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April 12 – Day of aviation and cosmonautics

On April 12 the whole world celebrates Day of aircraft and Astronautics.

This is a special day – a day of triumph of science and all those who are today engaged in the space industry.

Russia marks cosmonautics Day in commemoration of the first space flight by Yuri Gagarin. The holiday was established by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR dated 9 April 1962.

April 12, 2010 isposed 49 years since the first flight of man in space. And did it our compatriot Yuri Gagarin. 108 minutes spent in space opened the way for other space explorers. For a short period of time since the first flight into space man has visited the moon, explored almost all the planets of the Solar system, but the first flight was the most difficult and dangerous.

But the confidence and optimism, the desire to conquer space overcame all obstacles. Addressing all the inhabitants of the Earth before launch on April 12 1961 Yuriy Alekseevich said, “Dear friends, relatives and strangers, countrymen, people of all countries and continents! Continue reading

How long to fly to Mars

The planet Mars is one of the brightest objects in our night sky, even visible to the naked eye and resembles a bright red star. About every two years, our planet and Mars is a maximum converging. Such an event in astronomy is called “confrontation”. At this point, Mars will be only fifty-five millions of miles from Earth. People capitalize on that by sending to the Red Planet during the confrontation spaceships. So how much to fly to Mars ?

The orbit of Mars and Earth

The complete journey from Earth to Mars takes between 150 to 300 days to allow for the speed run, the location of the planets and the length of the path, which must pass the spacecraft. In this case the dominant factor is only the amount of fuel. The more fuel, the faster it will take flight.

History of flights to Mars

The first ever space ship, committed trip Earth-Mars, was created by NASA’s Mariner 4. It was launched in late November 1964 and appeared on Mars July 14, 1965. Mariner 4 reached Mars in 228 days. Continue reading

The structure of comets

Unlike planets, comets move on highly elongated orbits, and therefore are visible only at short periods close to the Sun.

The main part of any comet is its nucleus .

According to the hypothesis of the famous American researcher of comets Fred Lawrence Whipple, cometary nucleus is an ice consisting of a mixture of frozen water and frozen gases interspersed with refractory rocky and metallic particles . Figuratively speaking, it looks like a “dirty iceberg”.

Let us imagine that we see the newly opened the comet, which is somewhere in the vicinity of Jupiter’s orbit. Seeing through the telescope hazy pale speck, like a spherical nebula (such unattractive are presented to the observer of a distant comet), we may be disappointed at first. With the approach of the comet to the Sun the solar flux increases. Comet “ice” begin to evaporate rapidly. Around the nucleus formed a vast glowing gas shell – coma. Together with the core of it is the head of the comet. Continue reading

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