Initially fueled by the Cold War tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, the exploration of space has seen some of humanity's greatest triumphs, harrowing disasters, and significant scientific discoveries. From the V2 rockets of World War II to the first artifical satellite to men walking on the moon, international space stations, and unmanned probes that have left the galaxy, exploring the cosmos is a realization of human ingenuity.
See what you will discover on space flight with the many dictionaries, quotations, companions, blogposts, and infographics of Oxford Reference...
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- Sputnik, the first man-made satellite launched by the Soviet Union in October 1957, ushering in the Space Race
- Wernher von Braun, the German scientist behind the V1 and V2 rocket programs who worked for NASA after the war, inventing the Saturn rocket that sent men to the moon
- Apollo project, the US space project announced in 1961 that achieved its goal of landing a man on the moon in July 1969 during the Apollo 11 mission
- Voyager, two space probes launched in 1977 that contain recordings called "Sounds of Earth" and are currently traveling through interstellar space
- Sojourner, the first roving vehicle to land on Mars with the Pathfinder space probe in July 1997
"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
— Neil Armstrong (1930–2012), US astronaut; first words spoken by a man on the moon
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"Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards."
— Fred Hoyle (1915–2001), English astrophysicist
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"We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ to ‘touch the face of God.’"
— Ronald Reagan (1911-2004), US President, 1981-1918; Oval Office broadcast following the loss of the Space Shuttle Challeger in January 1986
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"From early Earth orbits and the moon landings to space stations and commercial spacecraft, we’ve collected the key programs that fueled the Space Race and continue to make scientific discoveries to this day."
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"Less than 50 days after this year’s World Space Week (4-10 October)—a global network of over 1,000 space-related organizations celebrating the role space plays in bringing the world together for peaceful purposes—NASA’s InSight spacecraft is scheduled to land near the Red Planet’s equator to take the planet’s pulse..."
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"The International Space Station was originally conceived as our base camp to the stars – the first step in a long journey of human civilisation exploring new planets, asteroids, and galaxies, and perhaps even helping us to meet other forms of life in the universe along the way..."
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"NASA posted an update in the last week of December that the international space station would be visible from the New York City area—and therefore the Oxford New York office—on the night of 28 December 2013..."
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