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For travel through space, see Human spaceflight.
Space Travel was an early computer game that simulated travel in the solar system. It was the development of this game that spurred the development of the Unix operating system. It is sometimes claimed that the unrelated game Spacewar! had led to the development of Unix. While Spacewar! was an early (and much more popular) computer game, such claims are not accurate and have likely arisen from confusion of the two different games.
The game was originally written in 1969 by Ken Thompson for a Multics system, then ported by him to Fortran on a GECOS system, and eventually ported by Thompson and Dennis Ritchie to a PDP-7. It was in the process of porting the game to the PDP-7's assembly language that Thompson and Ritchie wrote underlying code that eventually grew into the original UNICS/Unix operating system. Some consider Space Travel the first Unix application program.
A human spaceflight is a spaceflight with a human crew, and possibly passengers. This makes it unlike robotic space probes or remotely-controlled satellites. Human spaceflight is sometimes called manned spaceflight, a term now deprecated by major space agencies in favor of its gender-neutral alternative.
As of 2007, only the Space Shuttle program and the Soyuz programme are actively launching human spaceflights. The Shenzhou program last launched a human spaceflight in 2005.
While the observation of objects in space—known as astronomy—pre-dates reliable recorded history, it was the development of large liquid-fueled rocket engines during the early 20th century that allowed space exploration to become a practical possibility. Common rationales for exploring space include advancing scientific research, uniting different nations, ensuring the future survival of humanity and developing military/strategic advantages against other countries.
Space exploration has often been used as a proxy competition for geopolitical rivalries such as the Cold War. The early era of space exploration was driven by a "Space Race" between the Soviet Union and the United States; the launch of the first man-made object to orbit the Earth, the USSR's Sputnik 1, on October 4, 1957, and the first Moon landing by the American Apollo 11 craft on July 20, 1969 are often taken as the boundaries for this initial period. The Soviet space program achieved many of the first milestones under Sergey Korolyov and Kerim Kerimov, including the first human spaceflight (Yuri Gagarin aboard Vostok 1) in 1961, the first spacewalk (by Aleksei Leonov) in 1965, and the launch of the first space station (Salyut 1) in 1971.
After the first 20 years of exploration, focus shifted from one-off flights to renewable hardware, such as the Space Shuttle program, and from competition to cooperation as with the International Space Station. From the 1990s onwards, private interests began promoting space tourism. Larger government programs have advocated manned missions to the Moon and possibly Mars sometime after 2010.
Various criticisms of Space Exploration are sometimes made, on cost or safety grounds, but the people of many countries are nevertheless usually supportive of programs.
See also: Timeline of space exploration
[First orbital flights
Laika, in 1957, became the first living being to be launched into space.The first successful orbital launch was of the Soviet unmanned Sputnik (Satellite I) mission on October 4, 1957. The satellite weighed about 83 kg (184 pounds), and is believed to have orbited Earth at a height of about 250 km (150 miles). It had two radio transmitters (20 and 40 MHz), which emitted "beeps" that could be heard by any radio around the globe. 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 incinerated upon re-entry on January 3, 1958.
This success led to an escalation of the American space program, which unsuccessfully attempted to launch Vanguard 1 into orbit two months later. On January 31, 1958, the U.S. successfully orbited Explorer I on a Juno rocket. In the meantime, the Soviet dog Laika became the first animal in orbit on November 3, 1957.
[First human flights
Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space.The first human spaceflight was Vostok 1 (East 1), carrying 27 year old cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961. 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 more advanced Soviet space program and it opened an entirely new era in space exploration — human spaceflight.
The U.S. first launched a person into space within a month of Gagarin's flight with the first Mercury flight, by Alan Shepard. Orbital flight was achieved by the United States when John Glenn's Mercury-Atlas 6 orbited the Earth on February 20, 1962.
Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, orbited the Earth 48 times aboard Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963.
China first launched a person into space 42 years after the launch of Vostok 1, on October 15, 2003, with the flight of Yang Liwei aboard the Shenzhou 5 (Spaceboat 5) spacecraft.
atmosphere was driven by rocket technology. The German V2 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 inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) to be used as long-range carriers for fast nuclear weapon delivery, but in 1961 when USSR launched the first man into space, the U.S. declared itself to be in a "Space Race" with Russia.
Kerim Kerimov was one of the founders of the Soviet space program.Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Robert Goddard, Hermann Oberth and Reinhold Tilling laid the groundwork of rocketry in the early years of the 20th century.
Wernher von Braun was the lead rocket engineer for Nazi Germany's World War II V-2 rocket project. In the last days of the war he led a caravan of workers in the German rocket program to the American lines, where they surrendered and were brought to the USA to work on U.S. rocket development. He acquired American citizenship and led the team that developed and launched Explorer I, the first American satellite. Von Braun later led the team at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center which developed the Saturn V moon rocket.
Initially the race for space was often led by Sergey Korolyov, whose legacy includes both the R7 and Soyuz—which remain in service to this day. Korolev was the mastermind behind the first satellite, first man (and first woman) in orbit and first spacewalk. Until his death his identity was a closely guarded state secret; not even his mother knew that he was responsible for creating the Russian space program.
Kerim Kerimov was one of the founders of the Soviet space program and was one of the lead architects behind the first human spaceflight (Vostok 1) alongside Sergey Korolyov. After Korolyov's death in 1966, Kerimov became the lead scientist of the Soviet space program and was responsible for the launch of the first space stations from from 1971 to 1991, including the Salyut and Mir series, and their precursors in 1967, the Cosmos 186 and Cosmos 188.
Other key people included:
Valentin Glushko held role of Chief Engine Designer for USSR. Glushko designed many of the engines used on the early Soviet rockets, but was constantly at odds with Korolev.
Vasily Mishin, Chief Designer working under Sergei Korolev and one of first Soviets to inspect the captured German V2 design. Following the death of Sergei Korolev, Mishin was held responsible for the Soviet failure to be first country to place a man on the moon.
Bob Gilruth, was the NASA head of the Space Task Force and director of 25 manned space flights. Gilruth was the person who suggested to John F. Kennedy that the Americans take the bold step of reaching the Moon in an attempt to reclaim space superiority from the Soviets.
Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., was NASA's first flight director and oversaw development of Mission Control and associated technologies and procedures.