Since the discovery of powered flight, man has endeavored to test the limits of traveling higher,

2700 WordsApr 23, 201911 Pages
Since the discovery of powered flight, man has endeavored to test the limits of traveling higher, faster and longer. With the advent of rocket technology in the early 20th century, “higher” came to mean orbiting the Earth, eventually culminating in NASA’s Apollo 11 mission to the moon. “Faster” meant setting record after record of speeds in excess of the sound barrier, with the very same Apollo missions reaching velocities of almost 25,000 miles per hour. “Longer” can currently be summated by the International Space Station (ISS), which has been continually manned for over 13 years; the longest single period of time in space for an individual in that span is 215 days. In the past few decades, many space programs around the world have…show more content…
While a year and a half may not seem like such a long period of time, consider that the astronauts selected for this mission will be contained within a spacecraft touting only 380 cubic feet of habitable volume- little more than half the space inside your average conversion van. The spacecraft in question is called the ORION Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, and it is slated to deliver its first passengers to low-Earth orbit in September of this year. Following the decommissioning of the Space Shuttle, NASA saw fit to reinstate the type of heavy lift rockets that propelled astronauts to the moon in the mid-20th century, with new and improved designs, fuel and materials. The Space Launch System is NASA’s 21st century iteration of such rockets, and, upon completion, will be the most powerful rocket ever built, and for good reason: It was designed specifically with deep space transit in mind. For a manned mission to Mars, NASA envisions a coupling of the ORION capsule and Space Launch System heavy lift rocket in an effort to ensure the quickest possible arrival time for the astronauts, in addition to providing as many necessities and amenities that can realistically be afforded. Astronaut access to amenities such as exercise equipment, entertainment and personal space become even more crucial on extended duration space voyages, as the comfort of the individuals on the spacecraft can have an

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