In October, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first satellite, named Sputnik, to be hurled into orbit around the Earth. Sputnik was actually about the size of a beach ball, and sent pointless signals back to earth, but it had a huge affect on people around the world. It was a shiny steel ball about 23 inches across with four antennas the were behind it. Russian engineers wanted to make sure that people around the globe could not only see, but also hear it. Sputnik was polished so that it would reflect light that could be seen even from 175 miles away. It sent out signals that could be picked up by any radio operator all over the world. The reaction in the U.S. and around the world was pure awe, and some even felt a bit of fear. All of a sudden, there was an "enemy satellite" visibly shooting across the sky of the U.S. At the time, no one knew what it might be able to do. What U.S. government leaders did know, was that if the Soviet Union had rockets that were big enough to launch a satellite, they had rockets big enough to launch missiles, and possibly even atomic bombs, on the U.S. The "space race" between the Soviet Union and the United States was on. But our first attempts at catching up ended in massive failures; most ending in explosions. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) was created in 1958 to bring competing military space programs into a single, huge effort. Before long, they developed the rockets, built the space capsules and satellites and hired people to become s...
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...ated. The theory was that a planet, or object, the size of Mars crashed with the planet Earth, and the debris from the crash grew together to make the moon. The tests showed that the theory may actually be correct. They showed that some of the minerals of the moon were very similar to ones on Earth. This might help prove that some of the minerals from Earth collected to help form the moon after the massive collision.
The first lunar landing proved that this world is more capable than anyone ever thought. It may be the biggest accomplishment in history. Hundreds of thousands of miles away from Earth, and some people actually walked on it. Much has been learned from the information gained from this mission, and it may only be the beginning of space exploration. It is one of an infinite number of planets and moons in the universe just waiting to be explored.
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