Without a doubt, the launching of the first manned spaceflight in history (Yuri Gagarin, 12 April 1961) was a milestone for humanity and something to be remembered for. 12 April marks the beginning of the space era for mankind, and we have a lot to celebrate.
International Day of Human Space Flight was declared by the United Nations’ General Assembly in 2011 as an international level of celebrating the event that changed the game for us, humans. It also emphasizes the important role of space science and technology in achieving sustainable development goals and draws attention to further discoveries aiming to use and maintain outer space for peaceful purposes.
The special occasion inspired us to dig into the history of space exploration, and we came across some really exciting facts and events. Here is our selection!
You wouldn’t guess, but countless everyday objects are actually “space gadgetry”. Memory foam, for instance, was created by Aeronautical Engineer Charles Yost in the early 1960s. It was developed for seats in order to absorb the energy of crushes and make landing safer for the astronauts. Water filters cartridges (with iodine) were also crafted for space purposes: the aim was to make certain that space shuttle crews had clean water miles away from the Earth’s surface. We bet you didn’t think about how to use a drill on a planet where there is no plug or electricity. Well, NASA did, this is why they developed the cordless tools. There is a long list of other things that were invented by space research professionals, such as adjustable smoke detectors, scratch-resistant lenses and invisible braces.
1610 – Galileo Galilei discovered the Jupiter’s moons, lunar craters and the phrases of Venus. (It was the first telescopic exploration of the night sky.)
1944 – The spaceflight V-2 Rocket was launched as the first man-made object to cross Kármán-line, also called the “edge of space”.
1951 – Two Russian dogs, Dezik and Tsygan made a sub-orbital flight, and both oh them survived.
1957 – Signals were detected from space for the first time. Also this year Laika, the Soviet space dog became the first animal to orbit the Earth. In October, Sputnik 1 became the first satellite to be launched by man.
1961 – A month after Yuri Gagarin’s space adventure, the first space flight was completed, meaning that it was the first human space mission that landed with a pilot.
1969 – Apollo 11 landed on the Moon with two crew members on board: mission commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin.
1986 – Space Shuttle Disaster: Challenger explodes 73 seconds into its first flight. All 7 crew members (5 astronauts and 2 payload specialists) died.
2011 – The car-sized rover, Curiosity was launched to Mars with the mission of exploring the red planet’s Gale Crater. The rover landed in 2012, and hasn’t returned since, because its planned two-year mission was extended.
2015 – For the first time, astronauts could taste space-grown food, lettuce.
2018 – Elon Musk launched a cherry Tesla Roadster into space, as the first consumer car to take such a journey. It was put in orbit around Mars.
A long list of movies were inspired by the mysterious galaxy. Gravity, Interstellar, The Martian, Hidden Figures and Passengers came out just one year apart from each other between 2013 and 2016, not mentioning Star Wars and the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Now let’s take a look at some classics which you may not be familiar with. Here is the TOP10!
The Planet of the Apes (1968)
Star Trek (1982)
Apollo 13 (1995)
Independence Day (1996)
Space Jam (1996)
The Fifth Element (1997)
Galaxy Quest (1999)