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History Of Space Exploration and Application of Space Science

Updated on July 20, 2013

History of Space Exploration

The era of space exploration started in 1957,when Russian scientists succeeded in launching an artificial satellite in outer space.Within a few months,U.S.A. also succeeded in launching its own satellite.Soon after, U.S.A. created an independent agency for space exploration.The agency was called National Aeronautic and Space Administration(NASA).The objective was to expand human knowledge of the phenomena in the atmosphere and space.

  1. Sputnik I (meaning fellow traveller):It was launched by USSR on 4th October 1957.It was the first artificial satellite in space.The satellite weighed 84 kg.It had an orbit with apogee of 941km and perigee of 227km.It was launched to carry out studies as a part of International Geographical Year.The USA sent Explorer after few months later.It weighed only few kg.
  2. Sputnik II :It was launched on 3rd November,1957 by USSR.It was the first satellite which carried a living dog 'Laika' into space.The weight of satellite was 500 kg.The blood pressure,temperature and heart beat of Laika were maintained from the earth for eight days.The data provided vital information and paved the way for putting the first man into space.
  3. Score:It was first communication satellite put into space on 18th Dec,1958.
  4. Luna -3:It was the first space prob which sent photographs of the far side of moon which is not visible from earth.It was sent on 4th October,1959.
  5. Vostok I:Yuri Gagarin of USSR was the first man in space who completed a single orbit around the earth on 12th April,1961.The USA followed the event on 5 May 1961 when Alan Shephard became the first American to go into space.
  6. Vostok II:The first woman Valentina Tereshkova of USSR went into space on 4th Dec,1963.
  7. INTELSAT-I:It was first communication satellite sent into space for commercial use.It was sent on 16th April,1975.
  8. Venera-3:The spacecraft sent to another planet 'Venus' on 16th November,1965.
  9. Luna -9:The first successful soft landing of space prob on the surface of moon on 21st Oct,1968.
  10. Soyuz-4:On 14th Jan,1969,first experimental space station was established.
  11. Apollo-II:On 16th July 1969,Apollo II was sent into space with Neil Armstrong of America who landed on moon first time on 20th July 1969.Edwin Aldrin was the second to land on moon.
  12. Mars-2:It was the first landing of a space prob on the planet Mars on 19th May, 1971.
  13. Pioneer-10:It was the first space-prob to explore the asteroid belt and to take photograph of the planet 'Jupiter' from close range on 2nd March,1972.
  14. LANDSAT-I:The first satellite dedicated to remote sensing.It was launched on 10th July,1972.
  15. Apollo-Soyuz Test Project:The first international link up of satellite in space on 15th July,1975.The significant development in the area of space science during the eighties was the establishment of permanent space stations and development of space shuttles which were used to carry astronauts into space.Expansion in the areas of application of satellite technology,establishment of a permanent observatory in space and the maiden flight of Voyager II to all planets of the solar system are other significant development of the eighties.

Application Of Space Science

  1. Satellite Communication:It is done through geostationary satellite.The signals in the form of electromagnetic waves carrying audio or video messages are transmitted from earth station like TV transmitter,which are received by satellite and they send the signals in all directions which are received by large number of ground stations located on various regions.Similar mechanism is used for sending messages through telecommunications like telephone,telex and FAX.It is used for international communication,often two or more satellites are linked together.
  2. Weather Monitoring:Satellites are used in collecting information about various factors of atmosphere which govern the weather and climatic conditions .It is now possible to get prior information about an emergency cyclone or floods or possible rain or drought conditions.
  3. Remote Sensing:It refers to collection of information about an object without physical contact with that object and using imaging techniques.The data received by remote sensing is used for forestry,ground water surveys,agriculture,drought assessment,etc.It has made possible the repetitive surveys of remote areas in very short time even if the areas are inaccessible.


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    • mbyL profile image

      Slaven Cvijetic 4 years ago from Switzerland, Zurich

      Interesting hub!