Why are they cheering?

These astronauts will fly into space soon. They will go in U.S.-made rockets.  U.S. astronauts flew to the space station.  But Russia’s rockets carried them.  These happy people could fly from Florida next year.


King David says in Psalm 139:8,  “If I ascend to heaven, you are there!” God is everywhere. NASA is the American space agency. It put astronauts into orbit around Earth. It sent men to the moon. It launched shuttles into space. But it stopped that work about seven years ago. It still trains astronauts. But they have been rocketed to the International Space Station in Russian spacecraft. Now the Boeing and SpaceX companies are almost ready to send astronauts to the space station. The rockets will launch from Cape Canaveral.

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• The word “astronaut” means “star sailor.” The first astronaut was Russian Yuri Gagarin. He orbited the Earth 57 years ago. His flight lasted 108 minutes. Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first men to walk on the moon. Ten others also did that.

• It is not easy to become an astronaut. You have to do well in school and college. Astronauts used to be pilots. Today you can study biology, physics, or math and still become a NASA trainee. But you must be a citizen of the United States. You have to be physically fit. You must have perfect 20/20 vision. Your blood pressure must be very good. And you should be able to speak both English and Russian. Most trainees do not become astronauts until they are between 27 and 37 years old!

• Plastic containers hold most space foods. Nearly 300 different meals are available on the Space Station. Astronauts can heat food in the oven and nibble fruits, bread, and nuts just as they are. But they must suck liquid out of sealed packages to keep any drops from escaping and damaging machines.

• Astronauts bring some of their own belongings with them to the Space Station. They listen to CDs, watch DVDs, and read books. And they can talk to their families every week.

• There is no gravity in space. So astronauts must exercise every day. It keeps their muscles and bones strong. They can run strapped to a treadmill and ride something like a bike, called an Ergometer.

• Astronauts cannot wash under a faucet. They use alcohol wipes for their hands. Waterless shampoo needs no rinsing. And they “bathe” using a wet towel soaked with body shampoo.

• Astronauts sleep in sleeping bags and are strapped into a small compartment so they do not drift around!

• Is this something you would like to do?