Space exploration is our human response to curiosity about the earth, the moon, the
planets, the sun and other stars, and the galaxies. Manned and unmanned spaceOrder now
vehicles venture far beyond the boundaries of the earth to collect valuable information
about the universe. Human beings have visited the moon and have lived in
space stations for long periods. Space exploration helps us see the earth in its true relation
with the rest of the universe. Such exploration could reveal how the sun,
the planets, and the stars were formed and whether life exists beyond our own world.
do not know the boundaries of the universe or what advances can come out of these
explorations so we must thrust our emotions into the unknown and have an open mind to
the possibilities. So while the average person is wondering what space has to offer the
person do not realize the many missions that have already went on in this field.
The exploration of bodies in the solar system began within a few years of the first
In 1926 American scientist Robert H. Goddard launched the world’s first liquid-
Then both U.
S. and Soviet space engineers set their sights on the Moon.
Early Soviet launches in 1958 all failed and were never announced. Several U.S.
launches also failed, although two of them (Pioneers 1 and 3) reached nearly
100,000 km into space before falling back to Earth.
In 1958 a great leap occured
when The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was formed.
This program is what runs all the space ideas and puts them into action
The first probe to escape Earth’s gravity was the Soviet LUNA 1, launch on
Jan. 2, 1959, which passed the Moon and continued into interplanetary space
. The U.S. probe Pioneer 4, launched two months later,
followed the same path.
Later Soviet probes either hit the
Moon or passed it and took photographs of the hidden far side, relaying them back to
Earth. The space age began on Oct. 4, 1957. On that day, the Soviet Union launched
Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite to orbit the earth.
The first manned space flight was made on April 12, 1961, when Yuri A. Gagarin,
a Soviet cosmonaut, orbited the earth in the spaceship Vostok 1.
Space probes have vastly expanded our knowledge of outer space, the planets, and
the stars. In 1959, one Soviet probe passed close to the moon and another hit the moon.
A United States probe flew past Venus in 1962. In 1974 and 1976, the United States
launched two German probes that passed inside the orbit of Mercury, close to the sun.
Two other U.S.
probes landed on Mars in 1976. In addition to studying every
planet except Pluto, space probes have investigated comets and asteroids.
The first manned voyage to the moon began on Dec. 21, 1968, when the United States
launched the Apollo 8 spacecraft. It orbited the moon 10 times and returned to the earth.
On July 20, 1969, U.
S. astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., landed
their Apollo 11 lunar module on the moon. Armstrong became the first person
to set foot on the moon.
United States astronauts made five more landings on the moon
before the Apollo lunar program ended in 1972.
The early years of the space age, success in space became a measure of a country’s
in science, engineering, and national defense. The United States and the Soviet Union
were engaged in an intense rivalry called the Cold War. As a result, the two nations
competed with each other in developing their space programs. Throughout the 1960’s
and 1970’s, this “space race” drove both nations to tremendous exploratory efforts.
During the 1970’s, astronauts and cosmonauts developed skills for living in space
aboard the Skylab and Salyut space stations.
In 1987 and 1988, two Soviet
cosmonauts spent a record 366 days in orbit.
In the mid-1960s three NASA programs pursued the lunar objective. Ranger probes
crashed into the Moon’s surface but succeeded in sending high-resolution
photographs prior to impact. SURVEYOR probes soft-landed on the Moon and
analyzed its surface, while Lunar orbiters probes circled the Moon and sent
back pictures both .