Looking back, looking forward and aiming higher: next generation visions on humans in outer space
The launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik, by the Soviet Union on 4 October 1957 marked the start of the space age. This single event spurred a change in the way nations viewed national achievement, technological prowess and the strategic value of space technology. Just weeks later, it was followed by the U.S.’ launch of the Explorer-I satellite and triggered both orbital missions and robotic landers to near solar system planets and beyond, as well as extensive utilisation of satellites for Earth observation, communication and other services until today. In 1961, the flight of Yuri Gagarin pioneered human space flight and took the space age to yet another level, extending the frontier of human exploration and the search for life in to space. The early Russian cosmonaut and American astronaut missions, the historic lunar landings during the Apollo programme, and the establishment of operational platforms for space sciences and research in Earth orbit leading to the International Space Station (ISS) are but a few of the many achievements of the space world in the last 52 years.
KeywordsUnited Nations Space Exploration International Space Station Online Discussion Outer Space
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