This week we celebrated the 53rd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing which got me to thinking about our history of human space travel and where it will go in the near and far future.
- April 12, 1961 – First human in space
- December 14, 1962 – First interplanetary spacecraft, Mariner 2 flew by Venus
- July 20, 1969 – First human on the moon
- December 15, 1970 – First spacecraft to land on another planet, Venera 7 landed on Venus
- April 19, 1971 – First space station launched, Salyut
- July 4, 1997 – First rover to successfully deploy on another planet, Pathfinder landed on Mars
- November 20, 1998 – First international space station launched, International Space Station
- April 28, 2001 – First space tourist, Dennis Tito
- December 8, 2010 – First time a privately developed and operated spacecraft is recovered from orbit, Space X
- January 21, 2018 – First time that a rocket entered orbit after launching from a privately owned and operated spaceport, Rocket Lab
- May 30, 2020 – First privately-developed crewed mission to orbit and to visit the International Space Station, Space X
- 2024 – First commercial space station, Axiom Space
- 2025 – First crewed lunar landing since Apollo 17 in 1972, Artemis Program
- 2029 – First humans to land on Mars, according to Elon Musk
- 2073 – First humans to land on an asteroid
Where to next? The questions scientists and science fiction writers love to explore.
- When will we have a permanent lunar base?
- When will we have a base in our solar system on Mars or elsewhere?
- When will we visit planets or moons further away than Mars or the asteroid belt?
- When will space travel be as normal as flying on Earth?
Are you a space travel nerd? Do you ponder these questions? If so, what question really has your mind pondering the future?