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10 more misconceptions about space, which are also ashamed to believe
10 more misconceptions about space, which are also ashamed to believe

Debunking myths about shuttles and "Buran", radiation on Mars and space debris.

10 more misconceptions about space, which are also ashamed to believe
10 more misconceptions about space, which are also ashamed to believe

The previous article on this topic caused a very heated discussion. So we exposed another batch of extremely common "facts".

1. Rockets fly vertically up

space myths
space myths

If you watch any film about space (for example, the same "Interstellar"), you will see how rockets just take off, rise higher and higher, drop spent stages - and now they are in orbit. Great, isn't it?

What really is. If you just fly up, sooner or later you will run out of fuel and you will fall back to Earth. To stay in orbit, the spacecraft needs to be given the first space velocity. Space velocities - for the Earth it is 7, 91 km / s. Then it will revolve around the planet and not fall.

In reality, spaceships only fly upward for the first few seconds. Then they begin to tilt, gradually gaining horizontal speed. So the flight is not in a straight line, but in an arc. Take a look at the CRS ‑ 4 photo of any long exposure rocket takeoff and see the actual trajectory.

2. Space debris is very dangerous

space myths
space myths

The film "Gravity" clearly showed what a terrible thing space debris is. Streams of small pieces of destroyed satellites spread first the Hubble, then the ISS and, finally, the Tiangong-1, and Sandra Bullock is saved by a miracle.

The US Space Observation Network reports to Orbital Debris, UCS Satellite Database, Space debris by the numbers that there are now about 20,000 artificial objects in orbit: 2,218 active satellites and more than 128 million pieces of space debris!

And as if this is not enough! Elon Musk intends SpaceX Wants to Launch 12,000 Satellites to launch 12,000 Starlink satellites into space to provide the world with cheap internet. The hour is not far off when the Earth will be completely surrounded by a layer of orbital debris, and space flights will become impossible.

What really is. The danger of space debris is somewhat exaggerated. For example, for the ISS, the risk of colliding with something is assessed by Space Safety is No Accident: The 7th IAASS Conference, Space Law: Basic Legal Documents, The Threat of Orbital Debris and Protecting NASA Space Assets from Satellite Collisions at 1 / 10,000. -Malsky large pieces of debris are easily tracked and easily avoided.

When in the films the Astronaut named the three most popular myths about space, showing how the station flies, at the last moment dodging fragments rushing towards it, this is nonsense.

Alexander Lazutkin cosmonaut

Finally, the last collision of a satellite with space debris occurred in the U. S. Satellite Destroyed in Space Collision in 2009, so you can see for yourself that this is a very rare event. Near-Earth space is huge, and the chances of colliding with the remains of spacecraft in it are minimal. So this ESA picture of Space Debris is just an artist's fantasy.

As for Elon Musk's satellites, they fly at very low altitudes. They will be able to stay in space for no more than five years, and then they will go out of orbit and burn FCC approves SpaceX's plan to operate Starlink satellites at lower altitude in the atmosphere without a trace. Despite the fact that each "microsatellite" from a pack of 60 pieces (and this is how much Falcon 9 launches into orbit) Starlink Mission weighs 260 kg.

So don't worry, space debris isn't nearly as scary as it is commonly believed.

3. We will not fly to Mars due to radiation

space myths
space myths

Many are skeptical about the plans to conquer Mars from the same Elon Musk, and here's why. Space is full of radiation. Its main source in our system is the Sun, but it also arrives fairly from distant stars. On Earth, we are protected by a magnetic field, but in open space and on Mars there is no such protection. So the first Martian settlers will inevitably die.

It's strange that Musk doesn't think about it, but he is not a technical specialist Rogozin doubted SpaceX's ability to surpass the Russian Federation in rocket engines, right?

What really is. NASA's MARS Odyssey probe using a device called MARIE (Martian Radiation Experiment), as well as the Curiosity rover, studied MARS Odyssey, First radiation measurements from the surface of Mars, Measurements of Energetic Particle Radiation in Transit to Mars on the Mars Science Laboratory radiation environment in Mars orbit. It turned out that the constant radiation level there is 2.5 times higher than that on the ISS. On the surface, the phonite is not so strong: the average dose is about 0.67 millisievert (mSv) (for comparison: in orbit - 1.8 mSv).

This is a lot, but it is impossible to say that the astronauts who flew to Mars will certainly die. NASA says Mars' Surface Radiation Environment Measured with the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity Rover, How Much Radiation Would You Get During A Mars Mission ?, How Bad is the Radiation on Mars? that if people spend 500 days on this planet, plus they spend 180 days on the way there and the same amount on the return, the cosmic background radiation will increase their risk of cancer by 5%. For comparison: on the ISS, the risk is 3%. In general, astronauts, even those that flew to the moon, did not experience serious consequences. Contrapositive logic suggests space radiation not having a strong impact on mortality of US astronauts and Soviet and Russian cosmonauts of radiation.

NASA has many projects to protect spacecraft from radiation - for example, shielding the crew with special tanks Real Martians: How to Protect Astronauts from Space Radiation on Mars with water. A flight to Mars will not be very good for health, but people went for the sake of science and at great sacrifices.

4. The Great Wall of China seen from the moon

space myths
space myths

Such a funny "fact" is cited in many popular science articles. The Great Wall of China is the only man-made object visible from the moon with the naked eye. Built so built.

What really is. Here is a photograph of Apollo 11 Mission Image - View of Moon Limb, with Earth on the Horizon of the Earth, taken from the surface of the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission. Or here's another image of Crescent Earth and the U. S. Flag taken during the landing of the Apollo 17 crew. Do you think you can see something at a distance of 384,400 km?

NASA officially announced China's Wall Less Great in View from Space that the Chinese Wall is not visible from the moon.

The only thing that you can see from the Moon is a beautiful sphere, mostly white, with tints of blue and yellow, as well as a little green. No man-made object will be visible at this scale.

Alan Bean, Apollo 12 astronaut

Sometimes the Moon is not mentioned and they simply say: "The Great Wall of China is the only object that can be seen from space." And from there, in theory, not only the wall is visible: the astronauts of the ISS notice and photograph the cities.

But the Chinese cosmonaut Yang Liwei in his ISS010 ‑ E ‑ 8497 images was never able to capture the wall. Although at least she is present on the Great Wall of China on the radar images. So this is far from the most noticeable object on the planet.

5. The shuttles were very unreliable

space myths
space myths

In 2011, the NASA managers approve STS-135 mission planning for June 28, 2011 launched the Atlantis shuttle. Since then, the Americans have been roaming into space, buying out seats on Russian Soyuz, and their manned Dragon Crew and Starliner should begin flying only this year.

Why were shuttles - so progressive and reusable - abandoned? Naturally, due to their low reliability and accident rate. It's no joke - during the space shuttle flights, Engineer who warned of 1986 Challenger disaster still racked with guilt, three decades on, Columbia Crew Survival Investigation Report 14 people died on them.

What really is. Just a few numbers. In its history, five shuttles have made NASA's Space Shuttle By the Numbers: 30 Years of a Spaceflight Icon 135 flights, of which two ended in disaster: the 10th flight for the Challenger and the 28th for the Columbia were the last.

But, for comparison, the Soyuz spacecraft for 2011 made 116 flights, two of which ended in crashes.

The shuttles brought NASA's Space Shuttle By the Numbers: 30 Years of a Spaceflight Icon into space 355 people from different countries, and back they delivered 789 (they often took crew members who flew there on Soyuz from the ISS). In total, they spent 8,280 days in orbit and brought into space 1,593,759 kg of payload and 180 satellites, and even built most of the ISS.

We abandoned the shuttles due to their high cost. The cost of the 30-year program was Space Shuttle Era Facts $ 113.7 billion.

To drive into orbit underloaded monsters, capable of sending up to eight people and 24 tons of cargo in one launch, turned out to be too expensive even for NASA.

6. "Buran" could take off from the back of the An-225

space myths
space myths

By the way, more about the shuttles. Everyone knows that the USSR had its own shuttle called "Buran". He made his first and only Largest spacecraft to orbit and land unmanned flight in 1988.

Unlike the shuttles that used the Space Shuttle. The History of the National Space Transportation System: The First 100 Missions reusable solid-fuel boosters, "Buran" flew bolted to the super-heavy rocket "Energia", which was irretrievably lost TRIUMPH AND THE TRAGEDY OF "ENERGY", Soviet Buran Space Shuttle, Soviet copy of the shuttle - reusable space shuttle a system with an OS-120 orbital aircraft in progress.

But "Buran" had every chance to become cheaper than shuttles. After all, it was planned to launch it into space, lifting it into the air on the back of the An-225 - the famous Mriya. It is much more efficient and economical.

What really is."Buran" did not know how to take off. Those who came up with this bike, apparently, confused it with the projected, but abandoned spaceplane "Spiral" Air-Orbital Plane (VOS) "Spiral". The Mriya would never have had the speed and power to send a huge shuttle into suborbital flight.

The myth was born from the photograph of Antonov An-225 Mriya - Antonov Design Bureau, where the Buran is transported on the back of the An-225. The Shuttle in Mate ‑ Demate Device being Loaded onto SCA ‑ 747 - Side View and shuttles on the Boeing 747SCA were transported in the same way.

7. Astronauts eat everything from tubes

space myths
space myths

Everyone who is even a little interested in astronautics knows that you can't eat from a plate in an airless space: food in a state of weightlessness scatters throughout the ship. Therefore, astronauts eat from tubes similar to those in which toothpaste is sold.

What really is. It really was like that before. Gagarin, for example, ate the contents of three tubes of History of Nutrition in Space Flight: Overview in orbit: two with ground cooked meat, one with chocolate. Americans also ate Food For Space Flight from tubes, and also consumed solid food in the form of small pieces from plastic containers.

And the members of the Gemini 3 crew took Gemini 3 Fact Sheet, Gemini 3 with corned beef sandwiches with them and covered the ship with crumbs, which caused NASA's disapproval.

But now tubes are almost never used (only for seasonings and juices). Instead, astronauts eat History of Nutrition in Space Flight: Overview, Assessment of the Long-Term Stability of Retort Pouch Foods to Support Extended Duration Spaceflight, Space Food, Space Food convenience foods, fruits, freeze-dried food from bags and canned food. And on the ISS, Mexican tortillas are popular at Chris Hadfield's Space Kitchen.

8. In a black hole, you can see the end of the universe

space myths
space myths

If an astronaut crosses the event horizon of a black hole and is not torn apart by tidal forces (this is theoretically possible What would you see in a black hole? In supermassive black holes), then, falling to the singularity, he will see the future of the Universe and even its end. It’s a pity, he won’t be able to tell anyone exactly what will happen.

What really is. In general, we can only theorize about black holes so far. But physicists believe that in them you are unlikely to be able to look at anything. Black Holes: Complementarity or Firewalls ?, Black Hole Firewalls Confound Theoretical Physicists, 10 Questions You Might Have About Black Holes are either tidal forces or streams of high-energy quanta. Even if you are invulnerable Clark Kent and manage to fly right up to the singularity, no trip to the future will happen to the end of the universe. Is it possible to see the infinite future of the Universe when falling into a black hole ?, Can one see the infinite future of the universe when falling to Kerr and Reissner ‑ Nordström black holes? …

9. The first in space was the Soviet "Sputnik-1"

space myths
space myths

Anyone knows that the very first man-made device sent into space was our Soviet Sputnik-1, or the Simplest Satellite, launched by Korolev in 1957. He joyfully "chirped" from orbit about the beginning of the space age, and this signal was received by radio amateurs from all over the world.

What really is. Sputnik-1 was the first to enter a stable near-earth orbit, that is, it picked up a speed of 7, 91 km / s. But it was not he who was in outer space before anyone else, but the German V-2 rocket, which rose by The rocket and the reich: Peenemünde and the coming of the ballistic missile era in 1944 to an altitude of 188 km in suborbital flight. She was the first to overcome the Karman line (100 km above sea level), after which, in fact, the Presentation of the Karman separation line begins, used as the boundary separating Aeronautics and Astronautics space.

10. A land without oceans looks like this

If you think the Earth is perfectly round, you are wrong. It actually has the shape shown in the animation. This is how our planet looks if we temporarily remove all oceans from it. Doesn't quite look like a ball, does it?

This animation is found in many popular science communities on social networks. And this is definitely not a fake, because the image of the real shape of the Earth was created by Earth's gravity revealed in unprecedented detail by scientists from the European Space Agency ESA.

Actually. The picture was really created by specialists from ESA. But this is not the shape of the Earth. What you see in the image is called a geoid. Roughly speaking, this is a model of the gravity field of our planet. Earth's gravity field is patchy New Gravity Map Reveals Lumpy Earth, Don’t be fooled by a viral-g.webp" />

Thinking that the gravity model and the actual shape of the planet are the same is as ridiculous as believing that the Bump Map shows the Earth in its true colors.

If you want to know what our planet would really look like without oceans, seas and other water - take a look at this picture. It was created by All of Earth's Water in a single sphere! hydrologist Howard Perlman of the US Geological Survey; and illustrator Jack Cook of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

space myths
space myths

Here is our Earth, the blue ball next to it is all the liquid from it, the smaller sphere is fresh water, and the tiny dot below is water from lakes and rivers.

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