21942In 1942 the German V2 was the first rocket to reach 100km from the Earth’s surface (the boundary of space). The rocket was designed by Wernher Von Braun, who later worked with NASA as the creator of the rockets that went to the moon.
31947In 1947, the first animals were launched into space. Fruit flies were used to study the effects of space travel on animals, and were chosen because they are more similar to humans than you might imagine! The flies travelled with a supply of corn to eat on the flight.
41949Albert II, was the first monkey in space. He was a Rhesus monkey, a type of monkey that originally comes from Asia. Albert went into space on June 14, 1949 in a specially adapted American V2 rocket, that flew to a height of 83 miles from earth.
51957On October 4, 1957, Russia launched the first satellite into space; Sputnik 1, and the space age had properly begun! Sputnik was the first satellite in orbit around the earth. Today there are over 500 working satellites in space. Sputnik means "Satellite" in Russian.
61957In November 1957, the Russian space dog Laika became the first animal to orbit the earth. Laika travelled in a spacecraft known as Sputnik 2. Laika means "Barker" in Russian, and her mission helped scientists understand whether people could survive in space.
71961On April 12, 1961, Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. Gagarin's spacecraft, Vostok 1, completed one orbit of the earth,and landed about two hours after launch. Gagarin had to bail out and land using his parachute, because the Vostok 1 was designed to crash land!
81969On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong, and then Buzz Aldrin, took "one small step" and became the first men on the moon. The first words said on the moon were "the Eagle has landed." Their spaceship, Apollo 11 worked perfectly, flying them 250,000 miles to the moon, and bringing them all the way back safely to earth.
9the airplane company famous for making the Jumbo Jet. 1971From 1971, American astronauts on the fourth, fifth and sixth Apollo missionsenjoyed use of a moon car to explore the moon. Known as the “Lunar Rover,”it was electric powered, and had a top speed of 8mph. It was designed and developed in only 17 months, by Boeing,the airplane company famous for making the Jumbo Jet.
1017,000 miles per hour. Six have been built. 1981Until April 12, 1981 all spacecraft were designed to be used only once.The Space Shuttle, was designed to be reused for up to 100 visits to space,in an attempt to make space travel less expensive. With five hugely powerful rocket motors, it can fly at more than17,000 miles per hour. Six have been built.
11and the incredible bravery of all astronauts. 1986On January 28, 1986, tragedy struck. The Challenger exploded shortly after launch, because of a fuel system failure. All seven astronauts on board were killed,and all space shuttles were grounded for nearly three years. This shocking accident reminded the world of the dangers of space travel,and the incredible bravery of all astronauts.
122000In 2000, the first permanent crew moved into the International Space Station,where crews of astronauts have been living ever since. The ISS is a huge space station for research and space exploration that began construction in 1986 and was finished in 2010.
132003On October:15, 2003, China sent its first man, Yang Liwei, into space. They succeed in becoming the third country ever to send a human into space.