On July 20, 1969, 650 million people watched as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon. NASA’s lunar landing program spanned several years and consisted of more than 400,000 people Test and build spacecraft, rockets, suits, and instruments, and figure out how to get Armstrong, Aldrin, and Michael Collins back and forth safely—though there was no guarantee at the time that it would be.
The space race came to a head in April 1961 when Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth. While the achievements of the Soviet Union prompted the United States to put humans on the moon by the end of the 1960s, space exploration has long since become a more internationally cooperative affair.
In the private sector, Virgin Galactic announced it will go public in 2019, becoming the first publicly traded space tourism company, beating out chief rivals Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
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This company It said it received reservations from more than 600 customers in 60 countries who paid an $80 million deposit for a chance to travel to space on one of Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft.
Founder of Virgin Galactic Richard Branson At the time he said his goal was to make his first suborbital flight on the anniversary of the moon landing. While Branson hasn’t officially announced that he’s going on the trip, there’s definitely someone going to space on that special day.
On July 20, 2019, exactly 50 years after the launch of Apollo 11, Italian astronaut Alexander Skvortsov, NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan and European Space Agency astronaut Luca Pa Mitano goes to the International Space Station.they joined fellow Expedition 60 The crew, NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Nick Hague, and astronaut Alexei Ovchinin, current ISS commander.
Read on to look back at some historic moments and look ahead to the future of space exploration.
Don’t stop me now.
On March 22, 1946, a rocket named JPL-Ordnance Wac was the first American rocket to leave Earth’s atmosphere.
Looking at you here.
1946 was an important year of extraordinary achievements. On October 24, a V2 rocket with a 35mm camera launched from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico and captured the first image of Earth from space.
The space race begins.
The space race officially kicked off on April 12, 1961, when Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in Earth orbit.
The United States is involved.
On May 5, 1961, astronaut Alan B. Shepard completed the Freedom 7 mission – America’s first suborbital flight. In July, Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom completed NASA’s second suborbital mission.
Send a man to the moon.
President John F. Kennedy on May 25, 1961 Address to Congress On the need to invest in space exploration, he famously said: “I believe that this country should be committed to the goal of a man on the moon and a safe return to Earth before the end of this decade. There is no single space project for this period of time for mankind. It would be more impressive to say, or more important to the long-range exploration of space; no project has ever been so difficult or expensive.”
Killed with one punch.
From January 31 to February 3, 1966, the Soviet unmanned spacecraft Luna 9 made the first successful soft landing on the moon and then transmitted the first radio-television back to Earth.
make an impact.
On March 1, 1966, another Soviet spacecraft, Venus 3, became the first spacecraft to hit the surface of another planet while on a mission to Venus.
A few months later, on June 2, 1966, Surveyor 1 became the first American spacecraft to land on the moon.
Competition is getting fiercer.
On May 19, 1971, the Russian spacecraft Mars 2 became the first spacecraft to make an impact on Mars, followed by its first soft landing on Earth on May 28.
Run a lap.
But on November 13, 1971, NASA’s unmanned probe Mariner 9 completed its orbit around Mars and was the first spacecraft to orbit another planet.
A month later, on December 2, 1971, Russia’s Mars 3 completed its first unmanned landing on Mars.
a new field.
July 20, 1976, NASA Vikings 1 It was the first successful U.S. mission to land on the surface of Mars. Viking 1 eventually took four years and made 1,489 orbits around the Earth, while Viking 2 arrived on September 3, 1976, and worked until July 1978. Both transmitted images and studied Earth’s topography, searching for possible life and sending valuable information back to NASA, setting the stage for the Curiosity Mars rover’s unforgettable arrival in 2012.
Space Shuttle Challenger, January 28, 1986 explode See the horrific loss of seven crew members on board.
Go straight upstairs.
On April 28, 2001, the first commercial space tourist from New York, American millionaire and businessman Dennis Tito, hitched a ride to the International Space Station aboard the Russian Soyuz TM 32.
New member of the team.
On February 24, 2011, the International Space Station got a cool new helper: robot 2the first humanoid robot in space.
A sweet journey.
In February 2016, Richard Branson launched Virgin Galactic’s second SpaceShipTwo spacecraft – the first company spacecraft to be built entirely in-house.It is called VSS Unification.
Stick to the landing.
On April 8, 2016, Elon Musk’s 14-year-old SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched First landing at sea After the successful delivery of the cargo to the International Space Station.
The third time is the charm.
In April 2017, Blue Origin, the aerospace startup of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, launched and landed a reusable rocket the third time.
Are we the only one in the universe?
On April 13, 2017, NASA scientists shared findings from the agency’s Cassini spacecraft’s mission to Saturn. A chemical reaction appears to be taking place beneath the icy surface of one of the planet’s moons, Enceladus, may suggest that it could also support alien life, another potentially groundbreaking discovery in the search for life beyond Earth. On September 15, 2017, Cassini ended its 20-year mission.
Explore new worlds.
On February 22, 2017, NASA announced the discovery of a planetary system consisting of seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a red dwarf star. It was named TRAPPIST-1, and it was the first system of its kind discovered by NASA. The three planets in the system are in the so-called habitable zone, which means these worlds have the potential to be home to liquid water and a life-supporting atmosphere.
Breaking records and glass ceilings.
In June 2018, Peggy Whitson, the first female commander of the International Space Station and the first female commander of the NASA Astronaut Corps, retire After 32 years at NASA. Whitson completed three missions aboard the International Space Station — two of which she led — and spent 665 days in space, more than any other NASA astronaut.
Whitson also performed more spacewalks than any other female astronaut, spending 60 hours and 21 minutes outside the space station. On her last space station mission, at 57, Whitson became the oldest female astronaut to enter orbit.
february 2020, astronaut Christina Koch Will return to Earth after 11 months on the International Space Station, approaching Kelly’s 340 days in orbit. In December 2019, she will surpass Whitson’s 288 days in space to set a new record for a female astronaut.
Secrets of Mars.
On November 26, 2018, NASA successfully landed Insight into Mars Land on the red planet to better understand the inner workings of Mars. NASA will use the probe to pick up Earth’s “vital signs,” closely monitoring weather, temperature, tectonic activity — known as Martian earthquakes — and what happens when a meteorite hits Earth.it takes the probe six months Flying more than 300 million miles, it was the first landing on Mars since the Curiosity rover in 2012.
Farewell to Kepler, hello Tess.
On October 30, 2018, NASA’s Kepler The space telescope is retired, and a nine-year planet-hunting mission comes to an end. The Kepler team discovered 2,899 exoplanet candidates and confirmed the existence of 2,681 exoplanets in the Milky Way outside our solar system.
But while Kepler said goodbye, in April 2018, NASA launched Tess – Short for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite – Going into orbit on a two-year mission to see which exoplanets could host and support life.
Go further than ever.
On January 1, 2019, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft completed its furthest flyby ever, capturing an image of a 20-mile-wide asteroid classified as 2014 MU69. Its nickname is Ultima Thule, which means “far beyond the known world”. New Horizons was also the first spacecraft to fly past Pluto in 2015.
Humans live in space?
Results for April 12, 2019 NASA’s twin study Published in academic journals scienceThe paper details the results of the study, which monitored the effects of spaceflight on the human body. The study’s test subjects were twin brothers and retired NASA astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly.
Scott Kelly took 340 days in space On the International Space Station, became the first American astronaut to spend nearly a year in space. He returned to Earth on March 2, 2016. Research has revealed how spending so much time in space affects things like gene expression and immune system responses.
“Our space agency won’t be able to go deep into space, to destinations like Mars, until we can learn more about how to strengthen the weakest link in the chain that makes spaceflight possible: the human mind and body,” wrote Kelly, in his memoir, Endurance: A year in space, a lifetime of exploration.