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Space Exploration

Below is a short chronology of events that have taken place in Space Exploration. It is by far nowhere near complete, I don`t intend to mention every space mission that has taken place but just those I feel stand out from the rest.


Friday, 4th October, 1957
 Sputnik 1 is launched by the Soviet Union heralding the start of the space race

Sunday, 3rd November, 1957
 Laika, a female dog is sent into space to test if life can survive the journey up. She unfortunately dies on re-entry.

Friday, 31st January, 1958
 America launched `Explorer 1`, its first satiellite in space.

Wednesday, 1st October, 1958
 N.A.S.A. comes into existance.

Wednesday, 12th April, 1961
 Cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin becomes the first person in space.

Friday, 5th May, 1961
 Alan Shepard becomes the first American into space.

Tuesday, 20th February, 1962
 Astronaut John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the planet.

Sunday, 16th June, 1963
 Russian Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first female in space.

Thursday, 18th March, 1965
 Russian Cosmanaut Aleksei Leonov, becomes the first person to attempt a space walk from his craft the Voskhod 2

Saturday, 21st December 1968
 Apollo 8 is launched with Frank Borman, James A. Lovell and William A. Landers which successfully makes the first Moon orbit.

Sunday, 20th July, 1969
 Neil Armstrong lands on the moon with support from Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins in support.

Monday, 13th April, 1970
 Apollo 13 mission to the moon is aborted after the oxygen tank in the service module ruptures but the men ( Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, Jack Swigert ) return to earth safely.

Monday, 19th April, 1971
 Salyut One, the first space station is launched and stays in orbit until 1973.

Sunday, 6th June, 1971
 Cosmonauts become the first people to live in space.

Tuesday, 29th June, 1971
 The first Cosmonauts, Georgi Dobrovolski, Vladislav Volkov and Viktor Patsayev to live in space die upon re-entry.

Thursday, 28th October, 1971
 Britain launches its first home-made satiellite and space-bound rocket. It is launched in Woomera, Australia.

Monday, 14th May, 1973
 Skylab, America`s first space station is launched.

Monday, 28th May, 1973
 Salyut One re-enters the atmosphere.

Thursday, 17th July, 1975
 American and Russian crafts rendezvous in space heralding a new friendship.

Tuesday, 20th July, 1976
 Viking 1 lands on Mars, the first such landing on the planet.

Monday, 9th July, 1979
 Voyager 2 reaches the orbit of Jupiter.

Sunday, 12th April, 1981
 Columbia, Americans first space shuttle is launched.

Tuesday, 25th August, 1981
 Voyager 2 reaches the orbit of Saturn.

Monday, 1st March, 1982
 Soviet probe Venera 13 lands on the Venusia landscape and provides details of atmosphere and soil.

Thursday, 13th May, 1982
 Lebedev, Valentin V. and Berezovoy, Anatoly N. achieve new endurance record of 211 days for being in space.

Sunday, 19th June, 1983
 Sally Ride becomes the first American Female into space on board the Shuttle Challenger.

Friday, 3rd February, 1984
 Astronaut Bruce McCandless becomes the first person to walk in space without a cord connecting him to the ship.

Friday, 24th January, 1986
 Voyager 2 reaches the orbit of Uranus

Tuesday, 28th January, 1986
 Space Shuttle Challenger explodes on take off with the loss of seven astronauts. The cause is a faulty seal on a rocket.

Thursday, 20th February, 1986
 The first part of the Russian space station Mir (`Freedom` in English ) is launched

Tuesday, 1st December, 1987
 A new space endurance record is set by Cosmonaut Yuri V. Romanenko. He has stayed in space for 326 days.

Friday, 25th August, 1989
 Voyager 2 reaches the orbit of Neptune.

Saturday, 18th May, 1991
 Helen Sharman becomes the first Briton to enter into Space aboard a Russian Spacecraft.

Friday, 20th November, 1998
 The first module of the international space station is launched. It is a partnership of many nations to have put it into space.

Thursday, 29th October, 1998
 John Glenn returns to space, 30+ years after he first went.

Saturday, 28th April, 2001
 Dennis Tito, an American businessman becomes the first Space Tourist after paying a huge sum of money to Russia.

Saturday, 1st February, 2003
 Space Shuttle Columbia burns up on re-entry. Possible cause is being given as a foam coming loose and damaging the heat tile on the way up.

Thursday, 25th December, 2003
 Mars Explorer containing the Beagle 2 lander reaches Mars.




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Nancy Robison
Space, the universe, is so big we can hardly comprehend its size. Are we going to fall back upon what we know? Have we decided that the necessary technology is beyond us? Is it? I think somewhere there are answers. I just don't know whether we are supposed to have them. Are we scrapping our space program? I don't think it is something we can do half way. Maybe more emphasis needs to be placed on education of children in this area. How many high schools or even colleges have a telescope or even know about the NASA web site? I have read some of what is available online regarding the work that is being done by NASA and others and it is awesome. Having invested so much time and money,isn't it foolish to embrace defeat?