Tag Archives: Astronaut

this day in the yesteryear: Edward White Becomes First American to Conduct a Spacewalk (1965)


Edward White Becomes First American to Conduct a Spacewalk (1965)

The first spacewalk by an American astronaut was conducted by Edward White during NASA’s Gemini IV mission, which was itself the first multi-day space flight undertaken by the US. Assisted and photographed by fellow astronaut James McDivitt and tethered to the spacecraft for safety, White floated in space for 22 minutes. His spacewalk occurred just months after Russian cosmonaut Alexey Leonov executed the first ever extravehicular activity. How did White describe his reentry of the craft? More… Discuss

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NASA: Commercial Space Flights Will Save Millions


NASA: Commercial Space Flights Will Save Millions

Contracting private space flight companies Boeing and SpaceX to fly its astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) will save NASA $12 million per person per flight, the US space agency announced last week. Since retiring its space shuttles in 2011, NASA has relied on the Russian space agency Roscosmos to transport US astronauts to the ISS at a cost of $70 million a head. The need for that taxi service could end as early as 2017, however, with the private flights estimated to cost $58 million per person. More… Discuss

Espresso Machine’s Out-of-This-World Launch


Espresso Machine’s Out-of-This-World Launch

Coffee lovers of the world—nay, universe—rejoice! You will now be able to get a decent cup of joe in space. After decades of drinking subpar java, astronauts will finally have access to real Italian espresso in orbit. Engineers partnered with coffee giant Lavazza to design an espresso machine suitable for use on the International Space Station (ISS). The 44-pound (20-kg) “ISSpresso” machine is set to launch early next year on a cargo ship bound for the ISS, where Samantha Cristoforetti, Italy‘s first female astronaut, will also serve as the first space barista. More… Discuss

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: YURI GAGARIN (1934)


Yuri Gagarin (1934)

Gagarin was a Russian cosmonaut who, in 1961, became the first human being to successfully travel into space. Gagarin circled the Earth once during his 1-hour-and-48-minute flight aboard the Vostok 1. His success is believed to have ushered in the modern era of man in space, and Gagarin toured widely to promote the Soviet achievement. Ironically, he died in a plane crash seven years later. What factors did Soviet officials consider when choosing Gagarin for the historic space flightMore… Discuss

 

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Today In History: Svetlana Savitskaya Becomes the First Woman to Perform a Spacewalk (1984)


Svetlana Savitskaya Becomes the First Woman to Perform a Spacewalk (1984)

Savitskaya is a former Soviet female aviator and cosmonaut who flew aboard Soyuz T-7 in 1982, becoming the second woman in space some 19 years after Valentina Tereshkova. She logged nearly 20 days in space during her career, including three and a half hours spent outside the Salyut 7 space station in 1984, when she became the first woman to perform a spacewalk. Before becoming a cosmonaut, she was a test and sport pilot and a parachutist. What world records did she set? More… Discuss

This Day In History: Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova Becomes First Woman in Space (1963)


Tereshkova was a Soviet cosmonaut who became the first woman to fly in space. In 1963, she was the solo pilot of a three-day flight aboard Vostok 6, orbiting the Earth 48 times. Her flight was her only experience in space, and she left the Soviet space program soon after and married cosmonaut Andriyan Nikolayev. Their daughter, Elena, born a year later, was the first child of parents who had both been in space. What was Tereshkova’s job before she was recruited as a cosmonaut? More… Discuss