Until the twentieth century, the idea of space travel was too advanced kinds of scientists or writers with great imagination.
The knowledge of space, if only you could see with the naked eye, was limited and often based more on magic or religious beliefs in reality.
Since 1600, studies of Kepler, the invention of the telescope and Galileo observations changed the scene. But despite the improved observation instruments, still hooked to ground.
Since the end of the Second World War in 1945, the space race intensified. The Germans had perfected the rockets and expertise were crucial to the Russians and Americans.
When you get cross the Earth’s atmosphere began the space age, satellites and probes first, then with manned spacecraft.
The Soviets (now Russians are called) launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik I, on 4 October 1957. A month later, on November 3, sent the first living being, the dog Laika, aboard Sputnik II.
In February 1958, the U.S. put into orbit on Explorer I, its first satellite. On April 12, 1961 the Soviets made the first manned flight and Yuri Gagarin was the first astronaut. After the American Alan B. Shepard left about fifteen minutes outside his capsule. It was the first spacewalk.
Since 1966 the aim was the moon and the Americans arrived earlier. On July 21, 1969 Apollo XI capsule remained in lunar orbit while the module Eagle down to the surface. Neil Armstrong became the first human walked on the moon.
Russians also came to the moon and also from 1971 dedicated their efforts to build a space station. After the Americans did. Europe and Japan created their own space agencies and began to participate. Space exploration thus became an international project.
In addition to manned trips have been sent into space with instruments spacecraft exploring the solar system: The Voyager, which has been photographed up close almost all the planets, the Mars Pathfinder, which has been ridden by Mars, or the Hubble telescope placed in orbit and, from outside the atmosphere, picture the universe as we had never seen.