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Launched by General Electric Company, this Bumper was used primarily for testing rocket systems and for research on the upper atmosphere. They carried small payloads that allowed them to measure attributes including air temperature and cosmic ray impacts.
The highest known projectiles prior to the rockets of the s were the shells of the Paris Guna type of German long-range siege gunwhich reached at least 40 kilometers altitude during World War One.
After the war, the U. The first scientific exploration from space was the cosmic radiation experiment launched by the U.
Starting inthe Soviets, also with the help of German teams, launched sub-orbital V-2 rockets and their own variant, the R-1including radiation and animal experiments on some flights. These suborbital experiments only allowed a very short time in space which limited their usefulness.
The first successful orbital launch was of the Soviet uncrewed Sputnik 1 "Satellite 1" mission on 4 October Analysis of the radio signals was used to gather information about the electron density of the ionosphere, while temperature and pressure data was encoded in the duration of radio beeps.
The results indicated that the satellite was not punctured by a meteoroid. Sputnik 1 was launched by an R-7 rocket. It burned up upon re-entry on 3 January The second one was Sputnik 2.
This success led to an escalation of the American space programwhich unsuccessfully attempted to launch a Vanguard satellite into orbit two months later. On 31 Januarythe U.
First human flights[ edit ] The first successful human spaceflight was Vostok 1 "East 1"carrying year-old Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on 12 April The spacecraft completed one orbit around the globe, lasting about 1 hour and 48 minutes.
Gagarin's flight resonated around the world; it was a demonstration of the advanced Soviet space program and it opened an entirely new era in space exploration: Valentina Tereshkovathe first woman in space, orbited Earth 48 times aboard Vostok 6 on 16 June China first launched a person into space 42 years after the launch of Vostok 1, on 15 Octoberwith the flight of Yang Liwei aboard the Shenzhou 5 Divine Vessel 5 spacecraft.
First planetary explorations[ edit ] The first artificial object to reach another celestial body was Luna 2 in Luna 10 became the first artificial satellite of the Moon.
The first successful interplanetary flyby was the Mariner 2 flyby of Venus closest approach 34, kilometers. The other planets were first flown by in for Mars by Mariner 4for Jupiter by Pioneer 10for Mercury by Mariner 10for Saturn by Pioneer 11for Uranus by Voyager 2for Neptune by Voyager 2.
Inthe dwarf planets Ceres and Pluto were orbited by Dawn and passed by New Horizonsrespectively. The first interplanetary surface mission to return at least limited surface data from another planet was the landing of Venera 7 on Venus which returned data to Earth for 23 minutes. In the Venera 9 was the first to return images from the surface of another planet.
In the Mars 3 mission achieved the first soft landing on Mars returning data for almost 20 seconds. Later much longer duration surface missions were achieved, including over six years of Mars surface operation by Viking 1 from to and over two hours of transmission from the surface of Venus by Venera 13 inthe longest ever Soviet planetary surface mission.
Key people in early space exploration[ edit ] The dream of stepping into the outer reaches of Earth's atmosphere was driven by the fiction of Peter Francis Geraci    and H. Wells and rocket technology was developed to try to realize this vision.
The German V-2 was the first rocket to travel into space, overcoming the problems of thrust and material failure. During the final days of World War II this technology was obtained by both the Americans and Soviets as were its designers. The initial driving force for further development of the technology was a weapons race for intercontinental ballistic missiles ICBMs to be used as long-range carriers for fast nuclear weapon delivery, but in when the Soviet Union launched the first man into space, the United States declared itself to be in a " Space Race " with the Soviets.Attention A T users.
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