A basketball sized, 183 pound satellite was launched
by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957. For almost
one month, the satellite orbited the Earth emitting
radio frequency noise. It was the first ever
man-made object to be sent into space.
addition, you may want to check out
AeroSpaceGuide. This site has some interesting
facts as well as mission summaries.
after, the Soviet Union sent into space the first
ever (known anyway) animal into space - Laika the
dog - inside Sputnik II. Unfortunately there was no
way to retrieve the animal.
The United States response to the Soviet launch
of Sputnik is the Explorer I, launched on January
31, 1958. It was the first ever scientific
instrument launched, and discovered the radiation
belts (the Van Allen Belts) surrounding the Earth.
Since then, there have been several manned missions
designed to improve the use of spacecraft and to
test the effects of man in space. While there are
many missions even now designed to introduce various
instruments, probes and satellites, the one that
started it all are the initial space missions
leading up to the Space Shuttle.
The data and
images involved with these missions are far to great
to include in this humble website, so in spirit of
the design of Astronomy Online, we will list the
missions and include the appropriate Internet links.
Detailed Summaries of both failed and successful
missions can be found here:
Timeline for 1957 to 1964
Timeline for 1965 to 1969
Timeline for 1970 to 1979
Timeline for 1980 to Present
The Russians were the first
ones into space so it seems only far to list the
Russian achievements first:
For a detailed
chronology of the Russian achievements for the 20th
Russian Space Web website is your source.
main site for great Russian history of spaceflight
Russian Space Web.
The major categories of the
Russian space exploration are:
- The Sputnik series
- The Vostok series - first manned spaceflight
- The Luna series - the
- The Venera series - probe to
- The Soyuz series - manned missions
- The OKB series -
- The Buran series - reusable spacecraft
The Mir Space Station
- The International Space Station
American Space Missions:
In response to the launch of the Russian
artificial satellite in 1957, the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
was founded in 1958 to develope the
technology required for the United States to
implement its own space program.
there have been great strides (and failures) in
the achievement of space travel and exploration.
The main website to learn about human
NASA's Human Spaceflight website.
major categories of the American space
exploration programs are:
The International Space Station is a
joint venture between all of the Space
Agencies throughout the world:
While not all countries are involved
with the International Space Station
effort, their programs are not without
their own merit. Other countries that
have demonstrated the technological
achievements of operations in Space are:
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