The night sky is a place where people have always been fascinated. People were very curious about the sun, the moon, the stars and the planets. So going beyond this celestial space is a wonderful dream that came to the human mind.
We are now at a stage where that dream is largely coming true. It’s true that small steps taken by different people over a long period of time have been successful. So I’m talking about the amazing steps that led to that success. These facts about space exploration history will give you a quick fill about how it all happened. You will see lots of firsts in my article.
The first aircraft to take off
Man was able to fly high with the formation of the rocket. Although the rocket has a long history, the “V-2” (v-2) rocket is considered to be the first rocket to actually take off.
These were originally designed as a weapon by German scientist Vernon von Braun in 1942-45. That is why this rocket is considered to be the world’s first long range ballistic missile. This is the first man-made aircraft to fly 20, 100km in June 1944.
The first circle around the earth
Sputnik-1 was the first spacecraft to orbit the Earth before orbiting. On October 4, 1957, it was launched by a Soviet space mission. For three weeks, the spacecraft orbited actively until the batteries ran out. And then it went around the earth for another 2 months until it completely collapsed and fell to the ground. The spacecraft, which flew 250km above the Earth, caught fire and was destroyed when it returned to Earth.
The first space flight
The first to fly was Yuri Gagarin of Soviet Russia. It was April 12, 1961. He received the Soviet Hero and Lenin Medals for this trip. Gagarin took off from Baikonur ferry and spent an hour and 48 minutes in the air. He landed on a parachute 23,000 feet above the ground as planned.
On March 27, 1968, Gagarin died in a mysterious crash involving his MIG.
The first woman in the air
The first woman to fly was Valentina Tereshkova, a Russian woman. He took off in a Vostok-6.
On June 16, 1963, he orbited the Earth 48 times. For that he spent 71 hours in the air.
An American woman first flew in 1983. She is Sally Ride. He went on a “space shuttle”.
“Laika” goes into space
Before sending a man into the air first U.S.A. sent a monkey. The ape-like rhesus monkey was named “Albert-1”. On June 11, 1948, he boarded a V2 rocket and flew, but that journey did not go far into space.
As a result, the first creature to go into space was named Laika, a former wanderer in Moscow.
Laika boarded the Soviet Sputnik 2 on November 3, 1957.
But a few hours after taking off, Laika died of overheating due to a fault in the aircraft’s batteries.
The first animals to fly
The first living creatures to fly were the Belka and Stirlka, a pair of dogs. The white squirrel and the arrow flew in the Sputnik spacecraft on August 19, 1960, and returned one day.
The two were accompanied by a gray rabbit, 44 rats, several flies, and a few plants and fungi.
The first walking in the air
Soviet astronaut Alex Leonov was the first person to walk in space for 12 minutes and 9 seconds. It was October 18, 1965. This trip was to end in an accident due to a leak in his space suit. But he got on the plane carefully.
He later served as a Soyuz 19 Commander on the Soyuz-Apollo program. He died on October 11, 2019.
The first man to walk freely in the air
Bruce McCandless was the first to walk freely without being connected to a plane by a cable. That was on February 7, 1984.
Originally a space shuttle pilot, he flew twice with the shuttle and flew freely for 4 hours.
The Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) which is a special mechanical suit was used for this purpose.
The first man to go to the moon
This is Neil Armstrong we all know. On July 20, 1969, he landed on the moon from the Apollo 2 spacecraft and landed on the moon from the Eagle capsule. This is one of a big achievement in space exploration history facts. I will bring a complete detailed article about moon trip. Until then I suggest you to bookmark my blog.
The first man to die in the air
Soviet astronaut Vlad Mir Komorov was the first man to die in space travel.(It’s a really sad story) It was April 4, 1967. He died in a plane crash while returning from a one-day ride on a Soyuz 1.
The first spacecraft to approach the moon
The Luna 1 spacecraft was the first spacecraft to approach the moon. It was sent in 1959. Due to technical faults, the moon was able to reach 5900km even though it did not reach its target.
3 times the diameter of that moon. It was so close to the moon on January 1, 1959.
The first photo of the moon
The first photograph of the invisible side of the moon was first taken by a Soviet Luna 3 spacecraft. In 1960, maps were also made with this device. Apollo 8 orbiting the moon in 1968 was the first to see this dark side of the moon with the naked eye.
The first spacecraft to Venus
The first spacecraft to go to an alien planet was the Venera 7. This is also a Soviet product. December 15, 1970 It landed on Venus. From there, in as little as 53 minutes, it communicates with the Earth.
It obtained a lot of data on Venus such as temperature, pressure, atmospheric composition and density. It left Earth on August 17, 1970.
Original photo and audio of Venus
On March 1, 1982, Venora 13 went to Venus. A parachute landed on it and sent the first image of the surface of Venus and the sound of the surroundings heard there.
The first spacecraft to go to Mars
Plans to send spacecraft to Mars have been made since the 1960s. 56 operations have been carried out so far. It all started with the launch of the Mariner 9 on Mars on May 30, 1971. It orbited close to Mars. The Viking 1 spacecraft first landed on Mars.
Read also – Mars Mission – A begin to Go
The first soil brought from the moon
An automatic spacecraft brought the first five layers of the moon. It was the Luna 16 spacecraft that went to the moon under the Soviet Luna program. This is considered to be the first spacecraft to reach the moon.
It was able to send 100g of moonshine with basalt obtained by digging 35mm below the moon in 7 minutes in 12 days. The Luna 16 took off on September 17, 1970.
The first spacecraft to the sun
Man was able to bring the head of our planetary family closer to the sun. That’s it. After years of effort, the first spacecraft to reach the sun was the Parker Solar Brow.
It went around the sun and studied information close to the sun from time to time. It is approaching the Sun at 4.3 million miles and is expected to reach speeds close to the speed of light by 2025.
Latest Plane to the Sun – Solar Orbiter
NASA and the European Space Agency jointly launched this spacecraft to search for the sun. That was on February 6, 2020. The spacecraft will travel between Mercury and Earth for seven years to examine the membrane of charged particles emitted from the Sun, which forms a mantle around the Solar System.
The Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to land near Jupiter. That was in 1973. It started its journey on March 2, 1972. This is also the first spacecraft to be able to fly out of the solar system. The last time it signaled to Earth was on January 23, 2003.
The first trip to the Saturn’s moon
On January 14, 2005, for the first time in human history, a large spacecraft landed on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. That “Hughes” plane. It was released from the Cassini spacecraft near Saturn.
Hoodin sent data to Earth for 75 consecutive minutes in the freezing cold of Titan.
The first group photo of the Solar family
Voyager 1 was the first to photograph the six major planets in the Solar System at a distance of 6 billion kilometers. Voyager, which flew in 1977, has now escaped from our solar system and gone into a distant universe.
The first aircraft to land on a receiver
In the year 2000, for the first time, a spacecraft orbited an asteroid known as space rock. That journey started on February 17, 1996.
In memory of former astronomer Eugene Schumacher, a robot named Schumacher was sent to the Eros receiver. It orbited the receiver for about a year and landed on the receiver on February 12, 2001.
Landing on a comet
On November 12, 2014, the Comet 67P / churyumov-Gerasimenok (67P) spacecraft landed on the comet File. It was flown by the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft. This spacecraft left for the comet in 2004. On the way, two asteroids and Mars approached. The Philae, carried here, was the first man-made spacecraft to land on a comet..
The longest flight – Mir
Mir, who was sent by Russia, is known as the longest-serving space station in the sky. Mir means peace. That’s why Mir has been in the air for 15 years straight. Built in two parts and dedicated twice between 1986 and 1996, the center is as large as six buses. It crashed into the Pacific Ocean in 2001.
Valerie Poliokov spent 437 days and 15 hours on Mir, setting a record for the longest flight on 22 March 1995.
First Space Station
The world’s first man-made space station was built by Soviet Russia. That was Salute 1. It flew on April 19, 1971. Two days later, the first three astronauts arrived on board, and the Soyuz 10 spacecraft landed properly, but had to return because its doors did not open.
The three astronauts who first landed on Soyuz 11 on June 6 spent a record 383 days there. The three were Giorgi Dobrovsky, Vladislav Vokov and Viktor Patsayev. From there it orbited the Earth 3000 times. 175 days in the air, the former Salute 1 crashed into the Pacific Ocean.
First shuttle flight
The Columbia spacecraft was the first of the space shuttles to take off from the rocket and land like an airplane. The Columbia made its maiden voyage on April 13, 1981. It has been in the service for 22 years since then. It participated in 27 missions in the air and went on the 28th mission and when it returned it had an accident. Along with the 7 astronauts who flew. It was also the first tragedy in the history of the shuttle. That was on February 1, 2003.
The first Space Telescope
The first space telescope was considered to be the 4 satellites in orbit. These are called orbiting astronomical observatories, or OAOs. The OAO-2 Stargazer telescope with 11 successful ultraviolet telescopes was launched into orbit on December 7, 1968.
Russian Orion 1
Their first astrophysical observatory. It was their original space telescope. Launched in June 1971, it was mounted on the Russian space station Salute 1.
Earth Planet Finder – Kepler
March 7, 2009 NASA launches the latest telescope. It did his duty for about 9 years until October 30, 2018. That is the search for Earth-like habitats. It searched 530,506 stars and found 2,662 planets.
Europe’s first Mars mission- ExoMars 2020
The European Space Agency (ESA) is set to land on Mars between July 26 and August 11, 2020, a rare occasion when Mars and Earth are aligned.
Are there any signs of life on the rocks of Mars during this journey? To be investigated. China, Arabia on Mars for the first time, China is set to launch a spacecraft to Mars and land a robotic rover on the planet. The United Arab Emirates’ Hope Mars Mission spacecraft is set to orbit Mars. Both missions are scheduled to be operational between July and August 2021.
I think you get an brief idea about the history of space exploration after referring these facts.
Sasindu Jayasri is an Engineering student from Sri Lanka and he studies mechanical engineering at the department of mechanical engineering at the University of Moratuwa. He is passionate about writing and giving inspiration to the world. Follow him in LinkedIn for updates and you can contact him directly.