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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Latest Articles

Space Record: Cosmonaut Logs 804 Days (and Counting) in Orbit
Cosmonaut Gennady Padalka Aboard International Space Station
June 30th, 2015
It's a record! As of June 29, Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka has spent a total of 804 days in space — more than any other human in history.
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SpaceX Rocket Explosion Shouldn't Affect Commercial Crew Plans, NASA Says
SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes
June 29th, 2015
The failure of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket during a cargo launch Sunday shouldn't have a big impact on the company's ability to fly astronauts to orbit and back a few years from now, NASA officials said.
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SpaceX Rocket Explodes During Cargo Launch to Space Station
June 28th, 2015
An unmanned SpaceX cargo mission crashed back to Earth today (June 28), marking the third failure of a resupply flight to the International Space Station in the past eight months. SpaceX and NASA officials still aren't sure exactly what happened.
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Microbes Could Prep Mars for Humans
Martian Ice
June 30th, 2015
The first living being sent to Mars by humans may not be some lucky astronaut, or even a monkey, but a microorganism like cyanobacteria, sent there to create oxygen for human explorers.
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NASA Exhibits Space Shuttles Challenger, Columbia Debris for First Time
Space Shuttle Challenger Wreckage on Display
June 29th, 2015
Artifacts recovered from the wreckages of the Challenger and Columbia space shuttles are for the first time now on public display, as part of a powerful new exhibit that honors the two spacecraft and their fallen astronaut crewmembers.
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Destination Mars: NASA Asks Where Astronauts Should Land
NASA Seeks Input on Mars Astronauts' Landing Site
June 25th, 2015
The space agency will hold a workshop in Houston this October to kick off serious discussions about possible landing sites for NASA's first manned mission to the Red Planet, which the agency aims to launch by the mid- to late 2030s.
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Would Astronauts Have Survived the SpaceX Rocket Explosion?
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Dragon in Flight, June 28
June 29th, 2015
If Sunday's rocket mishap had occurred during a crewed launch of the manned "Dragon V2" capsule, it likely would not have caused any fatalities, SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said.
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Best Space Stories of the Week – June 28, 2015
Artist's Impresion of Exoplanet GJ 436b
June 28th, 2015
An exoplanet apparently possesses a huge cometlike tail, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft snapped amazing images of Pluto and a solar storm supercharged northern lights displays. Here's a look at Space.com's top stories of the week.
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'Astronaut Wives Club': Space History vs. Hollywood in 'Protocol' (Ep. 2)
Second Episode of 'The Astronaut Wives Club'
June 26th, 2015
"The Astronaut Wives Club," ABC's 10-part docu-drama about the spouses of America's first spacemen, entered orbit with its second episode Thursday (June 25). But how closely did "Protocol" follow the real space history?
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