On July 16, 1969, the three astronauts of Apollo 11 began a momentous journey when a Saturn V rocket launched their spacecraft into the heavens from Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island in Florida. A half-century later, the Moon-bound trip undertaken by Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, and Michael Collins remains one of the greatest... Continue Reading →

December 21, 1968 Apollo 8, the second human spaceflight mission of the Apollo program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), was launched from the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 7:51 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. The members of this mission’s crew were U.S. Air Force (USAF) Colonel Frank Borman, U.S. Navy... Continue Reading →

In 1993, American astronaut Ellen Ochoa made history as the first Hispanic woman to travel into outer space. This pioneering flight involved a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery in which she helped conduct an array of atmospheric and solar studies. Ochoa was born in Los Angeles in 1958. She earned a bachelor’s degree in... Continue Reading →

Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, landed safely back on Earth after a three-day mission on orbit. Tereshkova was born in central Russia in 1937 to so-called 'proletarian' parents, and out of school worked at a textile factory. She developed a passion for skydiving during this period, and this skill brought her to the... Continue Reading →

During the summer of 1992, Eugene Huu-Chau Trinh became the first Vietnamese-American to travel to outer space when he flew aboard Space Shuttle Columbia as a payload specialist on mission STS-50. This mission lasted from June 25 to July 9 of that year. Trinh was born in 1950 in Saigon (present-day Ho Chi Minh City)... Continue Reading →

Abdus Suttar Khan was an Asian American scientist and aerospace researcher who made significant contributions to several modes of transportation. Khan was born in 1941 in Khagatua village in modern-day Bangladesh (at the time part of British India). He graduated from the University of Dhaka in his homeland with a master’s degree in chemistry in... Continue Reading →

Ellison Shoji Onizuka, who became the first Asian American to travel into outer space, was born in the community of Kealakekua on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1946. After earning both a B.S. and M.S. in aerospace engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Onizuka entered active duty with the U.S. Air Force.... Continue Reading →

In 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman to fly into outer space. (Two female USSR cosmonauts, Valentina Tereshkova and Svetlana Savitskaya, had already traveled into orbit.) Ride, who was 32 at the time of her first space flight, also established a still-intact record as the youngest U.S. astronaut to make such a journey.... Continue Reading →

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