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The History of Space Travel By James Palmer A Timeline of Space Travel 4 th October 1957 – Russia launch the sputnik satellite. 3 rd November 1957 – First dog in space. The Russians send Laika on a mission to space.

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A Timeline of Space Travel

4th October 1957 – Russia launch the sputnik satellite.

3rd November 1957 – First dog in space. The Russians send Laika on a mission to space.

2nd January 1959 – The Soviets attempt to land a rocket on the moon, but it misses the target.

12th September 1959 – Russia successfully land a rocket carrying scientific equipment onto the moon.

31st January 1961 – A chimp, sent to space by the USA returns to earth safely.

12th April 1961 - Russian Yuri Gagarin is the first man in space as he orbits Earth.

5th May 1961 – Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space.

26th April 1962 – Ranger IV becomes the first US rocket on the moon, but it fails to send back images.

16th June 1963 – First female in space, Valentina Tereshkova of Russia.

3rd February 1966 - Russian Luna 9 is the first probe on the moon.

27th January 1967 – 3 astronauts die in Apollo 1’s try out. It was due to be a manned flight to the moon.

5th May 1967 – The first all British satellite, Ariel 3 is launched.

18th October 1967 – The Soviets launch a probe into the atmosphere of Venus.

24th December 1968 – The crew of Apollo 8 become the first men to orbit the moon.

16th July 1969 – Apollo 11 sets off for the moon.

20th July 1969 – Neil Armstrong becomes the first man on the moon (supposedly).


The Apollo Missions

The Apollo missions were American missions with various objectives. Here is a complete list of what happened to them all:

Apollo 1: Apollo 1 was supposed to be the first manned flight to the moon. It blew up in it’s test run in 1967.

Apollo 2: Apollo 2 was used to check on the progress of the Saturn V rocket.

Apollo 3: Apollo 3’s objectives were to evaluate the Apollo space crafts separations.

Apollo 4: Apollo 4 was the first flight of the Saturn V launch vehicle. It was unmanned.

Apollo 5: Apollo 5 tested NASA’s lunar module in a space environment.

Apollo 6: Apollo 6 was a repeat of Apollo 4.

Apollo 7: Apollo 7 was America’s first manned mission – an 11 day orbit of Earth.

Apollo 8: Apollo 8 was the first vehicle to orbit another celestial body (the moon).

Apollo 9: Apollo 9 was an attempt to find the key problems with landing on the moon.

Apollo 10: Apollo 10 was a rehearsal of landing on the moon – without actually going anywhere.

Apollo 11: Apollo 11 was the mission that finally achieved a moon landing (though some people think it was a hoax set up in a television studio).

Apollo 12: Apollo 12 also landed on the moon.

Apollo 13: Apollo 13 suffered an explosion whilst in flight and was forced to circle the moon rather than land on it.

Apollo 14: Apollo 14 was a repeat of Apollo 11 an Apollo 12.

Apollo 15: Apollo 15 was cancelled before it began.

Apollo 16: Apollo 16 was the first space craft to land in the highland area of the moon.

Apollo 17: Apollo 17 is the last lunar landing to date.

(Please note that there were later Apollo mission but they were all subsequently cancelled).


Apollo 11

Apollo 11 was the mission that achieved the ultimate goal – a human on the moon. When Neil Armstrong stepped from the Eagle (Apollo 11’s landing craft) he became the first man on the moon. He is famous for saying as he stepped onto the moons surface: “This is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”. However, did you know that he actually messed up his lines! He meant to say: “This is one small step for a man...”. Apollo 11 meant a lot to America because they had finally beaten the Soviet Union (Russia) at something to do with space. After all, previously Russia had grabbed the records for: the first artificial space satellite; the first dog in space; the first unmanned vehicle on the moon; the first man in space; the first woman in space; the first moon probe and the first probe in the atmosphere of Venus. However, all the Americans had were the first chimp in space and the first men to orbit the moon. Russia 7 America 2. But there is a twist to Apollo 11’s story. Many people used to and still do believe that the whole moon landing was filmed in a television studio! There are many arguments supporting this claim, including the fact that in the footage of the moon landing the American flag is flapping and waving. This seems strange because there is no wind on the moon. Was it a hoax? Decide for yourselves! However, even if it was a trick, NASA landed on the moon again with the Apollo 12 mission and many after that.


Living in Space

Living in space is very different to living on Earth. Firstly if landing on a different celestial body (e.g. the moon or maybe in the future Mars) a space suit must be worn with oxygen tanks because the atmosphere is likely to be different and possibly toxic. However, extra precautions have to be taken when in a space vehicle as well. For example, it is difficult to take solid food into space so dried, mushy equivalents are taken instead. Another problem is toilets. Zero gravity toilets put solid waste into a vacuum which kills bacteria and dampens the odour. It can then be disposed of once back on Earth. It is not a good idea to eject waste into space as objects floating in space can gather speed and if it hit a space vehicle of some description, the effects would be disastrous. A further dilemma is that, as Astronauts (America)/Cosmonauts (Russia) float in space, they loose strength in their leg muscles, bones and lower back. It is for this reason that Astronauts/Cosmonauts have to exercise and muscle build every day.


Famous Space Vehicles

  • Here are some famous space vehicles:
  • - Sputnik satellite – first artificial satellite in space.
  • Saturn V – famous American rocket, largest vehicle of all time.
  • Eagle – Apollo 11’s landing craft.
  • Enterprise }
  • Columbia }
  • Challenger} All American space shuttles
  • Discovery }
  • Atlantis }
  • Endeavor }