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Timeline of Space Exploration

  • Sputnik 1

    Sputnik 1
    The first space craft launched into space was Sputniik 1. It sucessfully entered Earth's orbit, therefore the space age began.
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    Space Exploration & Events

  • The Birth of NASA

    The Birth of NASA
    Even though President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act into law on July 29, 1958- NASA formally opened on October 1, 1958.
  • First Human in Orbit

    First Human in Orbit
    http://www.nasa.gov/mpg/146085main_yuri.mpg : Video of Yuri Gagarin being launched into space.
    The flight lasted 108 minutes and Yuri Gagarin was sent by the Russians in the Vostock 1 spacecraft. He was the first human in space, and this advanced the Russians in the space race.
  • First American in Space

    First American in Space
    On May 5, 1961 the United States sent Alan Shepard into space aboard Freedom 7. He was sent soon after the Russians sent Yuri Gagarin.
  • One Giant Leap For Mankind

    One Giant Leap For Mankind
    Apollo 11,carried astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the moon in July of 1969. Neil Armstrong took the 'one giant leap for mankind' onto the moon, therefore becoming the first man to walk on 'Sea of Tranquility.' The men left behind an American flag, a patch to honor the fallen Apollo 1 crew, and a plaque on one of the Apollo 11 spacecraft's legs that says, "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind."
  • Pioneer 10

    Pioneer 10
    Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to travel through the asteroid belt. Also, Pioneer 10 was the first to obtain close up images of Jupiter and make direct observations. Now, Pioneer 10 is more than 7.5 billion miles from Earth and is the farthest spacecraft in our solar system.
  • Skylab

    America's first experimental space station was Skylab. Skylab's mission was to prove that humans could work and live in space for extended periods, and to expand the knowledge of space beyond Earth observation. It was sucessful. A total of nine men worked on Skylab for a total of 171 days and 13 hours. Nearly 300 experiements were performed.
  • Apollo-Soyuz

    The first international oartnership in space was the Apollo-Soyuz project. An Apollo spacecraft with a crew of three docked on July 17 with a crew of two on a Soyuz spacecraft. The nine day mission brought two rivals together, the United States and the Soviet Union. The sucessful Apollo-Soyuz mission marked the start of future international partnerships.
  • Viking 1

    Viking 1
    Viking 1 was the first successful mission to land on Mars on July 20, 1976. Viking was sent to Mars to take high-resolution images of the Martian surface, characterize the structure of the atmosphere and surface, and search for evidence of life. Although there is no trace of life on Mars, Viking found all elements essential to life on Earth, such as carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen and phosphorus. Viking 1 was launche don August 20, 1975.
  • Ulysses

    Ulysses launched into space on October 6, 1990. Ulysses was the first spacecraft to study our Sun's poles, and it was also the first to fly by the Sun's polar regions.
  • Phoenix Mars Lander

    Phoenix Mars Lander
    Phoenix uses a robotic arm to dig through the protective top soil and to the water ice below on the Martian surface. The lander brings water ice and soil to the platform for scientific analysis. Phoenix has two bold objectives for this mission, to study the water and its history in the Martian artic, and to search for any traces of life while studying the ice-soil.
  • Dawn

    Dawn will study dwarf planets Ceres and the asteroid Vesta. The mission will study the early solar system and the formation.
  • Black Hole Eats Star

    Black Hole Eats Star
    http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=108085181 : video
    Swift is a multi-wavelength observatory dedicated to the study of gamma-ray burst science (GRB).
    NASA's Swift detected x-ray flares on March 28, 2011. The explanation of these intense flares were that a black hole devoured a star.