NASA’s Coolest Rockets And Spaceships

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One only needed to look up at the wide open skies to start the adventure of a civilization: Getting off of our own rock and on to others! The fascination with space travel continues, with much participation from the private sector, looking forward. Take a scroll with us through the past 50 years, with a collection of NASA’s coolest rockets and spaceships.
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Explorer 1

Explorer 1 (Jan. 31, 1958), the first satellite with an onboard telemetry system, is launched into orbit aboard a Juno rocket and returns data from space.
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Apollo 11 Saturn V

July 16, 1969: A plume of flame signals the liftoff of the Apollo 11 Saturn V space vehicle with astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. from Kennedy Space Center and into history.
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Space Shuttle Columbia

Space Shuttle Columbia (April 12, 1981) lifts off from Cape Canaveral, beginning the first space mission for NASA’s new astronaut transportation system.
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Explorer 6

Explorer 6 (Aug. 7, 1959) launches and provides the first photographs of the Earth from space.
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The V-2

The Bumper V-2 (July 24, 1950) was the first missile launched at Cape Canaveral (it was used to study problems pertaining to two-stage, high-speed rockets).
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Titan/Centaur

First Titan/Centaur launch test at Kennedy Space Center (February 11, 1974). The new rocket was launched on a “proof of concept” flight designed to prepare it for twin Viking launches to Mars in 1975 and other missions involving heavy payloads.
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Spirit Rover

The first Mars Exploration Rover, Spirit, lands on Mars (Jan 4, 2004). Its twin, Opportunity landed Jan. 25.
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Viking 1

The first spacecraft to successfully land on Mars (July 20,1976), Viking 1 was part of a two-part mission to investigate the Red Planet and search for signs of life.
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New Horizons

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft launches (Jan. 19, 2006) into space on a mission to the planet Pluto and beyond.
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Dawn

Dawn, the first ion-powered probe to visit two celestial bodies in one go, launches (Sept. 27, 2007) on an eight-year mission to the asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres, the two largest space rocks in the solar system.
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