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ZingPath: Space Technology

Technologies Used in Space Exploration

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Lesson Focus

Technologies Used in Space Exploration

Earth & Space Science

Learning Made Easy

You will consider the characteristics of our solar system in order to identify the accommodations of space travel that have enabled manned space exploration.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Identify the accommodations of space travel, considering the characteristics of our solar system, which have enabled manned space exploration.
  • Identify such factors affecting the accommodations of space travel including protective suits, pressure and temperature, effects of microgravity, air systems, food supply, and waste management.

Everything You'll Have Covered

On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first man to travel into space. Eight years later, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969. Thanks to space technology, space travel continues. One thing that made space travel possible was the development of protective suits. Astronauts wear suits to protect them from the harsh environment of space. Earth has a layer of gases that protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet rays and controlling the extreme temperatures in space between day and night. This layer is called the atmosphere. Earth's atmospheric pressure is 1 atmosphere. The pressure in space is so low that many consider it to be nonexistent. Protective suits compensate for the internal pressure of astronauts' bodies. Additionally, space suits protect astronauts from the extreme high and low temperatures in space. Since there is no oxygen in space, astronauts must carry oxygen on their backs when they leave the spacecraft. While astronauts are inside the spacecraft, air systems separate water and hydrogen to supply oxygen into the space cabin in addition to the oxygen carried in canisters and fed into the spacecraft's cabin. Astronauts must eat while they are in space. The food supply is stored in plastic containers. Water is added to some foods and sometimes heated to regain its consistency. Breads, fruits, and nuts can be eaten just as they are. Even waste management needs accommodations. Astronauts must fasten themselves to the toilet due to the limited amount of gravity in space.

In addition to making accommodations to the equipment, special transportation is also needed to be able to withstand the harsh environment of space. Gravity is the natural force of attraction that any celestial body exerts. As objects get closer to a celestial, the effect of gravity increases, the object's velocity increases, and the object changes direction around the massive body. This is known as the slingshot effect. This is used to conserve fuel and reduce the time of the space journey. Even during this time, where gravity pulls the spacecraft around the massive celestial body, astronauts do not feel the forces of gravity. Microgravity is the condition of weightlessness and zero gravity that astronauts experience while in space.

Since the 1960s, great advances have been made in space exploration. In order for space exploration to continue to advance at such a rapid rate, more efforts are needed. One such advancement is the development of non-chemical fuel.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 30 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should know what gravity is and have knowledge about the atmosphere, pressure, and temperature.
Course Earth & Space Science
Type of Tutorial Concept Development
Key Vocabulary air system, antimatter, Earth