nes can be restart
ed in space for maneuver
i ng. Centaur, when used as
the upper stage with an Atl as
booster, i s capabl e of puti ng
1 3,000-pound payloads i nto
low orbits, 4, 900 pounds into
a geostationary transfer orbit,
and, with the addi tion of a
smal l "ki ck motor" on the
payl oad, 2, 600 pounds i nto
an escape traj ectory.
The Centaur contai ns a
very capabl e gui dance, nav
i gati on, and systems-control
computer that governs not
onl y the Centaur i tsel f, but
al so the Atl as booster.
Atlas with a Centaur upper stage
PAYLOAD ASSI ST MODULE ( PAM) is desi gned as a smal l
separate upper stage attached to satel l i te payl oads on Del ta
and Atl as rockets, and for boosti ng payl oads from the l ow
orbi t of the space shuttl e to geostati onary transfer orbi t.
When used wi th the shuttle i t i s someti mes cal l ed the
Spi nni ng Sol i d Upper Stage because di recti onal stabi l i zati on
i s achi eved by spi nni ng the PAM and i ts payl oad about 50
revol uti ons per mi nute.
When used in the shuttl e, the spi nni ng is started by el ec
tric motors on the structure hol di ng the PAM and i ts payload.
They are then ej ected from the shuttl e' s payl oad bay by
spri ngs, and then al lowed to dri ft many mi l es away from the
shuttl e ( for safety) before the PAM i s i gni ted to carry the
payload hi gher i nto space.
When used wi th expend
abl e rockets, smal l thruster
j ets around the PAM cause
the spi nni ng.
The fi rst PAM was used i n
1 980 wi th a Del ta l auncher.
PAMs come i n di fferent
versi ons for use wi th shuttl e
an d expen dabl e roc kets .
PAMs for s hutt l e use have
sl i ghtly shorter rocket nozzles
so they wi l l fi t wi thi n the car
go bay.
The PAM i s capabl e of
taki ng al most 3, 500 pounds
of payl oad from l ow orbi t to
a Cl arke orbi t.
Payload Assi st Modul e atached
to a satel l i te NASA
TRANSFER ORBIT STAGE was devel oped wi th pri vate funds
to provi de an upper stage beteen the capabi l i ti es of the
PAM, the Centaur, and the I nerti al Upper Stage. Wei ghi ng
24, 000 pounds when ful l y fuel ed, i t i s 1 1 feet l ong and 1 1
feet i n di ameter, and can take payl oads i n the range of
6, 000 to 1 3, 000 pounds from shuttle orbi t to geostati onary
transfer orbi t . I ts rocket engi ne provi des 60J50 pounds of
thrust. It can al so be used as the upper stage for a Ti tan, tak
i ng a payl oad capaci ty of 9, 000 pounds to Cl arke orbi t.
APOGEE AND MANEUVERING STAGE i s an upper stage 1 0
feet i n di ameter and 5. 6 feet i n l ength, wei ghi ng 9, 400
pounds. When used by i tsel f as an upper stage from the shut
tle, i t can boost 5, 300 pounds from l ow orbi t to geostationary
orbi t. I t wi l l al so be used for ferryi ng payloads from the shut
tl e to the space stati on . Combi ned wi th the Transfer Orbi t
Stage, the payl oad capaci ty to hi gh orbi t i s i ncreased to
1 8, 600 pounds.
Transfer Orbit Stage OSC
I NERTIAL UPPER STAGE was desi gned by NASA and the Ai r
Force to launch heavy payloads from both the shuttl e and the
Ti tan . It was fi rst used wi th a Ti tan in 1 982.
I t i s a to-stage sol id-fueled vehicl e, 1 6. 5 feet long and 9. 6
feet i n diameter. Its first stage provides 42,600 pounds of thrust
and i s connected to the second stage by a structure cal l ed the
i nterstage. The second stage gives 1 7,430 pounds of thrust.
The payload, attached to thi s, contai ns a sophi sti cated gui d
ance and control computer. Total wei ght ( wi thout payload)
is 32, 000 pounds. It can carry a 5, 000-pound payload from
l ow orbi t to Cl arke orbi t.
The I nerti al Upper Stage NASA
Pegasus ai r-l aunched racket OSC
PEGASUS is the newest and smal lest of United States l aunch
ers. I t i s uni que i n several ways. Fi rst, i t i s the onl y l aunch
er devel oped purel y by pri vate i ndustry, al bei t usi ng many
parts from previ ous spacecraft. Secondl y, i t i s l aunched
not verti cal l y from a l aunch pad, but hori zontal l y from
under the wi ng of an ai rpl ane. Pegasus is desi gned to car
ry smal l payl oads-someti mes cal l ed smal l sats, or l i ght
sots, or cheapsats-of l ess than about 950 pounds i nex
pensi vel y i nto l ow orbi ts a few hundred mi l es up.
The th ree- stage, sol i d- fuel ed, 50- foot- l ong Pegasus rock
et i s attached under the wi ng of a B-52 bomber and flown to
an al ti tude of about 40, 000 feet over the ocean. Pegasus i s
then dropped from t he ai rpl ane and i t s fi rst- stage motors
i gnite, provi di ng 1 09, 000 pounds of thrust. When the fi rst
stage is empty, i t drops away and a second stage provi des
27, 600 pounds of thrust for several mi nutes before i t, too,
drops away. A thi rd stage, wi th 9,800 pounds of thrust, puts
the satel l i te i nto low Earth orbi t.
Li ke the U. S. , the Soviet rocket program fol l owi ng Worl d War
I I got i ts start usi ng captured German sci enti sts and rockets .
Unl i ke the Uni ted States program, however, the Sovi et pro
gram was carried on i n great secrecy, some of which sti l l sur
rounds it today. For exampl e, photographs of some Sovi et
rockets were not made publ i c unt i l 20 years after they were
used, and, unt i l recentl y, some l aunch si tes offi ci al l y di d not
exi st.
Sovi et boosters have tended to be capabl e of putti ng
heavy payloads i nto orbit. One reason for thi s seems to be that
Soviet sci enti sts were not abl e, in the early days of I CBMs, to
reduce the wei ght of thei r bombs and so had to use more pow
erful rockets. It al so requi res more powerful rockets to pl ace
satel l i tes i nto l ow- i ncl i nati on orbi ts from the Soviet hi gh-l ati
tude l aunch si tes. A conti nui ng reason may be that Soviet
mi cromi ni aturi zati on technology i s l ess advanced, meani ng
thei r satel l i tes are heavi er. At t he present ti me, they have the
worl d' s most powerful boost
er, Energi a, as part of thei r
There are three di fferent
nomenclatures for Soviet rock
ets. The Li brary of Congress
syst em us es l etters of t he
al phabet roughl y i n order of
appearance. Another system,
used by the U. S. Department
of Defense, uses the prefix SL,
meani ng "satel l i te l auncher,"
and a number. Then there i s
what the Sovi ets cal l them.
SOVI ET A SERI ES l aunchers,
ori gi nal l y I CBMs, l aunched
the fi rst three Sputni ks, and
i ncl ude the A 1 ( or SL- 3, or
Vostok) , now bei ng repl aced
wi th more advanced mod
el s. Used for heavy spy satel
l i tes, they stand 1 25 feet tal l
and can pl ace si x tons i n
orbi t usi ng a mai n-core rock
et and four boosters .
A2 ( SL- 4) , cal l ed Soyuz by
t he Sovi et s, has been ex
tens i vel y used for man ned
l aunches of Soyuz spacecraft
and Progress suppl y vehi -
The Soviet A 1 rocket, Vostok
des. It stands 1 63 feet h i gh
and can pl ace 7. 5 tons i nto
low orbi ts.
A2e ( S L - 6 ) adds an a d
di t i onal upper stage to pro
pel payloads to escape orbi t.
I t has been used for i nter
pl anetary probes, but i s now
used most l y for commsats
and deep-space probes.
7, i s no l onger used. I t was
used to pl ace smal l payloads
i n the Kosmos and l nterkos
mos seri es i nto orbi t. These
s at e l l i t es h a d ma x i mu m
we i g h t s of a bou t 1 , 300
THE Cl ( SL- 8) booster i s the
onl y one of the many Sovi et
l a u n c h e r s k n own to be
l aunched from al l three Sovi
et l aunch si tes. The fi rst stage
devel ops 1 7 6 tons of thrust.
Overal l l ength i s about 1 05
feet. They are pri mari l y used
now for navsats ( navi gati on
s ate l l i t es ) a n d c omms at s
( commun i cati ons satel l i tes } .
Soyuz TASS
The Soviet D 1 l auncher
si x fi rst- stage engi nes pro
duci ng a mi l l i on pounds of
thrust. D 1 ( SL- 1 3) adds an
addi t i onal upper stage. Th i s
workhorse booster l aunched
the heavy Sal yut and Mi r
space stat i ons, as wel l as
many heavy Kosmos satel
l i tes. I t can pl ace 20 tons i n
l ow orbi t.
PROTON, al so cal l ed D 1 e
and SL- 1 2, is the D1 wi th an
added upper stage to al l ow
escape from Earth orbi t. I t
can carry 5. 7 tons as far as
the Moon, 5. 3 tons to Venus,
4. 6 tons to Mars, and 2 tons
to Cl arke orbi t. The Sovi et
Uni on has tri ed to make th i s
l auncher avai l abl e as a com
merci al vehi cl e.
There are no Seri es E, G,
or H Sovi et l aunchers .
i ncl ude the F 1 (SL- 1 1 ) , whi ch
wi t h an u pper stage can
pl ace u p t o about 9, 000
pounds i n l ow orbi t. I t stands
1 49 feet h i gh, is 1 0 feet i n
ameter, and produces a
thrust of 494, 000 pounds i n
t he f i r s t s t age , 220, 000
pounds i n t he second stage.
Thi s l auncher has been used
al most excl us i vel y for mi l i
tary payl oads.
THE F 2 ( SL- 1 4) adds st i l l
another upper stage, so that
t h i s l a u n c h e r c a n t a ke
1 2,000 pounds to l ow Earth
orbi t . It is about the same
si ze as the F 1 , but wi th sl i ght
ly i mproved th rust. Typi cal
payl oads i ncl ude the Meteor
seri es weather satel l i tes and
probabl y heavy el ectroni c
spysats ( spy satel l i tes) .
al so known as the J 1 , the SL-
1 6, and the SL-X, i s a newer
Sovi et l auncher that fi l l s the
payl oad-capaci ty wei ght-gap
between the capabi l i ti es of
the A2 and the D1 . I ts fi rst
l aunch was in 1 985. I t can
boost 1 5 to 20 tons i nto low
orbi t.
ENERGI A, or SL-W, fi rst l aunched in 1 987, is the worl d' s
most powerful l aunch vehi cl e. It is capabl e of putti ng about
220, 000 pounds i nto l ow Earth orbi t.
The l auncher stands 1 98 feet tal l , wei ghs 4. 4 mi l l i on
pounds, and has 6. 6 mi l l ion pounds of thrust from i ts first stage.
Thi s consi sts of a core tank, much l i ke the external tank of the
spoce shutle, with four l i qui d-hydrogen/l i qui d-oxgen engi nes.
Around the core are four boosters usi ng kerosene and l i qui d
oxygen .
There are versi ons of the Energi a for use wi th unmanned
payloads and for the Soviet space shuttle and spacepl ane. The
payload is carri ed pi ggyback on the side of the core vehi cl e.
Wi th the addi ti on of upper stages Energi a may be used to
bui l d a l arge Soviet space stati on i n the 1 990s.
The booster rockets are reuseabl e. They separate from the
core stage when the l auncher reaches about five ti mes the
speed of sound. They parachute to Earth and are refurbi shed
for use.
THE SOVI ET SPACE SHUTLE ( or SL-W Shuttl e, si nce i t i s
l aunched on the Energi a booster) i s very s i mi l ar to the U. S.
shuttl e. The Sovi et Un i on made much us e of Ameri can tech
nol ogy and experi ence. The fl i ght of the fi rst Sovi et shuttl e,
named Buran ( "Bl i zzard" ) , was i n November 1 988.
There are several di fferences beteen the Soviet shutl e and
the Ameri can one. The Sovi et shuttle carri es i ts mai n- stage
engi nes on the external tank, givi ng i mproved performance
to the orbi ter because of reduced wei ght. The boosters are l iq
ui d- fuel ed. The Sovi et shuttle can operate ei ther wi th a crew
or as an unmanned vehi cl e. For transport beteen l aunch si tes
both the orbi ter and tank can be carried pi ggyback on an ai r
pl ane, si mi l ar to the way the Ameri can orbi ter is carri ed on
a Boei ng 7 47.
THE SOVIET SPACEPLANE is a smal l er vehi cl e, desi gned
probabl y for a th ree- man crew, and capabl e of rapi d
l aunch. I t wi l l be used for repl aci ng Mi r space- stati on crews,
servi ci ng satel l i tes in low orbi t, and for manned reconnai s
sance mi ssi ons. The U. S. Department of Defense cal l s i t a
"space fi ghter. "
The Soviet Energia ond Buran space shuttle
THE EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY ( ESA) is a consorti um of
more than a dozen nat i ons that pool thei r money and
experti se on space proj ects . The bi ggest contri butors to
ESA are the Uni ted Ki ngdom, France, Germany, and I tal y.
Havi ng no l aunch si tes for l arge rockets i n Europe, ESA uses
the French Gui ana Space Center.
The Ari ane, ESA's l auncher, had i ts fi rst Fl i ght i n 1 979 and
became operati onal i n 1 982. Si nce then i t has captured
about hal f of the worl d' s commerci al l aunch market.
ARIANE-3, one of the versi ons recently used, stands 1 62 feet
hi gh; it uses four l i qui d- fueled engi nes pl us to sol i d- fuel ed
strap-on boosters. The second stage has a si ngl e engi ne si m
i l ar t o those i n t he fi rst stage, and t he th i rd stage uses cryo
gen i c fuel s. Total l aunch thrust is 850, 000 pounds, and
t he veh i cl e wei ghs 530, 000 pou nds. I t can pl ace 5, 700
pounds i nto a geostati onary transfer orbi t, or 3, 800 i nto an
escape orbi t.
ARIANE-4 i s the l atest versi on . The fi rst stage i s si mi l ar to the
Ari ane- 3, but i t is 23 feet l onger in order to hol d more fuel .
By i tsel f i t has a thrust from i ts four engi nes of 601 ,000
pounds. The second and thi rd stages are strengthened ver
si ons of those from the Ari ane- 3.
Ari ane-4 comes i n several confi gurati ons. Model 42P,
wi th to sol i d- fuel boosters, can pl ace 2. 6 tons i nto Cl arke
orbi t. Model 44P uses four sol i d boosters for a payl oad
capaci ty of 3 tons. Model 42L uses to new l i qui d- fuel ed
boosters for 3. 2 tons of payload. Modei 44LP uses to sol i d
and to l i qui d-fueled strap-ons for a 3. 7-ton capaci ty. Mod
el 44L, usi ng four l i qui d- fuel ed boosters wi th a l i ft-off thrust of
1 . 2 mi l l i on pounds, can send 4. 2 tons to geostati onary orbi t.
Ariane-3 l auncher ESA Ariane-44LP l auncher ESA
HOTOL spaceplane concept BAe
HOTOL, for HOri zontal Take-Off and Landi ng, is a Bri ti sh
proposal for a s i ngl e- stage- to- orbi t, 200- ton unpi l oted
spacepl ane that wi l l take off l i ke an ai rpl ane from a runway
on a rocket- assi sted trol l ey. It wi l l burn l i qui d hydrogen
from on- board tanks wi th atmospheri c oxygen duri ng fl i ght
i n the l ower atmosphere. When t he ai r becomes too thi n at
hi gher al titudes, i t wi l l switch to on-board tanks of l i qui d oxy
gen . I ts cargo bay wi l l be about the si ze of that of the U. S.
space shuttl e, and the cargo l oad around 1 0 tons . When
used to carry peopl e, a crew compartment wi l l be fi tted i nto
the cargo bay.
After del i veri ng i ts payload to l ow orbi t i t wi l l reenter the
atmosphere and l and l i ke an ai rpl ane. I t coul d be modi fi ed
to be a hypersoni c commerci al ai rl i ner. HOTOL may be fly
ing by the end of the 1 990s.
HERMES is the European Space Agency' s proj ect for a
reuseabl e, smal l space- shuttl e veh i cl e. Present pl ans cal l
for a three-person crew. Hermes wi l l carry 3 tons of payload.
I ts overal l wei ght wi l l be around 2 1 tons.
ARIANE-5, now i n t he pl anni ng stages, wi l l become the
l aunch vehi cl e for Hermes i n the l ate 1 990s . I t wi l l al so car
ry unmanned satel l i te payl oads, capabl e of carryi ng 1 5
tons to l ow Earth orbi t and 8 tons to geosynchronous orbi t.
A si ngl e cryogeni c fi rst-stage engi ne wi l l provi de 80 tons
of thrust. Two sol i d- fuel strap-on boosters wi l l each add
another 500 tons of thrust. At l i ft-off t he l auncher wi l l wei gh
about 1 45 tons. For smal l - to medi um- si zed payl oads there
wi l l be a second stage. For mi ssi ons that requi re more pow
er, a thi rd stage developed from the Ari ane-3 wi l l be used.
For manned mi ssi ons, the Hermes space shuttl e is to be the
upper stage.
Hermes spaceplane on Ariane-5 ESA
Songer and Horus concept ESA
SANGER/HORUS is a proposed German two-stage space
pl ane that i s to be ful ly reuseabl e. The fi rst-stage Sanger vehi
cl e itsel f wi l l be a hypersoni c ai rcraft powered by turbo ram
j ets wi th an 83- foot wi ngspan, a l ength of 1 65 feet, and a
takeoff wei ght of about 350 tons. It wi l l carry the Horus
orbi tal vehi cl e pi ggyback, taki ng i t to an al ti tude of about
20 mi l es and a speed of 7, 500 mi l es per hour. Sanger wi l l
then separate from t he orbi tal vehi cl e and f l y back t o l and
at an ai rport for reuse.
Horus, wei ghi ng 50 tons, wi l l then conti nue i nto space.
Payl oad capaci ty to l ow orbi t i s pl anned to be ei ther 9, 000
pounds of cargo or 4, 500 pounds of cargo and a crew of ten.
Its mi ssi on over, Horus would reenter the atmosphere and l and
l i ke an ai rpl ane.
J apan became t he fou rt h
space nati on i n 1 970.
LAMBDA SERI ES rockets are
smal l , ungui ded sol i d- fuel ed
l aunch vehi cl es wi th a fi rst
st a g e t h r u s t of 8 1 , 000
i ncl ude the three- stage Mu-
3S, whi ch has two strap-on
sol i d- f uel boosters, has a
take- off th rust of 43 1 , 000
pou n d s , a n d c a n p l a c e
1 , 700 pounds i n l ow orbi t
or 300 pounds i n an escape
orbi t . I t l au nched J apan' s
fi rst deep- space mi ssi on to
Comet Hal l ey.
a l i censed deri vati ve of the
U. S. Del ta rocket as a fi rst
stage. The second stage uses
l i qui d fuel , the thi rd stage i s
sol i d-fuel ed. The N- 2 has a
t ot a l l i f t - of f power of
638,000 pounds. I t can l i ft
770 pounds to Cl arke orbi t.
The Japanese Mu l auncher
THE H- 1 LAUNCHER, l i ke the
N- seri es, uses a Thor-derived
fi rst stage wi th ni ne strap-on
sol i d- fuel boosters. T otal l i ft
off thrust i s 640,000 pounds.
The second stage uses an al l
Japanese-desi gn cryogen i c
f uel ed e n gi n e produ c i n g
22, 000 pounds of t h r ust .
Th i rd stage i s sol i d- fuel ed,
wi t h 1 7, 600 pou n d s of
thrust. I t stands 1 32 feet high,
and can pl ace 7, 1 00 pounds
i nto l ow Earth orbi t, or 1 , 200
pou nds i nto geostat i onary
orbi t.
desi gned for use after 1 992,
wi l l use a c ryogen i c f i rst
s t age wi t h two s t r a p- on
boosters for a total l aunch
thrust of about 1 30 tons. The
secon d s tage wi l l be t he
same stage as i n t he H- 1 . I t
wi l l be capabl e of pl aci ng
4, 400 pounds i nto Cl arke
orbi t, and wi l l be J apan' s
most powerful l aunch vehi cl e
wel l i nto the 2 1 st century.
Japanese H-2 l auncher
The Peopl e' s Republ i c of Chi na became the fi fth space
capabl e nati on on Apri l 24, 1 970. Si nce then Chi na has
l aunched two to three mi ssi ons a year. I ts fi rst commun i ca
ti ons satel l i te i n Cl arke orbi t was l aunched Apri l 8, 1 984.
The Chi nese have speci al i zed i n recoverabl e unman ned
satel l i tes. Some of these have contai ned experi ments per
formed i n wei ghtl essness, and others seem to have been
reconnai ssance satel l i tes.
LONG MARCH 1 , known al so as the CZ- 1 { Chang Zheng-
1 ) and by the Western nati ons as CSL- 1 , was the earl i est
booster. I t was deri ved from an I RBM { I ntermedi ate Range
Bal l i sti c Mi ssi l e) . I t has to l i qui d-fuel ed stages and a sol i d
fuel upper stage, together 97 feet tal l , capabl e of putti ng 660
pounds i nto low Earth orbi t. The CZ- 1 C i s a sl i ghtly i mproved
versi on wi th a payl oad capaci ty of 880 pounds.
Chi nese CZ-2C l auncher Xi nhua and New Chi na Pictures
THE FB- 1 ROCKET stands for
"Feng Boo, " wh i ch means
"Storm Booster . " Over a
dozen satel l i tes have gone
up on thi s series of rockets. I t
i s a to- stage l i qui d- fuel ed
rocket that can pl ace 5, 500
pounds in a l ow orbi t.
LONG MARCH 2 ( CZ- 2) i s a
two- stage rocket, t he fi rst
stage devel opi ng 6 1 7, 000
pounds of th rust from four
l i qu i d- fuel engi nes . These
can put 6, 600 pounds i nto
l ow Earth orbi t.
3) , fi rst fl own i n 1 984, i s a
three- stage rocket wi th the
same fi rst stage as the CZ- 2.
I t i s 1 42 feet hi gh, wei ghs
202 ton s , and can pl ace
3, 1 00 pounds i nto a geo
stati onary transfer orbi t.
"WEAVE R GI R L" ( Lo n g
March 4) i s the newest Chi
nese l auncher, fi rst tested i n
1 988.
"Weaver Girl"-the Chinese Long
March 4 l auncher Xi nhua
and New Chi na Pictures
I ndi a entered the Space Age
in J ul y 1 980. I ndi a has used
the l aunch servi ces of both
the U. S. and U. S. S. R.
SLV-3, I ndi a' s fi rst successful
l auncher, i s s i mi l ar to the
U. S. Scout rocket. I t pl aced
three satel l i tes i nto l ow Earth
orbi ts in the earl y 1 980s.
ASLV, or Augmented Satel l i te
Launch Vehi cl e, is a 75-foot
hi gh, al l -sol i d-fuel , four-stage
rocket capabl e of pl aci n g
about 330 pounds i nto l ow
orbi t. It has a l i ft-off wei ght of
3 9 t o n s a n d a t h r u s t of
365, 000 pounds.
GSLV, Geostati onary Satel l ite
La u n c h Veh i c l e, i s i n t he
pl anni ng stages for opera
ti on i n the mi d- 1 990s . The
cu rrent des i gn ca l l s for a
cryogeni c- fuel ed rocket abl e
to pl ace 2 , 800 to 3 , 700
pounds i nto a geostati onary
transfer orbi t.
I ndia' s SLV
I s r ael became t he ei gh t h
space- capabl e nat i on on
September 1 9, 1 988, wi th
the l aunch of i ts fi rst satel l i te
aboard the Shavi t { "Comet" )
l auncher.
SHAVIT i s thought t o be a
deri vati ve of the two- stage
sol i d- fuel ed Jeri cho- 2 mi l i
tary bal l i sti c mi ssi l e, wh i ch
was i n tu rn der i ved from
French rocket research . As
a mi ssi l e i t has a range of
about 400 mi l es. As a sate! - The I srael i l auncher IAI
l i te l auncher i t pl aced i ts fi rst
payload i nto an el l i pti cal ret-
rograde orbi t with a peri gee
First Israeli satel l i te IAI
of 1 55 mi l es and an apogee
of 7 1 7 mi l es .
The l aunch was unusual
i n that i t was towa rd the
northwest, over Europe, so
that the rocket woul dn ' t fl y
ove r Ar ab n at i on s . The
l a u n c h s i te wa s t he Pa l
machi m Ai r Force Base.
The 343-pound satel l i te,
named Offeq- 1 { " Hori zon-
1 "L i s 8 feet l ong and 4 feet
in di ameter, and it contai ns
several sci enti fi c experi ments.
THE LUNCH PAD, or l aunch compl ex, i s the l ocati on and
assembl age of components that hol ds t he rocket ready for
l aunch and suppl i es the necessary faci l i ti es for fuel i ng, el ec
trical power, payload i nstal l ati on, and other support servi ces.
Most rockets are attached to the pad by support structures
at the base of the fi rst stage. The U. S. space shuttl e rests on
i ts sol i d rocket boosters.
Some rockets, such as the Ameri can space shuttl e, the
European Ari ane-4, and many Sovi et rockets, are assembled
i n a separate vehi cle-assembly bui l di ng and then moved to the
l aunch pad several mi l es away. Most Soviet rockets are car
ri ed hori zontal l y on rai l cars. The Ameri can shuttle and the
European Ari ane-4 are carri ed verti cal ly. Some other l aunch
ers are "stacked" on the pad, and the payload i s then i nstal l ed
i n the top stage.
Launch pads need to wi thstand the tremendous heat and
vi brati on of l aunch. Often huge streams of water are sprayed
over the pad duri ng the l i ft-off. Beneath the pad are fl ame
troughs to carry the rocket fl ames harml essl y away from the
THE GANTRY is the mai n structure of the pad, usual l y hi gh
er than t he rocket i tsel f. I t provi des work pl atforms at many
level s, and these can be moved to encase t he rocket for work
on i t and to provi de protecti on from the weather. Si mi l ar
movi ng structures, whi ch do not surround the rocket but al low
workers and crews access to it, are often cal l ed "swi ng
arms . "
From the gantry come umbi l ical l i nes carryi ng fuel , ai r, and
el ectri cal power to the rocket and its payl oad, and carryi ng
back to ground control l ers tel emetry si gnal s gi vi ng the status
of al l the rocket and payl oad functi ons.
COUNTDOWN is the process of prepari ng the rocket and i ts
payl oad for l aunch i nto space. Fuel i ng of l i qu i d- fuel ed
stages is al ways done on the pad, whereas the sol i d- fuel
motors are brought t o t he pad ready for fl i ght . Because t he
very col d cryogeni c fuel s boi l off, such fuel tanks need t o be
"topped off" conti nual l y unt i l a few mi nutes before l aunch .
Because fuel s are expl osi ve, it is often necessary to vent away
any escapi ng gases. The external tank of the space shuttl e
has a "beani e cap" that fi ts over its nose duri ng l aunch
preparati on and performs thi s functi on .
The l aunch process is control led from a l aunch control cen
ter, often cal led a blockhouse because it is usual ly underground
and bui l t with very th i ck wal l s to wi thstand an expl odi ng
rocket. I nsi de, l aunch crews moni tor t he preparati on of the
rocket and the status of the payl oad. Thi s i nformati on is car
ri ed from the pad vi a wi res before l aunch, and vi a radi o
tel emetry after l aunch.
The checkout and t he l aunch of a rocket are usual l y
computer - cont rol l ed, because t here a re ten s of t hou
sands of measurements that must be made conti nual ly. A
tpi cal countdown may take about a day. In the l ast few
mi nutes before l aunch the safety mechani sms, whi ch prevent
the rockets from fi ri ng acci dental l y, are set to al l ow for i gni
ti on, l i qui d-fuel tanks have thei r vents cl osed so pressure that
wi l l force the fuel s i nto the engi ne can bui l d up, and the
rocket goes on i nternal battery power.
At i gni ti on, cal led "T-0, " the rockets are i gni ted and the
cabl es connecti ng the rocket wi th the l aunch pad are di s
connected. Often i t takes several seconds fr l i quid-fueled rock
et engi nes to bui l d up to ful l thrust. Then sol i d- fuel ed boost
ers are i gni ted and the rocket begi ns to "l i ft off, " taki ng sev
eral seconds to "cl ear the tower. "
Several seconds l ater the rocket turns to the desi red di rec
ti on and angl e of fl i ght and conti nues to cl i mb. As i t ascends
through the thi ck l ower l ayers of the atmosphere i t i s subj ect
to a great deal of stress, so often the engi nes are reduced i n
power for a few seconds to avoi d over- stressi ng the rocket.
Duri ng thi s stage the rocket i s accel erati ng at several times the
force of gravi ty.
After a mi nute or to, booster rockets burn out and fal l
away. When the fuel i n the fi rst stage i s gone, i t drops away,
usual l y fal l i ng i nto the ocean. The second stage i gni tes and
conti nues t o thrust t he rocket toward space. Once t he rocket
is above the thi cker parts of the atmosphere, aerodynami c
streaml i ni ng i s no l onger needed, so to save wei ght t he nose
cone of the rocket, cal l ed the payl oad fai ri ng, i s j etti soned.
When the second stage is empty, it separates, and the rock
et may coast upward for a whi l e before the thi rd stage fi res.
The burni ng of the thi rd stage pl aces the payl oad i nto orbi t,
and it then separates from the rocket. Often smal l rockets move
the thi rd stage asi de to prevent i ts bumpi ng i nto the payl oad.
Si nce the most dangerous portion of a l aunch is the first-stage
burn, there must be unpopul ated areas in those di rections
from the l aunch si te toward whi ch rockets are sent. For
low- i ncl i nation orbits, thi s means roughl y toward the east and
southeast; for hi gh- i ncl i nati on satel l i tes, part i cul arl y polar
orbi ts, the di recti on of l aunch is toward the north or south .
The latitude of the launch site parially determines how much
fyload a rocket can carry to low- i ncl i nation orbi ts. A launch
eastard from a si te cl ose to the equator means a gi ven
rocket can carry a greater payload. I f to i denti cal rockets
were l aunched from NASA' s Kennedy Space Center in Fl ori
da ( l ati tude 28 degrees) and from the Guiana Space Center
(5 degrees) , the later coul d carry about 1 5 percent more pay
load to Cl arke orbi t.
Launch Site Lati tude Longitude
1 Kennedy Space Center 28. 5N 8 1 .0W
2 Wallops Fl i ght Center 37. 9N 75.4W
3 Vandenberg Air Force Base 34. 7N 1 20.6W
4 Gui ana Space Center 5. 2N 52. 8E
5 Tyuratam (Bai konur) 45. 6N 63. 4E
6 Kapustin Yar 48. 4N 45. 8E
7 Plesetsk 62. 0N 40. 1 E
8 Ji uquan 40. 6N 99. 8E
9 Xi cheng 28. 1 N 1 02. 3E
1 0 Tanegashi ma Space Center 30.4N 1 3 l . OE
1 1 Kagoshi ma ( Uchi noura) 3 1 . 2N 1 3 1 . 1 E
1 2 Sri hari kota Launchi ng Center 1 3. 8N 80.4E
1 3 Thumba 8. 5N 76.9E
1 4 San Marco Equatorial Range 2.9S 40.3E
1 5 Esrange 67. 8N 20. 2E
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER ( KSC) is NASA's maj or spaceport,
l ocated on the east coast of Fl ori da on Merri tt I sl and. Next
to i t is the Cape Canaveral Air Force Stati on, l aunch si te for
the Ai r Force Eastern Space and Mi ssi l e Test Range, whi ch
extends southeastard across the Atl anti c. KSC i tsel f has onl y
to l aunch pads, 39A and 39B. These were used for al l but
one of the Apol l o l aunches and for al l the shuttl e l au nches
so far. Al l expendabl e rocket l aunches and al l pre-Apol l o
manned l aunches were from t he Ai r Force Stati on, where
most of the pads have now been deacti vated. KSC al so
has a gi ant vehi cl e-assembl y bui l di ng and rel ated process
i ng bui l di ngs and fi ri ng rooms, as wel l as a 1 5,000-foot run
way for returni ng space shuttl es.
The non-operati onal areas of KSC are a wi l dl i fe preserve.
Publ i c tours of KSC are avai l abl e from the Vi si tor' s I nforma
ti on Center l ocated near the entrance on NASA Causeway.
The Center has extensive di splays of rockets, satel l i tes, and edu
cati onal exhi bi ts.
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE (VAFB) , al so known as the
Western Test Range, i s l ocated near Lompoc, Cal i forni a. I t
has been the si te of many mi l i tary mi ssi l e l aunches, and of
NASA l aunches of satel l i tes i ntended to go i nto hi gh i ncl i
nati on or pol ar orbi ts. VAFB has a safe l aunch di recti on for
pol ar orbi ts toward the south, over water. VAFB cannot
l aunch satel l i tes toward the east because fi rst stages woul d
fal l i n popul ated areas.
Launch and l andi ng faci l i ti es that enabl e pol ar orbi ts for
the space shuttl e were bui l t here but then deacti vated fol l ow
ing the Chal l enger acci dent in 1 986. They wi l l be reactivat
ed someti me in the 1 990s.
VAFB is al so the si te of many operati onai i CBMs, and of
test l aunches across the Paci fi c. Hence, thi s is a heavi l y cl as
si fi ed area not open to the publ i c.
1 00
NASA' s Kennedy Space Center NASA
1 01
NASA' s Wallops Isl and Facil it NASA
WALLOPS FLIGHT CENTER is l ocated on Wal l ops I sl and off
the Del marva Peni nsul a on the coast of Vi rgi ni a. It was
one of the earl i est U. S. l aunch si tes, dati ng from 1 945.
Many tests of boosters and other rocket systems occurred
there in the earl y days of the space program. It has safe
l aunch di recti ons to the east and southeast. Wh i l e many of
the fl i ghts are of soundi ng rockets, des i gned to go up and
ri ght back down agai n, many smal l satel l i tes have been
l aunched from here usi ng Scout rockets. NASA has l aunched
several non- U. S. satel l i tes from thi s si te.
OTHER NASA CENTERS, whi ch conduct programs and
research but do not have l aunch si tes, i ncl ude t he Goddard
Space Fl i ght Center, Greenbel t, Maryl and; Johnson Space
Center, Houston, Texas; Ames Research Center, Mountai n
vi ew, Cal i forni a; Lewi s Research Center, Cl evel and, Ohi o;
Jet Propul si on Laboratory, Pasadena, Cal i forni a; Langl ey
Research Center, Hampton, Vi rgi ni a; and several that con
duct mostly aeronauti cal research. Some have vi sitor centers
open to the publ i c.
1 02
PLESETSK, known al so as the Northern Cosmodrome, i s
l ocated 1 00 mi l es south of Archangel sk, U. S. S. R. , near the
town of Pl esetsk. I t i s the Sovi et equi val ent of Vandenberg
Ai r Force Base and is the maj or Sovi et mi l i tary l aunch si te;
i t i s heavi l y defended by mi ssi l e empl acements. Pl esetsk i s
by far t he worl d' s busi est spaceport, havi ng l aunched wel l
over 1 , 000 mi ssi ons, typi cal l y 50 to 70 a year. The si te i s
at l east 60 mi l es l ong, wi t h dozens of l aunch pads as wel l
as research faci l i t i es. I t i s i deal l y pos i t i oned for l aunch i ng
pol ar-orbi t i ng satel l i tes, typi cal l y toward t he northeast, and
i t i s from here t hat Sovi et reconnai ssance satel l i tes are
l aunched.
The exi stence of thi s cosmodrome was unknown unt i l a
group at a Bri ti sh boys' school tracked a l aunch in 1 966 and
cal cul ated that i t must have come from thi s regi on, not from
one of the other space centers then known .
TYURATAM ( al so cal l ed Bai konur because t he Sovi ets
cl ai med for many years i t was near that town) i s real l y
more than 200 mi l es southwest i n Kazakhstan, j ust east of
t he Aral Sea. I t i s near t he Sar- Darya Ri ver. A newl y bui l t
ci ty for the base workers, Len i nsk, is nearby.
Thi s huge spaceport has more than 80 l aunch pads, and
was the l ocati on from whi ch both Sputni k 1 and Yuri Gagari n
were l aunched. Typi cal l y, more than a dozen fl i ghts a year
are l aunched from Tyuratam, whi ch is the second busi est
spaceport i n the Soviet Union. Al l Soviet manned mi ssi ons, and
al l i nterpl anetary probes, are l aunched from here. Thi s i s
al so the si te for l aunches of the Energi a booster, and new faci l
ities are bei ng developed for l aunches of the Soviet shutl e and
spacepl ane.
KAPUSTIN YAR, al so known as t he Vol gograd Stati on, i s the
ol dest of the Sovi et l aunch bases; i t i s l ocated on the Vol ga
River not far from the ci ty of Vol gograd. I t was here the Sovi
et and German engi neers l aunched the V-2s captured at the
end of the war. T
i s was the fi rst- known of the Soviet rock
et bases, earl y mi ssi l e l aunches havi ng been tracked by
radar from Turkey to the south .
Thi s spaceport is l argel y used for mi l i tary mi ssi l e tests
( parti cul arly antibal l i stic mi ssi l e targets) , fr smal l scientific satel
l i tes in the Cosmos seri es, and for soundi ng rockets. Most
orbi tal l aunches from here have used the B and C seri es of
rockets. More recently i t has been the l aunch si te of the smal l
Sovi et spacepl ane ( p. 83) . Thi s may si gnal a comi ng i ncrease
in the usual l y smal l l aunch- rate from Kapusti n Yar, depend
i ng on whether only the test fl i ghts or the operati onal fl i ghts
wi l l be made from here.
KALI NI NGRAD i s the mai n control center for Sovi et manned
space mi ssi ons.
1 04
TANEGASHIMA SPACE CENTER, wi th i ts Osaki and Takesaki
l aunch si tes, i s l ocated on Tanegashi ma I sl and, about 600
mi l es southwest of Tokyo, Japan, and 50 mi l es south of the
southern tip of Kyushu, southernmost of the Japanese maj or
i sl ands . The Takesaki si te i s used for smal l soundi ng rockets
on research fl i ghts. The Osaki l aunch si te is used for orbi tal
l aunches of l arger vehi cl es. I t was fi rst used i n 1 97 4 as the
l aunch si te of an N-series l auncher, and i s the si te for the new
H- 2 veh i cl es.
The i sl and i s i n t he mi ddl e of one of Japan' s ri chest fi sh
i ng areas, and fal l i ng fi rst stages of rockets coul d produce a
hazard to fi shi ng boats, requi ri ng the downrange areas to be
evacuated for each l aunch. Hence, an agreement beteen the
Japanese government and the fishi ng i ndustry restricts l aunch
es to February and August. Typi cal ly, one or to l aunches a
year are carried out here, but thi s number may ri se as the H-
2 l auncher comes i nto operati on.
KAGOSHI MA, al so cal l ed Uchi noura, is on the southern ti p
of Kyushu I sl and. I t was i naugurated by a fi rst l aunch i n 1 964
of a Lambda soundi ng rocket. ( Several earl i er Japanese
soundi ng rockets had been l aunched from the nearby Aki
t a Rocket Range. ) Japan's first si x satel l i tes were l aunched from
Kagoshi ma, begi nni ng in 1 970. The l argest rockets l aunched
from here are the Mu-seri es. Al l l aunches have been of sci
entific payloads, both soundi ng rockets and several orbital mi s
si ons. Typi cal l y, there i s one l aunch a year from thi s base.
Space Center north of Tokyo and near T anegashi ma; down
range are tracki ng stati ons at Oki nawa and Ogasawara on
Chi chi -J i ma I sl and, and a mobi l e stati on that can be set up
ei ther on Kwaj al ei n Atol l or Chri stmas I sl and.
Tanegashi ma l aunch site
1 06
JI UQUAN, previ ousl y referred to as Shuang Chen-Tse, or
" East Wi nd Center, " i s i n northwest Ch i n a, i n Gans u
Provi nce, near the border wi th Mongol i a. I t was fi rst used i n
t he l ate- 1 960s to l aunch mi l i tary rockets, some possi bl y
wi th nucl ear warheads, i nto a test range i n the Gobi Desert.
From here was l aunched Chi na' s fi rst satel l i te, Chi na- 1 , i n
1 970. Most l aunches are toward the southeast.
Typi cal payl oads now l aunched from J i uquan are Earth
resources satel l i tes and those wi th recoverabl e payl oads.
The l atter are l aunched i nto l ow orbi t for days to weeks, and
then reenter under control l ed condi ti ons so they may be
found and the speci mens aboard studi ed.
Because the Chi nese do not have any territories outsi de thei r
borders for tracki ng satel l i tes downrange, they use tracki ng
sh i ps sent out i nto t he Paci fi c.
XICHANG, earl i er cal l ed Chengdu, i s l ocated i n Chi na' s
Szechwan provi nce. The si te i s more sui tabl e for l aunches to
geosynchronous orbi ts than J i uquan i s si nce i t has a l ower
l ati tude, and al l such l aunches are now made from here.
Al though smal l compared to some of the gi ant Ameri can
and Sovi et bases, Xi chang i s bei ng expanded to serve as the
l aunch base for Long March 2 and 3 rockets. Chi na now offers
i ts l aunch servi ces to other nati ons and fi rms needi ng to
pl ace satel l i tes i nto orbi t.
Li ke the Sovi et Uni on, Chi na has onl y l and- l ocked l aunch
si tes, whi ch restricts the di recti ons i n whi ch they can l aunch
thei r rockets. Despi te the apparent avai l abi l ity of seacoast sites,
they seem to prefer to keep thei r l aunch bases i nl and for secu
ri ty reasons .
1 08
Xi chang l aunch site Xi nhua and New Chi na Pictures
known by i t s French name
Centre Spat i al Guyan ai s
( CSG) an d by the name of
the nearest town, Kourou, i s
l ocated i n French Gui ana,
on t he nort heast coast of
South Ameri ca. I t was estab
l i shed by France wi th a fi rst
l au nch i n 1 968. I t is now
used by the European Space
Agency and i ts commerci al
l aunch organ i zati on, Ari
anespace, t o l aunch Ari ane
rockets .
ELA- 1 rockets are assem
bl ed on the l aunch pad. The
newer E LA- 2, as wel l as
future ELAs under construc
ti on for the Ari ane-5, use a
vehi cl e-assembl y bui l di ng, i n
whi ch the enti re vehi cl e i s put
together on i ts l aunch pl at
form and checked out by a
sophi sti cated computeri zed
system. The pl atform and
rocket are then carri ed by
ra i l abou t a mi l e to t he
l aunch si te. There are al so
pl ans for a l andi ng stri p for
use wi th the Hermes space
pl ane.
Centre Spati al Guyanai s ESA
1 1 0
I ndia' s Shar spaceport
SRIHARI KOTA LAUNCHI NG CENTER, cal l ed Shar, is I ndi a' s
maj or l aunch si te, l ocated on t he east coast north of t he ci ty
of Madras on the Bay of Bengal . Shar began wi th soundi ng
rocket l aunches i n 1 971 , and si nce then has been t he si te of
most of I ndi a' s satel l i te l aunches. Shar i s al so responsi bl e for
admi ni steri ng several other mi nor l aunch si tes, i ncl udi ng Bal
asore Rocket Launchi ng Stat i on, l ocated on I ndi a' s east
coast, south of the ci ty of Cal cutta. Bal asore' s more north
ern l ati tude makes i t l ess sui tabl e for orbi tal l aunches.
THUMBA Equatori al Rocket Launchi ng Stati on i s l ocated
j ust north of the ci ty of Tri vandrum near I ndi a' s southern ti p.
Thumba i s now admi ni stered i n cooperati on wi t h t he Un i t
ed Nati ons and is used for atmospheri c soundi ng- rocket
research by many nat i ons, i ncl udi ng France, Germany,
Japan, and the Uni ted States.
1 1 1
SAN MARCO EQUATORIAL RANGE is operated by I tal y and
the Uni ted States. I t i s l ocated i n Formosa Bay, three mi l es
offshore from the coast of Kenya.
The San Marco l aunch pl atform is a 3, 000-ton, 98- by
382-foot steel structure standi ng on 20 l egs embedded in the
seafl oor. Scout rockets are assembled and tested in a hori
zontal posi ti on, then rai sed to a verti cal posi ti on for l aunch.
About 4, 000 feet from San Marco and connected to i t by
23 el ectri cal cables is the Santa Ri ta control pl atform, a tri
angul ar "Texas T ower" -type pl atform l i ke those used for oi l
dri l l i ng ri gs. I t i s 1 37 feet on a si de. A crew of 80 control s and
tracks l aunches from here. Both pl atforms generate thei r own
el ectri ci t.
The most famous satel l i te l aunched from San Marco, and
the fi rst U. S. satel l ite l aunched by another nati on, was Explor
er 42, beter known as "Uhuru/' in 1 970. Duri ng i ts very suc
cessful mi ssi on it scanned the sky for X- ray sources, and
i denti fi ed t he fi rst suspected bl ack hol e.
WHI TE SANDS TEST FACI LITY i s a NASA research l abora
tory near Las Cruces, New Mexi co, next to the U. S. Army' s
Whi te Sands Mi ssi l e Test Range. Here NASA tests rocket
engi nes and power systems, parti cul arl y for the space shut
tl e. No l aunches are made from the NASA faci l i t, but sub
orbi tal l aunches are made from the Army range. These are
soundi ng rockets for both ci vi l i an and defense research. The
fi rst captured V-2 rockets were l aunched from here.
WHITE SANDS SPACE HARBOR, a l andi ng stri p for use by
the returni ng space shuttl e, is al so l ocated here. It is for use
if the other shuttl e l andi ng si tes at the Kennedy Space Cen
ter and Edward Ai r Force Base, i n Cal i forni a, have bad
1 1 2
Sweden' s Esrange l aunch site
ESRANGE is the worl d' s most northerl y l aunch base, l ocat
ed near Ki runa i n northern Sweden, above the Arcti c Ci r
cl e. It is operated by the Swedi sh Space Corporati on and i s
used by Sweden and many European nat i ons to l aunch
soundi ng rockets . There are si x l aunch pads avai l abl e for
use; from these soundi ng rockets can reach al ti tudes of at least
300 mi l es . Many of these are desi gned to study the upper
atmosphere, pol ar phenomena, and the i nteraction of the Sun
and the Earth' s magneti c fi el d. About hal f of the rockets are
recovered. Associ ated wi th the l aunch pads are tracki ng and
control faci l i ti es, as wel l as a receivi ng stati on for Landsat and
Spot photographs. The broadcast satel l i te for Scandi navi an
tel evi si on i s al so control l ed from here.
1 1 3
Every satel l i te and spaceprobe has a mi ssi on to perform. I t
wi l l therefore contai n vari ous components t hat enabl e i t to
perform i ts mi ssi on. These may i ncl ude cameras, tel escopes,
other sensors, radi o recei vers and transmi tters , or other
i nstruments. I n addi ti on, whatever the mi ssi on, there wi l l al so
be a number of subsystems common to al most al l spacecraft.
Because most satel l i tes cannot be repai red once i n space,
many of the systems are redundant: they have mul ti pl e,
dupl i cate components that can be swi tched i n and out as
needed i n case one fai l s. Spacecraft components, as wel l as
t he enti re assembl ed craft, are subj ected t o severe tests to
ensure rel i abi l i ty once i n space. Pi oneer 1 0, for exampl e,
l aunched i n 1 972 and now out si de the sol ar system, i s sti l l
sendi ng back data.
THE STRUCTURAL SUBSYSTEM i s t he body of t he satel l i te.
Other components are attached to i t. Once i n space a satel
l i te has no wei ght, but i t must nonethel ess be desi gned to
wi thstand forces many ti mes the force of gravi ty duri ng
l aunch and duri ng orbi tal maneuvers. Consequentl y, l arge,
fl i msy, extended structures, such as antennas or arms hol d
i ng sol ar cel l s, are often not extended to thei r ful l l ength unti l
the craft i s on- station or al l maj or propul sive events are over.
POWER SYSTEMS provi de el ectri cal energy to the other
systems. I n al most al l satel l i tes t he power comes from t he Sun,
and i s converted to el ectri ci ty by sol ar cel l s. These are
heavy and may be a maj or part of the total wei ght of a
spacecraft. It takes about a square yard of sol ar cel l s to pro
duce 1 00 watts of el ectri ci ty. Sol ar panel s must often rotate
to face the Sun, and the beari ngs that al l ow thi s are cri ti cal
1 1 4
BATTERI ES suppl y power to the satel l i te duri ng l aunch,
beteen the ti me of l aunch and when the sol ar cel l s become
useful , and duri ng any peri ods i n whi ch the Sun i s ecl i psed.
NUCLEAR POWER SUPPLI ES have been used i n a few spe
ci al spacecraft, such as Sovi et mi l i tary ocean- observati on
satel l i tes that need very l arge amounts of power for thei r
radar systems. Spaceprobes such as Voyager, desi gned to
expl ore pl anets far from the Sun, where the s unl i ght i s
weak, us e radi oi sotope thermal generators that convert the
heat of radi oacti ve materi al s i nto el ectri ci t.
Voyager spacecraft
Radio antnna
Functional diagram of a spacecraft
THERMAL-CONTROL SYSTEMS keep a spacecraft at the
proper temperature. Every square yard of area exposed to
the Sun pi cks up over 1 , 300 watts of heat, about the same
wattage as a steam i ron . Spacecraft systems al so generate
heat. I n the vacuum of space there is no ai r to carry heat
away by convecti on; a craft can only radi ate heat away. The
spacecraft components must be kept wi thi n fai rly narrow tem
perature ranges, usual l y beteen about 40 and 1 00 degrees
Fahrenhei t .
Passi ve thermal -control measures i ncl ude pai nti ng t he out
si de a hi ghl y refl ective whi te; coveri ng parts wi th mi rrors or
gol d-pl ated foi l , whi ch i s very effective at reflecti ng sol ar
i nfrared rays; and pai nti ng areas bl ack so they wi l l pi ck up
heat when faci ng the Sun and radi ate heat away when fac
i ng away from the Sun .
1 1 6
Active thermal control i ncl udes havi ng moveabl e l ouvers,
whi te on one side and bl ack on the other, whi ch are turned
to control the heat gai ned or l ost. To keep satel l i te systems
warm duri ng ecl i pses, batteri es suppl y heaters . Some satel
l i tes spi n conti nual l y, a method cal l ed "barbecue mode," to
keep one si de from getti ng too hot.
THE NAVIGATION SUBSYSTEM i s responsi bl e for deter
mi n i ng the posi ti on and atti tude of the spacecraft, and for
sendi ng si gnal s to the propul si on system for correcti on. For
Earth- orbi t i ng satel l i tes, posi ti on i s often determi ned by
ground- tracki ng, but deep- space probes al so use stel l ar
navi gati on. Obj ects si ghted to determi ne ori entati on i ncl ude
the Sun, Earth, pl anets, and stars. For satel l ites that must keep
antennas poi nted toward Earth, such as commsats, an Earth
hori zon sensor i s often used. Someti mes di recti onal anten
nas on the satel l i te track radi o transmi tters on Earth .
A PROPULSION SUBSYSTEM is requi red for stati onkeepi ng,
keepi ng t he spacecraft i n i ts proper l ocati on or traj ectory,
and for ori entati on, keepi ng the craft poi nted correctl y.
Usual l y these are very smal l rocket motors t hat each provi de
onl y a few pounds of thrust. They are arranged around the
spacecraft i n such a way that they can be used ei ther to move
the craft i n a parti cul ar di recti on or to rotate it about some
axi s. More powerful systems may be used to change the orbi t
or traj ectory of the craft.
FUEL used for stati on keepi ng i s usual l y hydrazi ne. I t does not
burn as does the fuel for l arge rockets, but merel y escapes
under pressure from the rocket nozzl es. To provi de sl i ghtl y
more thrust, i t may be heated i n the nozzl e. Hydrogen per
oxi de has al so been used.
1 1 7
Pitch adjustment
Latral motion
Rol l adj ustment
Satel l i te thrusters
tem by whi ch the satel l i te' s operators know where the satel
l i te i s and what i t i s doi ng, and can command i t to do
thi ngs to ful fi l l i ts mi ssi on . The tel emetry systems moni tor the
electri cal vol tages, currents, temperatures, and swi tch seti ngs
wi th i n the satel l i te and report these to control stati ons on
Earth by radi o. They may al so record data acqui red by the
satel l ite for rel ay to Earth at conveni ent ti mes. The system uses
a speci al omni di recti onal antenna that ensures that, even i f
t he satel l i te goes out of control and starts tumbl i ng, i ts oper
ators can always stay i n touch with i t. When a satel l ite i s on
stati on and i s properl y ori ented, tel emetry si gnal s may al so
use l arger antennas poi nted at Earth to al l ow more data to
be sent faster.
T&C si gnal s are recei ved by a worl dwi de netork of
tracki ng stati ons. Si gnal s from l ow-orbi t satel l i tes can be
received by antenna "di shes" onl y ten or tenty feet i n di am
eter. Very di stant spaceprobes such as Pi oneer 1 0-now
cl ose to 3 bi l l i on mi les from Earth-requi re di shes a hundred
feet in si ze.

1 1 8
RESEARCH SATELLITES have an unobstructed vi ew of Earth,
the pl anets, the Sun, and the cosmos. They i ncl ude such pas
si ve satel l i tes as Lageos, desi gned t o reflect l aser beams from
Earth in order to determi ne preci sely our pl anet' s shape, and
upper-atmosphere research probes that release cl ouds of gas
es to stream al ong the l i nes of force of Earth' s magneti c fi el d.
At the other end of the compl exi ty scal e are the semi au
tonomous roboti c pl anetary probes desi gned t o work for
years bi l l i ons of mi l es from Earth .
"Parti cl es and fi el ds" probes study the i nterpl anetary el ec
tri cal and magnetic fields, and detect cosmi c rays and the sol ar
wi nd-the stream of hi gh-energy atomi c parti cl es thrown off
by the Sun.
Orbi ti ng observatori es study the cosmos i n the vi si bl e and
i nvi si bl e wavel engths of t he spectrum, most of whi ch never
make i t through the atmosphere to surface observatori es.
( Di fferent physi cal processes produce l i ght of di fferent wave
l engths, so each new "wi ndow" in the spectrum gi ves i mpor
tant new i nformati on about the universe. )
Pl anetary probes vi si t our cosmi c nei ghbors, sendi ng back
beauti ful photographs as wel l as data about t he envi ron
ments near them. Sol ar probes study the star upon whi ch our
l i ves depend.
Earth-orbiti ng satel l i tes
APPLICATI ONS SATELLITES make use of the ai rl essness and
wei ght l essness of space f or practi cal pu rposes. Remote
sensi ng satel l i tes provi de data for better weather forecasts,
crop forecasts, the mon i tori ng of forest fi res, and other
practi cal uses. Navi gati on satel l i tes al l ow s hi ps, ai rcraft,
trucks, and trai ns to determi ne thei r posi ti ons very accurately.
Commun i cati ons satel l i tes carry tens of thousands of tel e
phone cal l s and hundreds of tel evi si on si gnal s around the
gl obe.
I n the future, appl ied research aboard satel l ites and space
stati ons wi l l al l ow the creati on of space factori es to produce
materi al s of great economi c benefi t to Earth . Among the
thi ngs we may develop are new pharmaceutical s for medi ci ne,
purer c
stal s for el ectroni cs, and new al l oys for bui l di ng.
The fol l owi ng pages show a few representati ve space
craft from a vari ety of nati ons.
The Hubble Space Telescope NASA
THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE ( HST) has been cal l ed "the
most i mportant sci enti fi c i nstrument ever fl own . " I t i s named
for astronomer Edwi n Hubbl e, who di scovered the expan
si on of the un i verse.
HST, l aunched in 1 990 by the space shuttl e to an orbi t
about 370 mi l es up wi th an i ncl i nati on of 28. 5 degrees, can
peer i nto the universe seven ti mes farther than any previ ous
man- made i nstrument. I t can detect obj ects 1 /50 the bri ght
ness detectabl e from ground- based tel escopes. Five sensi tive
i nstruments share the l i ght col l ected by the tel escope' s 8-
foot- di ameter mai n mi rror. Despi te some i ni ti al opti cal prob
l ems, HST i s returni ng much val uabl e data.
HST wei ghs more than 20,000 pounds and i s 1 5. 5 feet i n
di ameter and 48 feet l ong. Two l arge sol ar panel s provi de
4, 000 watts of el ectri ci ty. Every few years HST wi l l be vi si t
ed by the shuttl e for refuel i ng, refurbi shi ng, and upgradi ng.
HST takes el ectroni c pi ctures and measurements and relays
them to the Space Telescope Sci ence I nsti tute l ocated in Bal
ti more. Here astronomers record the observati ons and di rect
i ts acti vi ti es.
1 2 1
The Gal i l eo Jupiter spaceprobe
pwer supply
GALI LEO is now on i ts way to Jupi ter. Gal i l ee' s path takes
i t fi rst i nto a long el l i pti cal orbit .about the Sun, whi ch swi ngs
i t back mont hs after l aunch t o pass cl osel y by Earth once
agai n t o pi ck up more energy i n a sl i ngshot traj ectory. I t then
heads out to Jupi ter.
About 1 00 days before encounteri ng that gi ant pl anet i n
1 995, i t wi l l separate i nto to parts. One goes i nto orbi t
around Jupi ter, approxi mately fol l owi ng the orbi t of the satel
l i te Ganymede, wi th a period of about seven days. Duri ng 1 1
orbi ts i t wi l l take cl ose- up photographs of Jupi ter and many
of i ts satel l i tes.
The second part of Gal i lee i s an atmospheri c probe. I t wi l l
pl unge i nto Jupi ter' s atmosphere at a speed of 1 00, 000
mi l es an hour. A heat shi el d and then parachutes wi l l sl ow i t
down . As i t dri fts sl owly downward, i t wi l l radi o back a pro
fi l e of the atmosphere.
1 22
The Advanced X- Ray Astrophysics Faci l i ty (AXAF) NASA
AXAF {Advanced X- Ray Astrophysi cs Faci l i ty) wi l l expl ore
the depths of the universe by l ooki ng for X rays from cosmi c
sou rces . { These wavel en
ths never make i t th rough the
atmosphere to Earth' s surace observatori es . ) I t wi l l conti n
ue studi es begun by t he earl i er satel l i tes Uhuru and t he
Hi gh Energy Astrophysi cs Observatori es. I t wi l l compl e
ment the observati ons of the Hubbl e Space Tel escope.
AXAF wi l l be 1 4 feet in di ameter, 43 feet l ong, and wei gh
1 0 tons i n orbi t 300 mi les above the Earth. I ts mai n i nstrument
wi l l be an X- ray tel escope 4 feet i n di ameter wi th 1 00 ti mes
more sensi ti vi ty to fai nt X- ray sources than earl i er satel l i tes.
I t wi l l be abl e to pi npoi nt the position of sources four times more
accurately in the sky as wel l . Through i nternati onal cooper
ation wi th NASA, i nstruments from researchers i n the Nether
l ands and the Un i ted Ki ngdom are bei ng provi ded. Thi s
space observatory i s desi gned to l ast several years.
1 23
ULYSSES i s a spaceprobe desi gned to expl ore a never
before-vi si ted regi on of our sol ar srstem, the huge vol ume
l yi ng above and bel ow the pl ane o the Earth' s orbi t ( ecl i p
ti c) and the pol ar regi ons of the Sun. Al l previ ous i nter
pl anetary mi ssi ons have been confi ned to the narrow di sk
wi th i n whi ch al l t he pl anets orbi t.
The 800- pound spacecraft, provi ded by the European
Space Agency, was l aunched in 1 990. The U. S provi ded the
launch serices, the 260-wat power supply, some experiments,
and tracki ng usi ng NASA' s l arge- di sh antennas.
The craft i s headi ng toward Jupi ter, usi ng a s l i ngshot
orbi t over the gi ant pl anet' s pol e to swi ng i t i nto a traj ectory
that wi l l take i t over the poles of the Sun in 1 994 and 1 995.
Thi s mi ssi on i s desi gned to l ast about fi ve years and give us
i mportant new i nformati on about the three-di mensi onal struc
ture of i nterpl anetary space around the Sun .
Soviet Phobos spacecraft photographs that satell ite
PHOBOS, l aunched in 1 988 by the Soviet Uni on, was a pai r
of 1 0, 000- pound spacecraft sent t o study Mars and i ts two
satel l i tes, thought to be captured asteroi ds. They had been
fi rst photographed by Mari ner 9 i n 1 971 . Cooperat i ve
experi ments on board came from researchers in France, Aus
tri a, West Germany, and Sweden . Phobos 1 fai l ed en route
to Mars due to a control l er' s error.
Phobos 2 entered orbi t around Mars earl y i n 1 989. The
craft was to have studi ed Mars' i nner satel l i te Phobos, a
smal l worl d wi th a very low escape veloci ty. Lasers from the
probe were pl anned to vaporize a small porti on of the surface
for chemi cal anal ysi s. Later the craft was to rel ease to l an
ders, one t o drive a probe i nto t he satel l i te's surface i n order
to test i ts properti es, another to hop from pl ace to pl ace
across the surface for a more compl ete survey. Unfortunate
ly, the spacecraft fai l ed after sendi ng back onl y a few pho
tographs and before i t made any cl ose studi es of the satel l i te.
1 25
Comet Rendezvous/ Asteroid Flyby space mission NASA
CRAF ( Comet Rendezvous/ Asteroi d F l yby) , al so cal l ed
Mari ner Tempel - 2, wi l l be the fi rst to use a new mul ti purpose
spacecraft structure to wh i ch the speci fi c i nstruments need
ed for the mi ssi on are to be attached.
Pl ans are to l aunch CRAF aboard a Ti tan- Centaur i n
1 993. I t wi l l fly by Venus that August, then swi ng by Earth
agai n on a sl i ngshot traj ectory, pi cki ng up speed for i ts tri p
outard. I n earl y 1 995 i t wi l l fl y b
the asteroi d Hesti a, gi v
ing us our fi rst cl ose l ook at one of these mi nor pl anets.
I n 1 996 CRAF wi l l approach to wi thi n 3, 000 mi l es of
Comet Tempel - 2. I t wi l l then cl ose to wi thi n about 600 mi l es,
then down to 20 mi l es, and fi re a penetrator probe i nto the
icy nucl eus of the comet to measure i ts properti es. Fol l owi ng
the comet as i t heads i nward toward the Sun and heats up,
l i berati ng gases and dust, CRAF wi l l move sl owl y away from
the comet, travel i ng down the comet' s tai l s.
1 26
COMMUNI CATI ONS SATELLITES ( commsats} are the most
wi del y used appl i cati ons satel l i tes so far, a mul ti - bi l l i on-dol
l ar- a- year busi ness . Al most al l commsats-over 1 00 of
them-are i n Cl arke orbi t 22, 300 mi l es above the Earth' s
equator. At thi s di stance they orbi t the Earth i n 24 hours, the
same t i me it takes Earth to revol ve once. As seen from
Earth they appear to be stati onary i n the sky. Thus antennas
on the ground do not need to fol l ow them across the sky.
Each satel l i te recei ves radi o si gnal s from an Earth stati on
antenna, shi fts the frequency, ampl i fi es them, and sends them
back to Earth . The ci rcui t aboard the satel l i te that does thi s is
cal led a transponder or repeater. Transponders have powers
rangi ng from a few watts to a few hundred watts . Al though
onl y about a thousandth of a bi l l ionth of a bi l l i onth of the pow
er radi ated by the satel l i te makes i t to the antennas on Earth' s
surface, recei vers are sensi tive enough to al l ow even smal l
antennas to be useful .
The l arger satel l i tes, such as those of the I nternati onal
Tel ecommuni cat i ons Satel l i te Organi zat i on ( I ntel sat} , are
i ntended to rel ay tel ephone cal l s, di gi tal data, and tel evi si on
across the oceans. One l arge satel l i te can carry 1 00, 000
tel ephone cal l s si mul taneousl y, pl us several televi si on si g
nal s. Other Di rect Broadcast Satel l i tes carry tel evi si on si gnal s
di rectly to smul l antennas on peopl e' s homes. Sti l l others
connect shi ps at sea and ai rcraft with tel ephone systems any
where in the worl d.
Commsats may have antennas desi gned to send thei r si g
nal s to the 42 percent of the globe they can see from thei r orbit,
or the antennas may be "spot beams" desi gned to focus on
smal l areas of the Earth .
Commsats range in cost from a few tens of mi l l i ons of dol
l ars for the smal lest ones to several hundreds of mi l l i ons of dol
l ars for the l argest, most powerful ones. Thi s does not i ncl ude
An l ntelsat VI I communications Spacenet commsat i n the Cl arke
satel l i te INTELSAT orbit GTE
Molniya satel l i te over northern regions
the addi ti onal tens of mi l l ions of dol l ars needed to l aunch them,
or to operate them once i n orbi t.
There are several commsats not i n Cl arke orbi t. Because
i t i s di fficul t for a satel l i te over the equator to communi cate with
areas at hi gh l ati tudes, the Soviet Uni on has a seri es of
commsats, known as Mol niya, i n l ong, loopi ng orbi ts that take
1 2 hours to go around once. Several of these are spaced
around one orbi tal path, and each i s used in turn when i t is
near its apogee poi nt and hence movi ng sl owl y. An Earth sta
ti on tracks each one for several hours unti l it begi ns to move
too fast, at whi ch ti me communi cati ons traffi c is swi tched off
to another Mol niya then neari ng its apogee. The U. S. mi l i tary
has a si mi l ar satel l i te system for communi cati ng wi th i ts sub
mari nes and ai rcraft when they are near the North Pol e.
1 29
REMOTE SENSI NG is the techni que of studyi ng somethi ng
from a di stance by anal yzi ng l i ght . Everythi ng emi ts and
refl ects l i ght uni quel y, dependi ng upon i ts chemi cal com
posi ti on, temperature, pressure, and other properti es.
Remote sensi ng satel l i tes { someti mes cal l ed sensats) have
a bi rd' s-eye vi ew of Earth and can exami ne the enti re surface
ever few days to weeks, enabl i ng us to detect changes.
Sensor i nstruments provide data that al lows sci enti sts to deter
mi ne if a crop i s under stress, roughly predict crop yi el ds, fi nd
the boundari es of a forest fi re or a Rood, detect mi neral s, and
study the effects of fl oodi ng, pol l uti on, or urbani zati on.
Sea- sensi ng satel l i tes can determi ne temperature, wave
hei ght, wi nd di recti on, and sea level . By knowi ng the tem
perature of water preferred by certai n f i sh, satel l i tes can
gui de fi shi ng fleets to school s of fi sh qui ckl y.
Weather or meteorol ogi cal satel l i tes ( metsats) provi de the
photographs you see on tel evi si on weather reports. They can
determi ne the temperature, wi nds, weather fronts, cl oud pat-
Remote sensing satellites detect radiation from Earth
terns, and moi sture in the ai r.
They are especi al ly i mportant
si nce most of Earth' s surface
is ocean, and much of our
weather ori gi nates there.
RESOLUTI ON, the abi l i ty to
detect smal l obj ects and tel l
them apart, i s an i mportant
characteri sti cs of a sensat.
Landsat 5 has a resol uti on
for one of i ts sensors of 240
feet. Thi s means i t can detect
areas an acre in si ze, and
tel l one acre from another.
The economi c benefi ts of
sensi ng satel l i tes are hard to
cal cul ate, but certai nly l arge.
Studying Earth from space
Radar " photograph" of Earth from Seasat NASA
LANDSAT is the seri es of U. S. remote l and- sensi ng satel l i tes.
The fi rst one was l aunched i n 1 972. I n the mi d- 1 980s
Congress deci ded to transfer the Landsat program to private
i ndustry. The current satel l i te is Landsat 5, l aunched i n
1 984.
Landsat i s i n a pol ar orbi t at an al ti tude of 438 mi l es, ori
ented so that i t l ooks down and takes photographs of areas
1 1 5 mi l es square. The orbi t changes ori entati on sl owl y and
conti nual ly so that it always passes over pars of Earh that have
a l ocal ti me of about 9: 30 A. M. Thi s is so that the i l l umi nati on
angl e of the Sun i s always the same, whi ch al l ows for com
pari sons beteen photographs taken on di ferent days. I n 1 8
days Landsat scans the enti re Earth and then begi ns agai n.
Landsat wei ghs al most 4,300 pounds, and i s 1 3 feet l ong,
6 feet wi de, and 1 2 feet hi gh i ncl udi ng its sol ar panel and
antenna. The sensors are ( 1 ) a Mul ti spectral Scanner, whi ch
detects l i ght i n four di fferent wavel ength bands wi th a reso
l ution of 260 feet, and (2) a Thematic Mapper, sensi tive to sev
eral other wavel engt hs of
l i ght, with a best resol ution of
1 00 feet.
Mos t La n ds at ph o
tographs are pri nted i n fal se
col ors to enhance vi si bi l i ty.
Water shows up as bl ack or
bl ue, urban areas are gray,
growi ng pl ants are pi nk or
red, desert areas are brown.
A Landsat remot sensing space
craft NASA
A Landsat photograph NASA
SPOT, standi ng for System
Probatoi re d' Obseration de
I a Ter r e, i s a n E a r t h
res ou rces s ate l l i te of t he
European Space Agency. l t
was fi rst l aunched i n 1 986
by an Ari ane rocket, t he fi rst
pol ar l aunch for that rocket.
Spot i s roughl y cubi cal i n
s hape, about 6. 5 f eet on
each si de. Extendi ng from
thi s mai n body are sol ar pan
el s about 50 feet l ong that
provi de 1 , 800 wats of pow
er to the satel l ite. It wei ghs
4, 000 pounds.
Spot i s i n an orbi t 522
mi l es up, and repeat s i ts
ground track every 26 days.
Each i mage covers an area
about 38 mi l es on a si de,
with a resolution of 33 fe t fr
bl ack-and-whi te pictures and
66 feet for col or pi ctures,
much better than Landsat .
Thi s al l ows fi ner detai l t o be
seen on Earth.
Newer, more capable ver
si ons of Spot, with higher res
ol ut i on and more detai l ed
l i ght analyzers, are pl anned
for the 1 990s.
1 34
The Spot remote sensing satellite
1 990 CNES. Provided by SPOT
Image Corporation
A photograph of part of Earth
from Spot 1 990 CNES. Pro
vd by SPT Image Corraton
GES is a series of Geostati onary Operati onal Envi ronmental
Satel l i tes. Several GOES are i n orbi t 22, 300 mi l es up,
spaced t o g i ve ful l coverage of the Earth' s weather. These
satel l i tes al so mon i tor radi o reports from t housands of
unmanned weather-observi ng stat i ons and hi gh- al ti t ude
meteorol ogi cal bal l oons, rel ayi ng t he data t o weather cen
ters on Earth.
The ol der GOES spacecraft are shaped l i ke hat boxes,
about 7 fet i n di ameter and 1 1 feet hi gh i ncl udi ng thei r antn
nos. On orbi t they have a wei ght of 861 pounds. They are
spi n- stabi l i zed, mai ntai ni ng thei r ori entati on i n space l i ke a
gyroscope. Thei r sensors scanned across the Earth' s surface
as they turned.
The newer GOES satel l i tes are a very di fferent desi gn. They
are three-axi s stabi l i zed, so they do not spi n and thei r i nstru
ments are conti nual l y poi nted down at Earth . They wei gh
al most 2, 900 pounds. The i nstruments i ncl ude new sensors to
exami ne a wi der porti on of the spectrum; they are more sen
si tive than those on earl i er satel l i tes.
A newer GOES weather satel l i te
GOES photograph of Earth ' s
weather NOA
A NOAA weather satel l i te NOAA
NOA is a seri es of l ow-orbi t weather satel l i tes named
after the U. S. Nati onal Oceani c and Atmospheri c Agency,
whi ch manages al l metsats . They compl ement the GOES
satel l i tes by provi di ng cl oser, more detai l ed photographs and
meas urements of the atmosphere. NOAA satel l i tes are
about 500 mi l es up i n pol ar orbi ts that take them over al l of
the Earth . They wei gh about 2, 000 pounds and are about
1 3 feet l ong, not i ncl udi ng the sol ar panel s, whi ch suppl y
1 ,500 watts .
Thei r i nstruments i ncl ude h i gh- resol uti on cameras and
devi ces t o determi ne atmospheri c temperature. They al so
rel ay reports from weather bal l oons and buoys, and from
remote stati ons.
Aboard t he l ater NOAA satel l i tes are receivers for the
Search and Rescue system.
These detect di stress si gnal s
from ai rcraft t hat may have
cr as hed i n remote areas
beyond the range of the usu
al di stress receivers on Earth.
NOAA i mage of Earth NOAA
Navstar/GPS navigation satel l i te
NAVSTAR, or GPS, the Gl obal Posi ti on i ng System, i s a
group of navi gati on satel l i tes desi gned for use by the U. S.
mi l i tary but al so usabl e by ci vi l i an vehi cl es. There are 1 8
operati onal Navstar satel l i tes, si x spaced around i n each of
three 1 2, 500- mi l e- hi gh orbi ts wi th di fferent i ncl i nat i ons,
each wi th a peri od of 1 2 hours.
User equi pment ranges from smal l hand- hel d recei vers to
l arger recei vers carri ed aboard shi ps and ai rcraft. These
receivers automati cal l y pi ck up si gnal s from the several near
est Navstars to cal cul ate the receiver' s posi ti on to wi thi n 50
feet in three di mensi ons, and veloci ty to wi thi n a fracti on of
a mi l e per hour.
The current Navstars are about 1 , 700 pounds i n wei ght,
use 700 watts of power from sol ar cel l s, and are "hard
ened" agai nst radi ati on from nucl ear bl asts. They al so have
nucl ear detecti on devices aboard, and can detect if someone
has tri ed to tamper with them ei ther by hi tti ng them or by shi n
i ng a l aser at them.
1 37
MANUFACTURI NG IN MICROGRAVIT is sti l l i n i ts i nfancy.
The advantages of space are that i t i s an al most wei ghtl ess
envi ronment and a better vacuum than we can produce on
Earth .
More experi menti ng than actual commerci al manufactur
i ng has gone on so fr. The National I nstitte of Standards and
Technol ogy does sel l ti ny, perfectly spheri cal pl asti c beads {fr
cal i brati ng i nstruments} that are made i n space. Pharmaceu
ti cal compani es have used a techni que cal l ed el ectrophore
sis to puri fy drugs. {Much of the cost of a drug comes in the
puri fi cati on process, whi ch can someti mes be done more
effi ci entl y i n space because gravi ty doesn't i nterfere. }
Semi conductors for the electroni cs i ndustry must be excep
ti onal l y pure to functi on . Many i mpuri ti es come from the
contai ner i n whi ch i ngredi ents are processed. In the zero-g
Experimental drug processing i n space NASA

envi ronment of space, mate

ri al s can be processed wi th
out contai ners, levitating them
wi th magneti c fields or sound
waves to al l ow purer pro
cessi ng.
I t may be possi bl e t o pro
duce al l oys in space from
materi al s that won' t mi x on
Earth because one fl oats on
another, or to make l i ght but
strong foamed metal s that
have t i ny bu bbl es evenl y
d i spersed t h roughout t he
materi al .
Manned spacecraft i n free
fal l are not total ly wei ghtl ess,
as the crew moves around
and smal l thrusters keep the
craft i n the proper ori enta
ti on. Someti mes, too, waste
products a re vented i nto
space. Therefore some mate
ri al s processi ng wi l l probabl y
be done i n separate, free-fly
i ng pl atforms that are vi si ted
by ast ronauts i n order to
renew suppl i es and remove
fi ni shed materi al s.
I t i s probabl e that the
greatest benefi ts from mate
r i al s proces s i ng i n mi cro
gravi ty wi l l come from thi ngs
we can' t even i magi ne yet.
Perfect spheres made i n zero g
Astonaut Guion Bluford prepres
an experi ment on the shuttl e
1 39
I .
MI R i s the worl d' s on l y operati onal space stati on. It fol l ows
the Sovi et Salyut series fi rst pl aced in space i n 1 971 . The fi rst
20-ton component of Mi r, wh i ch means both "peace" and
"worl d" i n Russi an , was l au nched February 20, 1 986,
aboard a Proton rocket from the Tyuratam spaceport. I ts orbi t
i s i ncl i ned about 52 degrees at an al t i tude of around 200
mi l es. Because of i ts si ze i t i s very bri ght and can easi l y be
seen from Earth .
The stati on has been i ncreased i n si ze several ti mes si nce
l aunch. The ori gi nal 43-foot- l ong, 1 4-foot-di ameter, 2 1 -ton
stati on has had a 20-foot- l ong, 1 0. 6-ton Kvant ( "Quantum"}
astrophysi cs research modul e added on to i t. The stati on has
five docki ng ports, whi ch al l ow both manned and unmanned
resuppl y vessels to atach to the stati on. Three l arge sol ar pan
el s suppl y el ectri ci ty. Mi r can accommodate a crew of up to
si x cosmonauts, but usual l y there are only to or three aboard
except duri ng crew changes. Several cosmonauts have spent
over 200 days each i n space aboard Mi r. Roboti c Progress
tanker craft are l aunched and automati cal l y rendezvous and
dock wi th Mi r to bri ng water, food, and suppl i es, and to
retri eve materi al s from the experi ments bei ng conducted
aboard. More addi ti ons are l i kel y.
Among the acti vi ti es carried out i n Mi r are astronomy
observati ons, materi al s processi ng { i ncl udi ng puri fi cati on of
drugs si mi l ar to the electrophoresi s equi pment carri ed aboard
the space shuttl e} , manufacturi ng experi mental al l oys, Earth
observati ons, studyi ng the bi omedi cal effects of zero g, and
mi l i tary research.
The l arge si ze and low orbi t of Mi r mean that i t i s subj ect
to much atmospheric drag. Rocket engi nes aboard the Progress
tankers are used to re-boost the stati on to hi gher al ti tudes.
Mir, the Soviet space station
1 40
THE U. S. SPACE STATI ON, named "Freedom, " wi l l provi de
a permanentl y manned space research faci l i ty by the end of
the 1 990s . The basi c desi gn has one or more l ong beams
wi th l arge sol ar panel s and heat radi ators to provi de el ec
tri ci ty. Several c
l i ndr i cal modul es-i ncl udi ng one from
Europe and one rom Japan-wi l l serve as a dormi tory for
crew, l aboratori es, and detachabl e l ogi sti cs modul es for
stor i ng food, fuel , and suppl i es. Canada wi l l su ppl y a
mobi l e robot arm for use i n constructi on around the sta
ti on . The desi gn coul d change.
By 2000 the station should be complete and capable of per
manent manned occupancy. After tat, a second phase of con
struction wi l l add more large bems, solar-dynami c pwer sup
pl i es to i ncrease te avai l abl e electrical power, and more mod
ul es. A serice bay wi l l enabl e astronauts to construct space
craft or to perform mai ntenance on spacecraft.
FREE-FLYI NG PLATFORMS near the mai n stati on wi l l al l ow
mi crogravi ty experi ments. Possi bl y separate astronomy pl at
forms wi l l be bui l t.
Later, a co-orbi ti ng smal l stati on may be bui l t by the Euro
pean Space Agency and l aunched by the space shuttl e for
more mi crogravi ty work. Sci enti sts wi l l commute from the
stati on to the pl atforms. A separate polar-orbiti ng pl atform i s
pl anned for Earth-obseration mi ssi ons; i t wi l l be smal l er than
the mai n stati on.
SPACETUGS, or space ferri es, are bei ng devel oped to car
ry payl oads from one orbi t to another, or from one space
craf to another. Spacetugs may be automated or pi l oted. Fur
ther i n the future we may have l unar shuttl es to ferry crews
and suppl i es beteen Earth orbi t and a l unar base.
1 42
One concept of a U. S. space station NASA
Most of the technol ogy now used in ci vi l i an space pro
grams came out of mi l i tary research, j ust as di d most avi
ati on technol ogy before i t. Most rockets were ori gi nal l y
des i gned to carry warheads. Many of the i nstruments used
in astronomy and i n Earth-observi ng satel l i tes were desi gned
for spy satel l i tes ( spysats} . To national leaders concerned with
thei r nati ons' defense, space is the "hi gh ground" that must
be used and occupi ed.
Other than anti satel l ite weapons and t he rockets that car
ry conventi onal and nucl ear warheads, much of the mi l i tary
use of space promotes worl d stabi l i ty. The abi l ity to see from
space mi l i tary movements and factori es maki ng mi l i tary
equ i pment, or even to eavesdrop on a potenti al enemy's
communi cati ons, makes surpri ses and uni nformed reacti ons
l ess l i kel y.
Some detai l s are known about U. S. mi l i tary satel l i tes from
uncl assi fi ed sources. Most Sovi et satel l i tes are hi dden under
the catchal l phrase "Kosmos," and much l ess i s known about
them by the publ i c.
wi de coverage. Most U. S. l ong- di stance mi l i tary communi
cati on uses satel l i tes. Si nce geostati onary satel l i tes are not
useful from l atitudes greater than 77 degrees ( they woul d be
too cl ose to the hori zon to get a good si gnal through the
atmosphere} , both mal or powers have non- geostati onary
commsats i n orbi ts i nc i ned about 63 degrees . The Sovi et
satel l i te system i s cal led Mol n i ya; the U. S. has the Satel l i te
Data System. Such satel l i tes al l ow nati ons to stay i n touch
wi th thei r naval and ai r forces i n pol ar regi ons, and to
rel ay data from spysats .
1 44
METEOROLOGY SATELLITES ( metsats) provi de mi l i tary forces
wi th i mportant i nformation on weather condi ti ons worl dwi de.
They can gi ve data on cl ouds, i cebergs, and preci pi tati on,
and they can track l arge, dangerous storms. Thi s i s i mpor
tant to troops and vessel s, and i t al so hel ps target spy
satel l i tes to areas with l i tle cl oud cover. The U. S. mi l itary met
sat system is cal l ed the Defense Meteorol ogi cal Satel l i te
NAVIGATION SATELLITES ( navsats) provi de mi l i tary users
such as ground troops, shi ps, ai rcraft, and mi ssi l es wi th very
accurate posi ti on determi nati on. The current U. S. system i s
cal l ed Navstar or Gl obal Posi ti oni ng System ( see p. 1 37) .
OCEAN SURVEI LLANCE satel l i tes track shi ps, and can even
detect some submerged submari nes. The U. S. currentl y has
no such satel l i tes. The Sovi et Uni on has f or many years
used a seri es of Radar Ocean Reconnai ssance Satel l i tes.
MI LITARY RESEARCH SATELLITES carry i nto space sci enti fi c
experi ments of i nterest to the defense forces, i ncl udi ng work
on new sensors, propul si on, and even sophi sti cated manu
facturi ng techn i ques. Space shuttl es are used both f or mi l
i tary and ci vi l i an research mi ssi ons; the space stati on may
be as wel l .
EARLY WARNI NG SATELLITES provi de nati onal command
forces wi th i nformati on on possi bl e mi ssi l e attacks and ene
my mi l i tary satel l i tes . The current U. S. system is cal l ed the
Defense Support Program, a seri es of three geostati onary
satel l i tes stati oned over the Atl ant i c, I ndi an, and Paci fi c
oceans watchi ng for bal l i st i c mi ssi l e l aunches from l and
bases or from submari nes.
1 45
SATELLITES watch from orbi t
for the i nten se f l ashes of
nucl ear bombs as a way of
enforci ng test bans. The ear
l i est U. S. detecti on satel l i tes
were cal l ed Vel a. Now that
functi on i s al so performed
by t he I ntegrated Opera
tional Nucl ear Detection Sys
tem carri ed pi ggyback on
Navstar satel l i tes.
SATELLITES are some of the
most secret satel l i tes used by
defense organi zations. Often
cal l ed ferret satel l i tes, they
are used to eavesdrop on
radi o and radar trans mi s
s i ons an d can reportedl y
even pi ck up, from l ow orbit,
tel ephone cal l s carri ed on
terrestri al mi crowave l i nks.
Others are i n geostati onary
orbi ts.
The fi rst U. S. seri es was
c al l ed Rhyol i te . More
advanced satel l i tes reported
ly h ave code n ames l i ke
Aquacade, Magnum, Chal et,
and Jumpseat.
1 46
l \/

Mi l i tary navi gat i on s atel l i te
Soviet Radar Ocean Survei l l ance
SPY SATELLITES ( spysats) are al so hi ghl y secret. They are
pl aced i n l ow orbi ts, and have maneuveri ng engi nes that
al low them to swoop even l ower for cl oser photographs, to
return to hi gher orbi ts, and to change orbi ts i n order to scan
di fferent target areas.
Fol l owi ng t he earl y U. S. Di scoverer seri es, t he "Bi g Bi rd"
satel l i tes, al so known as KH( "Keyhol e") - 9, were l aunched
beteen 1 971 and 1 984. These huge spysats were 50 feet
l ong, 1 0 feet in di ameter, and wei ghed 25,000 pounds. They
contai ned l ong- focal - l ength cameras. (They al so someti mes
contai ned some el ectroni c eavesdroppi ng capabi l i ti es . ) Pho
tographs were devel oped i n the spacecraft automati cal l y.
Some were scanned el ectroni cal l y and the pi ct ures sent
back to recei vi ng stati ons on Earth by radi o. For the hi gh
est- resol uti on pi ctures, t he fi l m was transferred t o one of si x
pods t hat were then j ett i soned and returned t o Earth by
parachute, bei ng caught in mi dai r by ai rpl anes.
Unoffi ci al sources cl ai m Bi g Bi rds coul d recogni ze obj ects
as smal l as a foot across from 1 00 mi l es up. A standi ng j oke
is that the CI A has n i cknames for every Russi an truck driv
er. Big Bi rds were expl oded in orbi t or commanded to reen
ter and burn up at t he end of thei r operati onal l i ves t o pre
vent them from fal l i ng i nto forei gn hands.
The Ti tan- 3 l auncher was speci fical ly devel oped t o l aunch
the Bi g Bi rds. Current spysats are l aunched by newer Ti tan
model s or by t he space shuttl e. Bi g Bi rd used t he Agena
upper stage, whi ch remai ned atached to i t to enabl e i t to
maneuver over di fferent geographi cal areas of i nterest.
The newer U. S. spysats, begi nni ng i n the mi d- 1 980s,
are the KH- 1 1 and KH- 1 2, supposedl y wi th ever- better res
ol uti on and l onger operati onal l i feti mes in orbi t. Technol o
gy has i mproved, so fi l m return is no l onger necessary.
1 47
Artist's conception a Big Bird spysat
LCROSSE is the name of a new radar spysat fi rst l aunched
aboard a space shutl e in 1 988. I t is the fi rst U. S. active radar
satel l i te, capabl e of maki ng i mages of what i t "sees" wi th
radi o waves. The radar i s capabl e of peer i ng th rough
cl ouds and of bei ng used at ni ght as wel l .
Lacrosse satel l i tes are about 1 50 feet across, and are
placed in orbits about 400 mi les up. Uncl assi fied sources cl ai m
they can resolve obj ects as smal l as about 3 feet across.
Thei r connection with the new KH- 1 2 spysats i s not known out
si de the mi l i tary.
1 48
So far our space mi ssi ons have been confi ned to the sol ar
system, and even that we have expl ored onl y spotti l y. Onl y
t he Moon has been vi si ted by humans i n person.
We are technical ly l i mi ted i n our expl orati ons by the pow
er of our rockets, by our abi l ity to carry food and fuel , and
by one apparently i nsuperabl e physi cal l i mi tati on: t he speed
of l i ght. No obj ect or si gnal we now know of can travel
faster than 1 86, 000 mi l es per second.
Further expl orati on and expl oi tati on of space wi l l depend
upon more powerful and effi ci ent rocket engi nes. Among
the possi bi l i ti es are i on engi nes, whi ch, al though they produce
onl y a smal l thrust, can provi de power for a l ong ti me and
make very effi ci ent use of fuel .
Other low-thrust techni ques such as sol ar sai l s may be used.
Technol ogi es such as fusi on ramj ets are far in the future.
Such fanci ful i deas as anti - gravi t, "warp drive, " and so on
are l i kel y t o remai n i n t he real m of sci ence fi cti on, al though
we shoul d never underesti mate the potenti al for research
Much wi l l be done roboti cal ly, sendi ng "smart" machi nes
i nto di stant and dangerous envi ronments. Robots wi l l become
i ncreasi ngl y autonomous. Thi s i s especi al l y i mportant the
farther from Earth our probes go, and thus the l onger i t takes
to communi cate wi th them via radi o.
The next few pages outl i ne several possi bl e future space
acti vi ti es, some al most certai n to occur wi thi n the next coupl e
of decades, some that wi l l perhaps never occur.
Whether any parti cul ar proj ect happens i s not so i mpor
tant as the fact that, j ust as the 20th century saw terrestri al s
take t he fi rst tentative steps off our pl anet after 5 bi l l i on years
of evol uti on, the 2 1 st century wi l l see the permanent expan
si on of human bei ngs i nto the sol ar system and t he universe
1 49
A future base on Mars might look l i ke this
LUNAR BASES wi l l be among the next manned space activ
i ti es. The Moon coul d be mi ned for materi al s to be used i n
bui l di ng space settl ements and spacecraft, and for fuel .
The Moon i s a good si te for astronomi cal radi o and opti cal
observatori es. Lunar orbi t may be a good pl ace to assem
bl e huge spacecraft for pl anetary mi ssi ons.
A MANNED MI SSI ON TO MARS i s among the programs
bei ng consi dered by the U. S. and the Soviet Uni on, perhaps
as an i nternati onal venture that i ncl udes Europe and Japan.
Because the Moon and Mars have no or l i tl e protective
atmosphere or magneti c fi el d, bases there woul d have to be
dug several feet bel ow the surface to avoi d cosmi c rays and
meteoroi ds. Humans woul d need t o wear pressure suits for
work on the surface. Wi thi n a coupl e of decades there may
even be touri st vi si ts to the Moon.
The fi rst true extraterrestri al human i s l i kel y t o be born i n
a l unar base wi thi n the next coupl e of decades.
1 50
ASTEROI D MI NES may become practi cal i n the future.
Al though the asteroi d bel t beteen Mars and Jupi ter seems
very di stant, i t takes onl y about the same amount of ener
gy to bri ng a pound of asteroi dal materi al from there to a
near- Earth orbi t as it does to bri ng a pound of materi al from
Earth' s surface to orbi t up through the Earth' s strong grav
i tati onal fi el d.
A smal l ni ckel - i ron asteroi d, one mi l e i n di ameter, contai ns
about a decade's worth of t he total output of al l i ron smel ters
in the enti re worl d, and i t is al ready refi ned to about 95 per
cent puri t! The si l icon, oxgen, and other el ements i n the rocky
astroids woul d b val uabl e on the Mon, on Mars, or in space
settl ements.
I t woul d take several years to ferry asteroi dal materi al eco
nomi cal ly back to near-Earth, perhaps usi n
sol ar sai l s or i on
rockets uti l i zi ng the asteroid itself as fuel . A w asteroi ds pass
cl ose to Earth, and we may be abl e to rendezvous wi th them.
Mining an asteroid
Concept for a space colony Inside a space colony
SPACE SETTLEMENTS, or space col on i es, wi l l be huge
"ci ti es" bui l t i n space usi ng mostly extraterrestri al materi al s.
The most l i kel y l ocati on woul d be i n the Moon' s orbi t, 60
degrees ahead of or beh i nd i t, at the l ocati ons cal l ed by
space sci enti sts L4 and L5.
These settl ements woul d be spheres or cyl i nders mi l es
across i n si ze, wi th ful ly self-contai ned, sel f-sustai ni ng ecosys
tems, i ncl udi ng houses, ani mal s, pl ants, l akes, agri cul ture, and
everythi ng else needed to support thousands of peopl e i ndef
i ni tel y. Day and ni ght cycl es woul d be provi ded by rotati ng
the settl ement and by openi ng and cl osi ng shutters. Rotati on
woul d al so provi de a ki nd of "arti fi ci al gravi ty. "
The space setlers may be empl oyed i n research, manu
facture of spacecraft, refi ni ng l unar materi al s, and many
other acti vi ti es. Some may come to reti re i n the reduced
"gravi ty" of the settl ement. Others may come to vacati on.
Whi l e such setlements are at least several decades away, there
are now many peopl e who woul d l i ke to l ive in one.
1 52
SOLR SAI LS, or l i ght sai l s, use the power of sunl i ght to move
a spacecraft. Onl y Earth- bound experi mental model s have
been bui l t so far, but one day they may be used to transport
cargo across vast di stances. Al though thei r thrust is extreme
l y l ow, they need carry no fuel and no engi nes .
Sunl i ght exerts a sl i ght pressure, the same force that makes
a comet' s gaseous tai l stream awa
from the sun . A l arge
l i ghtei ght sai l , mi les across, made of al umi nized pl astic, coul d
use thi s l i ght pressure to provi de a few pounds of force. They
woul d be control l ed much as a sai l boat on a l ake i s, by
al teri ng the posi ti on of the sai l to sl ow down or speed up as
needed. At di stances t hat are much farther from t he Sun
than t he asteroi d belt, there woul d be too l i tle sunl i ght t o work
wel l .
Such a techni que coul d be used to ferry materi al s from
asteroi ds to near- Earth . Al though the j ourney woul d take
many years, i t woul d be i nexpensi ve. There are pl ans for a
sol ar-sai l tri al race in the 1 990s.
A fusion ramjet storshi p
INTERSTELR FUGHT i s a dream out of reach for some time.
Even at the speed of l i ght i t woul d take 4. 3 years to reach
t he nearest star system. I t now seems i mpossi bl e t o travel
faster than l i ght.
The Hubbl e Space Telescope may tel l us if any of our
nei ghbori ng stars have pl anets around them. Robotic probes
coul d j ourey tere, tking deades and sendi ng fi ndi ngs bck
by radi o or l aser beams. Manned starA i ght is much frher i n
the future, and fl i ghts woul d probabl y take so l ong they
woul d be one-way voyages.
One tchnology imagi ned fr such a futristic mi ssi on i s the
fusi on ramj et, whi ch generates a mi l es-wi de funnel -shaped
magneti c field in front of i t. Its moti on through the thi n i nter
stel l ar gas woul d capture hydrogen atoms, whi ch woul d then
be compressed and expel l ed out the rear. As yet no one
knows how to make such a craft. Sti l l , i t i s exciti ng to consi der
that someday humans may j ourney among the stars.
1 54
SPACE ORGANIZATIONS con give you i nformation on what i s happeni ng in
the spce program. They usual ly publ i sh infrmative magazines and hold meet
i ngs, and they may actively promote space activi ti es. The maj or ones are:
Notional Space Society
922 Pennsylvani a Avenue, SE
Washi ngton, DC 20003
Pl anetary Society
65 North Catal i na Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91 1 06
Bri ti sh I nterpl anetary Soci ety
27/29 South Lambeth Rood
London SW8 1 SZ, Engl and
NASA FACI LITI ES often hove publ i c vi sitor centers, and some offer speci al
resources lor teachers. I f you l ive or vi si t near one of these, contact them ahead
of ti me for more i nformati on.
Vi si tor I nformation Center
Goddard Space Fl i ght Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771
Publ i c Affai rs Office
Johnson Space Center
Houston, TX 77058
Vi si tor I nformation Center
Kennedy Space Center
Merrit I sl and, FL 32899
Publ i c Affai rs Office
Lewis Research Center
Cl evel and, OH 441 35
Publ i c Affai rs Office
Ames Research Center
Mountoi nview, CA 94035
Publ i c Affai rs Office
Jet Propul si on Laboratory
Pasadena, CA 91 1 03
Notional Ai r and Space Museum
6th and I ndependence Ave. , SW
Washi ngton, DC 20560
Al abama Space and Rocket Center
1 T ronqui l i ty Bose
Huntsvi l l e, AL 35807
Following ore recommended books about a variety of space activities:
Blonstei n, Lorry. Communications Satellites. John Wi l ey, New York, 1 987.
Chochron, Curti s D. , Denni s M. Gorman, and Joseph D. Dumoul i n, eds. Space
Handbook. Ai r Universi ty Press Publ ication AU- 1 8, U. S. Government
Pri nti ng Office, Washi ngton, DC, 1 985.
1 55
Gotl and, Kenneth. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Space Technology. Harmo
ny Books, New York, 1 981 .
Gol dman, Nathan C. Space Commerce. Bol l i nger Publ i shi ng Company, Com
bri dge, MA, 1 985.
Hobbs, David. An Illustrted Guide K Space Warfre. Salamander Books, New
York, 1 986.
Sheffi el d, Charl es. Eorthwotch: A Survey of the World from Space. Macmi l l an
Publ i shi ng Co. , I nc. , New York, 1 98 1 .
Turn i l l , Regi nal d, ed. Jane's Spaceflight Director for 1 987 Jane's Publ i shi ng
I nc. , 1 1 5 Fi fth Avenue, New York, 1 987.
Von Broun, Wernher, Frederi ck I . Ordway, Davi d Dool i ng, and Fred C.
Durant. Space Trove/: A Histr. Harper & Row, New York, 1 985.
Space events happen fastr than books can keep up with them. Magazines
are indi spensable for keeping up-to-dote. These ore the major ones:
Ad Astr Spacefight
Nati onal Space Society
Bri ti sh I nterpl anetary Societ
922 Pennsylvani a Avenue, SE
27/29 South Lambeth Road
Washi ngton, DC 20003
London SW8 1 SZ, Engl and
Aviation Week & Space
P. 0. Box 1 505
Neptune, NJ 07753
PHOTO CREDITS: We are i ndebted to the fol l owi ng i nsti tuti ons and i ndi vi d
ual s for the photographs used i n thi s book. British Aerospace ( BAe) : 86; Euro
pean Space Agency ( ESA) : 21 bottom left, 85, 87, 88, 1 1 0; GTE Spocenet
Corporation (GTE) : 1 28 ri ght; I srael Aircraft I ndustries ( I AI ) : 94; I nternational
Telecommuni cati ons Satel l ite Organi zation ( I NTELSAT) : 1 28 left; McDonnel l
Dougl as Space Systems Company (MDSSC) : 64; Mox-Pi anck- l nstitut fur
Aeronomie (MPAE), Li ndau/Harz, FRG, 1 986. Photo by Hol ley Multicolour
Camero on ESA'S Gioto spacecraft. Courtesy Dr. H. U. Keller: 21 botm right;
National Aeronautics and Space Admi ni stration (NASA): 5, 6, 7, 1 4, 1 5, 1 6,
1 7, 1 9, 2 1 fi rst three rows, 26, 27, 28, 30, 3 1 , 32, 33, 34, 35, 38, 39, 40,
58, 59, 62, 63, 65, 66, 68, 6 71 , 72, 73, 75, 96, 1 01 , 1 0 1 2 1 , 1 2
1 26, 1 3 1 , 1 32, 1 33, 1 38, 1 39, 1 43, 1 46 top; Noti onal Oceani c and
Atmospheri c Admi ni strati on ( NOAA) : 1 35, 1 36; Novosti Press Agency
( NOVOSTI ) : 81 ; Ordway Col lecti on, Space and Rocket Center, from the col
lection of Frederi ck I . Ordway I l l (ORDWAY) : 1 3, 57; Orbi tal Sci ences Cor
poration (OSC) : 74, 76-77; SPOT I mage Corporati on: 1 34; TASS: 20, 79,
1 03, 1 05; Xi nhua News Agency and New Chi na Pi ctures: 91 , 92, 1 09
1 56
Advanced X -Roy Astro-
physics Facility, 1 23
Aeropile, 9, 1 0
Aerospace plane, 70
Ageno upper stage, 63, 71 ,
1 47
Aldri n, Edwi n, 1 7
AI -Hoson oi -Rammoh, 9
Ames Research Center, 1 02
Anders, Wi l l i am, 1 7
Antibal l i stic mi ssi les, 1 04
Anti-gravity, 1 49
Antisotellite weapons, 30
Aphel ion, 48
Apogee, 46
Apogee and Maneuvering
Stage, 74
ee kick motor, 55
Apolo program, 1 7, 59
Applications satellites, 1 20
Arione rockets, 60, 84, 85,
87, 95, l l 0, 1 34
Arionespoce, l l 0
Armstrong, Nei l , 1 7
A-series rockets, 1 4, 78, 79
ASLV, 93
Asteroids, 20, 22, 1 51 , 1 53
Astronauts, 3 1 , 32, 33, 37,
Astronomical unit, 22
Atlantis, 69
Atlas rockets, 1 4, 60, 63,
71 , 72, 73
Atmosphere, Earh's, 24,
97, 1 36
Augmented Satellite launch
Vehi cl e, 93
AXAF, 1 23
Bacon, Roger, 9
Boikonur, 1 4, 99, 1 04
Bolosore Rocket launchi ng
Station, 1 1 1
Batteries, 1 1 5
Big Bi rds, 1 47, 1 48
Bluford, Gui on, 1 39
Booster rockets, 63, 65, 67
Borman, Fronk, 1 7
B-series rockets, 79, l 04
Buran, 61 , 82, 83
Cope Canaveral, 96, 1 00
Carpenter, ScoH, 1 5
Celestial navigation, 49
Centaur upper stage, 63,
72, 74, 1 26
Challenger, 1 5, 69
Chong Zheng- 1 rocket, 91
Cheapsots, 7 6
Chi no, 5, 9l , 1 08
Chi nese rockets, 91 -92
Cl arke, Arhur C. , 47
Cl arke orbit, 47, 48, 1 27
Col l i ns, Michael, 1 7
Colonies, space, 1 52
Col umbi a, 69
Comet Giacobi ni -Zi nner, 20
Comet Holley, 20, 2 1 , 89
Comet Rendezvous/ Aster-
oid Flyby, 1 26
"Comet" rocket, 94
Comet Tempel-2, 1 26
Commsats. See Communi -
cations satellites
Communications satellites,
47, 55, 66, 1 20, 1 27-
1 29, 1 44
Cosmi c rays, 28
Cosmodrome, l 03
Cosmonauts, 39, 1 05
Countdown, 96
CRAF, 1 26
Cryogenic fuels, 87, 90, 96
(-series rockets, 79, 1 04
CSL- 1 rocket, 91
CZ-series rockets, 91 , 92
Debris, space, 29-30
Deep-Space Network, 51
Delta rockets, 60, 64, 73,
Discoverer satellites, 1 47
Di scovery, 69
Drag, atmospheric, 1 9, 24
D-series rockets, 80, 8 1
warni ng satellites, 1 45
Earth, 5, 42, 1 1 8, 1 1 9,
1 23, 1 34
Earth sensi ng satellites, 1 1 9
Eating i n space, 34
Eccentricity, 45
Edwards Ai r Force Base,
1 1 2
Electric propul si on, 54
Electronic intelligence satel-
lites, 1 46
El l i pse, 43, 44
ELY, 55, 56
Endeavour, 69
Energi a, 61 , 78, 82
Energi a/Buran, 6 1 , 82, 83
ESA. Se European Space
Escape velocity, 43
Esronge, 99, 1 1 3
European Space Agency,
20, 84, 87, 1 24, 1 34
EVA, 37
Exosphere, 24
Expendable launch Vehicles
( ELY). 55, 56
Explorer satellites, 1 4, 62
Extravehi cul ar activity
( EVA). 37
FB- 1 rocket, 92
Feng Boo rocket, 92
Ferret satellites, 1 46
France, 5, 84, 1 1 0, 1 1 1
Freedom spocestotion, 1 42
Free fal l . See Weightless-
latforms, 1 42
F-series rockets, 80, 8 1
Fuel , rocket, 52, 53, 96
Fusion rockets, 1 49, 1 54
G, 56
Gogori n, Yuri, 1 5, 1 04
Gal i lee spocecroh, 1 22
Gantry, 95
Ganymede, 1 22
Gee, 56
Gel l i us, Aul us 9
Geodesy satellites, 1 1 9
Geostationar Operational
Environmental Satel
lites, 1 35
Geostationary Orbit, 47,
48, 90
Geostationary Satellite
launch Vehicle, 93
Geostationar transfer orbit,
84, 93
1 57
Geosynchronous Earth
orbit, 47
Germany, 57, 84, 88, 1 1 1 ,
1 25
GioHo comet probe, 21
Glenn, John, 1 5, 63
Global Positioning System.
See Navstor
Goddard, Robert, 1 1
Goddard Space Fl i ght Cen-
ter, 50, 1 02
GOES satellite, 1 35
GPS. See Navstar
Gravitational fields, 23
Gravity, 23, 26, 27
"artifi ci al ," 36, 1 52
force of, 42, 97
law of, 41
Gravity-assist trajectories,
Great Britai n, 5
Grissom, Vi rgi l I. !Gus). 1 5
Ground-bosed Electro-Opti-
cal Deep Space
Surei l l ance, 51
GSLV, 93
Gui ana Space Center, 84,
98, 99, 1 1 0
H- 1 rocket, 90
H-2 rocket, 60, 90, 1 06
Hale, Edward Everen, 1 3
Hermes, 87, 1 1 0
Hestia, 1 26
High Energy Astronomical
Observatory, 63
Hi gh Energy Astrophysics
Obseratory, 1 23
Horizon- ] satellite, 94
Horizontal Take-off and
landi ng IHOTOL). 86
Horus. See Singer/Horus
HST, 1 21
Hubble, Edwi n, 1 2 1
Hubble Space Telescope
I HST). 1 2 1 , 1 23, 1 54
Hyperbolic orbits, 45
Hypergolic propellants, 53
ICBM. See Intercontinental
Bal l i stic Missi les
ICE, 20
I ncl i nation of orbit, 46
1 58
I ndi a, 5, 93, 1 1 1
I ndi an rockets, 93
Inertial navigation, 49
Inerti al Upper Stage, 65, 75
lntelsat, 1 28
Intercontinental bal l i stic mi s
siles !I CBM). 63, 65,
77, 78, 1 00
lnterkasmos satellites, 79
International Cometary
Explorer l i CE) . 20
International Telecommuni
cations Satellite Orga
ni zation, 1 28
Interplanetary orbits, 48
Interstellar probes, 54, 1 54
ion rockets, 54, 1 49
I RBM, 91
I srael, 5, 94
Israeli rocket, 94
Italy, 84, 1 1 2
J l rocket, 81
Japan, 5, 20, 89, 90, 1 06,
1 1 1 , 1 42
Japanese rockets, 89-90
Jericho-2 rocket, 94
Jet Propulsion Laborator,
1 02
Ji uquan, 99, 1 08
Johnson Space Center, 1 02
Juno I , 57
Jupiter, 20, 2 1 , 23, 1 22,
1 24, 1 51
Jupiter-( rocket, 57, 58
Kagoshi ma, 99, 1 06
Kal i ni ngrad space control
center, 1 03, 1 04
Kapustin Yor, 99, 1 04
Kennedy Space Center
I KSC). 68, 98, 99,
1 00, 1 1 2
Kepler, Johannes, 1 2
Kepler's laws, 43
Keyhole satellites, 1 47
KH-9, - 1 1 , - 1 2 satellites,
1 47, 1 48
Kick motor, 72
Kosmos satellites, 79, 80,
1 44
Kourou l aunch site, 1 1 0
KSC. See Kennedy Space
l4, L5 paints, 1 52
lacrosse satellite, 1 48
lages satellite, 1 1 9
lambda rockets, 89
landsat, 1 1 3, 1 3 1 , 1 32,
1 34
land sensi ng satellites, 1 32-
1 33
Longley Research Center,
1 02
launchers. See Rockets
launchi ng, costs, 56
launch pad, 95, 96
launch sites, 98- 1 1 3
lewis Research Center, 1 02
li ght, speed of, 23
lightsats, 7 6
li qui d-fuel rockets, 53
living i n space, 34-36
long March rockets, 60, 9 1 ,
92, 1 08
lovel l , James, 1 7
lunar boses, 1 50
lunar modul e, 1 7
lunar Orbiter, 1 6
luni k spacecrah, 1 6
lunokhod, 1 6
Manned Maneuvering Uni t
I MMU). 37, 38
Manufacturing i n space,
1 38
Mariner program, 20, 2 1 ,
63, 71
72, 1 25
Mari ner Tempel- 2,
spaceprobe, 1 26
Mars, 20, 2 1 , 22, 1 25,
1 50, 1 51
Mass ratio, 54
Medi um launch Vehicle, 64
Medi um-l i h vehicle, 8 1
Mercury, 20, 2 1 , 22
Mercury-Arlas, 1 5
Mercury-Redstone, 1 5
Mesosphere, 24
Meteoroids, 28-29
Meteoroid Technoloy
Satellite, 62
Meterologi cal satellites,
1 30, 1 45
Meteor satellites, 8 1
Metsats, 1 30, 1 45. See
Weather satellites
Microravity, 26, 1 38, 1 39
Mi l itar uses of space, 1 40,
1 44- 1 48
Mi r, 83, 1 40- 1 4 1
Mission Specialists, 39
MMU. O Manned Maneu
vering Unit
Mobile launch Platform, 68
Mal ni ya satellites, 1 29, 4
Momentum, 42
Moon, 5, , 38, 1 49, 1 51
exploration, 1 6
rocks, 1 7
Museries rockets, 89, 06
NASA (National Aeronau
ti cs and Space Admi n
istration). 7, 40, 50,
75, 98, 00, 02,
1 1 2, 1 23, 1 24
National Aerospace Pl ane,
National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Admi ni s
tration (NOAA). 1 36
Navigation, 49
inertial , 49, 50
Navigation satellites, 1 20,
1 45
Navstar, 1 37, 1 45, 1 46
Neptune, 20, 23
Newton's Laws of Motion,
38, 4 1 , 52
NOAA satellites, 1 36
North American Aerospace
Defense Command,
N-series rockets, 89, l 06
Nuclear detetion satellites,
1 46
Nuclear power suppl ies,
1 1 5
oberth, Hermann,
Obseratory satellites, 1 1 9
Ocean sureil l ance satel-
lites, 1 45, 1 46
Offeq- 1 satellite, 94
Orbital Maneuvering Sys
tem, 67, 68-69
Orbits, 42-48
peri od, 45, 47
reachi ng, 55
transfer, 46
Orientation, 50, 1 1 7
Osaki l aunch site, 06
Oxidizer, 52, 53
Oxygen, 34
Palmachi m, 94
PAM. O Payload Assist
Particles and fields satellites,
1 1 9
Payload, 39, 56, 95
Payload Assist Module
( PAM). 55, 64, 73, 74
Payload Specialists, 39, 40
Pegasus rocket, 7 6
Perigee, 46
Perigee ki ck motor, 55
Peri hel i on, 48
Period of orbit, 45
Phobos spaceprobes, 1 25
Pioneer proram, 1 6, 20,
23, 72, 1 1 4, 1 1 8
Pitch, 50
Planetary mi ssion, manned,
Planets, 22, 1 1 9
Plesetsk, 99, 03
Pluto, 22, 23
Progress rocket, 78
Propellants. See Fuel, rocket
Propul si on, rocket, 52, 54
Proton, 6 1 , 80, 8 1 , 1 40
Radar Ocean Reonnai s-
sance Satellites, 1 45
Radar satellites, 1 3 1 , 1 48
Radiation, 32
Radio navigation, 49
Ramj ets, 70, 88, 1 54
Ranger spacerak, 1 6, 63
Reonnai ssance satellites,
Remote Mani pulator Ann,
38, 67
Remote sensi ng satellites,
1 30- 1 36
Resolution, 3 1
Rhyolite satellite, 1 46
Ri de, Sally, 1 5, 35
Robots, 1 40, 1 49
Rockets, 52, 60-61 . O
al so rocket names and
i ndi vi dual countries.
early, 9
observing, 7
Rockets (conti nued):
propul si on, 52, 54
soundi ng, 62, , 1 1 2
stages, 55
Roll, 50
Salyut space stations, 1 8,
30, 1 40
Sanger/Horus, 88
San Marco Equatorial
Range, 99, 1 1 2
Satellite Data System, 4
Satellites, 24, 42, 46, 1 1 4
amateur radio, 7, 62
anatomy of, 1 4- 1 1 8
appl i cations, 20
first, 1 4
fuel , 1 1 7
natural , 22
navigation subsystem,
1 1 7
observing, 7
power, 1 1 4
propul si on subsystem,
1 1 7
reserch, 1 9
thermal control, 27, 1 1 6
tracki ng, 1 8
Saturn, 20, 21 , 22
Saturn rokets, 1 9, 59, 60
Savitskaya, Svetlana, 1 8
Scout rokets, 60, 62, 02,
1 1 2
Scramjets, 70
Serch and Rescue System,
1 36
Sesat satellite, 1 3 1
Se-sensi ng satellites, 1 30
Semi moj or axis, 45
Sensats. Se Remote sensing
Setlements, space, 36, 1 52
Shar. O Sri hari kota
Shavit rocket, 94
Shepard, Al an B. , 1 5
Shutle. O Space shuttle
Si ngl e-stage-to-orbit, 86
Skylab, 1 9, 35, 59
Sl i ngshot orits, 48, 1 26
Sl-series rokets, 78- 81
SLV-3 roket, 93
Sl-W roket, 82
Sl-X roket, 81
Smal lsats, 76
1 59
Solar cel l s, 28, 1 1 4 Specific i mpulse, 53 Umbi l ical l i nes, 95
Solar probes, 1 1 9 Spectrum, 1 1 9, 1 35 Uni ted Ki ngdom, 84, 1 23
Solar sai l s, 1 49, 1 54 Spi nni ng Sol i d Upper Stage, Uni ted Nations, 1 1 1
Solar system, 22, 1 1 4 73 United States, 5, 6, 7, 1 4,
Solid-fuel rockets, 53, 97 Spot satellite, 1 1 3, 1 34 1 6, 1 7, 1 9, 1 32
Solid Rocket Boosters, 67 Sputni k, 1 4, 78, 1 04 first manned mi ssi on, 1 5
Soundi ng rockets, 62, 1 02, Spy satellites, 71 , 8 1 , 1 44, rockets, 1 4, 1 5, 57-76,
1 1 1 , 1 1 2, 1 1 3 1 47, 1 48 95
Soviet Union, 5, 1 4, 1 6, 1 8, Sri hari kota, 99, 1 1 1 Space Command, 51
93, 1 03- 1 04, 1 08, Stages, 55, 97 space shunl e. See Space
1 25, 1 29 Stars, 23, 1 1 9, 1 54 shunl e ( U. S. )
first manned flight, 1 5 Storm Booster rocket, 92 space stations, 1 9, 1 42-
first woman i n space, 1 5 Stratosphere, 24 1 43, 1 45
first woman spacewalker, Sun, 20, 22, 44, 1 1 4, 1 1 5, tracki ng, 50, 51 , 1 1 8
1 8 1 1 9, 1 22, 1 24 United States Air Force, 64,
rockets, 1 4, 57, 77-83, Sunl ight, 27 75
95, 1 40 Sun-synchronous orbit, 47 Uranus, 20, 23
spoceplane, 83, 1 04 Surveyor crak, 1 6, 63 U. S. S. R. See Soviet Union
space shunle. See Ener- Sweden, 1 1 3, 1 25
gi a/Buran Swing arms, 95 V-2 rocket, 57, 1 04, 1 1 2
space stations, 1 8, 30, Vacuum of space, 24, 26
82, 1 40- 1 4 1 Takesaki launch site, 1 06 Van Allen belts, 32, 33
tracki ng, 51 T anegashi ma Space Center, Vandenberg Air Force Base,
Soyuz rockets, 1 8, 78, 79 99, 1 06 68 , 99, 1 00
Space adaptation syn- T ereshkova, Valenti na, 1 5 Vanguard, 1 4, 59
drome, 3 1 Thermoshere, 24 Vehicl e Assembl y Bui l di ng,
Space Age, 5, 1 4 Thor roc et, 71 68
Space fighter, 83 Thrust, 53 Vel a satel l i tes, 1 46
Spoceplanes, 70, 83, 86, Thrusters, 52 Venera spaceprobes, 20
87, 1 1 0 Thumba , 99, 1 1 1 Venus, 20, 2 1 , 22, 1 26
Spaceport. See Launch sites Titan rockets, 61 , 65, 71 , Vi ki ng, 20, 2 1 , 72
Spoceprobes, 20, 23, 1 20 72, 74, 1 26, 1 47 Volgograd Station, 1 04
Space shunl e (Soviet). See Ti tov, Gherman, 1 5 Von Braun, Wernher, 2 , 57
Energi a/Buran "T-0," 97 Vostok rockets, 1 5, 78
Space shunle (U. S. ) , 1 5, Toilet, zero-g, 36 Voyager spoceprobes, 20,
35, 38, 39, 45, 55, Tracking, 7, 50, 51 , 1 1 8 2 1 , 72, 1 1 5
66-69, 73, 75, Tracking, Telemetry, and
95, 1 2 1 , 1 45 Control, 1 1 8 Wallops Fl i ght Center, 99,
external tank, 68 Trai ni ng, astronaut, 39 1 02
orbit, 25 Traj ectory, 46, 48 Waste el i mi nation, 36
orbiter, 66, 68 Transfer orbit, 46 Weather satellites, 81 , 1 30,
payload bay, 67 Transfer Orbit Stage, 7 4 1 35, 1 36
Space sickness, 3 1 Transponders, 1 27
Weaver Girl" rocket, 92
Space stations (Soviet), 1 8, T reoties, space, 8 Weightlessness, 26, 3 1 , 34,
82, 1 40- 1 41 Troposphere, 24 36, 38, 1 38- 1 39
Space stations ( U. S. I , 1 9, Tsiol kovsky, Konstantin, 1 1 Western Test Range, 00
1 42- 1 43, 1 45 T sukuba Space Center, 1 06 White Sands, 1 1 2
Spacesuits, 3 1 , 37 1L, 1 1 8
Space Survei l l ance System, Tyuratam, 1 4, 99, 1 04, X- 1 5 rocket pl ane, 40
51 1 40 Xi chang, 99, 1 08
Space Transportation Sys
ter, 66 Uchi noura, 99, 1 06 Yaw, 50
Spocetugs, 1 42 Uhuru satelite, 1 1 2, 1 23
Spotionauts, 39 Ulysses spoceprobe, 1 24 Zero g. See Weightlessness
1 60
MARK R. CHARTRAND, Ph. D. , is an astronomer
and a science writer and lecturer. He wrote the
Golden Field Guide Skyguide, and revised and
updated the Golden Guide Stars . He was for many
years Chairman of New York City's Hayden Plane
tarium, and has been Executive Director of the
National Space Society. In addition to teaching at
several universities, he has been widely published
in popular science magazines, and appears fre
quently on radio and television.
RON MILLER graduated from the Columbus Col
lege of Art and Design and has spent 15 of the 20
years since then specializing in scientific and astro
nomical subjects. His work has appeared in numer
ous publications worldwide, in motion pictures,
and in a series of best-selling books he has co
authored. His original space art has been exhibited
interationally and hangs in many private and pub
lc collections. He is considered one of the most
prolific and influential space artists now living. He
lives with his wife, daughter, and six cats in Fred
ericksburg, Virginia.