From the perspective of a spaceflight pioneer, the only way to get to the stars is by travelling through a wormholes space tunnel.
In the past few years, the world’s leading space telescope, the European Southern Observatory, has announced plans to launch a small spacecraft called Spacecraft for Interstellar Exploration.
But this week, the space station’s robotic arm has made a second journey to the moon, as it prepares to enter orbit.
The space station is now orbiting the moon at a distance of about 2.5 million kilometres from Earth.
What are the conditions that need to be met for the spacecraft to make its journey to space?
“It’s a bit of a weird thing,” says Chris Cassidy, the station’s executive director.
“We’ve got to get through the solar system, but we’re going through an icy, very cold and dark environment.
So we’re basically in a vacuum, but the conditions are actually quite challenging.”
The station has a mission to study the Sun’s magnetic field.
The spacecraft’s crew will be wearing solar panels, but it will also be equipped with the latest technology to help it survive the harsh conditions of space.
“It’ll be using its own electronics, so it’ll be very sensitive to what the environment is like,” Cassidy says.
“The spacecraft will be operating in this really cold and very dark environment and it’s going to be doing its job.”
But this doesn’t mean the astronauts won’t be in danger of frostbite.
“This spacecraft is going to go through the harsh space environment, but our astronauts will be protected from frostbite,” he says.
The astronauts will also need to eat at least 2,500 kilograms of food per day.
The station’s crew members are also expected to carry water, food and other supplies to and from the station.
What about astronauts’ health?
Cassidy and others say the station has enough food, water and medical supplies to last at least four years, and that there’s no need for any more crew members.
The International Space Station has had to use the crew of four for a year and a half since astronauts Mark Kelly and Kelly West were injured while on a space shuttle mission in 2004.
The shuttle was destroyed in the collision with an unmanned satellite, which caused the loss of its fuel tanks.
“They were on board for five days,” Cassidy said.
“Their oxygen levels were at a very low level, and their blood pressure was at a low level.”
The ISS has also had to depend on the help of its orbiting supply ship, Soyuz, which supplies astronauts with a large supply of food, drink and other essential supplies.
However, the supply ship has recently become too expensive to use.
The Soyuz is now being replaced by a small capsule called the CRS-7, which will carry the crew to the space lab from Earth for three weeks in November 2019.
But Cassidy is not convinced the Soyuz can handle a journey of more than three weeks to and fro.
“I think Soyuz does just fine,” he said.
The crew of the Soyukan capsule will also have to stay hydrated, with about 400 kilograms of water per person.
The only water that’s being transported from the Earth to the ISS is a mixture of fresh water and the liquid nitrogen that the astronauts will drink.
Cassidy says the astronauts are not taking any extra vitamins and minerals to ensure they stay hydration-free.
“If you want to make sure you’re not dehydrated, you can take a little bit of water, but not all of it,” he explains.
“A little bit less than the amount that you would take in a glass of water is the best way to make it hydrated.
The water you get is going into your stomach and into your blood.”
What happens if the crew’s hydration is not sufficient?
The astronauts have also been asked to eat more, with more than 700 kilograms of protein per person, Cassidy says, “We’re not really going to have enough of that.”
Cassidy says that some people may feel that they need to increase their protein intake to maintain a healthy weight, but he says the majority of the crew members will be eating a balanced diet.
“All of us are going to need to get more protein than what we normally would,” he concludes.
The ISS crew will also continue to use a cooling system that can keep them cool.
The Russian cosmonauts and the American space shuttle astronauts have been doing this for years, but there’s been little evidence that the ISS crew has been able to keep the space shuttle’s cooling system running smoothly for more than a few hours.
“Our cosmonaut’s cooling systems have worked well for over a decade, but what we’re really hoping to see in this case is to see the ISS astronauts work together to bring a cooling solution to the station,” Cassidy explains.
Are there risks to the crew?
The ISS astronauts have spent the past couple of months doing some stren