For over 15 years, the Hubble telescope has taken us farther into the galaxy than ever before, but it is in our nature to want to know even more.
From Galileo who studied the heavens in the 1500s, to Kepler’s fascination with the universe nearly a hundred years later, to the early part of the 20th century, we’ve witnessed scientists like Robert Goddard launch the first rocket that paved the way to exploring our universe.
We gathered around black and white televisions to witness Neil Armstrong take the first steps on the Moon. We listened and intensely watched as engineers furiously scrambled to find a way to bring Apollo 13 astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert safely back to Earth. The American public watched in awe as the first Space Shuttle launched in 1981, launching a curiosity in human spaceflight that we had never seen before.
Since Goddard’s rocket that went over 1.6 miles in the air and reached speeds of 550 mph in 1966, we have been to the moon and back to build an amazing orbiting laboratory that is as large as a football field. It’s almost unimaginable to see what we have accomplished – but more is on the horizon.
Our next exploration missions are being engineered with the most advanced technologies to keep humans safe during the journey aboard Orion far into deep space. The newest rocket designed by NASA is being built on the most powerful propulsion system in the world and will go farther into our solar system than ever before – including Mars, a journey that will take more than 9 months to complete.
Great discoveries are about to be made. Another chapter in space history is about to take place. Take a look at how we got from Goddard’s rocket to where we are today.
Marvel at our accomplishments. Enjoy the journey of space. Dare to explore what we have yet to discover.