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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Welcome Home, Orion! NASA Space Capsule Back in Florida After Test Flight
Orion back in Florida
December 19th, 2014
NASA's first Orion space capsule — which made its spaceflight debut at the beginning of this month — is back in Florida after more than a week in transit.
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NASA Holds Off on Asteroid-Capture Mission Decision Until Early 2015
This artist's illustration depicts NASA's Option B for the Asteroid Redirect Mission, a plan to retrieve a boulder from an asteroid and park it near the moon for astronauts to study later.
December 17th, 2014
NASA has postponed deciding whether to attempt to capture an entire asteroid, or just a piece of one, by 2025 until at least early 2015. Both options are feasible, a senior NASA official said Wednesday (Dec. 17).
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How a Rocket Sled Launched 'The Fastest Man Alive'
Holloman High Speed Test Track
December 15th, 2014
It has been 60 years since Col. John P. Stapp sailed down a test track, strapped in tight onboard Sonic Wind Rocket Sled 1.
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Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Crash: Full Coverage and Investigation
NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher Hart visits The Spaceship Company production facility where Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo vehicles are built as part of the NTSB investigation into the Oct. 31 crash of the space plane.
December 19th, 2014
On Oct. 31, 2014, the space tourism company Virgin Galactic suffered a serious accident during a SpaceShipTwo test flight, resulting in the loss of the spacecraft. One pilot died in the crash, while another suffered injuries. See our full coverage.
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'Journey To Space' to Take Moviegoers on Giant-Screen Trip to Mars
'Journey To Space' Film
December 12th, 2014
Having successfully splashed down after its first spaceflight, NASA's Orion spacecraft is set to launch onto the big screen in a large-format 3D film. 'Journey To Space' tells the true story of what the next chapter of space exploration will bring.
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NASA's New Space Launch System Mega Rocket Won't Fly Until 2018
Artist's Concept of Space Launch System
December 10th, 2014
NASA's new mega rocket will probably not be launching for the first time in 2017, a NASA official said before the U.S. Congress today (Dec. 10).
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SpaceX's Next Launch to Space Station Delayed Until New Year
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket sits on the launch pad in September 2014.
December 19th, 2014
The private spaceflight company SpaceX won't be flying a mission to the International Space Station until early 2015.SpaceX is now expected to launch its fifth official mission to the orbiting outpost under a contract with NASA on Jan. 6.
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New Omega Skywalker X-33 Space Watch Features Astronaut's Invention
Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 Watch
December 15th, 2014
A European astronaut's idea for improving the wristwatches worn in space has become the basis for a new version of the timepiece first used on the moon. ESA astronaut Jean-François Clervoy's clockwork is in Omega's new Speedmaster Skywalker X-33.
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SpaceX Cargo Ship, Reusable Rocket Test Now Set to Launch on Dec. 19
A close-up of the "hypersonic grid fins" on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, which should help stabilize the booster during its return to Earth after launching on Dec. 19, 2014.
December 12th, 2014
If all goes according to plan, Dragon will blast off atop SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 1:20 p.m. EST (1820 GMT) on Dec. 19 and arrive at the orbiting lab two days later.
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