International Day Of Human Space Flight: 5 Unforgettable Highlights
Space exploration, one of humanity's greatest accomplishments, has given us a glimpse of the cosmos for years. Every piece of information brought home by astronauts builds on the hope for a future where improved technology, multi-planetary civilisation, and ample knowledge of the universe is met. We've gone so far since Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's flight on 12 April 1961, when he became the first man to reach space and orbit the earth.
The Apollo 11 landing that happened on 20 July 1969, where astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, and Michael Collins made history by stepping on the moon, was also unforgettable. But it's also incredible to know that over 500 astronauts have also been to space since the very first spaceship had launched.
Let's revisit five spaceflight missions over the years and honour mankind's world-changing achievement—human space travel:
1/5 The Suspenseful Accident Of Apollo 13
Several hours in, mankind would have returned to the moon for the third time. But nine minutes after a 49-minute TV broadcast of Apollo 13's crew, one of the oxygen tanks exploded, causing both tanks to fail. Electricity, light, and water were escaping in seconds—and the oxygen tank was next. What followed was a long and cold trip back home. On the upside—the crew successfully returned home safely.
2/5 Valentina Tereshkova's Travel Into Space
Valentina Tereshkova, a Soviet cosmonaut, completed 48 orbits in 71 hours while onboard the Vostok 6 spacecraft on 16 June 1963. She was renowned as the first woman to travel into space. Although Tereshkova left the cosmonaut program after her flight, years later, she became an active member of the USSR.
3/5 SpaceX's First NASA Astronauts Doug Hurley And Robert Behnken
Onboard the historical SpaceX Dragon capsule are astronauts Doug Hurley and Robert Behnken who pursued the Demo-2 mission. The two became the first people to ride a vessel launched from US soil (since 2011) to the International Space Station.
Read more: Elon Musk On SpaceX: The First Private Company To Send Humans To Space
4/5 First Space Tourist Dennis Tito
On 8 August 1940, American businessman Dennis Tito became the world's first-ever space tourist. Although Tito paid for the private flight, he earned the spot as he possesses degrees in astronautics and aeronautics from New York University in 1962 and a master's degree in engineering science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1964.
Designed by Burt Rutan, SpaceShipOne is the first private crewed space vehicle to reach space in 2004. It was manned by South-African-born American test pilot Mike Melvill when SpaceShipOne rocketed past the edge of space. This space vehicle was made for the Ansari X Prize competition.
Read more: NASA SuperCam: Listen To The First Sound Recording On Mars