Introduction

People have imagined what it would be like to go into space since ancient times.  As early as 160AD a Greek writer named Lucian described a voyage to the moon.  Many centuries’ later advances in science made people even more interested in space.  

In the early 1600s the Italian astronomer Galileo was the first person to use a telescope to make observations of Mars.  As better telescopes were developed in the 1700s and 1800s scientists were able to study the planets in greater detail.

The French writer Jules Verne imagined that a spacecraft could be shot from a huge gun in his famous novel From the Earth to the Moon (1865).  In 1902 a silent movie was made about a journey to the Moon based on Jules Verne’s book.  You can watch this movie here.

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-5523481985091852675&hl=en&fs=true

Humankinds journey into space began in fact with a dog and a chimpanzee.  This led to missions called Sputnik, Mercury, Apollo and Shuttles.  Mankind now has a permanent base in space with the development of Space Stations. 

On this site you will learn about these various missions and the famous men and women who made it all happen. 

Because you may come across some tricky technical and scientific words there is a helpful glossary included.  Just click on any word that is underlined to find out what it means.