Nicolaus Copernicus was a mathematician, astronomer, and scientist who lived from 1473 to 1543.
He identified the concept of a heliocentric solar system, in which the sun, rather than the earth, is the center of the solar system.
Tycho Brahe was also a noted alchemist and astronomer (1546-1601).
Johannes Kepler is known for his laws of planetary motion.
Wernher Von Braun was one of the most important rocket developers and champions of space exploration during the period between the 1930s and the 1970s.
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was a Russian mathematics teacher who published his ideas in 1903 in The Exploration of Cosmic Space by Means of Reaction Devices.
In 1958 President Eisenhower transmitted a Christmas message to the world via an orbiting satellite making the world's first voice transmission to Earth from outer space.
In 1962 AT&T financed the development and launch of TELSTAR, the first commercial communication satellite.
In 1946 the first photograph of Earth from outer space was taken by a captured V-2 rocket launched from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
In 1960 the US military launched its first reconnaisance satellite, Corona.
In 1960 the US took the first television picture from outer space using NASA's TIROS, Television Infrared Operational Satellite.
The 1970s heralded in a series of civil data-collection satellites, Landsat, the land satellite series.
April 12, 1961 - the Soviet Union sent Yuri Gagarin into space, making him the first person to travel to space and to orbit Earth.
50 Highlights of Space Travel - interactive links
Red Orbit - space exploration history
Space Exploration from the National Archives
Sarah Nilsson, J.D., Ph.D., MAS
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