Five interesting facts about space travel

The first time man ventured into space was in 1961. The Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s first flight to space involved just one orbit of our planet before he returned to Earth’s surface in his Vostok 1 spacecraft. And if you’re wondering what the difference is between a cosmonaut and an astronaut, Well, cosmonauts are people trained and certified by the Russian Space Agency to work in space. Astronauts are people trained and certified to work in space by NASA, ESA (the European Space Agency), CSA (The Canadian Space Agency), or JAXA (The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency).
Spending a long time in space can affect the human body in a negative way. The mass of bones and muscle tissue decrease, and this means that when an astronaut returns to earth, he or she may have trouble standing for a period of time.
Who’s been in space the longest? Well, the Russian Valeri Polyakov currently holds the record for the most time spent in space on one single mission. He was up there among the stars for 437 days on the Mir space station from 1994 to 1995.
How fast do space rockets go? The highest speed ever reached by humans was by the crew of Apollo 10. Their capsule of Apollo 10 reached 39,897 kilometres per hour when they were on their way back from the Moon in 1969. But the fastest unmanned flight so far has been the Parker Solar Probe which reached a speed of 466,592 km/h relative to the sun. This was on 27 September 2020.
Of course, we’ve sent spacecraft a lot further from the earth than the moon since 1969. The Voyager 1 spacecraft is currently the farthest from Earth. At about 150 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun, and it takes more than 40 hours to send a command and get a response back. That’s still faster than getting an email reply from my internet provider. Voyager 1 is currently over 21 billion kilometres from Earth.

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