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Space Exploration, science and engineering of manned and unmanned space travel. Space exploration, or astronautics, is interdisciplinary in that it draws upon the findings of such fields as physics, astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, biology, medicine, electronic
s, and meteorology.

Manned and unmanned space probes have provided a vast new source of scientific data on the nature and origin of the solar system and the universe; Earth-orbiting satellites have improved global communications, weather forecasting, navigational aids, and reconnaissance of the Earth’s surface for the location of mineral resources and for military purposes.

The space age and practical astronautics commenced with the launching of Sputnik 1 by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in October 1957 and of Explorer 1 by the United States in January 1958. In October 1958 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was created in the United States. Since then, there have been over 3,000 launches of spacecraft of all varieties, mostly into Earth orbit. Twelve men have walked on the Moon’s surface and returned to Earth. Several thousand objects—mostly spent, upper stages of space-launch vehicles and inert spacecraft—are circling the Earth.

Saturn 5 Rocket

A Saturn 5 rocket rises slowly from its launch pad in the early stages of the Apollo 17 mission. More than 110 m (363 ft) tall, the multi-stage rockets are fuelled by liquid hydrogen. In addition to being used extensively in the Apollo programme, one of the massive Saturn 5 rockets was used to launch NASA’s Skylab in 1973.




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