The century of space science

  • Johan A. M. Bleeker
  • Johannes Geiss
  • Martin C. E. Huber


In the course of its brilliant evolution through the twentieth century, space science brought spectacular results and led to fundamental scientific findings. In the early quest for higher altitude, cosmic rays were discovered by Viktor Hess during a balloon flight in 1912. Following the second World War, sounding rockets were used, starting in 1946, to study the structure of the terrestrial atmosphere -the threshold of space. Two landmarks of the space age stand out: the launch in 1957 of the first satellite, Sputnik 1, which sensed the near-Earth environment at orbital altitude, and in 1969 the first landing by humans on an extraterrestrial body, the Moon. Today, sophisticated space probes explore distant worlds, and space telescopes look back in time towards the early Universe.


Black Hole Solar System Hubble Space Telescope Terrestrial Planet Space Science 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johan A. M. Bleeker
    • 1
  • Johannes Geiss
    • 2
  • Martin C. E. Huber
    • 3
  1. 1.SRON — National Institute for Space ResearchUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.ISSI — International Space Science InstituteBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.ESA — European Space AgencyParisFrance

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