A few hundred years ago, traveling over the Earth’s surface was a risky adventure. Early explorers who set out to explore the New World went by boat, enduring fierce storms. disease and hunger, to reach their destinations. Today, astronauts exploring space face similar challenges.
All About Space Travel: One space shuttle launch costs $450 million
Space travel has become much safer as scientists have overcome potential problems, but it’s still dangerous. It’s also very expensive. In order for a space shuttle to break free of Earth’s gravity, it has to travel at a speed of 15,000 miles per hour. Space shuttles need 1.9 million liters of fuel just to launch into space. That’s enough fuel to fill up 42,000 cars! Combine the high speed, heat and fuel needed for launching and you’ve got a very potentially dangerous situation.
In 1949, Albert II, a Rhesus monkey went to space. Keep reading to find out more all about space travel.
Re-entering the atmosphere is dangerous too. When a space craft re-enters the atmosphere, it is moving very fast. As it moves through the air, friction causes it to heat up to a temperature of 2,691 degrees. The first spacecrafts were destroyed during re-entry. Today’s space shuttles have special ceramic tiles that help absorb some of the heat, keeping the astronauts safe during re-entry.