Chinese textbooks have always boasted that the Great Wall of China, built in the 5th century BC, is so big that it can be seen from space, but Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei, who was the first Chinese person in space, says he couldn’t see it from his spacecraft Shenzhou V. However, Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan, who walked on the moon in December 1972, claims he saw the wall from space. He says, "At Earth orbit of (100 miles) to (200 miles) high, the Great Wall is indeed visible to the naked eye."
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The U.S. and Russia were the first to launch spacecraft. The European Union is now launching their own spacecraft, and businesses regularly launch commercial satellites. Now, for the first time, U.S. hobbyists will launch a rocket into space. The Civilian Space Exploration Team of Minnesota plans to launch a rocket 70 miles into space from the Black Rock desert in Nevada. According to team member Jerry Larson, “All systems are go.”

The FAA has given the group permission to launch their Primera Spaceshot 2002 rocket, which is designed to separate into two parts. The 2 pieces will parachute back to Earth 25 miles from the launch site. Project director Ky Michaelson says, “Everything is home made. We want to prove that an amateur could do this.”
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NASA is developing a system to train astronauts to do surgical operations on each other. On long space missions, astronauts could be many months away from the nearest surgeon. They are especially concerned about bone fractures, and on a manned Mars mission, the gravity of the planet would make them more likely to occur.
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