Space Exploration Timeline. By: Mary Claire Paddock . 1900. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky(1857-1935) was a self educated Russian scientist known as the father of cosmonautics and rocket dynamics. In 1926 he defined 16 steps for human expansion into space as part of his “Plan of Space Exploration.”.
By: Mary Claire Paddock
On September 4, 1944, the V2 spacecraft leaves the Earth’s atmosphere during World War II. The German’s fired the V2 against Paris, but it mistakenly hit London.
On May 24, 1954, Americans launched Viking 11 for a suborbital flight from White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico. Viking 11 rose to 158 miles, an altitude record for a western single-stage rocket.
On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first earth orbiting satellite. The launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments and marked the start of the Space Age.
On April 12, 1961, Russian cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, became the first human in space, making a 108 minute orbital flight in his Vostok 1 spacecraft.
Lunar Orbitor missions were operated by the U.S. from 1961-1967. The Lunar Orbitor programs consisted of five unmanned spacecraft which returned photography of 99% of the moon.
Apollo 16 was the 10th manned mission in the United State’s Apollo program. The mission was launched on April 16, 1972, and concluded on April 27. En route to the moon, Apollo 16 astronauts took several photos of the Earth.
On March 28, 1979, Skylab, the first U.S. Space Station, presents the first satellite observations of the outer cornea of the sun. Soft x-ray images of the sun were taken with a S-054 x-ray telescope on Skylab.
On April 24, 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was carried into orbit by the U. S. Space Shuttle Discovery. Although not the first space telescope, it was one of the largest and most versatile. The telescope was named after astronomer, Edwin Hubble. This is the only telescope designed to be serviced in space by astronauts.