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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LightSail Solar Sail Test Flight Stalled by Software Glitch
Artist’s Concept of LightSail in Orbit
May 27th, 2015
LightSail, a CubeSat designed and built by the nonprofit Planetary Society, stopped beaming data home on Friday (May 22), just two days after it blasted off along with the United States Air Force's robotic X-37B space plane.
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SpaceX Dragon Cargo Capsule Splashes Down in Pacific Ocean
SpaceX's Dragon Capsule Splashes Down
May 21st, 2015
SpaceX's unmanned Dragon spacecraft splashed down today in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California at 12:42 p.m. EDT (1642 GMT), about 5 1/2 hours after departing the orbiting lab.
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Tiny Solar Sail 'Cubesat' Launching with X-37B Space Plane on Wednesday
Artist’s Concept of The Planetary Society’s LightSail Spacecraft
May 19th, 2015
The Planetary Society's LightSail craft will hitch a ride on the rocket that blasts the United States Air Force's X-37B space plane into orbit on its latest mystery mission Wednesday. LightSail aims to advance solar sailing technology.
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New Journal Tackles the Science of Weightlessness
Virts Performs Microgravity Experiment
May 26th, 2015
Science experiments done in microgravity or related to space flight can be found in a new scientific journal dedicated to these areas of research.
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Chuck Norris Delivers Punch of Support for Space Shuttle Exhibit
Actor Norris at "Galaxy Gala"
May 18th, 2015
Chuck Norris Fact #905: Before NASA used a 747 jet to ferry its space shuttles, Chuck Norris carried the orbiters on his back. That may or may not be true, but Norris did help land a punch of support for the exhibit of the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft in Hous
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Why Colonize Mars? Sci-Fi Authors Weigh In
Future Mars Explorers
May 15th, 2015
Settling Mars could help humanity escape and mitigate the problems our species is facing here on Earth, several science-fiction authors said.
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Disney's 'Tomorrowland' Draws Inspiration from NASA's Past and Future
Actress Britt Robertson, as Casey Newton in Disney's new movie "Tomorrowland," sports a hat displaying NASA's logo.
May 22nd, 2015
In the new Disney film 'Tomorrowland,' now in theaters, NASA provides the launch pad, literally and figuratively, for the movie's plot to unfold. 'To many of us on the film, NASA is close to our hearts,' said director Brad Bird.
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Is This 'International Flag of Planet Earth' the One We'll Plant on Mars?
'International Flag of Planet Earth' Planted on Mars
May 20th, 2015
A Swedish university student has created a design for an "International Flag of Planet Earth" that could be planted on planets during future human exploration. The banner depicts seven interlocked circles, symbolizing the unity of all people.
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House Bill Offers Same Funding But Different Priorities for NASA
Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas)
May 18th, 2015
A House appropriations subcommittee approved a spending bill May 14 that fully funds the Obama administration's overall request for NASA, but cuts commercial crew and space technology funds, adding it to planetary science and SLS.
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