Topic – Space Flight

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Read the Following Selection

Read about space flight, or click on the play button below to listen aloud.

Space Flight

In 1957, Russian engineers launched the first artificial satellite into space. A satellite is an object that orbits a planet or the Sun. This amazing event happened just 54 years after the Wright brothers’ first flight.

One of the toughest obstacles to space travel is overcoming Earth’s gravity. Doing this takes rocket power—extremely strong thrust from a rocket engine. These engines push rockets up by ejecting exhaust downward very quickly.

Sending people beyond the moon will be very difficult. How will they have enough oxygen, water, or food to survive the long trip out and back? People experience very little gravity in space. The human body has difficulty staying healthy in microgravity conditions.

Another obstacle to space travel is radiation. The Sun gives off many forms of radiation, including X-rays. This radiation penetrates spacecraft walls and astronauts’ bodies. Earth’s atmosphere helps protect us from this radiation. There is no protective atmosphere in space.

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