Garnette Golding

Written by Garnette Golding

Modified & Updated: 02 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Space travel has always captivated the imagination of humankind. The idea of exploring the vast expanse beyond our planet is both thrilling and awe-inspiring. Over the years, incredible advancements in technology have made space travel a reality, allowing astronauts to venture beyond the Earth’s atmosphere and push the boundaries of human exploration. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of space travel and uncover 12 astounding facts that will leave you in awe of the cosmos. From the mind-boggling distances covered to the mind-bending effects of zero gravity, these facts will give you a glimpse into the incredible journey of astronauts and the wonders of the universe. So, fasten your seatbelts and join us on this extraordinary adventure through the cosmos.

Key Takeaways:

  • Space travel can make astronauts taller and experience 16 sunrises and sunsets in a day, showing the amazing effects of zero gravity and orbiting the Earth.
  • Astronauts may experience less time passing than people on Earth due to time dilation, and space tourism is becoming a possibility with private companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin.
Table of Contents

The First Human to Journey Into Space

Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet cosmonaut, became the first human to travel into space on April 12, His spacecraft, Vostok 1, completed one orbit around the Earth in just under two hours, marking a significant milestone in space exploration.

The Speed of a Spacecraft

Spacecraft can reach extraordinary speeds. The fastest spacecraft ever recorded is the Helios 2, which reached a speed of approximately 157,078 miles per hour (252,792 kilometers per hour) as it approached the sun.

The Length of a Day in Space

While a day on Earth lasts 24 hours, a day in space is slightly different. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) experience 16 sunrises and sunsets every day, as the ISS orbits the Earth approximately once every 90 minutes.

The Effect of Gravity on Astronauts

Due to the absence of gravity in space, astronauts experience significant changes in their bodies. They can grow up to two inches taller while in space as the spinal disks expand, and their muscles and bones undergo weakening due to lack of use.

The International Space Station’s Size

The International Space Station (ISS) is an impressive structure, spanning approximately the size of a football field when its solar panels are fully extended. It serves as a crucial research laboratory for scientific experiments and as a platform for international collaboration.

The Weightlessness of Astronauts

Astronauts experience weightlessness in space due to the microgravity environment. Objects and individuals in orbit around the Earth appear to be floating because the gravitational force acting on them is much weaker than on the surface of the planet.

The Farthest Journey from Earth

The farthest journey from Earth by humans was made by the crew of the Apollo 13 mission in They reached a distance of approximately 248,655 miles (400,171 kilometers) from Earth, circumnavigating the Moon during a critical mission that tested the limits of human ingenuity and courage.

The First Woman in Space

Valentina Tereshkova, a Soviet cosmonaut, made history on June 16, 1963, by becoming the first woman to travel into space. She orbited the Earth 48 times during her mission aboard Vostok 6.

The Dangers of Space Radiation

Space radiation poses a significant threat to astronauts. Exposure to high levels of radiation can lead to an increased risk of cancer, damage to the central nervous system, and other long-term health concerns. Protective measures, such as shielding and monitoring, are essential to mitigate these risks.

The Length of a Journey to Mars

A journey from Earth to Mars can take anywhere from six to nine months, depending on the alignment of the planets. This vast distance poses numerous challenges for future manned missions, including fuel requirements, crew wellbeing, and the need for sustainable life-support systems.

Space Travel and Time Dilation

Einstein’s theory of relativity has a fascinating implication for space travel. As a spacecraft approaches the speed of light, time slows down relative to an observer on Earth. This phenomenon, known as time dilation, means that astronauts may experience less time passing than people on Earth.

The Potential for Space Tourism

Advancements in technology and increased interest in space exploration have paved the way for the future of space tourism. Private companies, such as SpaceX and Blue Origin, aim to offer commercial trips to space, allowing individuals to experience the wonders of space firsthand.

In conclusion, space travel is a remarkable feat of human ingenuity, pushing the boundaries of our understanding and exploration of the universe. The 12 astounding facts about space travel demonstrate the incredible achievements and challenges faced by astronauts as they journey beyond our planet’s atmosphere.


In conclusion, space travel is an extraordinary and fascinating field that continues to captivate our imaginations. The facts presented here highlight some of the awe-inspiring aspects of this incredible journey beyond our planet. From the mind-boggling distances involved to the astonishing speeds achieved, space travel pushes the boundaries of human knowledge and exploration.

As we uncover more about the vastness of the universe, the possibilities for space travel and exploration only continue to expand. It is undoubtedly a challenging endeavor, but with each mission, we gain valuable insights and pave the way for future generations to explore further into the cosmos.

Space travel embodies the spirit of human curiosity, resilience, and determination to understand our place in the universe. It offers us a glimpse into the wonders and mysteries that lie beyond our home planet. So let us marvel at the marvels of space travel and remain eager for the discoveries and adventures that await us in the vast expanse of the universe.


Q: How fast do spacecraft travel in space?

A: Spacecraft can travel at incredible speeds, reaching velocities of up to 17,500 miles per hour (28,000 kilometers per hour). This speed allows them to overcome Earth’s gravity and venture into the depths of space.

Q: How do astronauts stay healthy during long-duration space missions?

A: Astronauts undergo rigorous physical training before their missions and follow special exercise routines to counteract muscle and bone loss in microgravity. They also have carefully planned diets and strict medical protocols to maintain their health and well-being.

Q: How long does it take to reach the Moon?

A: It takes approximately three days for a spacecraft to reach the Moon. The actual duration can vary depending on the trajectory and propulsion system used.

Q: Can humans survive on other planets?

A: Currently, humans can only survive on Earth without the aid of special equipment. However, scientists are actively exploring the possibility of establishing colonies on other planets, such as Mars, by developing technologies to create habitable environments.

Q: Can space travel affect the human body?

A: Space travel can have various effects on the human body, including muscle and bone loss, cardiovascular changes, and vision problems. Long-duration missions also pose psychological challenges to astronauts due to isolation and confinement. However, ongoing research aims to mitigate these effects and ensure astronaut well-being during space travel.

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