Space Exploration How far have we journeyed

The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in this race for space.

-John F kennedy

The Space race

After World War II drew to a close in the mid-20th century, a new conflict began. Known as the Cold War, this battle pitted the world’s two great powers–the democratic, capitalist United States and the communist Soviet Union–against each other. Beginning in the late 1950s, space would become another dramatic arena for this competition, as each side sought to prove the superiority of its technology, its military firepower and–by extension–its political-economic system.

Soviet Union
United States of America
Since 1957, we have been exploring beyond our planet. It all started with the sputnik 1; the first artificial satellite created by the Soviet Union.

A group of scientists led by Mikhail Tikhonravov at the newly created NII-4 military institute pioneered the work, which would ultimately lead to the first Soviet artificial satellite. This effort prepared ground work for the political decision to go ahead with the launch of Sputnik on Oct. 4, 1957. Sputnik 1 successfully launched and entered Earth's orbit. Thus, began the space age. The successful launch shocked the world, giving the former Soviet Union the distinction of putting the first human-made object into space.

Mikhail Tikhonravov
Vostok 1 was the first spacecraft to carry a human, Yuri A. Gargarin, into space.

Vostok 1 was the first spacecraft to carry a human, Yuri A. Gagarin, into space, occurring 25 days prior to the first U.S. suborbital flight. Because of concerns of adverse reactions to due to experiencing weightlessness, the manual controls on the spacecraft were locked prior to launch and the entire flight was under the control of ground personnel.

Yuri A Gagarin
Apollo 8 was the first mission to take humans to the Moon and back.

An important prelude to actually landing on the Moon was testing the flight trajectory and operations for getting there and back. Apollo 8 did this and acheived many other firsts including the first manned mission launched on the Saturn V, first manned launch from NASA's new Moonport, first pictures taken by humans of the Earth from deep space, and first live TV coverage of the lunar surface.

The crew included Col. Frank Borman, the commander; Capt. James A. Lovell Jr., the command module pilot; and Major William A. Anders, the lunar module pilot.

Frank Borman
James A. Lovell Jr
William A. Anders
The Apollo 11 spacecraft, launched from Cape Kennedy at 13:32:00 UT on July 16, 1969, was the first manned mission to land on the Moon. The first steps by humans on another planetary body were taken by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on July 20, 1969. The astronauts also returned to Earth the first samples from another planetary body. Apollo 11 achieved its primary mission - to perform a manned lunar landing and return the mission safely to Earth - and paved the way for the Apollo lunar landing missions to follow.
Neil Armstrong
Buzz Aldrin
Apollo 13 was to be the third mission to land on the MooN

Apollo 13 was to be the third mission to land on the Moon. An explosion in one of the oxygen tanks crippled the spacecraft during flight and the crew were forced to orbit the Moon and return to the Earth without landing. The Apollo 13 mission was launched at 2:13 p.m. EST, April 11, 1970 from launch complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center. Apollo 13 Launch The space vehicle crew consisted of James A. Lovell, Jr. commander(back from apollo 8), John L. Swigert Jr., command module pilot and Fred W. Haise, Jr. lunar module pilot.

John L. Swigert Jr.
Fred W. Haise
Apollo 17 was the last Apollo mission to land men on the Moon.

Apollo 17 carried the only trained geologist to walk on the lunar surface, lunar module pilot Harrison Schmitt. Compared to previous Apollo missions, Apollo 17 astronauts traversed the greatest distance using the Lunar Roving Vehicle and returned the greatest amount of rock and soil samples. Eugene Cernan, commander of Apollo 17, still holds the distinction of being the last man to walk on the Moon, as no humans have visited the Moon since December 14, 1972. The crew included Harrison H. Schmitt, Lunar Module Pilot, Eugene A. Cernan, Commande, and Ronald E. Evans, Command Module Pilot

Harrison H. Schmitt
Eugene A. Cernan
Ronald E. Evans
The future

Mars One aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. Several unmanned missions will be completed, establishing a habitable settlement before carefully selected and trained crews will depart to Mars. Funding and implementing this plan will not be easy, it will be hard. The Mars One team, with its advisers and with established aerospace companies, will evaluate and mitigate risks and identify and overcome difficulties step by step. Mars One is a global initiative whose goal is to make this everyone’s mission to Mars, including yours.

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