He grew up in Grimsby building model aeroplanes and looking to the skies. A few short years later he was flying beyond the speed of sound in the world’s most advanced fighter plane - a jet he helped design. But Tom Smith’s ambitions did not end there. This son of sheet metal worker had his eyes on space. It was the early 1960s and the space race between the US and the Soviet Union was at its height. The Russians had put the first man, Yuri Gagarin, into orbit in 1961. Now, the Americans were dreaming of sending an astronaut to the Moon. But if Tom had his way, Britain would take over the lead in the space race and hold it for decades to come. He had designed the first space shuttle, “Mustard”, and it was light years ahead of anything the US or USSR could offer. Born to a trawler repairman Thomas William Smith was born in Grimsby on March 27 1927. His father was a sheet-metal worker who repaired trawlers for a living and no doubt gave his son his first taste of … [Read more...] about The Grimsby man who invented the space shuttle
Space shuttle launch
THE tragedy was witnessed by millions of Americans who watched on live television for the Challenger to make history. But why did the space shuttle break apart, and how many people died? Here's what we know about the 73-second doomed flight. When was the Challenger disaster? The NASA shuttle orbiter broke apart just 73 seconds into its flight on January 28, 1986, at 11.39am local time. It was the tenth flight the Space Shuttle Challenger had taken. The spacecraft fell apart off the coast of Cape Canaveral in Florida. The crew compartment ascended to an altitude of 12.3 miles before free-falling into the Atlantic Ocean. Why did the space shuttle break apart? The vehicle began disintegrating after a join in its right solid rocket booster (SRB) failed at liftoff. This was down to the unusually cold weather that the O-ring seals were not designed to handle. As the shuttle ascended, one of the seals opened enough to allow a plume of exhaust to leak out. Hot gases than bathed the cold … [Read more...] about When was the Challenger disaster, why did the space shuttle break apart and how many people died?
These eerie images show a pair of abandoned space shuttle in the Kazakhstan desert - once used to launch the first man into space. Baikonur Cosmodrome was the world's first and largest space launch facility with both Sputnik 1 and Vostok 1 were launched from it. Sputnik was the first man made Earth satellite and Vostok was the first manned spaceflight, piloted by Russian Yuri Gagarin in 1961. Now the facility sits partially abandoned and two shuttles sit gathering dust - they were from the Buran Space Program and include a test shuttle and one that was never used after the space program ended in 1993. These images were captured by Konstantin Kosmodemiansky, a blogger and photographer from Moscow who trekked 28km through the desert with his friends in order to capture the bizarre scene. With his five man team, Konstantin travelled 2,500km in total, in order to reach the site - travelling all the way from Moscow. The 21-year-old says that they had to turn off the cars lights when they … [Read more...] about Eerie images show pair of abandoned space shuttles at Sputnik launch site
John Young, NASA’s longest-serving astronaut, who flew in space six times, walked on the moon and commanded the first space shuttle flight, has died aged 87. NASA said Young passed away at his home in Houston, Texas on Friday night (Jan. 5) following complications from pneumonia. In a career spanning three generations and as many NASA space programs, Young flew twice to the Moon, walked on its surface and flew the first Space Shuttle mission. “Today, NASA and the world have lost a pioneer," NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot said in a statement, calling him the US space agency’s most experienced astronaut. Throughout his 42-year career, Young flew six times into space: twice during NASA's Gemini program in the 1960s, twice on the Apollo lunar missions and twice on space shuttles in the 1980s. He was the only person to fly on all three programs, and the ninth man to walk on the moon. He was also known for pulling out a corned beef sandwich … [Read more...] about John Young, US astronaut and space shuttle commander, dies
American astronaut John Young, who walked on the moon during Apollo 16 and commanded the first space shuttle mission, has died, NASA announced on Saturday. Young passed away from complications of pneumonia at the age of 87 on Friday. He completed six spaceflights during his career, which was a world record at the time of his retirement. He is the only person to go into space as part of the Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle programs. Read more: 2018: Highlights in Space During this career spanning three generations of spaceflight, he spent a total of 835 hours in space. In a post on Twitter, NASA called Young their "most experienced astronaut." "Today, NASA and the world have lost a pioneer," acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot said in a statement. "John Young was at the forefront of human space exploration with his poise, talent, and tenacity. He was in every way the 'astronaut's astronaut.'" Young was born in San Francisco California but grew up in … [Read more...] about US astronaut John Young who commanded first space shuttle mission dies