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How is space observed?


Humans have observed space for the last 5,000 years.
Astronomy was revolutionised
400 years ago when the optical
telescope was invented.
The optical telescope allowed
scientists to see more of the
Universe than ever before.
The view from optical telescopes
is affected by the Earths
atmosphere and light pollution.
They are often located on high
ground in very remote areas
to minimise these effects.
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What is the Hubble Space Telescope?


The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a satellite in orbit
around the Earth. It was deployed from the Space Shuttle
Discovery on 24 April 1990.
The HST is outside the
Earths atmosphere and
does not experience the
same interference as
Earth-based telescopes.
This means that its
images of the Universe
are much more detailed
than images observed
from Earth.
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What is a radio telescope?


Astronomers do not only observe the Universe using optical
telescopes that detect visible light. They also observe other
wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation.
Radio telescopes are
used to observe radio
waves from other parts
of the Universe, which
are able to pass through
the Earths atmosphere.
Radio telescopes are
also used to look for
alien life in the Universe.
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What about crewed space missions?


Since humans first travelled
into space in 1961, crewed
space missions have played
an important part in space
exploration.
However, atmospheric pressure, distance and temperature
all limit the places that humans can visit.
Crewed missions are very expensive and put lives at risk.
The Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters are
tragic reminders of the dangers involved.
In total, 15 astronauts and 4 cosmonauts have been killed
in space missions.
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What about uncrewed space missions?


Astronauts need constant supplies of food and air on space
missions. Imagine the size of the storage space that would
be needed to take a human far out into space.
Uncrewed space probes can
travel further and endure more
intense conditions than humans
can.
Some, like the Martian Rovers,
have been so successful that
they have had their missions
extended.
Despite this, many people believe that a human geologist
would still be more effective than any number of robots.
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Advantages of space probes

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Could humans live in space colonies?


In order for humans to survive long term in space,
sustainable artificial environments need to be built.
The International Space
Station is home to a crew
of at least two astronauts.
They conduct research
and perform experiments
about the long-term
effects of living in space.
The results of these experiments may one day prepare the
way for more complex structures such as permanent Moon
bases, or maybe even space colonies.
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Want to see more?


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