A Brief Timeline of Sixty Years Into The Space Age

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Sixty years ago we began the race to conquer space. It all began on 4th October 1957 when Russian launched its first successful satellite called Sputnik 1. Ever since the world has grown tremendously and what began as a race for prestige turned into a global club for space exploration.

During the 1950s and 60s, the world was witnessing the longest Cold War between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. Both the countries made multiple attempts to overpower one and another in space dominance. Between 1957-59 U.S. launched 28 satellites out of which only 10 achieved its objectives. This was done just to beat the U.S.S.R.’s perfect launch record. In the same time period, the U.S.S.R. launched 6 satellites and all were successful.

In the 1960s, NASA’s budget was increased by 500% and the country vowed to be the first to land on the moon. This vow was upheld and in 1969, Neil Armstrong landed on the moon in U.S.A.’s Apollo 11.

Ever since, the United States has been successful in landing an unmanned mission on Mars, sent multiple spacecrafts to outer planets. One of their most successful missions was Cassini. Cassini was the first spacecraft to study Saturn and all its moons, sending back valuable information and pictures never seen before.

China joined the space mission in the 1970s as it launched its first satellite followed by India in 1975. Unfortunately, after the collapse of the U.S.S.R. in 1991, Russia’s space program faced a heavy blow. This gave way for other countries to steal the limelight in space. India made the most of it and reached the moon in 2009 and Mars by 2014.

What began as a serious war for power has gradually turned into a joint effort to explore and learn more about this vast universe we live in.