Fifty Years of Human Spaceflight

Human spaceflight has come a long way over the last 50 years since the launch of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961 during the Vostok 1 mission. SPACE.com looks at just how far spaceflight has come and what's on the horizon.
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Photos Show How NASA Removed Tanks from Retired Space Shuttles for Station
Shuttle Endeavour's Water Tanks
August 27th, 2015
Behind-the-scenes photographs reveal how the water storage tanks deep inside NASA's space shuttles Atlantis and Endeavour were extracted by the space agency for their use onboard the International Space Station.
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'8 Days or Bust' +50: Gemini 5 Made History with 1st Crew Mission Patch
Astronauts Gordon Cooper (left) and Charles Conrad are seen in the Gemini 5 spacecraft just before launching on their "8 Days or Bust" mission in 1965. The crew was the first to design and wear a mission patch, as shown.
August 24th, 2015
Fifty years ago, two NASA astronauts were more than one-third of the way through what was to be the world's longest space mission at the time. Gordo Cooper and Pete Conrad chose while setting yet another American first in space.
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Smithsonian's 1st Kickstarter Raises $720,000 to 'Reboot' Spacesuits
Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 Spacesuit Conservation
August 21st, 2015
The spacesuits worn by Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, and by Alan Shepard, the first American in space, will be "conserved, digitized and displayed" thanks to the almost 9,500 people who backed the Smithsonian's first Kickstarter campa
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Private Space Stations Could Be a Reality by 2025
Boeing CST-100 Approaching Bigelow Space Station Image
August 25th, 2015
Commercial space stations could become a reality within the next 10 years if entrepreneurs and NASA can properly manage the tricky transition from the government-run International Space Station to privately built and operated facilities.
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Japanese Cargo Ship Delivers Mouse House, Booze and More to Space Station
The Japanese cargo ship HTV-5 arrived at the International Space Station on Aug. 24, 2015. Astronaut Kimiya Yui of Japan posted this photo of the spacecraft after capturing it by robotic arm.
August 24th, 2015
A robotic Japanese cargo ship made a special delivery to the International Space Station on Sunday (Aug. 24), ending a four-day trek to ferry tons of food, supplies — and even a mouse habitat and (experimental) liquor — to the orbiting lab.
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US-China Space Freeze May Thaw with Historic New Experiment
International Space Station (ISS)
August 21st, 2015
NanoRacks, a Houston-based company that helps commercial companies make use of the space station, has signed an agreement with the Beijing Institute of Technology to fly Chinese DNA research to the orbiting outpost next year.
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Epic Trailer for 'The Martian' Questions the Value of a Human Life in Space
Matt Damon Stars in 'The Martian'
August 19th, 2015
The awesome new trailer for "The Martian" is full of thrilling and stressful moments, and raises important questions about the value of human life in space exploration.
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Billionaires Wanted to Fund Private Mars Colony
Artist's concept of Mars One's planned colony on the Red Planet, which would begin with the touchdown of four people in 2027.
August 25th, 2015
The biggest challenges facing the private Mars One colonization project are financial rather than technical, so a big donation from a deep-pocketed person concerned about his or her legacy could make a huge difference, group representatives said.
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One Direction Goes to Space with NASA in 'Drag Me Down' Music Video
One Direction at Johnson Space Center
August 21st, 2015
Houston, we have a pop band. The hit U.K. boy band One Direction unveiled its latest music video "Drag Me Down" and it has a decisively out-of-this-world vibe thanks to NASA.
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Booze Sent to Space to Explore 'Mellow' Mechanism
A Japanese H-IIB rocket launches the HTV-5 cargo ship toward the International Space Station on Aug. 19, 2015. Among the 4.5 tons cargo riding on HTV-5 were several samples of liquor for the Suntory Global Innovation Center to test how booze mellows in sp
August 20th, 2015
Tokyo-based Suntory Global Innovation Center, which has a division called Suntory Whiskey, launched a set of alcoholic beverages toward the International Space Station on Wednesday (Aug. 19) aboard Japan's HTV-5 freighter.
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