How It Works


When SpaceX launched its Dragon capsule into orbit earlier this year, it became the first private spacecraft to carry humans to the International Space Station (ISS). Built for commercial travel, the successful flight served as a glimpse into the future of space tourism. But what other missions – both successful and disastrous – have provided us with the knowledge we have today? What achievements from the past have given us the confidence to send people and machines soaring above Earth?

The history of spaceflight spans a relatively short timeline, but in less than a century exploration beyond Earth has rapidly evolved. This is largely due to the competition between Cold War rivals, the Soviet Union and the US. While the Space Race encouraged speedy developments between the two competing sides, these came with dangerous acts and desperate decisions.

Without these risks, however, astronomers and engineers wouldn’t be as knowledgeable as they are today. The universe has become a scientist’s playground, and the further we

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