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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Apollo 11 Flight Log, July 24, 1969: Return to Earth
United States President Richard Nixon was in the central Pacific recovery area to welcome the Apollo 11 astronauts aboard the USS Hornet, prime recovery ship for the historic Apollo 11 lunar landing mission, on July 24, 1969. The Apollo 11 astronauts are,
July 24th, 2014
NASA's Apollo 11 crew returned to Earth as heroes at the end of their successful manned moon landing mission. See how Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins splashed down in the Pacific Ocean and returned to the United States.
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New Space Race? US Eyes Asteroids as Other Nations Shoot for the Moon
Buzz Aldrin and Flag During First Moon Landing
July 23rd, 2014
In the four decades since Apollo, no humans have landed on the moon. While NASA has no concrete plans to send astronauts back, other nations are talking about going there.
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4-Month Mock Mars Mission Wraps Up in Hawaii Friday
Canada Day HIGH SEAS 2
July 22nd, 2014
The second Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation mission, known as Hi-SEAS 2, wraps up on Friday (July 25), ending four months of simulated Red Planet exploration on Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano.
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Robotic Russian Cargo Ship Launches on Express Trip to Space Station
Progress Cargo Ship 56 Launch on July 23, 2014
July 23rd, 2014
Russia launched a robotic ship on an express delivery run to the International Space Station today (July 23) to bring fresh supplies to the crewmembers on the orbiting outpost.
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Home, Sweet, Moon Cave: Astronauts Could Live in 'Lunar Pits' (Video)
Pit Crater on Mare Tranquillitatis
July 23rd, 2014
Scientists have found hundreds of small pits on the lunar surface that could provide shelter to astronauts exploring the moon. Some of the pits, which are primarily located inside larger craters on the moon, are nearly 3,000 feet wide.
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Actor Morgan Freeman Talks Mars Trips & More with NASA Astronauts
ISS Astronauts During Interview by Morgan Freeman
July 21st, 2014
Actor Morgan Freeman grilled NASA astronauts on the International Space Station about how their work can get humans to Mars someday.
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Apollo 11 Patch Flown on 1st Moon Landing to Launch with Astronauts to Mars
This Apollo 11 mission patch, which was carried to the moon in July 1969, will launch with astronauts flying to Mars.
July 21st, 2014
When U.S. astronauts make the next 'giant leap' launching to Mars, they will bring with them a memento from the first moon landing 45 years ago. NASA is presenting Kennedy Space Center with a mission patch flown on Apollo 11 for the first Mars crew.
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Apollo 11 Flight Log, July 23, 1969: Preparing for Landing
Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong made history on July 20, 1969 as the first humans to walk on the moon. Seen here, a closeup of a boot print left behind by one of the astronauts.
July 23rd, 2014
Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins spent their last full day in space before landing gearing up for their Earth return. See how here.
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Apollo 11 Flight Log, July 22, 1969: Firing Engines for Earth Return
One-third of the Earth's sphere illuminated, Earth's terminator, sunglint, a portion of east Africa, as photographed from the Apollo 11 spacecraft during its first lunar landing mission in July 1969.
July 22nd, 2014
On July 22, 1969, the three men on NASA's Apollo 11 mission were in the homestretch of their historic moon voyage. See how they fired the engines on their spacecraft.
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NASA Names Historic Operations Building for 1st Moonwalker Neil Armstrong
Robert Cabana, the director of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, presides over the July 21, 2014 ceremony to rename the center's historic Operations and Checkout Building for astronaut Neil Armstrong. Seated from left to right: Charles Bolden, NASA
July 21st, 2014
NASA honored the memory of Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong Monday (July 21), naming the Operations and Checkout building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida after the first man on the moon.
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