National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), US, was formed when Russia was trying to take over the Space. The NASA has achieved incredible goals but some of the discoveries are more prominent than others. The list mentioned in this article is about those historical and remarkable successes of NASA:
[#10] Explorer 1, First Satellite, U.S.:
The satellite Explorer 1 took 3 years to be complete and it was launched in the year 1958. The dimensions of the satellite are: 80 inches long and diameter 6.25 inches, 30.8 pounds weight, rotations around tt6he earth per day is 12 and a half. The purpose of the satellite was to measure the cosmic rays in the atmosphere above the earth. The Explorer 1 was able to rotate 56,000 times around the earth before dipping in earth’s atmosphere in March 1970. Before the Explorer 1 entered the orbit, the data the scientist received showed cosmic ray activity much lower than expected. Dr, Van Allen proposed a theory that that the satellite passed through a radiation belt which destroyed the satellite’s detector. This radiation belt he was talking about later came to be known as ‘Van Allen radiation belts’ after confirming his theory.
[#9] Hubble Space Telescope:
This telescope was launched in 1990 after 15 years of work by the astronomer Edwin Hubble. It took eight years to assemble and test 400,000 parts of the telescope and 41,843 km of wiring. It was then set to go in the orbits in the late 80’s but due to Challenger disaster of 1989 forced to shift the launch to 1990. The telescope was able to provide the view of the universe which never seen before and even imagined. It allowed Hubble to prove his theory of expansion of universe. He deduced the theory on the basis of the changing nature of stars. With this telescope people were able to see the universe view in 10 times resolution and 50 times sensitivity even by sitting at their homes.
[#8] Chandra X-Ray Observatory:
This observatory was formed in 1999. This launch by NASA was the most sensitive telescope which uses X-Ray to have the clarity of even a split second in which space particles disappear in black hole. It uses X-rays which are high-energy particles and record the images and pictures based on fluctuations in energy. The sensitivity is, therefore, 25 times better that the Hubble telescope and rotates around the earth 200 times that of Hubble’s altitude. So far, we have seen many images from the Chandra X-Ray observatory which includes quasars, remnants, exploding stars, matter disappearing into black hole, dark matter, nebulae, etc. Also, on the basis of its records, it states that light exists for 10 billion years.
[#7] Pioneer 10, visiting Jupiter:
No one ever imagined that any man-made thing would cross the earth and reach another planet and so they never tried it. But this was before 1972. In 1972, Pioneer 10 changed everything and the impossibility was turned positive. It reached to the farthest planet from the Earth which is Jupiter. It was also able to cross the asteroid belt lying between both the planets which made it a hurdle in the path to the outer planets. When it reached Jupiter, we were able to receive the first ever observations of some outer planet. And then there was no looking back; it further travelled in space and left the solar system in 1983 and reached interstellar space in 1983. In 2003, we received the last transmission from Pioneer 10 and it was from a distance of 12.2 billion km away from our planet.
[#6] Apollo 13:
Apollo 13 was launched on 11th April 1970, to reach moon. After 55 hours and 55 minutes, there was an explosion which was big enough to destroy all the life present onboard. The explosion was a result of shutting down of one engine around two minutes before liftoff. The crew on Apollo 13 completed their television broadcast from the space to inform America that all was well. But minutes after this, there was an explosion which led a sequence of disasters one after the other; oxygen tanks and fuel cells, all were gone. The crew included astronauts Fred Hayes, James Lovell and John Swigert, who survived on no oxygen, no power, water, food, heat and light, sleep nothing. The team in NASA’s mission Control worked hard and calculated the possible ways to return home safely and found a way using sun. It landed in the Pacific Ocean on April 17 and the astronauts were fine but the spacecraft was totally damaged.
[#5] Space Shuttle:
After the failing of Apollo in 1972, the scientists at NASA wanted to design a reusable spacecraft to save money and also bring up a new level in technology. This was a challenging task. The previous spacecraft was protected by an equipment that seared when it was about to re-enter earth, so that must be changed. They used tiles made of ceramic to coat the spacecraft. Also the landing was improper and it occurred in Ocean. Overall, it took 9 years to complete the design and in 1981, the Space Shuttle was launched successfully. It is a reusable spacecraft in use till present.
[#4] International Space Station (ISS):
Exploring the universe, the planets, and the space beyond our solar system, takes not only months but years. The human is designed that it can survive in earth and not in space. So there must be a permanent Space Station. International Space Station is the best known till today. Salyut 1(1971) by Russia lasted less than one year, Skylab(1973) by US lasted less than two years, Mir(1986) again by Russia lasted till 2001. The ISS was on its orbit in 1998 and received the first crew in 2000. It is 108.5m long and 72.8m wide which is more than three times Mir with a weight of 450 tons.
[#3] Mars Pathfinder:
This mission was to explore by making through the atmosphere of Mars, land safely on it, and let a robot roam around. In 1996, December, the Pathfinder flew from the surface of Earth and landed on mars after travelling 309 million miles in July 1997. This mission was successful and the Mrs Pathfinder was recording data and images and collected total data of 2.3 billion bits which is more than 17,000 pictures and many other recordings. The pathfinder taught NASA that once upon a time mars was warm, wet, and friendly in terms of human survival but now the things are changed. But exploring mars is possible.
[#2] Freedom 7:
Alan Shepard was the first American astronaut who orbited the earth on 5 May 1961. Yuri Gagarin was the first person to reach space but Shepard was NASA’s member to go for human space flight. The countdown took more than 24 hours and the launch was halted many times to check the minor equipments. Then all was set to go but suddenly clouds appeared. The weather was not an issue for the launch but for the photographer to record an historical moment. So they postpone the launch till the weather cleared. After further checking the equipments, NASA launched at 9.34 AM which was 25 hours from the countdown. He reached at 187.5km above the earth ans it took him 15 minutes 28 seconds to travel 303 miles with a speed of 8,262kph around earth. He landed with a splash in Atlantic Ocean. This was really an achievement for NASA.
[#1] Apollo 11:
After 20 days of Alan Shepard travelled around the Earth, NASA got its mission to take America to moon. It took complete 8 years of hard work. In 1967 NASA initiated Apollo 1 but on the launch pad NASA lost three astronauts due to a fire. After that NASA scientists tried equipments one after other till they designed Apollo 11 which proved to be a success in the mission to land on moon. Neil Armstrong landed on moon on 20 July, 1969. In front of the whole world he spoke the words – “ one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”