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History of Space Exploration

In our History many great things have happened. We

have been inventing and exploring things since day one.

Many of these things that we discovered or invented we

thought would never be possible in earth’s life time. But they

exists now, today, they are used by almost every human

being and there are many more incredible and unmanageable

things to come and aid us in every day life. One of the most

interesting things to me would fall under exploration and

inventing. You are about to venture in to the history of

space and learn how man and mans objects have gotten


The exploration in space dates back over 40 years ago,

January, 31 of 1958 to be exact. On this date Explorer 1,

which was the first U.S. satellite to be fired in space and its

unknown, to orbit earth. It lifted off from Cape Canaveral

using a modified Jupiter-C rocket called ABMA-JPL. It

carried a scientific experiment of James A. Van Allen, and

discovered the Earth’s radiation belt.Along with defeat and

triumph also come disappointment and failure. In March 5

of 1958 Explorer 2 was Launched by another Jupiter-C

rocket and failed to reach orbit. October 1, 1958 NASA

was founded, taking over existing National

Advisory Committee on Aeronautics and only ten days later

U.S. – IGY space probe was

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launched to a incredible height

of 70,700 miles. On March 3 of 1959 Pioneer 4, an

U.S.-IGY space probe is launched by a Juno II rocket, and

achieves an earth-Moon trajectory, passing within 37,000

miles of the moon. It then fell into a solar orbit, becoming the

first U.S. sun orbiter. About a year later Tiros 1 was fired

into earth’s orbit and became the first successful weather

satellite for the United States.Then on August 18 of the

same year, 1960, Discoverer XIV was launched and

became the first U.S. camera-equipped Corona spy satellite.

On July 14, 1965, They U.S. Mariner 4 returned the first

close-range images of Mars. The above paragraph explains

some of the earliest satellites, spy satellites, and probes that

were sent into space to explore the unknown and the


May 5 of 1961 Mercury Freedom 7 carried Alan B.

Shepard, Jr., who was the first U.S. astronaut in space, in a

suborbital flight. This United States’ first manned space flight

project was successfully accomplished in a 4 2/3 year period

of dynamic activity. During this time they saw more than

2,000,000 people from many major government agencies

and much of the aerospace industry and combined their

skills, initiative, and experience into a national effort. Also

during this 4 and 2/3 period six other manned space flights

were accomplished as part of a 25-flight program.These

manned space flights were accomplished with complete pilot

safety and without change to the basic Mercury concepts. It

was shown that man can function ably as a

pilot-engineer-experimenter without undesirable reactions or

deteriorations of normal body functions for periods up to 34

hours of weightless flight. And so we continue or fight

through this history of space exploration.

February 20 of 1962 Mercury Friendship 7 lifts off with

John H. Glenn, Jr., who was the first American in orbit, and

orbits the Earth three times.In July 31, 1964 U.S. Ranger

7 relayed the first close range photographs of the moon.

Probably more spectacular than man orbiting earth would be

a space walk.The united state accomplished this in 1965

on Jun 3rd. Edward White II made the first U.S. space

walk from space vehicle Gemini 4. The duration of the space

walk was 22 minutes, which was the longest up to this date.

December 4 of 1965 was a great day.Gemini 7 was

launched carrying Frank Borman and James A. Lovell, Jr.,

which made 206 orbits around Earth and proving a trip to

the moon possible. A year later the US does the next best

thing from sending a person to the moon and sent Surveyor

1 which was the first U.S. spacecraft to soft-land on the

moon. December 21, 1968 Apollo 8 and its four crew

members were the first Apollo team to make orbit around

the moon, they actually made ten orbits around the moon.

July 20, 1969 only 30 years ago Neil Armstrong and

Edwin Aldrin, Jr. make the first manned soft landing on the

moon. Not only this they were the first moonwalk and this

trip was made possible because of Apollo 11 mission.

Skipping a head a few years we find that on September 3,

1976 Viking 2 landed on Mars at the Plain of Utopia,

where it discovered water frost. We have come a long way

since 1858 to 1976 and we are now going to jump into the

last nine years of our history. April 24, 1990 Space shuttle

Discovery embarks on mission STS-31, deploying the

Edwin P. Hubble Space Telescope. In September 26 of

1996 the United states came back holding the record of

staying in space for the longest time. This could be the key

to getting us farther places leading to more exploration, only

time will tell. Towards the end of 1996 The US started to

survey mars and gather information from it. July 4, 1997 –

The Mars Pathfinder arrived at Mars and took pictures of

the planet. The data collected encourages scientists to

believe the planet may once have harbored

life. The planet is much more like Earth than previously

suspected. On the date of December 21st 1998 the Us

Announced that Chandra X-Ray Observatory would be put

into space. This made it the largest object put into space

and was made to help scientists understand the structure and

evolution of the universe. And last but not least on April 16,

1999 NASA launched Landsat-7. It will locate urban “hot

spots” that may alter local climates, and monitor the effects

from deforestation in Central American rain forests.

Here is a quote that I found interesting. I will write down

the quote and tell who said it and why I chose this quote.

The first quote is written by JFK. “We choose to go to the

moon in this decade to do the other things..Not because they

are easy but because they are hard” I chose this quote

because it is say that we strived beyond the easy and

imaginable to the hard and unimaginable.

Above you have read many things that the US has

discovered and explored in space. I picked this topic

because I like space and I enjoy learning about it.It is nice

to day dream that someday we might be living on some

distant planet.These events and people were very

important to our history because if it was not for them we

would not know anything about space. We would also not

be one step closer to be living on another planet. Thank you

for reading.

Bibolgraphy =



History of Space Exploration


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History of Space Exploration


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