At Mums NI, we believe that education starts at home. We, as parents, are our children's Primary Educators. Together, we can inspire young minds and make learning fun!
In this Fun Facts Friday, we are going to find out about Human Space Flight! No matter what age you are, the idea of space flight is sure to give you a sense of curiosity, so get your little ones and snuggle down for this fun fact mission to find out more about this amazing human accomplishment.
Who was the first human in space? What's the ISS? How long does it take to orbit the world?
Lets find out . . .
Today, 12th April, people all over the world celebrate the anniversary of the first human space flight which happened on 12th April 1961 (58 years ago!).
The first human in space was an extremely brave 27 year old Russian Cosmonaut called Yuri Gagarin. He orbited the earth for 108 minutes before crashing landing on earth 2 hours after take off.
Following Gagarin's successful flight, the first Americian Astronaut, who completed 3 orbits of the Earth, was John Glenn on 20th February 1962. He was the 5th person in space.
The first woman in space was Russian Cosmonaut, Valentina Tereshkova, aged 26. She was honorarily inducted into the Soviet Air Force, which also makes her the first civilian in space. She spent 3 days in flight and orbited the Earth 48 times during 16th -19th June 1963, making her the 12th person in space.
The first humans to orbit the Moon (lunar orbit) were American Astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders. They took off on 21st December 1968 and arrived almost 3 days later at the Moon. They orbited the Moon 10 times and made a Christmas Eve video which was broadcast on TV. The Astronauts returned to Earth on 27th December 1986.
20th July 1969 marks the day when humans first walked on the Moon. 3 American Astronauts called Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin made the journey to the Moon. Neil Armstrong was the first of the astronauts to walk on the Moons surface, followed 19 minutes later by Buzz Aldrin. Michael Collins remained in orbit until Armstrong and Aldrin were ready to reboard the craft.
The first British Astronaut to go to space was a lady called Helen Sharman. She left Earth on 18th May 1991 to board the Russian space station "Mir" to conduct experiments. Sharman returned to Earth on 26th May 1991.
More recently on 15th December 2015, British Astronaut Tim Peake went to space and boarded the International Space Station (ISS) to conduct experiments. While there, he took part in the April 24th 2016 London Marathon from the ISS treadmill. Peake spent a total of 6 months in space orbitting the Earth close to 3000 times!
During his time on the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield, a Canadian Astronaut, released the first song to be recorded in space to YouTube on Christmas Eve 2012. On 12th May 2013, before returning home to Earth, he released a modified version of David Bowie's Space Oddity - which has received 42 million views on YouTube! In October 2015, he released Space Sessions: Songs From a Tin Can, an album of songs that he had recorded on the International Space Station.
What is the International Space Station (ISS)?
The ISS is a large man made space craft that orbits the Earth every 90 minutes, completing 15.5 orbits per day. It can often be seen from Earth. Make sure to follow Belfast Sky at Night on Facebook for times it will be passing over. It is continuously manned by a crew of Astronauts and Cosmonauts who live and conduct experiments there. It is a joint project by 5 space agencies: NASA (America), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), CSA (Canada) and ESA (Europe). You can watch live footage from the ISS here.