The 50th Anniversary of Space Flight By Steven LJ Russo Planetarium Manager Suits-Bueche Planetarium Schenectady Museum
50th Anniversary of Space Flight This PowerPoint has been a long time in the making. It originally started in 1977, when I was in college. I wanted to put together a slide presentation about the history of manned space flight. I called it “Thirty Years in Thirty Minutes”. Ten years later, it became “Forty Years in Forty Minutes.” Ten years later, well, you get the idea. So last year, I decided to redesign my original 1977 talk to PowerPoint so that I could update it easily whenever I needed to. So here it is, now September 9, 2007, and the “50th Anniversary of Space Flight” is the result. The images of the planets, spacecrafts, and astronauts, are from the NASA archives. All of the other photos were taken by me from my personal collection of artifacts that I have saved over the years. For those of you who did not live through all of this, I hope that you learn something new. For those of you like me who DID live through most of it, it will be a nice stroll down “Memory Lane.” Enjoy! Steven LJ Russo Planetarium Manager Suits-Bueche Planetarium Schenectady Museum Schenectady, NY
On March 16, 1926, from Auburn Massachusetts, Robert Goddard launched the worlds first liquid fueled rocket. Several days later, the New York Times said: “Since there is nothing for rockets to push against in outer space, space flight will always be impossible.”
Goddard Launch Site in 2006 Steven LJ Russo and Megan EN Dominguez of the Suits-Bueche Planetarium in Schenectady, NY, visit the site of Robert Goddard’s historic launch.
November 3, 1957. Sputnik 2. Laika becomes the first living object in space. Laika survived in orbit for four days and then died when the cabin overheated. On April 14, 1958, Sputnik 2 reentered the atmosphere after 2,570 orbits.
The Original Seven Mercury Astronauts – April 9, 1959 Alan Shepard, (Virgil) Gus Grissom, (Gordon) Gordo Cooper,(Walter) Wally Schirra, (Donald) Deke Slayton, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter
Dec.13, 1958: Bioflight 1 – Jupiter AM-13 - First capsule containing living cargo, squirrel monkey, Gordo. Although not a NASA mission, data was used in Project Mercury planning. Space capsule sank and was never recovered. During the next several years, many live animals were launched into space. Many did not survive. Ham (named for Hollman Aero Medicine), was not the first successful flight, but is considered to be the flight that paved the way for Alan Shepard. Launched on January 31, 1961, the flight lasted for 16.5 minutes. Ham died in 1983, at the North Carolina Zoological Park. Ham is seen here after his successful flight.
On April 12, 1961, Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. Aboard Vostok 1, he orbited the Earth for 1 hour and 48 minutes.
May 5, 1961 Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space in his Freedom 7 space capsule.
“…I believe that this nation should commit itself, to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon, and returning him safely to the Earth. …If we are to go only halfway, or reduce our sights in the face of difficulty, in my judgment, it would be better not to go at all. It is the most important decision that we make as a nation. I believe we should go to the Moon.” John F. Kennedy May 26, 1961
February 20, 1962. John Glenn becomes the first American in orbit. Launched on an Atlas rocket, he orbited the Earth three times in his Friendship 7 Capsule. Recovery was the standard “splashdown” method.
“…This generation does not intend to founder in the backwash of the coming age of space. We mean to be a part of it; we mean to lead it.” President John F. Kennedy Rice University September 12, 1962
“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard. Because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills. Because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept. One that we are unwilling to postpone. And one we intend to win.” President John F. Kennedy Rice University September 12, 1962
First Woman in Space Valentina Tereshkova was a textile-factory assembly worker and an amateur parachutist when she was recruited into the cosmonaut program. Tereshkova was launched aboard Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963 and became the first woman to fly in space. During the 70.8 hour flight, Vostok 6 made 48 orbits of Earth. She never flew again.
First Spacewalk Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov was the first person to conduct a space walk. This historic event happened on March 18, 1965. Leonov spent about 20 minutes floating in space. He was connected to his spacecraft with a tether.
America’s First Spacewalker Astronaut Ed White made the first American space walk on June 3, 1965. He spent a total of 36 minutes floating outside the spacecraft. White’s space suit did not carry its own oxygen supply. Instead, White was connected by a hose to an oxygen supply on the Gemini capsule. While outside the spacecraft, White was able to move himself around using a handheld air-pressure gun.
Apollo 1 Fire January 27, 1967. Tragedy struck on the launch pad during a preflight test for Apollo 204 which was scheduled to be the first Apollo manned mission, and would have been launched on February 21, 1967. Astronauts Virgil Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee lost their lives when a fire swept through the Command Module (CM).
July 16, 1969, 9:32 A.M. EDT “…we have a liftoff; 32 minutes past the hour; liftoff of Apollo 11.” Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin The Saturn V Rocket, the most powerful vehicle ever built by Man, heads for the Moon.
“…before this decade is out of landing a man on the Moon, and returning him safely to the Earth.”
On May 4th of 1973, Skylab 1 stands on Pad 39 A. In the background is Skylab 2 on the “Milk-Stool” Launch Pad, on pad 39 B. This is the only time that launch Pads 39 A and B had both Saturn I and Saturn V Launch vehicles at the same time. The Saturn V would launch the Skylab Space Station, while the Saturn I would launch the crew.
On May 14, 1973, The Skylab Space Station launches from pad 39A, while the Saturn I waits for launch. On May 23rd, the first Skylab crew is launched as Skylab 2.
Skylab was in orbit from May, 1973 through July, 1979. Three different crews worked in Skylab, one crew in orbit for about three months, the last crew actually going on “strike”, and pulling a work stoppage due to the work load handed them by NASA. Along with nine humans, were the spiders Anita and Arabella.
APOLLO-SOYUZ In July of 1975 (15th-24th), The United States and the Soviet Union joined hands in outer space. 1st coordinated launch of two spacecraft from different countries. 1st International docking in space. Apollo Crew Tom Stafford, Deke Slayton, Vance Brand. Soyuz Crew Aleksey Leonov, Valeriy Kubasov
SPACE SHUTTLE On April 12, 1981, America’s first Space Shuttle left the launch pad. Columbia, officially known as OV-102, had a crew consisting of Astronauts Robert L. Crippen and John W. Young. The flight lasted for two days and six hours. STS-1 traveled over 933,000 miles and made 36 orbits of the Earth. Columbia and its crew were tragically lost during STS-107 in 2003. Space Shuttles OV-099 Challenger OV-101 Enterprise OV-102 Columbia OV-103 Discovery OV-104 Atlantis OV-105 Endeavour
The Space Shuttle uses a combination of Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB’s) and Liquid Rocket Engines.
The Space Shuttle can be used to launch space probes to the other planets, and to repair objects like the Hubble Space Telescope. It can carry scientific laboratories for scientists to work in, and also help assemble the International Space Station.
International Space Station The Soviet Union launched the world's first space station, Salyut 1, in 1971 - a decade after launching the first human into space. The United States sent its first space station, the larger Skylab, into orbit in 1973 and it hosted three crews before it was abandoned in 1974. Russia continued to focus on long-duration space missions and in 1986 launched the first modules of the Mir space station. In 1998, the first two modules of the International Space Station were launched and joined together in orbit. Other modules soon followed and the first crew arrived in 2000.
Unmanned Missions such as the Pioneers, Voyagers, Mars Rovers and the Hubble Space Telescope.
The Pioneers and the Voyagers did “flybys” of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, between 1974 and 1989. Galileo and Cassini gave us new views of Jupiter and Saturn in 1995 and 2004.
The “Red Planet” Mars was visited by over a dozen missions from the United States and The Soviet Union, between 1964 through the current time. Among them; Mariner, Viking, Pathfinder, Spirit, and Opportunity.
Hubble Space Telescope Deployed April 1990
Mercury and Venus were explored with a variety of craft including the American Mariner’s and the Soviet Venera. New Horizons Spacecraft is on its way to the planet Pluto.
“It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.” Robert H. Goddard