Universe Guide

Sputnik 1's Birthday

It is now fifty years since the Russians launched Sputnik 1 and kick-started the exploration of space. Some people saw it as a threat because the Russians had got there first, others were pleased because it showed there's no limit to our abilities. Some twelve years later, America landed on the moon. We now talk of co-operation not competition as we aim to build a base on the moon as a stepping stone for further afield.

We've already collaborated by putting the International Space Station in place so a trip to the moon and beyond shouldn't be too much should it? We're already in an age when people (e.g. Dennis Tito) can holiday in space, it won't be long before we can take package holidays in space. Maybe we'll terraform Mars so the stories of Kim Stanley Robinson come true?

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