NICOLAUS COPERNICUS Polish He said that the earth was not stationary, and that the earth turned on its axis once a day and he doubted the earth lay in the middle of the universe. He claimed that the sun was the center of the universe and all the planets revolved around the sun. He published a book on the revolution of the heavenly bodies- De Revolutions was his most famous piece of work. He set the scene for major advances in science, and he marked the beginning of a science revolution and astronomy.
TYCHO BRAHE Danish He had a big significance on the development of astronomy, science in general, and our view of the world. He made a remarkable star catalogue of over 1000 stars. It was not the biggest made, but very accurate. His improvements of methods and accuracy in observations were very significant.
GALILEO GALILEI He developed the idea for a pendulum clock. He said motion is continuous and can only be altered by the application of a force. He proved that all objects, regardless of their density, fall at the same rate in a vacuum. Proving this by dropping different objects from a certain height. He first built the telescope to use it for observing the sky.
JOHANNES KEPLER German He developed his three laws of planetary motion in Astronomia Nova and Harmonices Mundi. His achievements in astronomy and mathematics shaped our current understanding of the solar system. He became the founder of celestial mechanics and the first "natural laws" in the modern sense; being universal, verifiable, and precise.
Lived from 1889-1953 He devised a classification system for the various galaxies he observed, sorting them by content, distance, shape, and brightness. He formulated Hubbles Law in 1929, helping astronomers determine the age of the universe, and proving that the universe was expanding. The Hubble Space Telescope was named after him.
SPUTNIK Launched on October 4, 1957 It gave the former Soviet Union the distinction of putting the first human-made object into space. It was the worlds first artificial satellite. The launch directly led to the creation of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It carried small scientific payload that eventually discovered the magnetic radiation belts around the Earth.
Initiated and completed from 1958-1963 The program spanned nearly five years, with six manned missions making history between May 1961 and May 1963. The objectives were to orbit a manned spacecraft around Earth, to investigate man's ability to function in space, and to recover both man and spacecraft safely. These goals were achieved. It was the United States first man-in-space program.
Launched from 1962-1966 It consisted of a total of 19 launches, 2 initial uncrewed test missions, 7 target vehicles, and 10 crewed missions, each of which carried two astronauts to Earth orbit. It was the second U.S. manned space program. Gemini crews made 12 flights to see how man and machine help up to long-durations in orbit, to dock two spacecraft in orbit, to perfect re-entry techniques and to walk in space. Among the Gemini milestones were the first docking of two spacecraft, the first U.S. spacewalk and the first two week spaceflight - long enough for a crew to go to the Moon, land and return to Earth.
APOLLO Lasted from 1963-1972 It was designed to land humans on the Moon and bring them safely back to Earth Six of the missions achieved this goal: 11,12, 14, 15, 16, and 17. Apollo 18 through 20 were cancelled due to budgetary constraints. The six missions that landed on the Moon returned a wealth of scientific data and almost 400 kilograms of lunar samples. Apollo 13 did not land on the Moon due to a malfunction, but also returned photographs.
First launched in 1981: Columbia STS-1 They have given us way more information than we could have gotten if we tried to study other planets with just a telescope. With space shuttles we have been able to send men to the moon, and gathered samples of the surface. We have also gathered information from Mars, such as how there are frozen ice caps on its surface.
HUBBLE TELESCOPE Launched in 1990 Its coverage of light of different colors extends from the ultraviolet, through the visible, and into the near-infrared. Hubble orbits Earth every 96 minutes, 575 kilometers (360 miles) above the Earth's surface. It has produced many valuable images, which include the first evidence of a black hole in 1994. Its most recent discoveries were the images it provided of two colliding galaxies, host galaxies of quasars, and the first planet outside of our solar system ever to be directly photographed.
Launched on June 10 and July 7, 2003 and landed on January 3 and January 24 PST, 2004 (January 4 and January 25 UTC, 2004). The landing sites are at Gusev Crater, a possible former lake in a giant impact crater, and Meridiani Planum, where mineral deposits (hematite) suggest Mars had a wet past. These are the primary science instruments carried by the rovers: Panoramic Camera, Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer, Mössbauer Spectrometer, Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer, MagnetsImager, and the Rock Abrasion Tool.