space

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky – Founding Father of Astronautics

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky – Founding Father of Astronautics

On September 17, 1857, Russian and Soviet rocket scientist and pioneer of the astronautic theory Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was born. He is considered to be one of the founding fathers of rocketry and astronautics and contributed to the success of the Soviet space program. Man will not always stay on Earth; the pursuit of light and space will lead him to penetrate the bounds of the atmosphere, timidly at first, but in the end…
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Always Find Your Way – The Global Positioning System (GPS)

Always Find Your Way – The Global Positioning System (GPS)

On July 17, 1995, the Global Positioning System (GPS), the world’s first space-based satellite navigation system is declared operational. GPS provides location and time information in all weather conditions, anywhere on or near the Earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. Navigation History Navigation is a field of study that focuses on the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or…
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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 Before Space Edward White earned his Bachelor degree at the U.S. Military Academy…
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Surveyor 1 Landing on the Moon and the Cold War Space Race

Surveyor 1 Landing on the Moon and the Cold War Space Race

On June 2, 1966, spaceprobe Surveyor 1, the first of NASA‘s unmanned Surveyor program, as the first American spaceprobe achieved a soft landing on the moon about half a year after the first Moon landing by the Soviet Union‘s Luna 9 probe.[5,6,7] Luna 9 and the Cold War Space Race Already on February 3, 1966, the Luna 9 spacecraft had softly landed on the Moon, which also was the first of any…
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Giovanni Domenico Cassini and the Moons of Saturn

Giovanni Domenico Cassini and the Moons of Saturn

On December 23, 1672, Italian astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini discovered Rhea, the 2nd largest of the 62 Saturn moons that are known by today. Background and Education Giovanni Cassini Cassini was born in Perinaldo (Liguria). He married the rich Geneviève de Laistre, became a French citizen in 1673 and began to write his first name Jean-Dominique. Cassini studied at the Jesuit College in Genoa and Bologna. Through the influence of the former…
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Apollo 17 – The Last Men on the Moon…so far

Apollo 17 – The Last Men on the Moon…so far

On December 11, 1972, Apollo 17 with Commander Eugene A. Cernan, Command Module Pilot Ronald E. Evans, and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison H. Schmitt landed in the Taurus-Littrow valley on the lunar surface and were (so far) the last men to set foot on the Moon. Apollo 17 was the eleventh and final mission of the United States‘ Apollo program, the sixth mission to land humans on the Moon. Background While earlier Apollo…
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The Sputnik Shock and the Start of the Space Race

The Sputnik Shock and the Start of the Space Race

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union shocked the western world by announcing the first successful launch of an artificial satellite orbiting the earth – Sputnik 1. Prelude – The International Geophysical Year The 1950’s were politically difficult times for the United States and the Soviet Union. In 1952, the International Council of Scientific Unions declared the time lasting from July 1, 1957 to December 31, 1958 as the International Geophysical Year…
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James van Allen and the Weather in Space

James van Allen and the Weather in Space

On September 7, 1914, astrophysicist and space pioneer Dr. James Van Allen was born. The Van Allen radiation belts were named after him, following the 1958 satellite missions (Explorer 1 and Explorer 3) in which Van Allen had argued that a Geiger counter should be used to detect charged particles. “Apparently, something happens on the sun. It sends out a burst of gases. The reservoirs above our earth shake like a bowl…
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The First Image from Abroad – Earth Rising and Lunar Orbiter 1

The First Image from Abroad – Earth Rising and Lunar Orbiter 1

On August 23, 1966, the space probe Lunar Orbiter 1 sent the very first images of the earth rising above the moon‘s surface back to earth. Lunar Orbiter 1 was part of the Lunar Orbiter program started in the 1960’s in preparation to the Apollo moon landing. The project consisted of five unmanned spacecrafts, equally built to take pictures of the moon. The purpose was to find a safe landing place for…
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The Eagle has Landed – The First Man on the Moon

The Eagle has Landed – The First Man on the Moon

On July 20, 1969 (for Western Europeans it was one day later, i.e. July 21, 3:56 MEZ) United States‘ space mission Apollo 11 reached the moon with the lunar module Eagle and the two astronauts Neil Armstrong [2] and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin about 76 hours after they left earth from Kennedy Space Center in Florida., while Michael Collins stayed in orbit around the Moon piloting the command module.[4] “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” (Neil Armstrong)…
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