space missions


Space Missions: Learning From the Mistakes (Spring 2018)

Over sixty years ago, a ground-breaking advancement was made in the world of astronomy. The first ever satellite to be successfully sent into space was launched by the Soviet Union, opening new doors into the study of space. Continuous adaptations to the field of study led to bigger achievements. Within a year of the first satellite launch, the Soviet Union launched the first human being in spaceflight. With many successes in the history of space exploration, there has also been a fair share of failures. When looking back on the causes of failed missions, we are often able to investigate and identify what specifically caused it to be unsuccessful. How have the failed space missions of the past allowed the science of space travel to evolve into the progressive field of science that it is today? We have been able to grow and learn from the mistakes that were made and use it to create successful missions in the future. Every past failure has led to the positive steps being taken in the study of space travel today.



To Infinity and Beyond: Space Missions Through the Ages (Winter 2018)

The 20th century embraced many great firsts, including the first person in space in 1961, the first person on the moon in 1969, and the first space shuttle launch in 1981. It also included the launch of space missions Voyager 1 and 2 which have been traveling through space for over 40 years. Current missions to the International Space Station help us perceive Earth from outer space, whereas, Curiosity enables us to physically explore the surface of Mars. With each new mission, novel discoveries and ambition push the boundaries of how far humans and technology can travel in space. But how do we know that the space missions conducted to date have influenced scientific discoveries and technologies that are currently being developed for upcoming space expeditions?

The answer to this question can be found by exploring a collection of the most famous space missions conducted in the past, some of the highly anticipated space missions that are currently underway, and certain missions taking place on space stations. Lastly, the upcoming space missions at SpaceX, a private American aerospace manufacturer, and space transport services company, provides us with insight into the future of space travel.



Courtesy of Willow Gabriel, Goldstein Lab

Space: The Microbial Frontier (Fall 2017)

As humanity looks towards the future of interplanetary space missions, the understanding of microbiology is of utmost importance. If there are no considerations towards microbiology in space, a virus could lead towards hazardous conditions for an astronaut. Further understandings of the effects of space on microbiology will give us more insight on the probability of life on other planets and in between.  This page provides details of what is known about microbial life in spacecraft, how microorganisms could survive in space and harsh extraterrestrial planets and the theory of panspermia which asks the pertinent question of whether life originated elsewhere in the universe. With this information we are left with a question—How do we know that life can exist in space?



Courtesy of Alexa Woroniuk

Space Travel: Past, Present, and Future (Winter 2017)

The journey to becoming an astronaut is long. Many educational, physical and mental requirements must be met and one must be willing to endure the effects of space life and travel. An astronaut must learn how to prepare for life in space, what life is like in space, and how space travel affects their body physically and mentally. It takes a great amount of skill and preparation to become an astronaut, and the future of space travel becomes brighter and more exciting each day. Combining our knowledge of past missions and current studies, we can investigate what the future holds for astronauts.