Spaceflight is the movement of spacecraft into and through outer space, primarily using rocket technology for propulsion. Spaceflight is used in space exploration, the endeavour to reach, explore, and exploit the space outside the Earth's atmosphere, and also in commercial activities like space tourism and satellite telecommunications. It is generally based on the use of rockets to transport machines, animals, and humans to, and subsequently through, space. Additional non-commercial uses of spaceflight include space observatories, reconnaissance satellites and other earth observation satellites. Objects launched into space may follow a sub-orbital trajectory and return to Earth immediately, stay in orbit around Earth, travel in the space between the planets, or aim to leave the space dominated by the Sun completely.
Robert Laurel "Bob" Crippen
(born September 11, 1937), (Capt
, Ret.), is a retired American naval officer
, test pilot
, aerospace engineer
, and former astronaut
for the United States Department of Defense
and for NASA
An aviator with the U.S. Navy, Crippen was originally chosen to the U.S. Air Force's Manned Orbiting Laboratory program, a project involving a military space station, in 1966. When that project was canceled in 1969, Crippen was transferred to NASA. He was selected as pilot of the first Space Shuttle mission, STS-1, along with commander John Young, which he flew on April 12-14, 1981, on the orbiter Columbia.
Crippen would likewise become the first Shuttle pilot to be promoted to commander, leading the STS-7 mission on orbiter Challenger in June 1983. He would command two other missions (STS-41-C and STS-41-G) in 1984. He was training for another mission when the Challenger disaster occurred, and was re-assigned as Deputy Director of Kennedy Space Center in 1987.
Crippen would serve as the Director of Kennedy Space Center from January 1992 until January 1995, when he left NASA. He would hold executive positions at Lockheed Martin and Thiokol before retiring in 2001.
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On This Day
Did you know...
...that the original videos of the Apollo 11 astronauts walking on the Moon (pictured) were lost after the mission, and were reported to have been found in June 2009?
- ...that the Vostok 4 mission was shortened because cosmonaut Pavel Romanovich Popovich accidentally told flight controllers that he was "observing thunderstorms". This was a coded signal requesting an abort because the cosmonaut was feeling ill, however Popovich was actually trying to inform ground controllers that he could see thunderstorms from space.
- ...that the backup crew of Apollo 11 consisted of Jim Lovell, Bill Anders and Fred Haise, although after Anders announced his intention to retire, Ken Mattingly was also assigned in case the mission was delayed until after Anders had left? The backup crew, with Mattingly replacing Anders, was later assigned to Apollo 13.