Space exploration is our human response to curiosity about the earth, the moon, the
planets, the sun and other stars, and the galaxies. Manned and unmanned space
vehicles venture far beyond the boundaries of the earth to collect valuable information
about the universe. Human beings have visited the moon and have lived in
space stations for long periods. Space exploration helps us see the earth in its true relation
with the rest of the universe. Such exploration could reveal how the sun,
the planets, and the stars were formed and whether life exists beyond our own world. We
do not know the boundaries of the universe or what advances can come out of these
explorations so we must thrust our emotions into the unknown and have an open mind to
the possibilities. So while the average person is wondering what space has to offer the
person do not realize the many missions that have already went on in this field.
The exploration of bodies in the solar system began within a few years of the first
In 1926 American scientist Robert H. Goddard launched the world's first liquid-
Then both U.S. and Soviet space engineers set their sights on the Moon.
Early Soviet launches in 1958 all failed and were never announced. Several U.S.
launches also failed, although two of them (Pioneers 1 and 3) reached nearly
100,000 km into space before falling back to Earth. In 1958 a great leap occured
when The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was formed.
This program is what runs all the space ideas and puts them into action
The first probe to escape Earth's gravity was the Soviet LUNA 1, launch on
Jan. 2, 1959, which passed the Moon and continued into interplanetary space
. The U.S. probe Pioneer 4, launched two months later,
followed the same path. Later Soviet probes either hit the
Moon or passed it and took photographs of the hidden far side, relaying them back to
Earth. The space age began on Oct. 4, 1957. On that day, the Soviet Union launched
Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite to orbit the earth.
The first manned space flight was made on April 12, 1961, when Yuri A. Gagarin,
a Soviet cosmonaut, orbited the earth in the spaceship Vostok 1.
Space probes have vastly expanded our knowledge of outer space, the planets, and
the stars. In 1959, one Soviet probe passed close to the moon and another hit the moon.