Astronomers from other times studied the stars, trying to understand the structure of the universe. However, until the mid-20th century, the study of the universe was limited to observation of a starry sky in the surface of the earth. In the second half of the 20th century, the styles you can into space. This possibility has opened a new stage in the study of the universe.
In its 50 year history of space pilots were launched quite a number of different spacecraft. Among them a huge number of artificial satellites, orbital stations, interplanetary space stations, and more. In the beginning try to understand the difference between different types of spacecraft.
Artificial satellite is an unmanned spacecraft orbiting the Earth in a geocentric orbit. The flights are performed at altitudes from 150 km to a few hundred thousand kilometers. The lower boundary of the altitude of satellites causes the need to avoid rapid deceleration in the atmosphere. The period of revolution of a satellite orbiting at an average altitude can be from half an hour up to several days. Of particular importance are the satellites in geostationary orbit, the period of circulation of which is strictly equal to the day and therefore for a ground observer, they hang motionless in the sky, allowing you to get rid of rotary devices the antennas.
Sputnikovogo for communication, navigation, carry out various scientific research, military purposes. The world’s first artificial Earth satellite launched in the USSR on 4 October 1957.
Automatic interplanetary station — unmanned space vehicle, intended for flight in interplanetary space, performing various tasks. Typical research tasks are other planets, their natural satellites, comets and other Solar system objects. This is usually done by Photographing, scanning of the topography; measured current parameters of magnetic field, radiation, temperature; the chemical composition of the atmosphere of another planet, soil and outer space near the planet; tested seismic characteristics of the planet.
The first automatic interplanetary station “Luna-1”, flying near the moon. The most famous AMC are the “Voyager”. “Venus”, “Moon”, “Mariner”, “Pioneer”, “Viking”, “Galileo”, “VEGA”.
Manned spacecraft— the spacecraft designed to deliver one or more people into outer space, perform the required tasks and safe return of crew to Earth. One of the most famous spaceships Appolon is the ship that brought the first men on the moon.
Space station — a spacecraft intended for long-term stay of humans in earth orbit for the purpose of conducting scientific research in space, exploration, observation of the surface and the planet’s atmosphere, astronomical observations. Artificial satellites from the Earth station with its crew, which periodically replaced by transport ships. In a number of space stations are Almaz, Salyut, SkyLab, Mir, ISS.
In plans at scientists ever more ambitious projects. Among such projects manned mission to Mars, lunar exploration, and many others. Every time looking back, we can only slightly imagine what an exciting future awaits us.