The Space Races Unwitting Pioneers

Animal Astronauts – The Space Races Unwitting Pioneers

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Everyone remembers Yuri Gagarin the first man in space but before his famous flight, there had been many more living space pioneers who didn’t really have any choice about being strapped into an experimental rocket. Animal Astronauts – The Space Race’s Unwitting Pioneers The tidal wave of propaganda generated by Sputnik 1 had been unpredictable but it had been especially positive for Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. He summoned Sergei Korolev, boss of the Soviet space programme, and told him to make sure a second satellite was launched in time to mark the anniversary of the October Revolution of November 7th, 1917, …

How the First Spacewalk Nearly Ended in Disaster - Alexei Leonov Voskhod 2

How the First Spacewalk Nearly Ended in Disaster – Alexei Leonov Voskhod 2

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When Alexey Leonov made the world’s first spacewalk in 1965, it was hailed as yet another great success for the USSR in the space race against America. It was only after the fall of the Soviet Union that the west found out that while it may well have been made to look like a success by the Soviet Press, it was, in fact, it was teetering on the edge of disaster from the moment Leonov stepped out of the airlock till the crew were rescued from a desolate location in a frozen forest. In 1961 Yuri Gagarin orbited the Earth …

Zeppelins of Mars - HAVOC on Venus

Zeppelins of Mars – HAVOC on Venus : NASA’s new Planetary Airships

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  If you thought airships like the Zeppelin were a thing of the past and consigned to the history books for their dangerous ability to burst into flames, then think again because NASA is looking at using them to explore Mars and Venus. On March 21st, 1999, a giant silver shape descended from the sky to thump down, bounce, then land in the Egyptian desert. It was the giant balloon Breitling Orbiter 3, and from the red capsule beneath emerged Bertrand Piccard: grandson of August Piccard, the first man to reach the stratosphere, and son of Jacques Piccard, who in …

How Neil Armstrong Cheated Death Multiple times Before Apollo

How Neil Armstrong Cheated Death Multiple times Before Apollo

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According to legend, the family name Armstrong was bestowed upon a Celtic clan after a leading member displayed an amazing feat of heroism in battle – using just one of his arms. If that’s true, it might suggest where, centuries later, pioneer pilot and astronaut Neil Armstrong got his sense of adventure from. By the time of the first manned moon mission, Apollo 11 on July 22nd, 1969, he’d already cheated death at least seven times – all in vehicles provided to him by the American government. Neil Alden Armstrong was born in Ohio on August 5, 1930, of Irish, …

Secret Soviet Lunar Rovers and Extra Terrestrial Cars

Secret Soviet Lunar Rovers and Extra Terrestrial Cars

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For the last 50 years or so we have been using wheeled robots and vehicles to explore other worlds from secret Soviet lunar rovers to the first lunar car to the latest Mars Rovers, we owe a lot to our extra-terrestrial wheeled helpers. NASA recently released new concept art for ‘the Mars 2020 rover’. The robotic lab is shown in action in its potential landing sites on Mars: currently, three locations are being considered, and a final decision will be made in 2018 or 2019. If the images look like something you’ve seen before, it’s because the new rover is the …