Katherine Johnson: The Human Computer
Katherine Johnson (2008). Photo credits: NASA

Katherine Johnson: The Human Computer

"Katherine G. Johnson refused to be limited by society's expectations of her gender and race while expanding the boundaries of humanity's reach."President Obama Katherine Johnson was an American mathematician who calculated and analyzed the flight paths of many spacecraft during her more than three decades with the U.S. space program. Her work helped send astronauts to the Moon. She calculated the precise trajectories that would let Apollo 11 land on the moon in 1969 and, after Neil Armstrong’s history-making moonwalk, let…

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Titan IIIE: Escaping Solar System!
The Voyager 2 aboard Titan III-Centaur launch vehicle lifted off on August 20, 1977. The Voyager 2 was a scientific satellite to study the Jupiter and the Saturn planetary systems including their satellites and Saturn's rings. Photo credits: NASA

Titan IIIE: Escaping Solar System!

Voyager, Viking and Helios: What's common in these 3 space probes? All of them were launched by Titan IIIE rocket. An American expendable launch system, Titan IIIE was launched 7 times between 1974 and 1977. It enabled several high-profile NASA missions, including the Voyager and Viking planetary probes and the joint West Germany-U.S. Helios spacecraft. The Voyager 2 aboard Titan III-Centaur launch vehicle lifted off on August 20, 1977. The Voyager 2 was a scientific satellite to study the Jupiter and…

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The 1st Manned Spaceflight: Vostok-K
The Vostok 3KA-3 spacecraft (Vostok 1) awaits the launch of Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961, which would make him the first human to travel into space. (Image credit: ESA)

The 1st Manned Spaceflight: Vostok-K

On 12 April 1961, a Vostok-K rocket was used to launch Vostok 1, the first manned spaceflight, which made Yuri Gagarin the first human to fly in space.

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Sputnik Rocket: Reaching orbit, in style!

Introduction Sputnik rocket performed the world's first satellite launch, placing the satellite "Sputnik 1" into a low earth orbit, on the 4th of October, 1957. The rocket was designed by the legendary Soviet Rocket engineer and spacecraft designer — Sergie Korolev. The rocket was a modified form of R-7 Semyorka — the world's first intercontinental ballistic missile developed by Soviets during the Cold war. Many of us know that Sputnik 1 was the first satellite to space. Another lesser-known fact is…

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Messenger: Journey and Discoveries
Interplanetary trajectory of the MESSENGER orbiter.

Messenger: Journey and Discoveries

MESSENGER extensively used gravity assist maneuvers at Earth, Venus, and Mercury to reduce the speed relative to Mercury, then used its large rocket engine to enter into an elliptical orbit around the planet.

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Messenger Space Probe to Mercury
Reprocessed Mariner 10 data was used to produce this image of Mercury. The smooth band is an area of which no images were taken

Messenger Space Probe to Mercury

The MESSENGER spacecraft was the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury. The name is a backronym for "MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Rangng"

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Mariner 10: Journey and Discoveries
This picture of Venus was captured by the Mariner 10 spacecraft during its approach to the planet in early 1974. Taken with the spacecraft's imaging system using an ultraviolet filter, the picture has been color enhanced to simulate Venus's natural color as the human eye would see it.

Mariner 10: Journey and Discoveries

When Mariner 10 lifted off from Cape Canaveral on Nov. 3, 1973, very little was known about our neighbors in the solar system. Mariner 10 would only have quick flybys past Venus and Mercury, to be sure.

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