Did you know October is a big month for space history?
It was October 5, 1882 when a man named Robert Goddard was born. People made fun of him because of his ideas, but he was determined to make a space flight machine. In 1926, he managed to launch the very first liquid-fueled rocket from his farm in Massachusetts. About ten years later, one of his rockets broke the speed of sound. Mr. Goddard created a lot of other things, too, that made later space missions possible.
It was also in October, October 14, 1947, when the first person was able to break the sound barrier. The person to do it was U.S. Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager and he did it flying a rocket-powered research aircraft.
It was October 4, 1957 when Russia managed to get the first satellite into orbit around our planet. Sputnik I was not very big. It was only about as heavy as your dad, which might seem pretty heavy but imagine if your dad was just out there in space, all by himself, floating around the planet. I bet he would be feeling pretty small!
Sputnik sent beeping sounds back to earth for 21 days and it was the first time we were able to get signals from space. Without those satellites, you might not be able to play games on Mom’s smartphone during long trips.
Another thing Sputnik did was launch what was called the Space Race. It was what made scientists around the world start to finally realize the importance of the dreams Mr. Goddard had so many years before.
From that moment on, we have been in space. We sent rockets and people to the moon, we can have people live in space on the International Space Station, and there are even plans to send people to Mars sometime in the future.
Can you imagine living on a different planet? What kind of planet would you want to find?