MassMutual Jr.Space Camp

2016 Tiangong-2 Space Lab and Shenzhou-11 Manned Spaceflight

(Image Credit: Apple Daily)
The Shenzhou-11 spaceflight was the 11th space mission in the Shenzhou program and China’s sixth manned spaceflight. On Oct 17, 2016, the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft, propelled by a Long March-2F rocket, blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center ferrying two astronauts, Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong, to their destination. On Oct 19, 2016, it rendezvoused and docked with the Tiangong-2 space laboratory, where a series of experiments was carried out. This was the first manned mission to Tiangong-2. After one month in space, the Shenzhou-11 re-entry module successfully returned to Earth on Nov 18, 2016. This was by far the longest stay in space by Chinese astronauts.

2013 Lunar Exploration by Chang'e-3 successfully achieved

After the stellar accomplishments of the Chang'e-1 and Chang'e-2 missions, with the successful landing by the Chang'e-3 lander and lunar rover Yutu in December 2013, China achieved its first soft landing on and exploration of the lunar surface. Chang'e-3 and the Yutu lunar rover captured sensational images of each other on the lunar surface and these full-color images were beamed back to the Beijing Aerospace Flight and Control Center. This marked another milestone in the development of aerospace technology in China, following the launch of several satellites and manned space missions.

(Image Credit: Chinese National Space Administration)

2012 The First Female Chinese Astronaut in Space – Liu Yang

(Image Credit: Wen Wei Po)
Liu Yang has become the first Chinese female to fly into space. On 16 June 2012, some 49 years after the world’s first female astronaut, Valentina Tereshkova, orbited the earth, Shenzhou 9 was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Liu and her commander, Jing Haipeng, and crewmember, Liu Wang, blasted off into space to carry out China’s first ever manned space- docking mission: docking with the Tiangong 1 space station. During the mission, Liu performed a range of experiments in space medicine.

2008 Launch of Shenzhou 7 and the first Space Walk by a Chinese Astronaut

Shenzhou 7, China's third spacecraft, lifted off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on September 25, 2008. It was launched by a ‘Long March 2F’ (CZ-2F) rocket and carried a crew of three: Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming and Jing Haipeng. Zhai Zhigang became the first Chinese astronaut to make an ‘extra-vehicular activity’ or space walk. Apart from Zhai's space walk, Shenzhou 7 released a mini-satellite to take records and observe the spacecraft and to further investigate the technology used for docking in space.

(Image Credit: Hong Kong Space Museum)

2005 Launch of Shenzhou 6

Shenzhou 6, China's second spacecraft, was launched successfully from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on October 12, 2005 carrying a crew of two: Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng. Shenzhou 6 orbited in space for five days 115 minutes and 32 seconds, returning to Earth on October 17, 2005. The mission was to investigate human reactions to working in space, and to test the spacecraft's separate orbital and re-entry modules. Shenzhou 6 took 90 minutes to orbit the earth once, orbiting 77 times at a speed of 7.9 km/sec.

2003 Launch of Shenzhou 5 with the First Chinese Astronaut in Space

Shenzhou 5, the People's Republic of China's first manned spacecraft, was launched at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on October 15, 2003. The mission of Shenzhou 5 was to test the manned space-flight system and to carry Chinese ‘taikonaut’ Yang Liwei into space. This successful space flight made China the third country to put a man into space. Shenzhou 5 orbited in space for 21 hours and then returned successfully to Earth.

1998 The International Space Station

(Image Credit: NASA )
The construction of the International Space Station commenced in November 1998 and is an international scientific collaboration between 16 nations: the USA, Russia, Japan, 11 nations of the European Space Agency, and Canada and Brazil. The International Space Station orbits the Earth at the altitude of approximately 360 km, completing an orbit of the Earth every 92 minutes. The main mission of the Station is to allow all equipment to be carried into space once so that it can then be re-used by visiting astronauts in the future.

1981 Space Shuttle Columbia

The Space Shuttle “Columbia” was the first space shuttle orbiter delivered to the Kennedy Space Center in March 1979. Also, it was the first reusable spacecraft in the world. It completed mission STS-1 on April 12, 1981, thus successfully initiating NASA's Space Transportation System Program.

"Columbia" was used on 28 missions and stayed in space for 300.74 days, orbiting the Earth 4,808 times. Total flight distance traveled was 125,204,911 miles.

(Image Credit: NASA)

1970 China's First Successful Space Satellite - Dong Fang Hong 1

(Image Credit: Hong Kong Space Museum)
Dong Fang Hong (‘The East is Red’) 1 was the first artificial satellite developed by the Chinese Academy of Space Technology. The satellite was named “Dong Fang Hong” because its engineers had installed a music player which could play the song Dong Fang Hong (‘The East is Red’) which was transmitted by the satellite back to Earth.

China was the fifth country to develop its own satellite independently. Dong Fang Hong's mission was to take readings of the ionosphere and atmosphere of the Earth and also to carry out satellite technology tests. It continued to transmit telemetry data and space readings to Earth until its batteries failed on May 14, 1970. Dong Fang Hong was originally expected to perform its space duties for 20 days but in the end continued to work for 28 days.

1969 The First Man on the Moon

Apollo 11 carried commander Neil Alden Armstrong, command-module pilot Michael Collins, and lunar-module pilot Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. to the Moon for the first time in human history. Armstrong and Aldrin took their first steps on the Moon successfully on July 20, 1969, becoming the first humans to land on the Moon.
From left: Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins, Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr.
(Image Credit: NASA)

1963 The First Female Astronaut – Valentina Tereshkova

(Image Credit: NASA)    
Valentina Tereshkova was the first female to fly into Space. Piloted by Tereshkova, Vostok 6 was launched on June 16, 1963. Her main duties in space were to maintain the flight log and take photographs of the horizon to help identify aerosol layers in the atmosphere.

1961 The First Human in Space – Yuri Gagarin

Yuri Gagarin was the first human to fly into space and orbit the Earth. He blasted off aboard Vostok 1 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on April 12, 1961. Vostok 1 completed one orbit of the Earth and returned safely to Earth. The entire space flight process took 1 hour 48 minutes.
(Image Credit: NASA)

1957 The First Artificial Satellite – Sputnik 1

(Image Credit: NASA)
Sputnik 1 was launched at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957. It was the first artificial satellite in history to successfully enter Earth orbit. The mission of Sputnik 1 was to identify its orbital changes and the varying densities of the layers of the upper atmosphere. It also collected data on radio-signal distribution in the ionosphere.
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