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All space missions on one map

Все космические миссии на одной карте
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The American design studio Pop Chart Lab made a wall poster that demonstrates the progress of human space exploration to date.

Download full-size (3000x2077) poster "All space missions on one map" Download full-size poster. All space missions on one map.

Since the launch of Sputnik-1, which became the first artificial satellite of the Earth, 60 years will be celebrated in a year and a half. Since then, man has repeatedly sent into space a variety of spacecraft, animals and people.

Colorful infographics span all the way from 1959 to 2015 and graphically show more than 100 research probes, descent vehicles and rovers on a map.

At the top of the poster, you can see the path that spacecraft have covered, and the bottom shows how these vehicles looked. All devices are grouped by flight direction.

And although most of them have never left Earth’s orbit, the map shows what incredible distances man has managed to overcome in the solar system!

Все космические миссии на одной карте

Outer space (outer space) - relatively empty sections of the universe that lie outside the boundaries of the atmospheres of celestial bodies. Contrary to popular belief, space is not an absolutely empty space - it has a very low density of some particles (mainly hydrogen), as well as electromagnetic radiation and interstellar matter.


In its original understanding, the Greek term "cosmos" (order, world order) had a philosophical basis, defining a hypothetical closed vacuum around the Earth - the center of the universe. Nevertheless, in Latin-based languages ​​and its borrowings, the practical term “space” is applied to the same semantics (since from the scientific point of view the vacuum enveloping the Earth is infinite), therefore, a peculiar oxymoron “space space".


There is no clear boundary, the atmosphere is rarefied gradually as it moves away from the earth’s surface, and there is still no consensus on what to consider as a factor in the beginning of space. If the temperature were constant, then the pressure would change exponentially from 100 kPa at sea level to zero. The International Aviation Federation has set a height of 100 km (the Karman line) as the working boundary between the atmosphere and space, because at this altitude it is necessary for the aircraft to move at the first cosmic speed to create a lifting aerodynamic force, which makes the meaning of air travel impossible. Astronomers from the USA and Canada measured the boundary of the influence of atmospheric winds and the beginning of the impact of cosmic particles. It was at an altitude of 118 kilometers, although NASA itself considered 122 km as the border of space. At this altitude, the shuttles switched from conventional maneuvering using only rocket engines to aerodynamic ones with "support" to the atmosphere.

solar system

Space in the solar system is called interplanetary space, which passes into interstellar space at the heliopause points of the solstice. The vacuum of space is in fact not absolute - it contains atoms and molecules detected by microwave spectroscopy, the relict radiation left from the Big Bang, and cosmic rays that contain ionized atomic nuclei and various subatomic particles. There is also gas, plasma, dust, small meteors and space debris (materials left over from human activities in orbit). The absence of air makes outer space (and the surface of the moon) ideal sites for astronomical observations at all wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. Proof of this are photographs taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. In addition, invaluable information about the planets, asteroids and comets of the solar system is obtained using spacecraft.

The impact of being in outer space on the human body

According to NASA scientists, contrary to popular belief, if you enter outer space without a protective suit, a person will not freeze, will not explode, and will not immediately lose consciousness, his blood will not boil - instead, death will come from a lack of oxygen. The danger lies in the decompression process itself - it is this period of time that is most dangerous for the body, since with explosive decompression the gas bubbles in the blood begin to expand. If refrigerant (such as nitrogen) is present, then under these conditions it freezes the blood. In space conditions there is not enough pressure to maintain the liquid state of the substance (only a gaseous or solid state is possible, with the exception of liquid helium), therefore, first, water will evaporate quickly from the mucous membranes of the body (tongue, eyes, lungs). Some other problems - decompression sickness, sunburn of unprotected skin and damage to the subcutaneous tissue - will begin to affect after 10 seconds. At some point, a person will lose consciousness due to a lack of oxygen. Death can occur in about 1-2 minutes, although this is not known exactly. However, if you do not hold your breath in your lungs (an attempt to hold it will lead to barotrauma), then 30-60 seconds in outer space will not cause any irreversible damage to the human body.

NASA describes a case where a person accidentally finds himself in a space close to a vacuum (pressure below 1 Pa) due to air leakage from a spacesuit. The person remained conscious for approximately 14 seconds - approximately this time is required for oxygen-depleted blood to enter the lungs from the brain. There was no complete vacuum inside the suit, and recompression of the test chamber began after about 15 seconds. Consciousness returned to man when pressure rose to an equivalent height of about 4.6 km. Later, a man who got into a vacuum told how he felt and heard air coming out of him, and his last conscious memory was that he felt water boiling in his tongue.

On February 13, 1995, Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine published a letter describing the incident that occurred on August 16, 1960, during the lifting of a stratostat with an open gondola to a height of 19.5 miles for a record parachute jump (Project Excelsior "). The right hand of the pilot was depressurized, but he decided to continue the ascent. The hand, as one might expect, was extremely painful, and could not be used. However, when the pilot returned to the denser layers of the atmosphere, the state of the arm returned to normal.

Borders on the way to space and the limits of deep space

Atmosphere and near-Earth outer space

  • Sea level - 101.3 kPa (1 atm; 760 mm Hg atmospheric pressure), density of the medium 2.7 · 1019 molecules per cm.
  • 0.5 km - up to this height lives 80% of the human population of the world.
  • 2 km - up to this height lives 99% of the world's population.
  • 2-3 km - the beginning of the manifestation of malaise (mountain sickness) in non-acclimatized people.
  • 4.7 km - MFA requires additional oxygen supply for pilots and passengers.
  • 5.0 km - 50% of atmospheric pressure at sea level.
  • 5.1 km is the highest located city of La Rinconada (Peru).
  • 5.3 km - half the entire mass of the atmosphere lies below this height (slightly below the top of Mount Elbrus).
  • 6 km - the border of human permanent residence (temporary Sherpa villages in the Himalayas), the border of terrestrial life in the mountains.
  • up to 6.5 km - snow line in Tibet and the Andes. In all other places, it is located lower in Antarctica to 0 m above sea level.
  • 6.6 km - the highest located stone building (Mount Lugliaillaco, South America).
  • 7 km - the limit of human adaptability to a long stay in the mountains.
  • 8.2 km is the border of death without an oxygen mask: even a healthy and trained person can lose consciousness at any time and die.
  • 8.848 km - the highest point of the Earth Mount Everest - the natural limit of accessibility on foot.
  • 9 km - the limit of adaptability to short-term breathing by atmospheric air.
  • 12 km - breathing air is equivalent to being in space (the same time of loss of consciousness ~ 10-20 s); the limit of short-term breathing with pure oxygen without additional pressure; ceiling of subsonic passenger liners.
  • 15 km - breathing pure oxygen is equivalent to being in space.
  • 16 km - when in a tall suit in the cab, additional pressure is needed. Overhead, 10% of the mass of the atmosphere.
  • 10-18 km - the border between the troposphere and the stratosphere at different latitudes (tropopause). This is also the boundary of the rise of ordinary clouds, then rarefied and dry air extends.
  • 18.9-19.35 - Armstrong line - the beginning of space for the human body - boiling water at the temperature of the human body. Internal body fluids at this height still do not boil, because the body generates enough internal pressure to prevent this effect, but saliva and tears may begin to boil with the formation of foam, swell eyes.
  • 19 km - the brightness of the dark purple sky at the zenith is 5% of the brightness of the clear blue sky at sea level (74.3-75 candles versus 1500 candles per m), the brightest stars and planets can be seen during the day.
  • 20 km - the intensity of primary cosmic radiation begins to prevail over the secondary (born in the atmosphere).
  • 20 km - the ceiling of hot air balloons (hot air balloons) (19 811 m).
  • 20-22 km - the upper boundary of the biosphere: the limit of the rise in the atmosphere of live spores and bacteria by air currents.
  • 20–25 km — the brightness of the sky is 20–40 times lower than the brightness at sea level during the day, both in the center of the total solar eclipse strip and at dusk when the Sun is 9–10 degrees below the horizon and stars up to 2 magnitude are visible.
  • 25 km - during the day you can navigate through the bright stars.
  • 25-26 km - the maximum steady-state flight altitude of existing jet aircraft (practical ceiling).
  • 15-30 km - the ozone layer at different latitudes.
  • 34.668 km is the official altitude record for a balloon (stratospheric balloon) operated by two stratonauts (Project Strato Lab, 1961).
  • OK. 35 km is the beginning of space for water or a triple point of water: at this altitude, atmospheric pressure is 611.657 Pa and water boils at 0 ° C, and above it cannot be in liquid form.
  • 37.8 km - a record of the altitude of a turbojet aircraft (MiG-25M, dynamic ceiling).
  • 38.48 km (52,000 steps) is the upper boundary of the atmosphere in the 11th century: the first scientific determination of the height of the atmosphere by the duration of twilight and knowledge of the diameter of the Earth (Arab scientist Algazen, 965-1039) [14]
  • 39 km is a record of jumping from the stratosphere without a stabilizing parachute (Felix Baumgartner, 2012).
  • 41.42 km is a one-man stratospheric altitude record, as well as a stabilizing parachute jump altitude record, performed by Google Vice President Alan Eustace on October 24, 2014. [15]
  • 45 km is the theoretical limit for a ramjet.
  • 48 km - the atmosphere does not weaken the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
  • 50 km is the boundary between the stratosphere and the mesosphere (stratopause).
  • 51.694 km - the last manned altitude record in the pre-space era (Joseph Walker on the X-15 rocket plane, March 30, 1961)
  • OK. 53 km is a height record for a gas unmanned balloon.
  • 55 km - the atmosphere does not affect cosmic radiation.
  • 40–80 km is the maximum ionization of air (the conversion of air into plasma) from friction against the body of the descent vehicle when it enters the atmosphere at the first cosmic velocity [16].
  • 70 km - the upper limit of the atmosphere in 1714 according to the calculation of Edmund Halley based on pressure measurements by climbers, Boyle's law and observations of meteors [17].
  • 80 km - the border between the mesosphere and the thermosphere (mesopause); height of silvery clouds.
  • 80.45 km (50 miles) is the official height of the space border in the United States.
  • 100 km - the official international border between the atmosphere and space is the Karman line, which defines the boundary between aeronautics and space. Aerodynamic surfaces (wings) starting from this altitude do not make sense, since the flight speed to create lift becomes higher than the first space velocity and the atmospheric aircraft turns into a space satellite. The density of the medium at this height is 12 trillion molecules per 1 dm? [18]
  • 100 km is the recorded atmospheric boundary in 1902: the discovery of the reflecting radio waves of the Kennelly – Heaviside ionized layer 90–120 km [19].
  • 118 km is the transition from atmospheric wind to flows of charged particles.
  • 122 km (400,000 ft) is the first noticeable manifestation of the atmosphere when it returns to Earth from orbit: the incoming air begins to unfold the Space Shuttle with its nose in the direction of travel, air ionization from friction and heating of the hull begin.
  • 120-130 km - a satellite in a circular orbit with such a height can make no more than one revolution.
  • 150-180 km - the height of the perigee of the orbit of the first manned space flights.
  • 200 km is the lowest possible orbit with short-term stability (up to several days).
  • 302 km - maximum altitude (apogee) of the first manned space flight (Gagarin Yu.A. on the Vostok-1 spaceship, April 12, 1961)
  • 320 km - recorded atmospheric boundary in 1927: discovery of the Appleton layer reflecting radio waves.
  • 350 km is the lowest possible orbit with long-term stability (up to several years).
  • OK. 400 km - orbit altitude of the International Space Station
  • 500 km - the beginning of the internal proton radiation belt and the end of safe orbits for long human flights.
  • 690 km is the average height of the boundary between the thermosphere and exosphere (Thermopause, exobase). Above the exobase, the mean free path of the air molecules becomes greater than the height of the homogeneous atmosphere and, if they have a velocity higher than the second cosmic one, they can leave the atmosphere with a probability of over 50%.
  • 1000–1100 km is the maximum height of auroras, the last manifestation of the atmosphere visible from the Earth’s surface (but usually well-marked auroras occur at altitudes of 90–400 km).
  • 1372 km - the maximum altitude reached by man before the first manned flights to the Moon, the astronauts for the first time saw not just a curved horizon, but the sphericity of the Earth (Gemini-11 ship on September 2, 1966).
  • 2000 km - the atmosphere does not affect satellites and they can exist in orbit for many millennia.
  • 3000 km is the maximum intensity of the proton flux of the internal radiation belt (up to 0.5-1 Gy / hour).
  • 12 756 km - we retired to a distance equal to the diameter of planet Earth.
  • 17,000 km - external electronic radiation belt.
  • 27 743 km is the smallest distance from Earth at which the discovered asteroid 2012 DA14 with a diameter of 30 m and a mass of about 40 thousand tons flew in advance (over 1 day).
  • 35 786 km - the height of the geostationary orbit, a satellite in such an orbit will always hang over one point of the equator. In the first half of the 20th century, this height was considered the theoretical limit of the existence of the atmosphere. If the whole atmosphere rotated uniformly with the Earth, then from this height at the equator the centrifugal force of rotation will exceed the gravitational forces, and air molecules that go beyond this boundary will scatter in different directions. In fact, the phenomenon of atmospheric scattering takes place, but it occurs due to the thermal and corpuscular action of the Sun in the entire exosphere at altitudes from 400 to ~ 100 thousand km (see above).
  • OK. 90,000 km - the distance to the head shock wave formed by the collision of the Earth's magnetosphere with the solar wind.
  • OK. 100,000 km is the upper boundary of the Earth's exosphere (geocorona) seen by satellites. The last manifestations of the Earth’s atmosphere have ended, interplanetary space has begun

Interplanetary space

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  • 363 104–405 696 km - the height of the Moon’s orbit above the Earth.
  • 401,056 km is an absolute record of the altitude at which a person was (Apollo 13, April 14, 1970).
  • 930,000 km - the radius of the Earth's gravitational sphere and the maximum height of its satellites. Above 930,000 km, the attraction of the Sun begins to prevail, and it will pull the bodies rising above.
  • 1,500,000 km - the distance to one of the libration points L2, in which the bodies that got there are in gravitational equilibrium. A space station launched to this point without being an orbiting satellite, with minimal fuel consumption for trajectory correction, would always follow the Earth and be in its shadow.
  • 21 000 000 km - at such a distance the gravitational effect of the Earth on flying objects practically disappears.
  • 40 000 000 km - the minimum distance from Earth to the nearest large planet Venus.
  • 56 000 000 - 58 000 000 km - the minimum distance to Mars during the Great Confrontations.
  • 149 597 870.7 km - the average distance from the Earth to the Sun. This distance serves as a measure of distances in the solar system and is called an astronomical unit (a.u.). Light travels this distance in about 500 seconds (8 minutes 20 seconds).
  • 590,000,000 km - the minimum distance from Earth to the nearest large gas planet Jupiter. Further figures indicate the distance from the sun.
  • 4,500,000,000 km (4.5 billion km) - the radius of the border of the near-solar interplanetary space - the radius of the orbit of the farthest large planet Neptune.
  • 8,230,000,000 km - the far boundary of the Kuiper belt - the belt of small ice planets, which includes the dwarf planet Pluto.
  • 20,000,000,000 km is the distance to the farthest today Voyager-1 interstellar automatic spacecraft on January 5, 2016.
  • 35,000,000,000 km (35 billion km) - the range of the solar wind - the boundary of the heliosphere, the beginning of interstellar space.
  • 65,000,000,000 km - the distance to the Voyager-1 apparatus by 2100.

Interstellar space

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  • OK. 300,000,000,000 km (300 billion km) is the near boundary of the Hills cloud, which is the inner part of the Oort cloud, a large but very sparse cluster of ice blocks that slowly fly in their orbits. Occasionally breaking out of this cloud and approaching the Sun, they become comets.
  • 9,460,730,472,580.8 km (approx. 9.5 trillion km) - light year - the distance that light travels at a speed of 299 792 km / s in 1 year. It is used to measure interstellar and intergalactic distances.
  • up to 15,000,000,000,000 km - the range of the likely finding of a hypothetical satellite of the Sun of the star Nemesis
  • up to 20,000,000,000,000 km (20 trillion km, 2 light years) - the gravitational boundaries of the Solar System (Hill Sphere) - the outer boundary of the Oort Cloud, the maximum range of the existence of solar satellites (planets, comets, hypothetical faint stars).
  • 30 856 776 000 000 km - 1 parsec - a more narrowly professional astronomical unit for measuring interstellar distances is 3.2616 light years.
  • OK. 40,000,000,000,000 km (40 trillion km, 4.243 light years) - the distance to the nearest famous star Proxima Centauri
  • OK. 56,000,000,000,000 km (56 trillion km, 5.96 light years - the distance to the flying star of Barnard, to which it was supposed to send the Daedalus unmanned research vehicle, developed since the 1970s, capable of flying and transmitting information within one human life (about 50 years).
  • 100,000,000,000,000 km (100 trillion km, approx. 10 light years) - within this radius are the 11 nearest stars.
  • OK. 300,000,000,000,000 km (300 trillion km, 30 light years) is the size of the Local Interstellar Cloud through which the Solar System is currently moving (the density of the medium of this cloud is 300 atoms per 1 dm?).
  • OK. 3,000,000,000,000,000 km (3 quadrillion km, 300 light years) is the size of the Local Gas Bubble, which includes the Local Interstellar Cloud with the Solar System (medium density 50 atoms per 1 dm?).
  • OK. 33,000,000,000,000,000 km (33 km3 km, 3,500 light years) is the thickness of the galactic Sleeve of Orion, near the inner edge of which is the Local Bubble.
  • OK. 300,000,000,000,000,000 km (300 km2 km) - the distance from the Sun to the nearest outer edge of the halo of our galaxy, the Milky Way (English Milky Way). Outside it extends a black, almost empty and starless intergalactic space with barely visible small spots without a telescope of several nearby galaxies. The density of the medium of the intergalactic space is less than 1 hydrogen atom per 1 dm ?.
  • OK. 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 km (1 quintillion km, 100 thousand light years) - the diameter of our Milky Way galaxy, it contains 200-400 billion stars, the total mass with black holes, dark matter and other invisible objects is approx. 3 trillion suns.

Intergalactic space

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  • OK. 5,000,000,000,000,000,000 km (approx. 5 quintillion km) - the size of the subgroup of the Milky Way, which includes our galaxy and its satellites dwarf galaxies, total 15 galaxies. The most famous of them are the Big Magellanic Cloud and the Small Magellanic Cloud.
  • OK. 30,000,000,000,000,000,000 km (approx. 30 quintillion km, approx. 1 million parsecs) - the size of the Local group of galaxies, which includes three large neighbors: the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy, the Triangle Galaxy, and numerous dwarf galaxies (more than 50 galaxies). The Andromeda galaxy and our galaxy are approaching at a speed of about 120 km / s and are likely to collide with each other after about 4-5 billion years.
  • OK. 2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 km (2 sextillion km, 200 million light years) is the size of the Local Supercluster of Galaxies (Virgo Supercluster) (about 30 thousand galaxies, mass about a quadrillion of Suns).
  • OK. 4,900,000,000,000,000,000,000 km (4.9 sextillion km, 520 million light years) - the size of the even larger supercluster of Laniakei ("Immense Heaven"), which includes our supercluster Virgo and the so-called Great Attractor, attracting to surrounding galaxies, including us at a speed of about 500 km / s. In total, there are about 100 thousand galaxies in Leniakey, its mass is about 100 quadrillion suns.
  • OK. 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10 sextillion km, 1 billion light years) - the length of the Pisces-Ceti Supercluster Complex, also called the galactic filament and Pisces-Ceti hypercluster, in which we live (60 clusters of galaxies, 10 masses of Lenakei or near the quintillion suns).
  • up to 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 km - the distance to Eridan's Super Void, the largest known void today with a size of about 1 billion St. years old. In the central regions of this huge empty space there are no stars and galaxies, and generally there is almost no ordinary matter (density 10% of the average density of the Universe). An astronaut in the center of the void without a large telescope could not see anything but darkness. In the figure on the right, in a cubic clipping from the Universe, many hundreds of large and small voids are located, like bubbles in a foam, between numerous galactic filaments.
  • OK. 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (100 sextillion km, 10 billion light years) is the length of the great wall of the Hercules-Northern Crown, the largest superstructure known today in the observable Universe. It is located at a distance of about 10 billion light years from us.
  • OK. 250,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (approx. 250 sextillion km, over 26 billion light years) is the size of the limits of visibility of matter (galaxies and stars) in the observable Universe (over 500 billion galaxies).
  • OK. 870,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 km (870 sextillion km, 92 billion light years) is the size of the limits of visibility of radiation in the observable Universe.

The speeds required to enter the near and far space

In order to enter orbit, the body must reach a certain speed. Cosmic speeds for the Earth:

  • The first cosmic speed - 7.9 km / s - the speed for entering into orbit around the Earth;
  • The second cosmic velocity - 11.1 km / s - is the velocity for moving away from the sphere of gravity of the Earth and entering the interplanetary space;
  • The third cosmic velocity - 16.67 km / s - the speed to escape from the sphere of gravity of the Sun and exit into interstellar space;
  • The fourth cosmic speed - about 550 km / s - is the speed for moving away from the sphere of gravity of the Milky Way galaxy and entering the intergalactic space.

For comparison, the speed of the Sun relative to the center of the galaxy is approximately 220 km / s.

If any of the speeds is less than the specified, then the body will not be able to enter the corresponding orbit (the statement is true only for launching at the indicated speed from the surface of the Earth and further movement without traction).

The first who realized that to achieve such speeds when using any chemical fuel, a multi-stage rocket using liquid fuel was needed, was Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky.