Taking Chemical Engineering into the Solar System | AIChE

Taking Chemical Engineering into the Solar System


Human space exploration was launched by intrinsic curiosity and intrepid scientists, but it was precipitated by a political rivalry of global proportions.

On Oct. 24, 1957, in the throes of the Cold War, the Soviet Union launched the world’s first satellite: Sputnik 1. The U.S. tailed closely behind, launching its first satellite, Explorer 1, one year later.

As the space race progressed, the U.S. and the Soviet Union took the struggle between democracy and communism into the solar system. Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit Earth in April 1961. A month later, Alan Shepard became the first American to make the journey...

The competition peaked in 1969, when NASA put the first human on the moon. In 1975, the U.S. and the Soviet Union sent the first multinational mission into space together.

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