The Space Age is a period encompassing the activities related to the Space Race, space exploration, space technology, and the cultural developments influenced by these events, beginning with the launch of Sputnik 1 during 1957, and continuing to the present.
The Space Age began with the development of several technologies that converged with the October 4, 1957 launch of Sputnik 1 by the Soviet Union. This was the world's first artificial satellite, orbiting the Earth in 98.1 minutes and weighing 83 kg (183 lb). The launch of Sputnik 1 ushered in a new era of political, scientific and technological achievements that became known as the Space Age, by the rapid development of new technology and a race for achievement, mostly between the United States and the Soviet Union. Rapid advances were made in rocketry, materials science, and other areas. Much of the technology originally developed for space applications has been spun off and found additional uses. One such example is memory foam.
The Space Age reached its peak with the Apollo program that captured the imagination of much of the world's population. The landing of Apollo 11 was watched by over 500 million people around the world and is widely recognized as one of the defining moments of the 20th century. Since then, public attention has largely moved to other areas.
In the United States, the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986 marked a significant decline in crewed Shuttle launches. Following the disaster, NASA grounded all Shuttles for safety concerns until 1988. During the 1990s funding for space-related programs fell sharply as the remaining structures of the now-dissolved Soviet Union disintegrated and NASA no longer had any direct competition.
Since then, participation in space launches has increasingly widened to include more governments and commercial interests. Since the 1990s, the public perception of space exploration and space-related technologies has been that such endeavors are increasingly commonplace.
In the early 21st century, the Ansari X Prize competition was set up to help jump-start private spaceflight. The winner, Space Ship One in 2004, became the first spaceship not funded by a government agency.
Several countries now have space programs; from related technology ventures to full-fledged space programs with launch facilities. There are many scientific and commercial satellites in use today, with thousands of satellites in orbit, and several countries have plans to send humans into space. Some of the countries joining this new race are France, India, China, Israel and the United Kingdom, all of which have employed surveillance satellites. There are several other countries with less extensive space programs, including Brazil, Germany, Ukraine, and Spain.
As for the United States space program, NASA is currently constructing a deep-space crew capsule named the Orion. NASA's goal with this new space capsule is to carry humans to Mars. The Orion spacecraft is due to be completed in the early 2020s. NASA is hoping that this mission will “usher in a new era of space exploration.”
Another major factor affecting the current Space Age is the privatization of space flight. There are two major companies, Boeing and SpaceX, that are taking a large part in research and innovation. Elon Musk, the owner of SpaceX, has stated the ultimate goal of putting a colony of 1 million people on Mars and in 2018, it launched its largest rocket, bringing this goal closer to reality. Blue Origin, a private company funded by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, is developing rockets for use in space tourism, commercial satellite launches, and eventual missions to the Moon and beyond. Richard Branson's company Virgin Galactic is concentrating on launch vehicles for space tourism.
|June 20, 1944||Artificial object in outer space, i.e. beyond the Kármán line||V-2 rocket, test flight||– N/A||Germany|
|October 24, 1946||Pictures from space (105 km)||U.S.-launched V-2 rocket from White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.||– N/A||United States|
|February 20, 1947||Animals in space||U.S.-launched V-2 rocket on 20 February 1947 from White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.||- fruit flies||United States|
|October 4, 1957||Artificial satellite||Sputnik 1||– N/A||Soviet Union|
|November 3, 1957||Animal in orbit||Sputnik 2||Laika the dog||Soviet Union|
|January 2, 1959||Lunar flyby, and first spacecraft to achieve a heliocentric orbit||Luna 1||– N/A||Soviet Union|
|September 12, 1959||Impacted on the Lunar surface; thereby becoming the first human object to reach another celestial body||Luna 2||– N/A||Soviet Union|
|October 7, 1959||Pictures of the far side of the Moon||Luna 3||– N/A||Soviet Union|
|April 12, 1961||Human in space||Vostok 1||Yuri Gagarin||Soviet Union|
|May 5, 1961||Manual orientation of crewed spacecraft and first human space mission that landed with pilot still in spacecraft, thus the first complete human spaceflight by FAI definitions||Freedom 7||Alan Shepard||United States|
|December 14, 1962||Successful flyby of another planet (Venus closest approach 34,773 kilometers)||Mariner 2||– N/A||United States|
|March 18, 1965||Spacewalk||Voskhod 2||Alexei Leonov||Soviet Union|
|December 15, 1965||Space rendezvous||Gemini 6A and Gemini 7||Schirra, Stafford, Borman, Lovell||United States|
|February 3, 1966||Soft landing on the Moon by a spacecraft||Luna 9||– N/A||Soviet Union|
|March 1, 1966||First human-made object to impact another planet||Venera 3||– N/A||Soviet Union|
|March 16, 1966||Orbital docking between two spacecraft||Gemini 8 & Agena Target Vehicle||Neil Armstrong, David Scott||United States|
|April 3, 1966||Artificial satellite of another celestial body (other than the Sun)||Luna 10||– N/A||Soviet Union|
|October 18, 1967||First spacecraft to perform transmit data from the atmosphere of another planet||Venera 4||– N/A||Soviet Union|
|December 21–27, 1968||First humans to enter the gravitational influence of another celestial body (the Moon) and orbit it||Apollo 8||Borman, Lovell, Anders||United States|
|July 20, 1969||Humans land and walk on another celestial body (Moon)||Apollo 11||Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin||United States|
|December 15, 1970||First telemetry from the surface of another planet||Venera 7||– N/A||Soviet Union|
|April 19, 1971||Operational space station||Salyut 1||– N/A||Soviet Union|
|June 7, 1971||Resident crew||Soyuz 11 (Salyut 1)||Georgy Dobrovolsky, Vladislav Volkov, Viktor Patsayev||Soviet Union|
|July 20, 1976||Pictures from the surface of Mars||Viking 1||– N/A||United States|
|April 12, 1981||Reusable orbital spaceship||STS-1||Young, Crippen||United States|
|February 19, 1986||Long-duration space station||Mir||– N/A||Soviet Union|
|February 14, 1990||Photograph of the whole Solar System||Voyager 1||– N/A||United States|
|November 20, 1998||Current space station||International Space Station||– N/A||Russia|
|August 25, 2012||Artificial space probe in interstellar space||Voyager 1||– N/A||United States|
|November 12, 2014||Artificial probe to make a planned and soft landing on a comet (67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko)||Rosetta||– N/A||European Space Agency|
|July 14, 2015||Nation to have its space probes to explore all of the nine major planets recognized in 1981||New Horizons||– N/A||United States|
|December 20, 2015||Vertical landing of an orbital rocket booster on a ground pad.||Falcon 9 flight 20||– N/A||United States|
|April 8, 2016||Vertical landing of an orbital rocket booster on a floating platform at sea.||SpaceX CRS-8||– N/A||United States|
|March 30, 2017||Relaunch and second landing of a used orbital rocket booster.||SES-10||– N/A||United States|
|January 3, 2019||Soft landing on the lunar far side by a spacecraft.||Chang'e 4||– N/A||China|
|May 30, 2020||First human orbital spaceflight launched by a private company.||Crew Dragon Demo-2/Crew Demo-2/SpaceX Demo-2/Dragon Crew Demo-2||Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley||United States|
The Space Age might also be considered to have begun much earlier than October 4, 1957, because in June 1944, a German V-2 rocket became the first manmade object to enter space, albeit only briefly. Some even consider March 1926 as the beginning of the Space Age, when American rocket pioneer Robert H. Goddard launched the world's first liquid fuel rocket, though his rocket did not reach outer space.
Since the V-2 rocket flight was undertaken in secrecy, it was not public knowledge for many years afterward. Further, the German launches, as well as the subsequent sounding rocket tests performed in both the United States and the Soviet Union during the late 1940s and early 1950s, were not considered significant enough to start a new age because they did not reach orbit. Having a rocket powerful enough to reach orbit meant that a nation could place a payload anywhere on the planet, or to use another term, possessed an intercontinental ballistic missile. The fact that after such a development nowhere on Earth was safe from a nuclear warhead is why the orbital standard is commonly used to define when the space age began.
Arts and architecture
The Space Age is considered to have influenced:
- Automotive design
- Googie architecture
- Amusement park attraction including TWA Moonliner and Mission: Space.
- Cold War playground equipment
The Space Age also inspired musical genres:
- McDougall, Walter A (Winter 2010), "Shooting the Moon", American Heritage.
- Garcia, Mark. "60 years ago, the Space Age began". nasa.gov.
On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union opened the Space Age...
- Garber, Steve. "Sputnik and The Dawn of the Space Age". History. NASA. Archived from the original on 18 November 2004. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- "National Aeronautics and Space Administration". NASA. Archived from the original on 1996-12-31. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
- Howell, Elizabeth. "Challenger: Shuttle Disaster That Changed NASA". Space.com. Archived from the original on 4 May 2018. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
- NASA. Historical Studies in the Societal Impact of Spaceflight - NASA (PDF).
- "The New American Space Age: A Progress Report on Human SpaceFlight" (PDF). Aerospace Industries Association. Aerospace Industries Association. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 March 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
- "Ansari X Prize". Archived from the original on 23 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
- "SpaceShipOne: The First Private Spacecraft | The Most Amazing Flying Machines Ever". Space.com. Archived from the original on 2015-11-15. Retrieved 2015-11-27.
- "Global Space Programs | Space Foundation". www.spacefoundation.org. Archived from the original on 2015-11-14. Retrieved 2015-11-27.
- "Japan Wants Space Plane or Capsule by 2022". Space.com. Archived from the original on 2015-12-24. Retrieved 2015-11-27.
- "India takes giant step to manned space mission". Telegraph.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2015-11-26. Retrieved 2015-11-27.
- "The New Space Race – Who Will Take the Lead?". rcg.org. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
- "Circumlunar mission". Space Adventures. Archived from the original on 12 February 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
- "A NASA Astronaut Stays In Orbit With SpaceX And Boeing". NPR.org. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
- "Blue Origin: everything you need to know about the Amazon.com of space". TechRadar. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
- "Sir Richard Branson plans orbital spaceships for Virgin Galactic, 2014 trips to space". foxnews.com.
- "Long-range" in the context of the time. See NASA history article Archived 7 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- "Chronology: Cowboys to V-2s to the Space Shuttle to lasers". www.wsmr.army.mil. Archived from the original on 13 October 2014. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-21. Retrieved 2013-01-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Reichhardt, Tony. "First Photo From Space". airspacemag.com. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- "Post War Space". postwar.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-15.
- "The Beginnings of Research in Space Biology at the Air Force Missile Development Center, 1946–1952". History of Research in Space Biology and Biodynamics. NASA. Archived from the original on 25 January 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2008.
- "V-2 Firing Tables". White Sands Missile Range. Archived from the original on 25 January 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2008.
- Terry 2013, p. 233. sfn error: no target: CITEREFTerry2013 (help)
- McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
- Berger, Eric (3 November 2017). "The first creature in space was a dog. She died miserably 60 years ago". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraft/display.action?id=1959-012A - 27 February 2020
- Harvey, Brian (2007). Soviet and Russian Lunar Exploration. Springer. Bibcode:2007srle.book.....H. ISBN 978-0-387-73976-2.
- Harvey, Brian (2011). Russian space probes: scientific discoveries and future missions. New York: Springer. ISBN 978-1-4419-8150-9.
- Colin Burgess, Rex Hall (June 2, 2010). The first Soviet cosmonaut team: their lives, legacy, and historical impact. Praxis. p. 356. ISBN 978-0-387-84823-5.
- "Geek Trivia: A leap of fakes". Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- "Manned Space Firsts". Archived from the original on 2013-10-30. Retrieved 2016-06-30.
- Swenson Jr., Loyd S.; Grimwood, James M.; Alexander, Charles C. (1989). "11-1 Suborbital Flights into Space". In Woods, David; Gamble, Chris (eds.). This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury (url). Published as NASA Special Publication-4201 in the NASA History Series. NASA. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- "Mariner 2". US National Space Science Data Center. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
- Burgess, Colin; Hall, Rex (2009). The first Soviet cosmonaut team their lives, legacy, and historical impact (Online-Ausg. ed.). Berlin: Springer. p. 252. ISBN 978-0387848242.
- Grayzeck, Dr. Edwin J. "Voskhod 2". nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov. National Space Science Data Center. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
- Hacker, Barton C.; Grimwood, James M. (September 1974). "Chapter 11 Pillars of Confidence". On the Shoulders of Titans: A History of Project Gemini. NASA History Series. SP-4203. NASA. p. 239. With Gemini IV, NASA changed to Roman numerals for Gemini mission designations.
- "Chandrayaan-2 landing: 40% lunar missions in last 60 years failed, finds Nasa report".
- Siddiqi, Asif A. (2018). Beyond Earth: A Chronicle of Deep Space Exploration, 1958–2016 (PDF). The NASA history series (second ed.). Washington, D.C.: NASA History Program Office. pp. 1–2. ISBN 9781626830424. LCCN 2017059404. SP2018-4041.
- Wade, Mark. "Venera 3MV-3". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
- Krebs, Gunter. "Venera 3 (3MV-3 #1)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
- NASA (March 11, 1966). "Gemini 8 press kit" (PDF) (Press release). NASA. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 27, 2012. Retrieved February 27, 2015.
- Agle, D. C. (September 1998). "Flying the Gusmobile". Air & Space.
- Siddiqi, Asif A. (2018). Beyond Earth: A Chronicle of Deep Space Exploration, 1958–2016 (PDF). The NASA history series (second ed.). Washington, D.C.: NASA History Program Office. p. 1. ISBN 9781626830424. LCCN 2017059404. SP2018-4041.
- Siddiqi, Asif A. (2018). Beyond Earth: A Chronicle of Deep Space Exploration, 1958–2016 (PDF). The NASA history series (second ed.). Washington, D.C.: NASA. ISBN 9781626830424. LCCN 2017059404. SP2018-4041.
- Orloff, Richard W. (2000). Apollo by the Numbers: A Statistical Reference. NASA History Series. Washington, D.C.: NASA History Division, Office of Policy and Plans. ISBN 978-0-16-050631-4. LCCN 00061677. OCLC 829406439. SP-2000-4029. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
- "Science: Onward from Venus". Time. 8 February 1971. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
- Baker, Philip (2007). The Story of Manned Space Stations: An Introduction. Springer-Praxis Books in Astronomy and Space Sciences. Springer Science+Business Media. ISBN 978-0-387-30775-6.
- Ivanovich, Grujica S. (2008). Salyut - The First Space Station: Triumph and Tragedy. Springer-Praxis Books in Astronomy and Space Sciences. Springer Science+Business Media. ISBN 978-0-387-73585-6.
- Image – Viking 1 Approaches Mars
- "STS-1 Press Kit" (PDF). NASA. 1981. p. 36. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
- Jackman, Frank (29 October 2010). "ISS Passing Old Russian Mir In Crewed Time". Aviation Week.
- See "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-03-31. Retrieved 2009-07-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) under "Extended Mission"
- Gary Kitmacher (2006). Reference Guide to the International Space Station. Apogee Books Space Series. Canada: Apogee Books. pp. 71–80. ISBN 978-1-894959-34-6. ISSN 1496-6921.
- Chang, Kenneth (Nov 12, 2014). "European Space Agency's Spacecraft Lands on Comet's Surface". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2014-11-12. Retrieved Nov 12, 2014.
- Agle, D. C.; Brown, Dwayne; Bauer, Markus (30 June 2014). "Rosetta's Comet Target 'Releases' Plentiful Water". NASA. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- Talbert, Tricia (25 March 2015). "New Horizons: The First Mission to the Pluto System and the Kuiper Belt". nasa.gov. Archived from the original on 15 October 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
- Chang, Kenneth (July 18, 2015). "The Long, Strange Trip to Pluto, and How NASA Nearly Missed It". The New York Times. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
- Chang, Kenneth (December 21, 2015). "SpaceX Successfully Lands Rocket after Launch of Satellites into Orbit". The New York Times. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
- "2015 U.S. Space Launch Manifest". americaspace.com. AmericaSpace, LLC. 21 December 2015. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- Drake, Nadia (April 8, 2016). "SpaceX Rocket Makes Spectacular Landing on Drone Ship". National Geographic. Archived from the original on April 8, 2016. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
To space and back, in less than nine minutes? Hello, future.
- Hartman, Daniel W. (July 2014). "Status of the ISS USOS" (PDF). NASA Advisory Council HEOMD Committee. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
- Grush, Loren (March 30, 2017). "SpaceX makes aerospace history with successful landing of a used rocket". The Verge. Archived from the original on March 30, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
- "Space Systems Mission and system requirements for Electric Propulsion" (PDF). Airbus Defence and Space. 25 November 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 August 2016. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
- Lyons, Kate. "Chang'e 4 landing: China probe makes historic touchdown on far side of the moon". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 3 January 2019. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
- "China successfully lands Chang'e-4 on far side of Moon". Archived from the original on 3 January 2019. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
- "Crew Dragon SpX-DM2". Spacefacts. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
- Schefter, James (1999), The Race: The Uncensored Story of How America Beat Russia to the Moon, New York, New York: Doubleday, pp. 3–49, ISBN 0-385-49253-7
- "Goddard launches space age with historic first 85 years ago today". Retrieved 2016-04-29.
- Schefter, James (1999), The Race: The Uncensored Story of How America Beat Russia to the Moon, New York, New York: Doubleday, pp. 3–49, ISBN 0-385-49253-7
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Space Age.|
|Look up space age in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|