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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SpaceX Dragon to Launch Space Mice, 3D Printer and More for NASA
rodent research habitat
September 18th, 2014
SpaceX is due to bring some strange things to the space station this weekend: the first 3D printer to leave the plant, a batch of mutant fruit flies, a wind-watching radar, 20 mice and a mouse X-ray machine.
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NASA's Second Shuttle Carrier Jet Lands on Public Display
NASA 911, one of two retired Shuttle Carrier Aircraft that ferried NASA's space shuttles across the country for three decades, is towed from NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center's Building 703 on its final journey to the City of Palmdale's nearby Joe Dav
September 18th, 2014
For the second time this year, a NASA jet used to ferry the space shuttles across the country has been put on public display. The youngest modified-Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft was towed to the Joe Davies Heritage Airpark in California.
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How Private Space Taxis for Astronauts Could Help NASA Reach Mars
Artist's Concept of Astronauts on Mars
September 17th, 2014
Tapping SpaceX and Boeing to fly American astronauts to and from the International Space Station should free NASA up to work on sending people to Mars, agency officials say.
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See Jeff Bezos Unveil Blue Origin's New Rocket Engine (Video)
Blue Origin BE-4 Engine Model
September 18th, 2014
The secretive private spaceflight company Blue Origin and the launch provider United Launch Alliance announced Wednesday (Sept. 17) that they're teaming up on a new rocket engine venture. Today, you can watch the joint news conference.
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Expert Voices: Reactions to NASA's Private Space Taxi Picks
Commercial Crew Selection
September 17th, 2014
NASA astronauts should be able to hitch a ride to space aboard space taxis built by private two companies in the next three years, and reactions are strong.
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NASA Picks SpaceX, Boeing to Fly US Astronauts on Private Spaceships
NASA has picked SpaceX's Dragon Version 2 manned spacecraft (left) and Boeing's CST-100 space capsule to fly American astronauts to and from low-Earth orbit from U.S. soil for the first time since the shuttle fleet's retirement in 2011.
September 16th, 2014
NASA has tapped the private spaceflight companies SpaceX and Boeing to build and test commercial spacecraft for ferrying American astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
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NASA to Make Major Private Space Taxi Announcement Today: Watch Live
NASA Launch America Announcement
September 16th, 2014
NASA is expected to make a huge human spaceflight announcement today during a news briefing, and you can watch it live online.
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Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin to Build New Rocket Engine for US Launch Provider
Jeff Bezos at a news conference
September 17th, 2014
United Launch Alliance (ULA) and the private spaceflight company Blue Origin are going to fund the development of Blue Origin's new BE-4 liquid rocket engine, representatives with both companies revealed today (Sept. 17).
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NASA's Private Astronaut Space Taxi: Who Could it Be?
NASA's commercial crew program with an astronaut in the foreground and the space station in the background
September 16th, 2014
Who will be responsible for flying Americans to the International Space Station by 2017? Today, NASA could announce which private spaceflight company (or companies) officials have selected to move ahead toward developing an astronaut taxi service.
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