US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — In 1957, the Soviet Union was the first to launch a satellite into Earth orbit, and in the spring of 1961, the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to go into space.
“Go!” – said Yuri Gagarin, and the Vostok spacecraft was launched using the Seven rocket and launched into near-earth orbit.
That’s all, President John F. Kennedy decided and launched the Apollo program.
“This is not only about the fact that a person should fly to the moon, but about the nation as a whole. We all must fight to get him there, ”Kennedy said, speaking to members of the US Congress on May 25, 1961.
This call marked the beginning of competition between the United States and the Soviet Union: who will be the first to reach the moon? Eight years later, Neil Alden Armstrong was able to exclaim: “This is one small step for man, but a giant leap for all mankind.” He became the first man to set foot on the moon on Monday, July 21, 1969.
The Russians never got to the moon
The Soviet Union – like its successor, Russia – never sent people to the moon. But now it can happen. Russia has created a new generation spacecraft, which, according to the Internet publication Gazeta.ru, will be able to reach the moon in 2031.
On its websites, the space organization Roscosmos is looking for from six to eight astronauts for an expedition to the moon. At a press conference in Moscow, the chief of the manned expeditions Sergei Krikalev said that the recruits will become part of the program for the exploration of the moon and will be sent on the new spaceship Federation, the TASS news agency reported.
“Russia lost in the competition of sending a man to the moon, but new space exploration plans include plans to send people there. They also talk about plans to launch a space station in space, which will be in a lunar orbit, ”says space expert Erik Tandberg.
US and China also do not want to stay away
However, much indicates that the United States again wants to send a man to the moon, and China is working on a manned spacecraft that could land on the moon with the crew. Next year, the Chinese plan to send a probe to the moon, which should return back. In recent years, the Chinese launched several probes, which, together with the devices, made a soft landing on the moon.
“China will continue to explore the moon, in the long run he would like to send people there. When this should happen, they did not specify, ”emphasizes Tandberg.
It’s still important
The last time a man visited the moon when the Apollo 17 landed on the surface of the planet in December 1972.
“We will be back,” said the astronaut and ship commander Eugene A. Cernan, who worked three shifts on the lunar surface, each lasting more than seven hours. In total, he and his colleague Harrison Schmidt spent 74 hours and 5 minutes on the moon.
Today, 45 years later, Tandberg emphasizes that the moon is still of interest – for several reasons.
Here you can stop on the way to Mars. The poles have water, so rocket fuel can be produced. If this can be done, then the spacecraft bound for Mars can refuel from the space station, which can be in a lunar orbit.
Many US companies believe that perhaps there are many rare minerals and elements that can be mined on the moon. They spoke, for example, about the helium-3 isotope, which, perhaps, can be used to produce energy if it can be isolated. Helium-3 falls on the moon with a solar wind; according to some scientists, on the moon this isotope is available in quantities sufficient to satisfy the earth’s energy needs for thousands of years.
The moon can be used as an astronomical observatory. Low gravity makes it possible to create large mirrors that can be used in giant telescopes. In addition, the lack of atmosphere allows you to see much clearer than on Earth.
Tandberg indicates that attempts to gain a foothold on the moon mean solving several problems. For example, particles of moon dust are extremely sharp, because there is no atmosphere on the moon to round their tips. And these particles are a danger to a person who can inhale them, they can also destroy machinery and equipment.
Trump supports the “lunar program”
This week, US President Donald Trump signed into law that provides NASA with an annual budget of $ 19.5 billion. Thus, the American space agency will not have to experience the big cost cuts that, according to The Washington Post, the president proposes to introduce for all government agencies.
The law, in particular, states that NASA’s goal is to send a manned expedition to Mars until 2033. In addition, several expeditions are planned on the new Orion spacecraft and launches using the new Space Launch System (SLS) launch vehicle. Both have already begun production, the goal is to send an unmanned ship to a lunar orbit in 2018, and then carry out a manned expedition to the moon in 2021.
“This may indicate that over time the landing on the moon will be carried out, but the main goal is Mars. Mars is far away, it will not be easy to reach it, ”Tandberg emphasizes.
In addition, the owner of Tesla, Elon Musk (Elon Musk), who owns the private space company SpaceX, also has plans to send two wealthy Americans to a lunar orbit in 2018.
World Record in Space
At the disposal of the Russian Roscosmos today are 30 astronauts aged from 31 to 58 years. 14 of them had already traveled to outer space earlier, and the eldest – Gennady Padalka – set a world record for the duration of his stay in space – he spent 878 days there, according to the Russian newspaper.
New astronauts should be selected before the end of the year, they will train in the space center “Star Town” near Moscow.
The new Federation spacecraft will be designed for a crew of four, according to the plan, the first manned launch should take place in 2023 from the new Vostochny spaceport in the Russian Far East.
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The article is written and prepared by our foreign editors from different countries around the world – material edited and published by Ordo News staff in our US newsroom press.