Friday, 8 May 2020

By the numbers: The history of space exploration

Sputnik 1 space exploration
Sputnik 1 in The Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow. Photo credit: Aleks49/


Sputnik 1 is the first artificial earth satellite to be launched by man, heralding a new age of space exploration.

Yuri Gagarin space exploration
Yuri Gagarin. Photo credit: NASA


Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human to journey into outer space, with his capsule Vostok 1 completing a full orbit of earth on 12 April.

Neil Armstrong Apollo 11 space exploration © NASA
Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon. Photo credit: NASA


The first humans – led by Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong – land on the moon. The momentous event is broadcast on live TV worldwide.


Five space agencies – NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe) and CSA (Canada) come together to launch the International Space Station (ISS).

international space station space exploration
A 3D illustration of the International Space Station orbiting Earth. Photo credit: 3Dsculptor/


American entrepreneur Dennis Tito becomes the first space tourist, forking out US$20 million to board a Russian spacecraft to the ISS, where he spends nearly eight days.


NASA astronaut Christina Koch returns to earth in February after an incredible 328 days in space – the longest spaceflight undertaken by any woman.

SEE ALSO: By the numbers: The history of International Women’s Day

This article was originally published in the April 2020 issue of SilverKris magazine

The post By the numbers: The history of space exploration appeared first on SilverKris.

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