History of famous firsts in space

In its first manned rocket launch, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket on May 30 is set to bring NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. The spaceflight, taking off from the same launch pad used to bring people to the moon, represents other milestones , as well: It’s the first time a private company is sending people to space; it’s also the first space launch since 2011 to leave from the United States. The launch was scheduled for May 27 but was rescheduled because of rain . In honor of this historic moment, Stacker used a combination of news, government, and other archival reports to curate a gallery of 50 other historic firsts in space. Although the idea of galaxies beyond the Earth’s atmosphere has long entranced human beings, it wasn’t until the second half of the 20th century that space flight became a reality, enabling humans to see beyond the Earth—and, in the case of the first photographs taken of the Earth—to see the Earth itself. We tend to think of the middle-to-end of the 20th century as a time when many of the firsts in space occurred, and this is for good reason. The Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union was a major factor influencing the proliferation of space activity. Both countries competed for dominance in outer space, and many of the firsts achieved in space were due to the desire of both countries to be “the first.” When the Cold War ebbed late in the century, there was less incentive for either country to out-rocket the other. As we can see with SpaceX, however, humans’ fascination with space and desire to explore the cosmos is as strong as ever. Keep reading for a comprehensive retrospective of famous firsts in space, including the United Kingdom’s first astronaut, the first insect to visit space, and the planet’s first space tourist. You may also like: U.S. Marine Corps history from the year you were born Unknown // Wikimedia Commons The first space movie is widely considered to be 1902’s “Le Voyage dans la Lune.” The film depicts a journey to the moon by a The first insects to travel to space aboard a manmade ship made the journey in 1947. A group of fruit flies aboard the American V-2 rocket reached an altitude of 108 kilometers and made it back into the Earth’s orbit alive. The first monkey was sent to space in 1948, a male rhesus monkey named Albert. Sadly, he did not reach space (which is officially 100 kilometers from the Earth’s surface), and he died at some point in the journey. He was followed a year later by a monkey named Albert II, who made it to space, but did not make it back alive. [Pictured: Monkey Baker with a Model Jupiter Vehicle on May 29, 1959.] The United States’ first man-in-space program was launched in 1958. The so-called Project Mercury aimed to orbit a manned spacecraft around Earth and research man’s ability to function in space. The project made six manned flights between 1961 and 1963. The first American astronauts were introduced in 1959. Members of the group were finalists from a competitive vetting process than began with over 500 candidates. These “Original Seven” were eventually called the “Mercury Seven” after the name of the American space project—the Mercury Program. You may also like: These baby names are going extinct The Soviet Union beat the United States in the space race in 1961 by sending the world’s first person to space. Yuri Gagarin became an international celebrity after his return and toured the world promoting his achievement on behalf of the Soviets. Alan Shepard became the first American in space less than a month after Soviet Yuri Gagarin became the first person in space. Shepard’s May 5 journey lasted just over 15 minutes. In contrast to the much-shorter flights that had occurred earlier that year, the Soviet astronaut Gherman S. Titov’s August 1961 flight lasted more than 25 hours. Titov thus also became the first person to sleep in space—and the first person to experience “space sickness.” John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. Glenn was a member of the Mercury 7, and circled the globe three times in less than five hours, concluding with a splashdown and recovery in the Atlantic Ocean. The Soviet astronaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space in 1963. Tereshkova spent 71 hours in space—more than the combined total of all American astronauts to that date. You may also like: American history from the year you were born France was responsible for the first cat in space, who set out in 1963. The cat Felicette was part of a group of 14 cats trained for space travel. Her journey lasted 15 minutes, and she returned to Earth unharmed. Three Soviet astronauts became the first in space without spacesuits in 1964. The three men’s aircraft had not been designed for a crowd, so the suits being left behind was a matter of saving space, which turned out to set a world precedent. The Soviet astronaut Alexei Leonov was the first person to walk in space in March 1965. Leonov’s first words on exiting his spacecraft and catching view of the Earth was: “The Earth is round!” Decades later, he has said that what remains imprinted on his memory is “the extraordinary silence.” Almost three months after Alexei Leonov took the first spacewalk, American Ed White became the first American to walk in space in 1965. White’s walk lasted approximately 20 minutes. Sadly, he would perish in the tragic Apollo mission two years later. On March 16, 1966, a staffed spacecraft made its first docking exchange in space. The Gemini VIII spacecraft—manned by the American astronaut Neil Armstrong—linked up with the unmanned Agena target vehicle, marking the first time that two spacecraft linked together outside Earth’s orbit. The first photograph of the Earth was taken from the moon’s orbit on Aug. 23, 1966, by a NASA shuttle. Earlier photographs taken from space had captured only parts of the Earth, while the 1966 photo managed to get the whole globe in the shot. The far side of the moon is the hemisphere of the moon that faces the opposite direction away from the Earth. In 1968, the Apollo 8 crew saw this side of the moon and became the first humans to have ever done so. “It’s a beautiful, beautiful view,” one of the crew transmitted back to mission control on Dec. 22, 1968. In the week of Oct. 11, 1969, the Soviet Union sent three spacecrafts with a total of seven men into space. This was the largest number of spacecraft and crew that had ever been in space simultaneously. The American Neil Armstrong became the first man on the moon in 1969. He and Buzz Aldrin walked around the moon for 2.5 hours, exploring and collecting samples before returning to Earth with Michael Collins, who had stayed in orbit while his co-astronauts walked. In 1969, the American astronaut Buzz Aldrin claimed his place in space history. Aldrin became the first man to pee on the moon this year. What’s more, he did so on live television. In a tragic space first, three Soviet astronauts—Georgi Dobrovolsky, Vladislav Volkov, and Viktor Patsayev—became the first to perish in space on June 30, 1971. A broken breathing valve caused a drop in pressure inside their spacecraft, The American astronaut Alan Shepard was first to use the moon as a driving range on Feb. 6, 1971. His game of choice? Golf. To this day, Shepard, who estimates he hit the ball about 200 yards, remains the only person to play golf on the moon. The Soviet Soyuz 11 became the first spacecraft to link with a space station in space in 1971 when it connected with the Soviet space station Salyut 1. Tragically, the Soyuz 11 would not return to Earth—all three astronauts on board would die due to a loss of pressurization in the spacecraft. NASA launched the world’s first skylab in 1973. Three crews visited over the course of the next two years, as massive amounts of outer space data were transmitted back to mission control in Houston. The United States and the Soviet Union had been locked in a space race for decades, so it came as a welcome joint venture in 1975 when the two nations teamed up for the first international manned spaceflight. An American Apollo spacecraft met up with a Soviet Soyuz, and their crews performed several experiments together. You may also like: 1 million species are facing annihilation—inside Earth’s sixth mass extinction event Arguably the most famous space film series was launched in 1977. The first “Star Wars” film “A New Hope” was a smash hit with audiences everywhere, taking place in a galaxy “far far away.” Arnaldo Tamayo Mendez became the first Black astronaut in space in 1980. Mendez was part of a Soviet program to fly non-Soviet […]

Click here to view original web page at www.wfmz.com