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Space Exploration

  • First Telescope Invented

    First Telescope Invented
    In 1608, a Dutch lens maker, Hans Lippershey, invented the first ever telescope. This marked the beginning for semi-modern space exploration, as five planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, had been discovered already by ancient civilizations because they were visible to the naked eye. The invention allowed individuals to see objects in space that could not be seen by the naked eye, because the telescope enlarged objects by three times.
  • Discovery of Uranus

    Discovery of Uranus
    In 1781, William Herschel, a British astronomer, was the first man to discover a planet utilizing a telescope, which he made himself. He discovered the planet of Uranus, which was the first planet discovered not with the naked eye. This inspired individuals to seek more planets and objects in space.
  • Discovery of Neptune

    Discovery of Neptune
    On September 23, 1846, German astronomer, Johann Galle, discovered the planet Neptune. Neptune had been previously discovered by British astronomer, James Challis; however, he failed to recognize that Neptune was a planet and not a random object in space. Prior to both of these events, astronomers, Adams and Le Verrier, had predicted that a planet was near Uranus, due to the anomalies in Uranus' orbit.
  • Discovery that Andromeda is a galaxy

    Discovery that Andromeda is a galaxy
    On December 30, 1924, astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that the Andromeda is not just a serial nebula, but in fact it is a galaxy. Thus, determining that the Milky Way galaxy is just one galaxy of many galaxies. This led to the assumption that we are not alone in this universe and there are multiple galaxies just like ours that could potentially hold life.
  • The first man-made object enters space

    The first man-made object enters space
    On July 24, 1950, the "Bumper-WAC" became the first human-made object to enter space. It was a German produced V-2 space rocket that held a JPL WAC Corporal missile. The space rocket was designed and developed by German researchers, Wernher von Braun's team. This was a huge leap in space exploration, as they were able to successfully launch a rocket into space, bringing man-kind a step closer to touching space.
  • First artificial Earth satellite launched into space

    First artificial Earth satellite launched into space
    On October 4, 1957, Sputnik 1 became the first artificial Earth satellite to successfully launch into space. It was launched by the USSR apart of the Soviet space mission. This unfortunately meant that the USSR was one step closer than the US at winning the space race. However, all space discoveries and milestones are phenomenal no matter what nation accomplishes it (as long as it is utilized for good).
  • US Launches Vanguard 1

    US Launches Vanguard 1
    On March 17, 1958, the United States launches Vanguard 1, a satellite that orbited Earth. Although this satellite was not the first satellite or US satellite to be launched, it was the first successful US satellite of the Vanguard series. It was also the first satellite to utilize solar cell power and is the oldest satellite that still orbits Earth.
  • First man in space

    First man in space
    On April 12, 1961, Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was the first man to ever travel into space. He was apart of the Soviet space mission, in the spacecraft Vostok 1. Although Gagarin only orbited space for 108 minutes, this set the Soviet's way ahead of the United States in the space race and set a new standard for space exploration.
  • The Lunar Landing

    The Lunar Landing
    On July 21, 1969 at 02:56 (Coordinated Universal Time) Neil Armstrong, aboard Apollo 11, became the first man to land on the moon and the first man to ever land on another planetary body. Neil Armstrong was apart of the United States space mission meaning that the United States of America won the international space race. Although, several other individuals have walked on the moon, the moon remains the only extraterrestrial object that man has ever physically landed on.
  • Viking 1 Lander lands on Mars

    Viking 1 Lander lands on Mars
    On July 20th, 1976, the Viking 1 Lander touched down on the surface of Mars. This Lander, as well as Viking 2 Lander, which touched down two months later, provided Earth with images of Mars' surface and enabled individuals to study Mars' soil and atmosphere. This accomplishment was so significant because it allowed humans to thoroughly study another planet for the first time. Learning about Mars enabled scientists to create technologies and test for further space exploration.
  • Hubble Space Telescope

    Hubble Space Telescope
    On April 24, 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope launched into space and began its orbit around Earth. The design of this telescope first began in the 1940's it took decades for scientists, engineers, etc to complete this project. The Hubble has enabled scientist too loosely understand how planets and galaxies are formed. It also allowed scientist to estimate that the universe is about 14 billion years old. Overall, the Hubble allows scientists to measure the distance of objects in space.
  • First Commercial Astronauts

    First Commercial Astronauts
    On June 21, 2004, Mike Melville became the first commercial astronaut. He flew a privately funded spaceflight on the ship, SpaceShipOne. It flew 328,000 ft above the United States, which ended up passed the boundary of space, making it the first privately funded spaceship to go into outer space. This milestone changed spaceflight forever, as it began a movement for more commercial spaceflights that regular individuals can aboard.
  • First Space-Grown Plants Eaten

    First Space-Grown Plants Eaten
    On August 10, 2015, the members of Expedition 44 became the first American astronauts to eat plants that were fully grown in space. They planted and harvested Red Romaine in space that successfully grew and was sustainable for them to absorb. Growing plants in space has always been a goal that needed to be reached, as the only way for longer space exploration missions to occur is if scientists could find a way to grow and eat plants made in space.
  • Richard Branson Aboard the Virgin Galactic

    Richard Branson Aboard the Virgin Galactic
    On July 11, 2021, Richard Branson, a billionaire businessman, boarded the Virgin Galactic and flew 50 miles above New Mexico. His crew and him safely returned causing uproar in the space field, as this event is the beginning of a new era of space tourism. Branson demonstrates that regular, non-astronauts, can now safely fly into space and back home without extensive training. This will forever change how humans view space, as space is not so far for the regular human.