space

A life is like a garden – Leonard Nimoy

A life is like a garden – Leonard Nimoy

This is not one of our usual daily history in science posts. Today, we want to pay tribute to an actor who played an extraordinary character that has become an icon: Leonard Nimoy and his alter ego Spock, the scientific officer aboard the starship USS Enterprise. I was shocked yesterday evening by the news of Leonard Nimoy’s passing. As Spock, he was one of my childhood’s heroes. And not only one of them,…
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The First Spacecraft to Land on the Moon – Luna 2

The First Spacecraft to Land on the Moon – Luna 2

Luna 2 On September 12, 1959, Soviet spaceprobe Luna 2 was launched. It was the first spacecraft to reach the surface of the Moon and was also the first man-made object to land on another celestial body. On September 14, 1959 it successfully impacted with the lunar surface east of Mare Imbrium near the craters Aristides, Archimedes, and Autolycus. Actually, already Lunar 1 was intended as an impactor and was launched as…
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The First American to walk in Space – Edward White

The First American to walk in Space – Edward White

On June, 3, 1965, Edward Higgins White became the first American to “walk” in space in the course of the Gemini 4 space mission. White is one of the three U.S. astronauts, who died along with his fellow astronauts Virgil “Gus” Grissom and Roger B. Chaffee during prelaunch testing for the first manned Apollo mission at Cape Canaveral. Edward White earned his Bachelor degree at the U.S. Military Academy and he was commissioned…
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The First US Space Station Skylab

The First US Space Station Skylab

On May 25, 1973, the first crew of astronauts reached the US space station Skylab. Skylab was the very first US space station and orbited Earth from 1973 to 1979. Already in the 1950s it was expected by space scientists, that a space station would be a necessary step in space exploration. Wernher von Braun envisioned a very large space station with room for about 80 people including astronomers, meteorologists and soldiers to guard…
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Dennis Tito, the very first Space Tourist

Dennis Tito, the very first Space Tourist

On April 28, 2001, American engineer and multimillionaire Dennis Tito joined the Soyuz TM-32 mission to the International Space Station ISS, spending 7 days, 22 hours, 4 minutes in space and orbiting Earth 128 times. He paid $20 Mio for his trip, which made him the very first space tourist in history. Who ever thought that space tourism would become possible? To travel in space simply for recreational, leisure or business purposes.…
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TIROS-1 and the First TV pictures of the Earth from Space

TIROS-1 and the First TV pictures of the Earth from Space

On April 1, 1960, U.S. weather satellite TIROS-1 sends the very first TV picture of the Earth from space. Today, we are used to satellite pictures from the earth in the daily weather report. But, there was a time some 50 years ago, when pictures of the earth from space were still something exciting. TIROS I (or TIROS-1, short for Television and InfraRed Observation Satellite) was the first successful low-Earth orbital weather…
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The Deorbit of Russian Space Station MIR

The Deorbit of Russian Space Station MIR

On March 23, 2001, Soviet space station MIR after more than 10 years of operation reentered Earth‘s atmosphere and crashed down in the Southern Pacific. MIR [7] held the record for the largest artificial satellite orbiting the Earth until that record was surpassed by the International Space Station. Mir was the first modular space station and was assembled in orbit from 1986 to 1996. Its famous predecessor, the monolithic U.S.space station Skylab launched…
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The first Modular Space Station – Mir

The first Modular Space Station – Mir

On February 19, 1986, the main module of Russian MIR Space Station was launched from Baikonur, Russia. MIR was the first modular space station and operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001. In 1976, MIR was authorized in order to design an improved model of the Salyut space stations. By early 1984, work on MIR had halted while all resources were being put into the Buran programme in order to prepare the Buran spacecraft for…
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The Exploration of Asteroid Eros

The Exploration of Asteroid Eros

On February 14, 2000, NASA space probe NEAR Shoemaker entered orbit of the asteroid Eros to study the near-Earth asteroid from close orbit over a period of a year. The mission succeeded in closing in with the asteroid and orbited it several times, finally terminating by touching down on the asteroid on 12 February 2001. Eros was throughout history often object of scientific research, due to its larger size. The asteroid was…
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The Russian Space Shuttle

The Russian Space Shuttle

On November 15, 1988, the Soviet space shuttle Buran took off for its one and only spaceflight. This remains the only Soviet space shuttle that was launched into space, as the Buran program was cancelled in 1993. Even though the Soviet’s space-craft program started officially in the 1950’s, not a single project came into production and was organized sporadically only. The very first steps towards the Buran program were taken when the…
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