Space exploration, being very fascinating, it is extremely costly as well. NASA has a fiscal year budget of $21.6 billion this year. With this much higher budget, space technology has better chances to grow. Our everyday usage like cell phones and smart speakers may already seem advanced to us, but this is nothing in comparison to the intricacies of space technology. Space technology has invested these few machines to explore the universe.
1. The Hubble Space Telescope
This telescope has been one of the most successful advances in space exploration, Ever since its launch in 1990. Being 569 km above the Earth’s surface, this technology can avoid atmospheric distortion. It allows it to bring thousands of jaw-dropping images back to Earth. Moreover, it has helped to explain many of the greatest space mysteries. It has been helping us to determine the age of the universe.
This telescope has shown us the existence of dark energy, discovered planets, quasars and much more. The antennae on the telescope send and receives the information to the Goddard Space Flight Centre. By taking the help of satellites, the engineers can communicate with it by sending commands.
This telescope has two main computers and numerous smaller systems. One computer is responsible for some commands that control the whole telescope while the other communicates to other instruments, receives their data and sends those data to satellites which transmit this information to the Centre.
2. Spacesuit Technology
A spacesuit weighs over 300 lbs and its creation can cost $22 million. These suits are very technologically advanced. Spacesuits help us to exist in extreme temperatures and conditions in which humans would normally not be able to survive in for more than a couple of seconds.
Moreover, they provide us with oxygen supply to breathe while in space and contain water to drink during spacewalks. These suits can also protect our astronauts from various injuries like space dust, radiation in space, bright sunlight and it allows them to walk on surfaces with restricted gravitational conditions. Without these suits, we can not walk on any other terrestrial planets.
3. The Kepler Space Telescope
This telescope was only expected to last three to four years but it ended up lasting for almost ten years. This telescope was built to find planets outside our solar system which are similar to Earth. During this time, it revealed around 4,500 planets and planet candidates.
For about nine years in space, Kepler faced the constellation. This telescope Cygnus for four years which is the cause where many of these planets and stars discovered. Kepler also discovered a few exoplanets (planets which orbit stars outside our Solar System) by watching for dimming stars as planets passed in front of them.
Kepler’s greatest achievement was to discover how diverse our universe is. Sometimes planets would even orbit multiple stars like we have seen in the Star Wars Universe. In the absence of telescopes such as these, humans would not be able to see what’s beyond our vicinity.
In reality, the furthest that a human has ever travelled from our home planet is about 400,171 km. This telescopes, Hubble, can see up to 13 billion light-years into space which is unbelievable as one light-year is approximately 9.46 trillion kilometres in the distance.
4. International Space Station (ISS)
The ISS is the largest and most expensive technology that has ever been built in the discovery. It is weighing almost a million pounds and it costs approximately $160 billion to date. This high-tech technology can allow its passengers to travel at five miles per second. So that it would only take 90 minutes to orbit the Earth.
It allows up to six spaceships to connect to the station at once. As space technology is a very advanced technology, it takes a lot of work to maintain as well. Around 50 computers control the systems on the space station. More than three million lines of software code on the ground support for 1.5 million lines of flight software code. These space expenditures are costly, but they are very rewarding.
The ISS serves as a science laboratory and due to that, we are learning more about the effects of space on the human body, in both manner i.e. physically and psychologically.
Space technology is still fighting to find out more secrets of the universe. It is a little expensive and hardworking task but our scientists won’t lose hope!
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