Top 10 Great Moments of Space Exploration

Starting from Russia and America’s 60’s Space race to First man on Moon to successful Mars landing, all these achievements show that the humans have reached a significant point of space exploration. New achievements are happening all over the world with recent being India’s MOM 1000 days orbit and China’s quantum network.

Scientists have even recorded a signal from the outer solar system and reached into interstellar space for the first time through Voyager 1. Every country is contributing to research, resources, and technology in the understanding of the universe and it won’t be long when we will be able to travel to distant planets and expand our civilization.

Here are the greatest achievements of humanity in space exploration.

10. Apollo 13 Space Rescue



“Houston, we have a problem”

This was the message cautioned in the radio communication by astronaut John Swigert and the Nasa Mission control center when an oxygen tank exploded two days into the Apollo 13 mission in 1970. Because of this incident, the mission was aborted which was meant to be the third manned trip to the moon.

The crippled spacecraft didn’t have enough power, cabin heat and water which made the astronauts John Swigert and Fred Haise to use their knowledge and bring back the spacecraft back to earth.


9. India’s First Mission to Mars.



There has been a race between many countries for the interplanetary mission in today’s time. The Mars Orbiter Mission(MOM), also called Mangalyan a space probe was launched on 5 November 2013 by the Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO). India’s Space Programme has succeeded at the first attempt where others have failed – by sending an operational mission to Mars.

Marking India’s first venture into the interplanetary space, the probe will analyze the MARS surface, mineralogy, and atmosphere. Another achievement for India is that the mission costs 10 times less than the NASA Maven Mission to Mars.


8. Viking 1, First Successful Mars Landing



Viking 1 was the first spacecraft of the Mars Viking mission foloowed by another spacecraft named Viking 2. Viking 1 was launched on August 20, 1975, and was the first spacecraft to touch the surface of Mars on July 20, 1976. The Viking mission gave the world the first look at Martian climate and the images helped the scientists in defining the view of the red planet for decades.


7. Hubble Space Telescope


Hubble Space Telescope was a revolution in space observation and became the first observatory high above all the clouds and pollution in space after its launch in 1990. It has helped scientists in gathering information and studying about deep space from its high-resolution deep space images. Hubble has a versatile design which allows astronauts to make certain repairments.

Hubble has clicked thousands of faraway galaxies which has led to the discovery of similar Earth-like planets. Hubble has led the scientists to know about the expansion of our Universe. After its launch Hubble faced difficulties in capturing sharp images so astronauts fixed a small lens above its big lens which made it retrieve its sharp vision.

Farthest Ever Picture Into the Universe


6. ISS(International Space Station)



ISS can be termed as a habitable artificial satellite and is situated in lower earth orbit. The first pieces of ISS were launched in 1998 and since then it’s been a part of American and Russian space missions. It can be observed by naked eye if viewed at the correct time and can accommodate a crew of 6 astronauts since 2001.

Astronauts perform maintenance of space instruments and experiments within it. Its length is about the size of a football ground.


5. Sputnik 1


Sputnik 1 was the first artificial earth satellite launched by the Soviet Union in 1957. It marked the starting of a space age and functions in calculating the density of the atmosphere. It transmitted the signal back to earth for 22 days and then got burned up at last.


4. Voyager 1, Probe sends Photographs



We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours.

– President Jimmy Carter (One of the messages recorded in the golden record).

Voyager 1 was the first voyager of the Voyager probes which were launched in 1977 to study Jupiter and Saturn. The probes were carrying plates “The Golden Record” which had message and information about our civilization in case it is intercepted by aliens or some distant humans in future.

Voyager 1 is the first man-made object to reach interstellar space which is outside our solar system and was operational for 36 years. Now, its course is set for a distant planet many light years away and will be crashed into it.

That pale dot is Earth. This remarkable photo was taken by Voyager 1 and shows our tiny existence in this vast Universe.


3. Apollo 8, First Spacecraft that Circles the Moon.



Apollo 8 was the second manned mission and the first ever spacecraft to enter Moon’s orbit. The spacecraft was launched back on December 21, 1968. Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders were the first three humans to see Earth as a whole planet.

The famous photograph “The Earth Rise” was taken by astronaut William Anders from the Moon’s orbit and became one of the iconic photographs in the history of mankind.


2. Yuri Gagarin, First Man in Space



On April 12, 1961 – Man reaches space for the first time when cosmonaut Major Yuri Gagarin became the first human to enter space and reach earth back safely. He traveled in his spacecraft Vostok 1 which was operated by the Soviet Union as they won the race to reach space for the first time.

He had a flight of 108 minutes in his spacecraft Vostok 1 until he was separated from the craft at the right time. America sent their cosmonaut Alan Shepard immediately one month later to be in the race of space exploration.


1. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin Walk on Moon



“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

These were the lines of astronaut Neil Armstrong when he stepped on the surface of the moon for the first time followed by Buzz Aldrin on 21 July 1969. That was the important moment for America as they have beaten Russia for the race to the moon in Apollo 11 mission.

As they were the first humans to step foot on another celestial body, this mission showed President Kennedy look good on his words that America will reach Moon first. As both astronauts spent two and a half hours on the moon, Armstrong quoted that this was and will forever remain one of the humanity’s greatest achievement.

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