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Human space exploration – From surviving to performing

Authors
Journal
Acta Astronautica
0094-5765
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
100
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2014.04.002
Keywords
  • Space Exploration
  • Human Spaceflight
  • Microgravity
  • Living And Working In Space
  • Spaceflight Participant

Abstract

Abstract This paper explores the evolution of human spaceflight by examining the space programs of the United States, Russia, including the former Soviet Union, and China. A simple analysis of the numbers of humans who have flown into space, the durations of the missions flown, and the accumulated flight time of the individuals reveals that spaceflight is decidedly male-dominated and that approximately one out of six individuals flown was a non-career astronaut. In addition, 31 individuals have accumulated long-duration flight experience equivalent to a round trip to Mars. An examination of the evolution of spacecraft that have made these missions possible indicates that the time to accomplish the first four to five flights of a new human space vehicle has increased from less than one year to nearly 10 years.

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