April 12 is the International Day of Aviation and Cosmonautics. What ambitious projects to conquer outer space are being developed by humanity 58 years after Yuri Gagarin’s flight, read in our material.
In 1961, Yuri Gagarin was the first in the world to conquer outer space on the Vostok-1 spacecraft, securing Russia’s title as the world’s leading power in this field for a long time. After 58 years, cosmonauts and astronauts can easily live and conduct scientific experiments on the orbital station for several months.
Today, it is not enough for people to surf space. Ambitious projects are being developed related to the colonization of the Moon and Mars. But it all started with our country.
Big moon race
Fierce disputes about the Americans’ landing on the moon are still ongoing. Apparently, to put an end to them once and for all, the US is once again after the Earth’s satellite. The other day it became known that the President of the country Donald Trump has moved the date of landing on the moon from 2028 to 2024.
Not far behind in the race and Japan. So employees of the Agency for Aerospace Research of the Land of the Rising Sun have already submitted a project for the construction of a lunar base. This, according to the Japanese plan, will not be done by humans, but by self-driving tractors, excavators and several other types of robots. They will also cover the base building with a special material – regolith, which will protect it from radiation and small meteorites. By the way, the automated tractor and excavator that will build the Japanese lunar base are already being tested on Earth at full speed.
House on Mars
The Moon is the springboard for a larger Mars project. According to NASA experts, the first expedition to the “red planet” may take place as early as 2030. Meanwhile, with the help of rovers, a thorough study of the geological condition of the planet’s surface is being carried out. By 2020, NASA plans to deliver another device to the surface of Mars. He will need to collect information on the basis of which scientists will evaluate the probability of the existence of life on Mars in the past, and also study the possibility of human settlement of the planet in the future.
By the way, volunteers are already being trained, who should be the first to settle on Mars. Dutchman Bas Lansdorp created an international space program to educate new inhabitants of the planet. It included volunteers from 140 countries.
Falk or Yenisei?
In connection with the prospect of the Moon and Mars, the development of new models of super-heavy rockets continues. Today, the largest and most powerful launch vehicle already being tested is the Falcon Heavy, designed and assembled by American billionaire engineer Elon Musk’s SpaceX. With a launch weight of almost 1.5 thousand tons, the Falcon Heavy can launch a cargo of 64 tons into low Earth orbit.
Russia also has a project for a super-heavy Yenisei rocket with a payload capacity of about 100 tons. The first such rocket is scheduled to go into space in 2027 or 2028. It will be used in the Russian lunar program.
Cucumbers in weightlessness
For long-distance manned flights to the same Mars, it is necessary to think about what the astronauts and the first inhabitants of the colonies will eat. Delivery of one kilogram of cargo to the ISS today costs 30 thousand dollars, and if the same kilogram is transported to Mars, it will cost at least 700 thousand dollars.
It is much cheaper to grow edible plants directly aboard spaceships and stations. Russian scientists are already developing a project for the Vitacycle-T space greenhouse. Yuly Berkovich, a leading researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said this. The finished greenhouse is expected to be presented in 2020.
Foreign countries are also working with a similar idea. For example, the Americans are creating projects for large greenhouses for the lunar base, the Chinese want to patent the Lunar palace project, which can provide up to 80 percent of the astronauts’ diet, and the German Aerospace Center has created a greenhouse project to feed space crews of six people.
Woke up – clean up your space
In Russia, they were the first to think about how to prevent space from turning into a giant garbage dump. There are already more than 2,200 active, more than 5,000 obsolete spacecraft and more than 14,000 pieces of equipment in orbit. Every year, as space exploration continues, the amount of garbage will grow.
To solve the problem, Russia has developed a special complex that can capture failed satellites in orbit to grind them up and process them into fuel. A space debris destroyer is patent pending. The estimated cost of the device will be 7.5 billion rubles.