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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Norm Carlson, Who Gave 'Go' for NASA's Saturn V, Shuttle and Beans, Dies at 81
NASA Test Director Norm Carlson
March 3rd, 2015
When U.S. astronauts next launch to space from Florida, the control team that oversees their liftoff may celebrate with the traditional crock of beans. If so, they'll be honoring the legacy of test director Norm Carlson, too.
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Curt Michel, Scientist-Astronaut Who Left NASA After Losing the Moon, Dies at 80
F. Curt Michel
March 2nd, 2015
F. Curt Michel, an astrophysicist who was among NASA's first scientist-astronauts but who resigned after it became clear he would not fly to the moon, died Feb. 23, 2015. He was 80.
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US Needs a Mars Colony, Buzz Aldrin Tells Senators
Artist's depiction of a manned Mars mission.
February 26th, 2015
Going to Mars without setting up a colony — round-trip manned missions, in other words — would not be enough for the U.S. to reclaim its leadership in space, nor would setting up human outposts on the moon, Aldrin said.
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Living on Other Planets: What Would It Be Like?
Solar System Montage by NASA
March 3rd, 2015
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live on the moon? What about Mars, or Venus or Mercury? We sure have and that's why we decided to find out what it might be like to live on other worlds in our solar system, from Mercury to Pluto and beyond
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Russia Will Spin-Off ISS Parts for New Space Station
Shuttle and International Space Station in 2011
March 2nd, 2015
Russia says it will support U.S. plans to keep the International Space Station operating through 2024, but then wants to split off three still-to-be launched modules to form a new orbital outpost.
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NASA Celebrates Crawler-Transporters' 1st 50 Years with Test Drive
Crawler-Transporter 2 Rolls Out
February 26th, 2015
With an eye towards the future, NASA has marked the first 50 years of its two rocket-moving crawler-transporters by taking one of the newly-upgraded massive machines out for a test drive to the launch pad.
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What Would It Be Like to Live On Dwarf Planet Ceres in the Asteroid Belt?
Dwarf Planet Ceres
February 24th, 2015
Low temperatures, gravity and sunlight would define the experience of living on Ceres, the largest asteroid belt object.
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Mining The Asteroids: Who Decides?
Asteroid Miners Eye Space Rock Resources
March 3rd, 2015
Our civilization—and presumably any civilization with a technological capacity at least as advanced as ours—runs on energy and raw materials.
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Astronauts Add Antennas, Cables to Space Station in 3rd Spacewalk
NASA astronauts Terry Virts (center) and Butch Wilmore work to route cables outside the International Space Station during their third spacewalk together on March 1, 2015.
March 1st, 2015
The International Space Station is now three steps, or rather spacewalks, closer to being ready for the arrival of new U.S. commercial crewed spacecraft with the completion of a trio of two-astronaut excursions.
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Cosmonaut Alexei Gubarev, Led 1st Multi-National Space Crew, Dies at 83
Cosmonaut Alexei Gubarev
February 26th, 2015
Soviet-era cosmonaut Alexei Gubarev, who trained to fly to the moon but instead led the first multi-national space station crew, died on Feb. 21. He was 83. Gubarev logged 37 days in orbit during the Soyuz 17 and Soyuz 28 missions.
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