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Thread: 50 years ago today.

  1. #1 50 years ago today. 
    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
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    Although there is some debate as to the first man made object in space, Sputnik 1 on 4th October 1957 was the first man made object to be intentionally put into space 50 years ago today (GMT). This kick started the space age which produced many firsts (unsurprisingly) such as the first earthling in space Laika the dog, the first human in space Yuri Gagarin, the first space walk by Alexei Leonov and someone i believe to be the most famous of them all, Neil Armstrong the first man on the moon. A complete list of our space exploration achievements up until 2001 can be found here.

    One of our many other achievements over the last 50 years has been to take pictures of other worlds....
    The Russian spacecraft Venera 13 landed on the surface of Venus in 1981, it managed to send back the top image which has been latter cleaned up (bottom).


    In 1976, the American Viking 1 and 2 landers took man's first pictures of the red planet from a 'Mans eye view'. The two pictures were not the first to be taken but are just 2 of the 1400 pictures in total. The first image is the original, the second is the cleaned up version. In the bottom image you can see the two peaks from the first image (top, centre, right) close up.


    On the moon.....

    and from the moon.

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    Perhaps even more impressive though, has been the images from the hubble space telescope......






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    So as a mini celebration for the last 50 years, i thought it would be a nice idea for people to post their favourite space related picture, and to get us started heres mine......



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    Nice pictures! I was 11 when Sputnik went up and pretty much oblivious to everything.

    ASTRONOMY http://jimcolyer.com/papers/entry?id=2


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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    my vote goes to the voyagers - they really let us see (most) of the outer planets as worlds in their own right rather than wandering specks in a starry sky
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    don't forget the pioneers. While the hubble photos are beautiful, the photos taken by landers are even more mesmerising to me!
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
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    "such as the first earthling in space Laika the dog, the first human in space Yuri Gagarin, the first space walk by Alexei Leonov and the most famous of all Neil Armstrong the first man on the moon.'

    You need to get out more. The world is much more than the USA and Britain. A poll acouple years back had over 96% of Russians naming Gagarin as the first man in space and about 20% of Americans naming Armstrong as the first guy to walk on the Moon. Gagarin has always been the most famous space explorer....I doubt if Armstrong's name is even as recognizable in he USA as that of John Glenn. 10 to one if Americans were asked to write down the name of an astronaut that many under 40 wouldn't know any name and of those over 40, Glenn's name would be on parr with Armstrong and chosen more by those over 50.

    As kids we followed the American and Soviet space programs the way kids today follow sports. Everyone wanted to be an astronaut. One of the hilites of my youth was visiitng the Soviet pavillion at Expo 67, the world exposition in Montreal. There was an actual Soviel space capsule and mock ups you could go into. The Soviets handed out all types of literature, pins and so on.

    In a quirky way the worse thing that ever happened to space enthusiasm was the Moon landing. Be careful what you wish for. Then it was so anti-climatic and paled compared to the expectations. Apollo 12? I don't remember. It seems overnight fellow science geeks went from space nuts to electronics nuts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    my vote goes to the voyagers - they really let us see (most) of the outer planets as worlds in their own right rather than wandering specks in a starry sky
    Same here. Anything to do with Voyager, Pioneer or the Hubble telescope. There is nothing wrong with manned flight but it's more about technology that science. I prefer the science learned from non-manned missions.
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    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jellyologist
    You need to get out more. The world is much more than the USA and Britain. A poll acouple years back had over 96% of Russians naming Gagarin as the first man in space and about 20% of Americans naming Armstrong as the first guy to walk on the Moon. Gagarin has always been the most famous space explorer....I doubt if Armstrong's name is even as recognizable in he USA as that of John Glenn. 10 to one if Americans were asked to write down the name of an astronaut that many under 40 wouldn't know any name and of those over 40, Glenn's name would be on parr with Armstrong and chosen more by those over 50.
    Ok, Gagarin then, does it matter ? I was only typing what came to mind at the time and was unaware of the polls a couple of years back you know of. Despite your opinion of MY view of the world, i should tell you that i was actually born in Australia and only raised in Britain. I have spent much of my working life in Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, which is not bad for someone of 26 years of age. Perhaps next time, with another 50 years travelling to places such as south America, Africa, Asia and all the other little nooks and crannys of the world under my belt, i may come to the same conclusion as you. So unless you can show me a poll or something from outside of Russia (Gagarin, the most popular cosmonaut in Russia. No shit Sherlock) I'm sticking with Armstrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat1981(England)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jellyologist
    You need to get out more. The world is much more than the USA and Britain. A poll acouple years back had over 96% of Russians naming Gagarin as the first man in space and about 20% of Americans naming Armstrong as the first guy to walk on the Moon. Gagarin has always been the most famous space explorer....I doubt if Armstrong's name is even as recognizable in he USA as that of John Glenn. 10 to one if Americans were asked to write down the name of an astronaut that many under 40 wouldn't know any name and of those over 40, Glenn's name would be on parr with Armstrong and chosen more by those over 50.
    Ok, Gagarin then, does it matter ? I was only typing what came to mind at the time and was unaware of the polls a couple of years back you know of. Despite your opinion of MY view of the world, i should tell you that i was actually born in Australia and only raised in Britain. I have spent much of my working life in Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, which is not bad for someone of 26 years of age. Perhaps next time, with another 50 years travelling to places such as south America, Africa, Asia and all the other little nooks and crannys of the world under my belt, i may come to the same conclusion as you. So unless you can show me a poll or something from outside of Russia (Gagarin, the most popular cosmonaut in Russia. No shit Sherlock) I'm sticking with Armstrong.
    There is more to the world than the western world. The most recognizable athlete in the world is? It's Wang Liqin. No, I've never heard of him either. Just because something is part of your culture doesn't make it 'the most famous'.
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    i'll go for Michael Jackson as the best known moonwalker
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jellyologist
    There is more to the world than the western world. The most recognizable athlete in the world is? It's Wang Liqin. No, I've never heard of him either. Just because something is part of your culture doesn't make it 'the most famous'.
    Ok, point taken. I spent two hours finding (what i consider) some of the best and most inspiring space related pictures i could find in the hope others would do the same, hopefully they will be an inspiration to everyone regardless of their culture.
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    heard this one from someone involved in calculating the trajectory of the 2 voyagers, including the gravitational assist :

    "This type of line-up [of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune] only happens once every 175 years. Last time it happened, Jefferson was president of the United States, and he screwed up"

    cool! 8)
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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