People looked at the sky and imagined space every night from antiquity to the present day. Throughout history, people have always been curious about space because of its darkness, size and obscurity and developed various tools to research it. The adventure of looking closely at space, which started with a telescope, gave way to more powerful telescopes and spacecraft as the centuries passed. Let's look at the history of the studies on space, one of the concepts that humanity is most curious about.
Started with missile programs
For the first time by Germany II. The development of ballistic missiles used towards the end of World War II fueled a space race between the Soviet Union and the USA, paving the way for launch vehicles. II. Both countries created their own missile programs after World War II. In the second half of the 20th century, rockets were developed that were powerful enough to overcome the force of gravity to reach orbital speeds and paved the way for space exploration.
The first man orbiting the earth
On October 4, 1957, the Soviets launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, into space. Four years later, on April 12, 1961, Russian Lieutenant Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit Earth on Vostok 1 and made history. The first US satellite, Explorer 1, entered orbit on January 31, 1958. In 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American to fly into space. John Glenn's historic flight on February 20, 1962 made him the first American to orbit the Earth.
First landing on the moon
The national goal set by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 was "to launch a vehicle that would land on the moon and return it to Earth". On July 20, 1969, Astronaut Neil Armstrong took "a small step for a human being, a giant step for mankind" with the phrase he said during his walk on the Moon and set foot on our satellite. About 19 minutes after Armstrong's first step, Astronaut Buzz Aldrin joined him and became the second man to walk on the Moon.
Journey to Jupiter and Saturn
In the 1960s, unmanned spacecraft photographed and researched the Moon before astronauts landed on the lunar surface. In the early 1970s, communication and navigation satellites in orbit were in daily use. The spacecraft named Mariner orbited the surface of Mars and was mapping the surface. The spacecraft named Voyager was on the way to Jupiter and Saturn. He even sent detailed images of the rings and moons of these two planets to Earth.
Satellites started to roam the earth
In the 1980s, satellite communications expanded to carry television programs, and people were able to receive satellite signals over satellite dishes. The satellites also discovered an ozone hole over Antarctica, detected forest fires, and provided us with pictures of the nuclear power plant disaster in Chernobyl in 1986. Astronomical satellites, on the other hand, discovered new stars and allowed us to obtain new images about the center of our galaxy.
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a research laboratory in low Earth orbit. It is designed to reduce the costs of space launch systems and increase safety. The first part of the station, built by combining the modules combined, was launched in 1998. With many different partners contributing to its design and construction, this high-flying laboratory has become a symbol of collaboration in space exploration. The USA and Russia, former competitors, are working together in this lab today. The laboratory has been visited by astronauts, cosmonauts and space tourists from 17 different countries so far.
The future of space exploration
After the manned landing on the moon, the other target in space studies was the planet Mars. Many projects are being carried out on Mars, which has become the focus of modern space research. Developed by SpaceX in early 2018, the Falcon Heavy rocket successfully launched a Tesla Roadster vehicle-laden rocket into space. SpaceX announced in a statement that the Tesla Roadster has reached Mars. Also, SpaceX company launched the Crew Dragon spacecraft that took the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station (ISS) on May 30, 2020. This is the first time that the private sector has sent a manned vehicle into space.