Feature Article: Space Heroes: Journey Of Astronauts 

by | Mar 7, 2022 | Featured Article | 0 comments

What Is An Astronaut?

Astronaut comes from the Greek words “star” and “sailor.” An astronaut is a scientist that has undergone training to fly into space in a spaceship. He studies heavenly bodies like asteroids, planets, Moon, etc., and the Earth’s atmosphere. He comes from the United States, Europe, Canada, and Japan and is funded by these countries.

History of Astronauts

In the 1780s, the term astronauts were maybe inspired by the term astronaut, which refers to a hot air balloon traveler. Later in the 1930s, an astronaut in the stories and poems refers to people traveling in spacecraft.     

Other countries like Russia use the term “cosmonaut” to people who travel into space. The word kosmos means space in Russia. On the other hand, Chinese space travelers are called “taikonauts” in China.

In the 1950s and early 1960s, the United States and the Soviet Union had a cold war that was always on the horizon. The two giants, the United States and the Soviet Union, had different ideologies, challenged each other, and transcended into a space race. The U.S. government wanted to have a human walk on the Moon. Their mission was completed when Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins walked onto the Moon, the peak of the space race.   

However, the funding of the space missions was running low. The U.S. and Russia collaborated and opened up Mir space station to welcome astronauts from all nations. Together, they made specific space endeavors making a new era of space travel. Later, the Mir was changed to the International Space Station (ISS), a scientific laboratory to conduct experiments, collect samples, form spacewalks, and maintain equipment. Subsequently, the station was separated from one station of Russia, another for the United States, and other nationals. 

Facts of Astronauts

Astronauts need to wear diapers. These diapers are particular types of diapers called “Maximum Absorbency Garments” for hygiene purp[oses. Astronauts wear heavy equipment and suits, so it is not easy for them to go to toilets, especially when they complete long spacewalks. Since space travel came from the collaborative effort, astronauts have to study Russian manuals to understand the International Space Station on the side of Russia. 

Astronauts have to exercise for at least two hours every day in space because they have to maintain muscle mass and bone density. It is important to exercise because bone and muscle loss will decrease their size and strength. They become weak, which reduces the astronauts’ ability to work. Astronauts become 3% taller in microgravity, but their height returns to normal within three to four months when they return to Earth.

The selection of astronauts takes a long process. Astronauts are top of their class with high degrees, stamina, fitness, experience, and intelligence. Applicants are about 18,000, but only 14 candidates are chosen for the training. Complete astronaut Training lasts about eighteen months.  

Tears do not roll down to their faces in outer space because of the zero-gravity but form globules. If there are itches on the face, they use a small velcro inside the helmet to scratch. 

Since the astronauts need space suits to stay alive, they have only 15 seconds to change. Without a spacesuit, you will freeze, and you will die of asphyxiation because you will be left with no air in your lungs, making your lungs rapture.      

How Do Astronauts Feel in Space?

You feel nervous and worried when climbing into the space shuttle and sitting on a launchpad. Once the 7million pounds of explosive rocket fuel takes off, you will tell yourself that this is a great ride and the view is excellent. 

Being an astronaut is challenging, and at the same time, it’s scary. The emotional impact is great of being away from your planet is hypnagogic and overwhelming. 

Space travelers have to adjust to the environment. Sometimes they feel giddy, weak, sleepy, upset stomach, loss of appetite, and lose their sense of time for a while, but their bodies will adapt in a few days. 

Astronauts have to continue working and to go on with their lives. Astronauts read through the Story of astronauts living on the Moon, still living normally, eating, drinking, going to the bathroom, and keeping themselves clean and healthy. Food may not taste the same in space because it tastes bland when you are in orbit. The astronauts do not shower on the ISS but rather use liquid soap and water from pouches onto their skin and rinseless shampoo. Then they use towels to wipe off the excess water. 

Astronauts Are Phenomenal

Armstrong changed the course of history; as the commander of Apollo 11, he was the first human who landed on the Moon. He fulfilled a mission fulfilling President John F. Kennedy’s goal of landing humans on the Moon and returning them safely to Earth. It opened a modern era of space exploration.  

Astronauts continue to build bridges between two different worlds. Astronauts are the new heroes and legends of the world.

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