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Space Age

Historical period started in 1957 / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Space Age is a period encompassing the activities related to the Space Race, space exploration, space technology, and the cultural developments influenced by these events, beginning with the launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957,[1] and continuing to the present.

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The launch of the Sputnik 1 satellite marked the start of the Space Age.


This period is characterized by changes in emphasis on particular areas of space exploration and applications. Initially, the United States and the Soviet Union invested unprecedented amounts of resources in breaking records and being first to meet milestones in crewed and uncrewed exploration. The United States established the National Aviation and Space Administration (NASA) and the USSR established the Kosmicheskaya programma SSSR to meet these goals. This period of competition gave way to cooperation between those nations and emphasis on scientific research and commercial applications of space-based technology. [2][3]

Eventually other nations became spacefaring. They formed organizations such as the European Space Agency (ESA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), and the China National Space Administration (CNSA). When the USSR dissolved the Russian Federation continued their program as Roscosmos. [2][3]

In the early 2020s, some journalists have used the phrase "New Space Age" in reference to a resurgence of innovation and public interest in space exploration as well as commercial applications of low Earth orbit (LEO) and more distant destinations. New developments include the participation of billionaires in crewed space travel, including space tourism.[4][5]

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