Origin and Evolution of Space Exploration (Rockets)

Posted on : 15 November 2019
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Before big bang, the universe was supposed to have existed in the form of a dot. Big Bang leads to the globalization of Universe and formation of galaxies, stars, planets including earth where we, humans exist. Existence of human beings on earth is so mysterious that humans are compelled to seek for the species similar to them or other planets and galaxies beyond earth. That is why humans are called space-faring civilization. Humans have been making complex things possible just to expand the frontier of space exploration since decades.

The development of destructive missiles, first used by Germany toward the end of world War II made the launch vehicles more significant that broke out a space race between the Soviet Union (USSR) and the United States. The space race between Soviet Union and the United States was one of the major reasons for the evolution of rockets.

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1 into space and four years later on April 12, 1961 a commando of Russian Army, Yuri Gagrin became the First Human to orbit Earth in Vostok 1.

While Soviets were achieving their mildstones, United States was getting  things done slowly. The First U.S. satellite, Explorer 1 went into orbit on Jan 31, 1958 and on Feb 1962, John Glenn’s historic flight made him the first  American to orbit Earth. They didn’t stop here. In 1969, they launched Saturn V rocket to Moon which was a manned Apollo Mission with a crew of a 3 astronaut and finally, on July 20, 1969 astronaut Neil Armstrong took “one giant leap for mankind” as he stepped onto the moon which was one of the greatest achievement in the history of space exploration and because of this historic Event United State (NASA) hauled ahead in the space race.

By the early 1970s, orbiting communications and navigation satellites were in every day use but still the space race is not over. The Soviet Union and the united states are sending different unmanned probes to the out space for the exploration of the universe but separately. Finally by the end of 1970, the world’s First internationally crewed space mission (Russia and America, Apollo – Soyuz Test project was conducted and skylab, the first space station was deployed in the orbit of Earth.

In April  1981, the space shuttle Columbia was launched which had a significant feature of reusability. Despite of two failed missions of space shuttle i.e. Columbia disaster on Jan 1, 2003 and challenger disaster on Jan 28, 1986, space shuttle had contributed a lot for the space exploration, however, the 30 years space shuttle program was closed on July 21, 2011.

The international space station is the most expensive man made single station available till the date which was deployed into the low earth orbit on 1 November, 2000. With many  different partners contributing to its design and construction this high flying laboratory has become a symbol of co-operation in space exploration with former compositors now working together. Competitors such as Russia’s Soviet Union, United State’s NASA, Europe, China, Japan.

Before only governmental organizations used to be involved in space exploration but nowadays many private Franchises are being influenced by space exploration. Private space Franchises such as SpaceX, Orion, Boeing, sierra Nevada Corporation, orbital etc . Among these private Franchises, SpaceX is one of the highlited Franchise that has taken the space exploration to the next level. It was founded in 2002 and the CEO of this company is Elon Musk who is one of the famous billionaire and philanthropist of this era. It is the one and only private space company to which NASA has handovered the contract to send payloads to International Space Station. It has built rocket such as Falcon 9, Falcon Healy, Grasshopper and many more that has almost 70% reusability.

Many private industries including Space X and governmental organizations have their short and long term goals. NASA has planned to send the Orion spacecraft along with collaboration of many space industries and after colonizing moon, they are planning to send humans to Mars. Soon, we will be becoming multiplanetory species.

Sudip Adhikari

Grade - XII