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Unexplained / Space exploration / Achievements of XX century / 

Achievements of XX century


Today, we watch color images of manmade probes exploring the extraterrestrial soils of other planets. Tomorrow man will replace the six-wheel robotic rover and make another giant leap for mankind. But long ago, when today was tomorrow, man's "dream" still propelled him to explore the cosmos. Chinese, Babylonian, Egyptian, and other ancient cultures, all studied astronomy, and no doubt carried the dream that is manifest in the human spirit.

In 1865, Jules Verne published his novel, From the Earth to the Moon, a twentieth-century status report of this dream. This dream, countlessly sustained through the generations, is dynamic, yet it can be explained and defined as the product of five thousand years of technological development and the idea. Why do we explore space; a place so dark and foreign in the night sky? This question is too deep to be fully developed here, and a more quantified technological approach will ensue as the content of this time line. The ancient Chinese had once fastened a myriad of small rockets to a wooden chair, where they positioned their emperor. And in their attempt to reach the heavens, the chair (and their emperor) disappeared in a cloud of fire and smoke.

In 1961, a Mercury rocket propelled Freedom 7, with Allan B. Shepard, to an altitude of 117 miles. These two occasions, the Chinese rocket chair and the Mercury Space program are the parts of the same dream, except for the technology variable. This timeline will provide a definition for the technology variable, as it has developed over the last five thousand years. Tomorrow will always continue to transform into today, as man sets out to explore and bring his torch to the "billions and billions" of stars, and galaxies beyond our current perception, deep within the darkness of the cosmos.

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