The 15 most important space missions in history

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Throughout history, the human race has devoted much of its efforts to conquer space with specialized missions, some of them manned, to study more closely the characteristics of outer space. Do you already know some of the most important ones? Here we present them to you!

Explorer 1 Year: 1958

Explorer 1 was the first artificial satellite of American origin that was put into orbit from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, in Florida, and corresponds to the first launch of the Explorer program, which later put more than 90 satellites into orbit .

His most outstanding achievement was the detection, for the first time, of the Van Allen radiation belts, and his return to Earth occurred on March 31, 1970, after having spent more than a decade in space.

Alan shepard Year: 1961

Alan Shepard is considered the first American astronaut, since on May 5, 1961 he went down in history for making the first suborbital flight aboard the Mercury Redstone 3 capsule, over which he had some control during the 15 minutes that he remained in the air.

Before being an astronaut, he was a test pilot for the US Navy; among his greatest achievements is having logged more than 216 hours of flight in space. Shepard died on July 21, 1998.

Apollo Program Year: 1969

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy commanded the Apollo space program to bring the first American astronauts to the moon, a feat that took place on July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin boarded the Apollo 11 capsule and landed on the moon. said satellite.

There were six Apollo missions that managed to land on the Moon: 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17; Mission 13 suffered an oxygen tank explosion prior to launch, although all crew members survived.

Apollo 13 Year: 1970

Apollo 13 was a mission that had Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise as crew; its objective was to become the third mission to reach the Moon; however, an explosion during the launch forced its crew to go around the Moon and later return to Earth.

Although unfortunate, the incident suffered by the crew occurred during the trip to the Moon; had it occurred during the return, the crew would have died due to the serious lack of oxygen.

Pioneer 10 Year: 1972

The Pioneer 10 space probe has established itself as one of the most successful missions in history, thanks to the fact that it was the first to cross the asteroid belt and reach Jupiter, the main objective of its launch in 1972.

A year later, the probe performed another important feat, traversing the orbit of Neptune, one of the most remote planets in the entire Solar System. Currently, it is 8,840,350,543 km from Earth.

Space shuttles

Ferries: Enterprise, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, Endeavor. NASA‘s space shuttles were human-manned spaceflight craft, consisting of a space plane for orbit with reusable solid booster rockets by means of which various probes and satellites were launched.

Disasters such as the Challenger explosion and the disintegration of Columbia presented major challenges to the continuation of NASA’s space programs, which is currently using the Soyuz spacecraft for shipments to the ISS.

Hubble telescope Year: 1990

Since April 24, 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has been orbiting the Earth, exactly 593 km above sea level and weighing approximately 11 tons; Its main job is to image the Earth with an optical resolution of 0.04 arcsec.

After more than 30 years, the Hubble telescope has completed more than 140,000 orbits of the Earth, and in 2021 it will be replaced by the James Webb Space Telescope, a project in collaboration with more than 17 countries.

Mars missions Year: 1960

The exploration of Mars is a goal that man has set since the 19th century, when the possibility of finding life on this planet was first considered. The first explorations towards Mars began in the decade of the 60s, with the launching of probes like Mars 1960A and Mars 1960B.

The first photograph of the surface of Mars was made thanks to the Viking 1 space program, which sent two unmanned missions that managed to capture high-resolution images for the study of the planet’s atmosphere.

Chandra Year: 1999

Also known as the X-ray Observatory or CXC, Chandra is a NASA satellite that was launched in 1999 by means of the space shuttle Columbia and that has, among other instruments, a high-resolution camera and an advanced CCD imaging spectrometer .

One of its main objectives has been the study of a gaseous nebula known as RW 86, a remnant of supernova SN 185, as well as advances in the field of x-ray astronomy.

Living on the International Space Station Year: 1998

The International Space Station is a project in which space agencies such as NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA and CSA participate. Its main objective before its launch was to serve as a laboratory, observatory and factory, as well as a base for missions to the Moon and Mars.

Currently, the ISS is home to six astronauts who are dedicated to research and conduct experiments in medical, astronomical and educational matters, among others, while orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes.

Mars Rover to Jezero Year: 2020

The exploration of Mars continues to be a main objective in space exploration. This mission was announced in 2012, with the main goal of studying the astrobiological environment of the planet and investigating the geological processes on its surface to determine the possibility of harboring human life on it.

This mission includes the use of a small helicopter, known as Ingenuity, and the Perseverance rover, and the collected samples will be stored there for later study on Earth, if possible.

ExoMars searches for life on Mars, 2021 Year: 2016

ExoMars is an astrobiologically based mission focused on searching for any evidence of past or current life on the surface of Mars, in addition to studying the conditions of its geology to study the composition of its gases and determine the potential existence of water on the planet.

The mission is a joint project of the European Space Agency and the Russian agency Roscosmos, which hope to collect enough information to send a manned mission in the coming years.

SpaceX goes to Mars, 2022 Year: 2024

After launching several space missions to Mars, the next objective of the space agencies will be to colonize this planet. One of the agencies that have considered this mission has been SpaceX, which in 2026 hopes to launch its first manned flight to Mars, a project that began in 2021.

SpaceX’s architecture consists of a combination of key elements that aim to realize space travel beyond Earth orbit by reducing the cost per ton brought to this planet.

ESA rover departs for Jupiter, 2022 Year: 2022

The European Space Agency, ESA, has a plan to develop a space probe specifically designed for the study of Jupiter and its satellites Ganymede, Europa and Callisto, as it is believed that these have large amounts of water that, potentially, would make this planet habitable. .

If all goes according to ESA’s plans, the probe will be launched in 2022 and will be propelled by an Ariana 6 rocket; if successful, it would reach Jupiter in 2030 and enter orbit in 2033.

SpaceX offers tourist trips to the Moon, 2023 Year: 2023

NASA announces first SpaceX crewed flight for May 27
It will be through SpaceX’s Strarship spacecraft that Japanese businessman Yusaku Maezawa will become the first funder and space tourist to reach the Moon, accompanied by 6 guest artists and an unconfirmed number of specialized triupulants.

The project, known as dearMoon, has as one of its main objectives to promote peace around the world and collect artistic works inspired by the first private tourist trip to the Moon.

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