Vote Now! Iconic Photos - 50 Years of Human Spaceflight

Return to Flight


Space Shuttle Discovery launches on July 26. 2005 from NASA Kennedy Space Center on the historic Return to Flight mission STS-114, the first mission following the Columbia disaster.

Robert Goddard with his Double Acting Engine Rocket


Space pioneer Dr. Robert H. Goddard stands with his rocket with the double-acting engine in November 1925, following more than two years of pump development based on the idea of a separate pump for each propellant, a significant advance.

Apollo 11 Launch


The Apollo 11 Saturn V space vehicle climbs toward orbit on July 16, 1969, bearing astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. Armstrong and Aldrin would make history as the first men on the moon.

Rare Photos of Yuri Gagarin Before His Historic Flight

Roscosmos/Evgeny A. Sivukhin

Rare images show Yuri Gagarin preparing to make his historic first manned spaceflight on April 16, 1961. This collage only surfaced in December 2009.

John Glenn Enters Friendship 7


On Feb. 20, 1962, John Glenn rode the Friendship 7 capsule into space, the first time an American orbited the Earth. In this image, Glenn enters the capsule with assistance from technicians.

Tracy Caldwell Dyson Looks at the Earth


Douglas H. Wheelock, "Astro_Wheels" on Twitter, shared this picture of Astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson looking down on Earth from the cupola of the International Space Station.

The First Chinese Spacewalk

China National Space Administration

Chinese astronaut Zhai Zhigang waves from outside his Shenzhou 7 spacecraft September 27, 2008. He became his country's first spacewalker.

Endeavour Over Earth


Space Shuttle Endeavour floats above the Earth while docked to the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station, during the STS-118 mission in August 2007.

Apollo 17 Lunar Rover


Apollo 17 mission commander Eugene A. Cernan makes a short checkout of the Lunar Roving Vehicle during the early part of the first Apollo 17 extravehicular activity at the Taurus-Littrow landing site in 1972.

Aorounga Impact Crater


Astronaut Clayton C. Anderson tweeted this picture from space, a view of Aorounga Impact Crater, southeast of of Emi Koussi volcano in Chad.

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