The history of space travel dates back only a few decades, however, a lot has happened. There have been both highs and lows. As more nations enter the space race and a new era of space tourism begins, the world of space flight as we know it is changing vastly. Extraordinary events of the past such as the landing on the Moon to the multi-national efforts to launch the International Space Station captured the attention of the entire world, and it is only a matter of time before new events and technological advances make an even greater impact.
- Landing on the Moon
One giant leap for mankind. On July 20, 1969 Americans Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, Jr. make the first manned soft landing on the Moon, and the first moonwalk, using Apollo 11.
- First Man in Space
Cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin becomes the first man in space on April 12, 1961. Gargarin orbits the earth one time on the Vostok 1 spacecraft before returning to the ground.
- The First Space Tourist
On April 28, 2001, the Soyuz spacecraft TM-32 flies to the International Space Station with the first space tourist Dennis Tito, who pays the Russians $20 million.
- Space station Mir is Launched
On February 20, 1986 the core unit of Soviet space station Mir is launched.
- Launch of the International Space Station
The first component of the International Space Station, Zarya, is launched on a Russian rocket on November 20, 1998.
- Launch of Spaceship One
On June 21, 2004, Spaceship One became the first private-venture craft to leave the earth’s atmosphere and enter space. Thus, a new-era in space travel began.
- First Man Made Object to Orbit the Earth
On October 4, 1957, the USSR launches Sputnik 1, the first man made object to orbit the earth.
- First American in Orbit
The small Mercury Friendship 7 spacecraft carries John H. Glenn, Jr., the first American in orbit, and orbits the Earth three times on February 20, 1962.
- First Man Made Object to Make Contact with the Moon
The Soviet launched Luna 2 on September 12, 1959, which became the first man made object to hit the moon a year later.
- First Space Walk
On March 18, 1965 the first space walk is made by Soviet Alexei A. Leonov on the Voskhod 2 and lasts a mere 12 minutes.