Summary of The Technologies That Revolutionized Space Exploration | Zenith Compilation | Spark

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The video discusses the revolutionary impact of the Hubble Space Telescope on space exploration, detailing the telescope's confirmation of the existence of black holes and its ability to view light from galaxies farther than ever before. Despite early manufacturing errors and subsequent repairs, the telescope has become instrumental in capturing historic observations such as the Deep Field survey. However, its gyroscopes are deteriorating, and its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, is set to launch soon. The video also touches on the evolution of telecommunications satellites, the use of laser technology for data transmission, and discusses the programming and gathering of data from spacecraft during space exploration. Additionally, the video describes the construction and installation of various modules of the International Space Station, including the Unity Node, Russian habitation module, and Destiny module, and mentions the challenges faced following the Columbia disaster.

  • 00:00:00 In this section, the video discusses the revolutionary impact of the Hubble Space Telescope on space exploration. It confirmed the existence of black holes, viewed light from galaxies farther than ever before, and provided stunning images of the universe. However, the Earth's atmosphere distorted telescope images, leading to the development of orbiting telescopes starting in 1966. Plans for a large orbiting telescope began in the 1970s, with the Hubble Space Telescope eventually launching in 1990. The unique relationship between Hubble and the space shuttle allowed for five subsequent maintenance visits, which were crucial in extending Hubble's lifespan and capabilities.
  • 00:05:00 In this section, we learn about the initial disappointment upon the revealing of the Hubble Space Telescope's first images due to a manufacturing error, and how it was fixed during a risky repair mission. This mission, which began in December 1993 and lasted for nine days, included replacing the telescope's solar panels, installing a new wide field planetary camera, and adding a corrective device called Co-Star, among other modifications. Despite some difficulties, the repair mission was successful and the result was a powerful new tool for astronomers. Hubble became instrumental in capturing the first-ever collision between bodies in the solar system, the Comet Shoemaker Levy 9's crash into Jupiter in July 1994.
  • 00:10:00 In this section, we learn about the Hubble spacecraft, which functions as a telescope and must be controlled with utmost accuracy. With no thrusters to move, Hubble uses four reaction control wheels to rotate and move in any direction. Hubble also has three fine guidance sensors and six gyroscopes to lock onto bright guide stars, detect wobble in motion, and register its orientation, respectively. Despite technical difficulties like a memory problem, zero gyro, and the issue of running out of numbers to count, Hubble still managed to achieve historic observations, such as the Deep Field survey, which looked back in time at the formation of new galaxies more than 13 billion years ago.
  • 00:15:00 In this section, the video discusses the upgrades and limitations of the Hubble Space Telescope, which was built to explore distant galaxies and cosmic phenomena. The telescope was fitted with equipment during the next servicing mission to upgrade its performance in the near-infrared part of the spectrum, but it had limitations even with enhancements. Engineers planned for a new larger telescope known as the Next Generation Space Telescope that could explore the most distant parts of the universe, but Hubble was still being refitted with the latest technology. Hubble's last servicing mission was in 2009 and was the most complex mission to deliver the longest possible life for the telescope. It was rebuilt with new fine guidance sensors, all gyroscopes were replaced, and a new set of batteries were fitted.
  • 00:20:00 In this section of the video, the Hubble telescope's significance is highlighted along with its eventual mechanical problems that have begun to occur. Scientists continue to receive images of awe-inspiring space landscapes, like the Eagle Nebula and Stefan's quintet, using the telescope. However, the gyroscopes that allow the telescope to operate are slowly deteriorating, meaning that more and more spares are required to keep it functioning correctly. While Hubble is expected to function until the 2020s, its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, is now completed and undergoing checks before launch. This telescope, built in collaboration by NASA and the European and Canadian space agencies, will be protected by a very thin sun shield and operate from a stable position 1.5 million kilometers from the night side of Earth, working to expand upon Hubble's work.
  • 00:25:00 In this section, the video discusses the challenges faced in communication during the early days of space exploration, particularly with regards to tracking and maintaining communication with spacecrafts. For example, during the Mercury program, 18 different tracking and communication posts were set up to maintain communication with John Glenn's spacecraft, and tracking ships were deployed to maintain communication as the spacecraft crossed the ocean. Similarly, the Soviets faced communication challenges due to the lack of tracking ships and their terrestrial stations all being in the Soviet Union. To address communication challenges, space powers began developing larger, more sensitive dishes with powerful transmission capabilities for deep space missions, while smaller dishes were deemed adequate for satellites in low earth orbit.
  • 00:30:00 In this section, the video discusses the evolution of telecommunications satellites that revolutionized the space industry. It starts with the launch of project Echo, an inflatable satellite in 1960 that acted as a simple reflector for telephone signals. This technology progressed with the first electronic relay satellite built by the U.S phone company in 1962 called Telstar. Although Telstar's low orbit limited its accessibilities, it marked the beginning of the most profitable industry today, as multiple satellites were launched in equatorial orbit at geosynchronous altitudes for improved communications and weather forecasting. The International Telecommunications Union coordinates the positioning and frequency allocations, and end-of-life satellites have to boost into a graveyard orbit to avoid overcrowding. In addition, there are specialized data relay platforms that provide continuous links to satellites such as TEDRIS, supporting International Space Station and Hubble Telescope operations.
  • 00:35:00 In this section, the use of laser technology for data transmission between spacecraft is discussed. While conventional radio links are 30 times slower than laser communications, weather-related issues can make it difficult to establish reliable connections. However, the European Data Relay System (EDRS) has successfully commercialized the use of optical communications between spacecraft, with a data transfer rate of 1.8 gigabits per second. The Copernicus program, which collects continuous data about changes in the Earth's surface, is a major beneficiary of this system, as it relies on several Sentinel satellites that are in low north-south orbits. Additionally, the section talks about SpaceX's Starlink broadband internet service, which aims to launch 12,000 new small satellites in low Earth orbit, cross-linked via high-speed lasers. The satellites can adjust their orbits autonomously to avoid collisions and are pushed away from the booster by springs. The use of phased array links and hall effect thrusters in these satellites is also discussed.
  • 00:40:00 In this section, the video discusses SpaceX's ambitious Starlink satellite internet project. The company plans to launch 11,927 satellites orbiting at seven different heights and take advantage of its own drive to reduce expensive launch services by building its own satellites and rockets. Recovering first stage boosters has become routine and protective fairings are now fitted with steerable parachutes for retrieval and reuse, cutting launch costs. Starlink's improved latency is expected to give better figures than fiber optic connections on the ground, making it attractive for high-frequency trading. However, astronomers are not happy about the huge number of satellites soon to be in orbit, and survey telescopes have recorded images marred by Starlink satellites, rendering certain observation times unproductive.
  • 00:45:00 In this section, the video discusses the challenges faced in programming and gathering data from spacecraft during space exploration. The New Horizons probe, launched in 2006, encountered Pluto in 2015 and had at least 16 different science objectives, all pre-programmed. With the spacecraft traveling at more than 49,000 kilometers per hour, there could be no last-minute corrections, and signals from Earth took close to four and a half hours to reach the probe. Despite the challenges presented by the vast distance, New Horizons succeeded in gathering data on Pluto and other objects in the Kuiper belt, making history as the first probe to target an unknown body when it was launched. The International Space Station is also discussed as a triumph of international collaboration, despite initial problems and the threat of being scrapped during its planning phase.
  • 00:50:00 In this section, the video describes how the Soviet Union's Mir space station gained valuable experience in microgravity and on-orbit construction with extended duration space flights. After the Challenger disaster, NASA's shuttle fleet was grounded, and space station Freedom remained on the drawing board, while the Soviet Union's Roscosmos' budget was significantly reduced, and they were unable to launch two newly completed modules. NASA began working with Roscosmos on the Shuttle-Mir program to gain expertise in long-duration space flight, and the Russians would benefit from an injection of funds. Eventually, the International Space Station was formed, and the first module Zarya was delivered to orbit in November 1998, setting the orbit for the space station. However, NASA had to deal with the problem of reaching the steeper inclination of 50 degrees, which required additional power or a redesign of the cargo bay.
  • 00:55:00 In this section, the transcript excerpts detail the construction and installation of various modules of the International Space Station, starting with the connection of the Unity Node to the Zarya control module and the arrival of the Russian habitation module 18 months later. The Destiny module, equipped with 13 international standard payload racks, was also installed later on, providing more capabilities for the ISS. However, construction was suspended for more than two years following the Columbia disaster, and replacement crews were cut to two members, with the Russian Progress freighter as the only method of delivering supplies to the ISS.

01:00:00 - 02:00:00

The video discusses the various technologies that have revolutionized space exploration, from the development of the International Space Station (ISS) and private companies like SpaceX providing resupplies, to the evolution of spacesuit technology for high altitude flights and space exploration. It also covers the challenges faced during the Gemini program and the development of the A7L suit for the Apollo missions, as well as the important role of launchers in space exploration and the development of rocket technology, including the Delta IV heavy and the Falcon 9. SpaceX's fleet of rockets designed for reusability has drastically reduced the cost of launching humans and equipment into space.

  • 01:00:00 In this section, the video discusses the development and construction of the International Space Station (ISS). After years of construction, the ISS was essentially completed in 2011 and consists of 16 pressurized modules with enough space for laboratories, storage, and habitation areas. Power is generated through eight solar array wings that track the sun and supplies are regularly delivered through unmanned cargo craft like the Russian Progress and Japanese JAXA. The video also notes the role of private companies in providing resupplies, with the Cygnus freighter visiting the ISS for the first time in 2014 following the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011.
  • 01:05:00 In this section, the transcript excerpts focus on the technologies that have revolutionized space exploration. The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft, which can return significant loads back to the ground, makes it easy to bring experimental materials from the ISS to an earth-based laboratory within two days of leaving low earth orbit. SpaceX is also developing a manned Dragon which can carry astronauts to low earth orbit. The International Space Station (ISS) is a hub for research and is equipped with a range of technologies that are used for experiments to study fluid dynamics, material science, human biology, plant development in microgravity, and other areas of interest. Astronauts complain about vision deterioration and other health issues caused by prolonged weightlessness, so regular blood sampling and ultrasound examination of eyes are done. Additionally, the ISS periodically requires maintenance and repair work that is carried out by the astronauts using specific spacesuits designed for spacewalks, such as the American EMU and Russian Orlan.
  • 01:10:00 In this section, the dangers of space exploration are explored, including an incident where water leaked into an astronaut's spacesuit during a spacewalk. The process of returning to Earth is also detailed, from undocking the Soyuz craft to landing in Kazakhstan and the physical toll it takes on the human body. The importance of spacesuits in protecting astronauts from the vacuum of space and allowing freedom of movement is discussed, along with the evolution of this technology from early aviation pressure suits.
  • 01:15:00 In this section, the transcript describes the development of pressure suits for high altitude flights and space exploration. Aviator Wiley Post and tire maker BF Goodrich invented the first pressure suit for aviation, which was later used in military aircraft and bombers flying at high altitudes. In the 1950s, partial pressure suits became common for aircrew flying at high speeds and altitudes. The U2 spy plane, which flew reconnaissance missions over the Soviet Union, required a partial pressure suit to protect pilots from conditions such as sudden depressurization. The X-15 rocket-powered aircraft, which set altitude and speed records for a powered aircraft, required a new full pressure flight suit known as the xmc-2. The first space suit was worn by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, while American test pilots were preparing to be the first Americans to go into space as part of the Mercury program.
  • 01:20:00 In this section, the transcript discusses the development of the spacesuit during the early stages of space exploration. Initially, NASA modified the Navy's Aviation pressure suit for space travel. However, its limitations became apparent when the Gemini program was introduced. Longer missions, the need for greater comfort, and the ability to leave the spacecraft made a new type of suit necessary. The Soviet space program was also making great strides, including the achievement of the first spacewalk by Alexei Leonov. However, his spacesuit design caused it to expand to the point of preventing him from re-entering the spacecraft. These early struggles paved the way for advancements in spacesuit technology that continue to be used in space exploration today.
  • 01:25:00 In this section, the transcript excerpts discuss the challenges faced during the Gemini program in the mid-1960s, which aimed to achieve Rendezvous and long duration flight, as well as develop new technologies for space exploration. However, these missions were often only partially successful due to problems with the new systems, and training for spacewalks was limited to brief periods of weightlessness on an aircraft or a special jig. The final Gemini flight succeeded in demonstrating that an astronaut in a spacesuit could do meaningful work in space, giving NASA the confidence to move forward with the Apollo program despite its delays and developmental problems. A new spacesuit was being developed for later Moon missions, but it was not ready for the first manned mission in Apollo 1.
  • 01:30:00 In this section, the video explains the challenges around creating a spacesuit that could be used on the moon during the Apollo missions. After the tragedy of the Apollo 1 fire, everything had to be redesigned, and a new suit had to be created. The A7L suit emerged, with a tight-fitting outer layer made of beta cloth, elbow, wrist, and knee joints of a bellows-like structure that maintained equal volume when bent, and a light open weave layer below the pressure suit networked with fine tubes circulating cooling water. This design, which allowed freedom of movement and cooling capabilities, proved successful and became the basis for the Extra-Vehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) used in the Space Shuttle program.
  • 01:35:00 In this section, the technologies used in space exploration are discussed, such as the MMU, which was retired due to safety concerns, and foot restraints on the shuttle's robotic arm, which allowed astronauts to work accurately and securely. The Hubble Space Telescope was designed to be visited by the space shuttle for regular maintenance, and expertise gained from servicing it allowed for the safe construction of the International Space Station. The Emu spacesuit was refined over the years, with a safer system added in case an astronaut becomes untethered from the ISS. The Russian Orland suit could be put on in just five minutes and allowed for safe spacewalks of up to seven hours. NASA is currently developing the PX and Z2 suits for future missions, and various satellites such as Sentinel and Swarm monitor changes in the Earth's magnetic field and weather patterns.
  • 01:40:00 In this section, the video discusses the important role of launchers in space exploration and the development of rocket technology. Satellites are dependent on launchers to deliver them into a specific orbit, and new developments in rocket technology are changing what can be achieved and how much it will cost. The Russian Soyuz, one of the most iconic launchers in operation today, has a long history in space exploration and remains the only human-rated launcher in operation. Its simple design features have contributed to its reliability and low cost compared to other launchers, and it has undergone several generations of engine upgrades and guidance system refinements.
  • 01:45:00 In this section, the video describes the assembly and launch process of Soyuz carrier Rockets for space exploration. The Soyuz carrier Rockets are assembled horizontally in Russia or Kazakhstan, fitting the third stage and payload together. The Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan is the only launch site capable of launching a human payload, and it's still used by Russia for its history-making flights due to the area's sparse population. The Soyuz launcher is delicately moved towards the firing ring where it's held in place by tulip petal arms, and it takes about an hour to bring it to the vertical position. The third stage then guides the satellite to its designated orbit. The Delta IV heavy Rocket, on the other hand, is designed to orbit large payloads or hurl probes out of Earth orbit at high speeds.
  • 01:50:00 In this section, two rockets are discussed, the Delta IV heavy and the Falcon 9. The Delta IV heavy, designed to meet U.S military requirements, has launched two NASA missions but its other launches have been classified reconnaissance satellites. A recent launch saw the Delta IV heavy being mated with the Parker solar probe, which will travel into the sun's Corona at record speeds, becoming the fastest man-made object ever. Meanwhile, the Falcon 9 rocket was designed and built by SpaceX founder Elon Musk to keep costs down through simplicity and reliability. Its design has undergone continuous refinement, and its multiple engines have enabled a soft landing, paving the way for reusable stages that drastically cut the cost of launches.
  • 01:55:00 In this section, the transcript describes the history of SpaceX and its Falcon rockets. SpaceX produced a fleet of rockets designed to drastically reduce the cost of launching humans and equipment into space with reusability. The Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful launch vehicle, was essentially three Falcon 9s’ strapped together. In its first launch, the Falcon Heavy carried Elon Musk’s Tesla car into orbit around the sun, with its dummy payload. While the Falcon Heavy demonstrated SpaceX’s ability to produce a powerful rocket, it was designed to be reusable, thus lowering costs. SpaceX is the only launch provider that openly publishes the cost of its services today.

02:00:00 - 02:25:00

The Zenith Compilation video covers various technologies that have revolutionized space exploration. It includes the Proton rocket, initially a missile developed by the Soviet Union but later adapted as a heavy launcher to deliver modules to the International Space Station (ISS). The video also discusses NASA's use of private companies like SpaceX and Boeing to resupply and transport astronauts to the ISS. NASA's future plans include the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft, which aims to establish a permanent base on the Moon under the Artemis program. Lastly, Virgin Galactic aims to launch a space tourism business in 2020, providing weightlessness for around six minutes.

  • 02:00:00 In this section, the Proton rocket is discussed, originally designed by the Soviets as a missile, but repurposed as a heavy launcher for delivering modules to the International Space Station and other payloads. Although successful, the Proton rocket has had its share of problems including using an extremely toxic fuel, which has led to claims of poisoned areas near launch sites. Meanwhile, a new company called Space Lab is emerging in the launch market with their Electron rocket, which uses carbon fiber tanks and 3D printing to create a lightweight and inexpensive launcher for small satellites. The space industry is experiencing a turning point where new technology is cutting launch costs and increasing frequency, with a focus on space tourism and exploration.
  • 02:05:00 In this section, we learn how NASA has turned to the private sector to resupply the International Space Station since the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011. Rising star in the launch business SpaceX was contracted to develop a cargo craft that would launch on its Falcon 9 rocket. NASA is developing its own launch system and the Orion spacecraft, but it's designed for missions far more ambitious than resupplying the ISS. Therefore, America's activity in low earth orbit is being reallocated to the commercial sector, with NASA helping with technology transfers. In total, NASA signed contracts with Boeing and SpaceX to develop and test human-rated spacecraft to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
  • 02:10:00 In this section, the transcript describes the launch and complications of the Starliner and Dragon capsules, both of which are designed to transport astronauts to the ISS. The Starliner experienced clock malfunctions delaying its first mission and preventing it from reaching the ISS. In contrast, SpaceX's Dragon capsule successfully carried out an unmanned flight test with sensors and equipment for the ISS and had a flawless return to Earth, but faced an explosion in the retesting of its super Draco engines. Despite setbacks, both companies are still preparing for future crewed missions to space.
  • 02:15:00 In this section, the Sierra Nevada corporation's Dream Chaser spacecraft is discussed. As a lifting body craft, it is designed to ride to orbit on an Atlas V and return to the ground via a commercial landing strip. Its only flights so far have been Glide tests, but as a cargo ship, it can return a load of up to 1750 kilograms to the surface, or take from two to seven astronauts as a crewed vehicle. The craft uses bypropellants methane and hydrogen tetroxide for on-orbit maneuvers, doing away with highly toxic hydrazine. The Dream Chaser still plans to develop a human-rated version, but the date of its maiden flight remains unclear.
  • 02:20:00 In this section, we learn about the technologies being utilized for NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft. The SLS uses an upgraded version of the rs-25d and a solid fuel booster with five segments that burn for only two minutes during flight. The Orion spacecraft is designed to accommodate four astronauts for 21 days and integrate with larger modular structures. Its instrumentation and control interface are primarily via a touchscreen, and the service module is the European Space Agency's contribution to the spacecraft. Additionally, the launch abort system is equipped with three different types of solid fuel rocket to fire at the first hint of a malfunction during launch. The launch infrastructure is being upgraded, and the first launch could potentially take place in 2020.
  • 02:25:00 In this section, we learn about the Artemis program which aims to establish a permanent base on the Moon, with a view to developing the technologies necessary to take American astronauts to Mars and beyond. NASA has already called for tenders for a lunar lander and a lunar space station called the Lunar Gateway. The Artemis 1 is set to launch in 2020 with Artemis 2 crewed by astronauts set to launch in 2022. However, critics have suggested that the 2024 deadline for astronauts to land on the moon is not feasible due to a lack of concrete blueprints for a lunar lander and reluctance from Congress to authorize additional funds for the program. Additionally, Virgin Galactic is planning to launch a space tourism business in 2020 with weightlessness lasting roughly six minutes.

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