Introductory Remarks and Images: Space Travel (01:56)
In this introduction viewers learn that space travel is fraught with peril and tests the limits of human capacity and ingenuity.
Space Elevator (02:37)
Cost is a critical factor in the expansion of the space program. A more efficient way to overcome Earth's gravity would reduce costs. A space elevator would be built from the top down--60,000 miles from space to Earth.
Space: Exotic Menaces (04:59)
Spaces menaces include debris projectiles, micrometeoroids, radiation, solar particles, and galactic cosmic rays. When on space walks, astronauts are exposed to these rays that penetrate their bodies.
Hazards of Weightlessness (04:07)
Weightlessness causes body systems to change. Space travelers lose sense of direction, appetite, and muscle mass. The immune system shuts down, causing vulnerability to viruses.
Reality of Space Travel (01:59)
The reality of space travel is similar to that of a submarine gliding deep through the ocean. Spaceships and submarines must protect their passengers from hazards on the other side of the hulls. Simple events can be catastrophic.
Hazards and Wonder of Space (03:36)
In the isolation of space, humans have only ingenuity and the items they bring with them. The hazards of space travel are insignificant, astronauts say, compared to witnessing the wonder of the cosmos in person.
Distances in Space (04:10)
The ability to travel great distances in space is dependent upon the estimated life span of humans. Traveling to even Earth's closest space bodies would take months or years. Future space travelers might orbit an asteroid for a "great ride."
Planetary Travel (02:27)
Jupiter may prove tempting for future travelers, but a round trip could take 5 years. A trip to Saturn would take decades. Do humans have the technology to speed up space travel?
Solar Winds and Cosmic Sails (01:34)
The moon could play a significant role in maximizing energy from the sun. Laser cannons on the moon could be used to focus the sun's energy to propel a cosmic sale that could be thousands of miles across.
Fuel Source: Hydrogen (01:02)
Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, could be used as a propulsion source to take space travelers beyond our solar system. A ramjet fusion engine would draw its fuel from hydrogen gas.
Fuel Source: Antimatter (01:52)
The conversion of antimatter to matter, and matter to energy is 100% efficient--the ultimate engine. To create a teaspoon of antimatter would bankrupt the American economy.
Warping Time and Space (02:38)
At light speed, traveling to the nearest galaxy would take several million years. Physicists look for shortcuts, a way to warp the fabric of space. We learn what Einstein has to say about bending time and space.
Faster than Light (03:02)
The starship of the future could achieve faster-than-light travel by manipulating only the area around the starship. This would require tachyon-like particles that travel faster than the speed of light.
For an object to break away from the earth's gravitational pull, it must achieve a velocity of 17,500 mph. The Space Shuttle, its rockets, and the fuel they carry weigh 4 million pounds. Viewers learn how a rocket moves.
Rocket Launch Experience (02:11)
When astronauts climb aboard their journey into space, millions of pounds of highly combustible hydrogen and oxygen wait to be ejected. Viewers learn what astronauts experience from liftoff to ejection of rocket boosters.
NASA's Constellation Program (01:53)
NASA's mission to revisit the moon is based on the idea of earth orbit as a base for farther voyages. The goal is to put boosters on the moon by 2020. Computer graphics aid viewers to see what the Constellation program is all about.
Credits: Space Travel (00:20)
Credits: Space Travel
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