Reference Article

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Space exploration

Space exploration is the physical exploration of outer space, both by human spaceflights and by robotic spacecraft.

While the observation of objects in space—known as astronomy—pre-dates reliable recorded history, it was the development of large liquid-fueled rocket engines during the early 20th century that allowed space exploration to become a practical possibility.

Common rationales for exploring space include advancing scientific research, uniting different nations and ensuring the future survival of humanity.

Space exploration has often been used as a proxy competition for geopolitical rivalries such as the Cold War.

The early era of space exploration was driven by a "Space Race" between the Soviet Union and the United States; the launch of the first man-made object to orbit the Earth, the USSR's Sputnik 1, on October 4, 1957, and the first Moon landing by the American Apollo 11 craft on July 20, 1969 are often taken as the boundaries for this initial period.

The Soviet Union achieved many of the first milestones, including putting the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin aboard Vostok 1 in 1961, and completing the first spacewalk (by Aleksei Leonov in 1965).

In 1971, the Soviets launched the first space station, Salyut 1.

After the first 20 years of exploration, focus shifted from one-off flights to renewable hardware, such as the Space Shuttle program, and from competition to cooperation as with the International Space Station.

From the 1990s onwards, private interests began promoting space tourism.

Larger government programs have advocated manned missions to the Moon and possibly Mars sometime after 2010.

Various criticisms of Space Exploration are sometimes made, on cost or safety grounds, but the people of many countries are nevertheless usually supportive of programs.

Note: This article excerpts material from the Wikipedia article "Space exploration", which is released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

See the following related content on ScienceDaily:


Related Videos

last updated on 2014-11-23 at 4:16 am EST

This Week @ NASA, July 26, 2013

This Week @ NASA, July 26, 2013

NASA (July 26, 2013) — During a test of NASA's Human Exploration Telerobotics Project, astronaut Luca Parmitano, aboard the International Space Station remotely controlled a robotic planetary rover, called K-10 across the terrain at Ames Research Centers Roverscape. The project is a demonstration of how astronauts in space can control robots on the ground for future exploration missions.
Powered by NewsLook.com
"When Can I Buy My Ticket to Outer Space?"

"When Can I Buy My Ticket to Outer Space?"

Reason TV (Sep. 9, 2013) — "How is it that I have billions or hundreds of millions of dollars, and I can't buy a ticket to space?" asks Katherine Mangu-Ward, as she explains why a handful of super-rich men have decided to fund a new era of private space travel. "This is not the deal. This is not what I thought was going to happen when I was 10." Mangu-Ward, managing editor of Reason magazine, joined Charles Murray, José Cordeiro, and Aaron Day, at FreedomFest 2013 in Las Vegas, to discuss the future of space exploration. The mainstream media's outlook has been uniformly pessimistic on the subject. NASA has scaled back its ambitions and its budget has contracted, while government-backed missions have drifted away. President Bush's ambitious plan for a manned mission to Mars, announced in 2004 to great fanfare, never got off the ground. So why is the FreedomFest panel so optimistic about space travel? Because while government is underperforming, entrepreneurs from all over the world are picking up the slack.
Powered by NewsLook.com
The History of Mercury Mission Control

The History of Mercury Mission Control

NASA (May 1, 2013) — With the eyes on the sky and the future of space exploration beyond the horizon, flight controllers inside NASA's Mercury Control Center watched the American space program take flight.
Powered by NewsLook.com
China, US Signal Cooperation in Space

China, US Signal Cooperation in Space

Newsy (Jan. 12, 2014) — During a recent forum on space exploration, the head of China's space program told reporters he'd be willing to cooperate with the US
Powered by NewsLook.com

Related Stories


Share This



Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins