Talk:Space exploration

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The first confirmed man-made object into true deep space was not Sputnik or any Russian and it came from America exiting into space and the deep beyond with a total kinetic energy of +5 to +7 escape velocities. I am pulling from deep memory; it was a ten ton blast door of an American underground nuclear bomb experiment. A door similar to the blast doors found on the then in use missile silos. Photographic record of the event, up to the last frame the door was visible, at detonation,the very next frame the blast door no longer there had already been launched into space. Sputnik only beat America into space by a few weeks; also read history with a little more detail, '...the first man to survive going into space and return to earth...'; only suggests men attempted before and did not survive. I once was told the Soviets made many attempts, and to not embarrass Russia, those that did not survive their names have never been told. I was also told by an officer in the United States Air Force 57 men died but I do not have source or research to validate that information. And by the way, the door passed Pluto a while back and is still going. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JRCancio (talkcontribs) 06:12, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

It sounds as if you're referring to Operation Plumbbob. If you look into it further you'll find that every expert who has examined the issue concludes it would be physically impossible for any portion of the cover to survive in a form that could undergo the acceleration.Zebulin (talk) 20:34, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Joe Kittenger[edit]

In 1960 Capt. Joe Kittenger use a balloon to enter outer space and jumped from the balloon. I site the History Channels television series "The Most". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:17, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Joe Kittenger's balloon story is also featured in the BBC TV series The Planets ;) Just thought I'd add that in. --LoofNeZorf (talk) 10:10, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

The plausibility of this claim depends on the definition used to demarcate the boundary between earth's atmosphere and space. A gas filled balloon provides lift if it is less dense than the air at ground level, and continues to provide lift as long as this condition is met. this method alone is sufficient to lift a balloon higher than 99% of earth's atmosphere, but clearly is insufficient to lift it above all of it. if the boundary of space is taken to be the altitude above which earth's atmosphere is less dense than N and air of density N is less than sufficient to support a balloon, the balloon is by definition incapable of reaching space unless aided by means of rockets or similar propulsion. (talk) 05:43, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Article needs lede image[edit]


This article would be greatly improved by the addition of an image to the lede section! Any suggestions? Can we establish criteria for what would make a good image? (sdsds - talk) 04:22, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

I think we can do much better than the current image... (talk) 07:57, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

US: New Space Plans[edit]

This article still states that the US plans to return to the Moon by 2018, and to Mars beyond that, even though the Constellation program was cancelled by President Obama. Should anything be put in place of this now-erroneous statement? Titus.jon (talk) 02:57, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Not yet. The President's proposed budget for 2011 does not include funding for Constellation. To say the program is "cancelled" is still a bit premature. (sdsds - talk) 04:44, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, it's not really premature anymore, although I don't think there was ever much question. (talk) 18:57, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Chinese man going into space on a chair a part of the history of space exploration?[edit]

The so called legend of Wan Hu is not a part of the history of space exploration. Besides, a banned sock puppet adding this. (talk) 03:28, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Religion in space[edit]

Would anyone object to adding religion in space to the other section? I know we also have a sex in space but I don't feel that's so relevant as it's something that's only come up theoretically AFAWK where as religion in space has been a real issue that has come up in various ways. If there are objections, I'd welcome suggestions on other places as the article currently has basically no links from other articles. Nil Einne (talk) 02:47, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Forgot to mention, I added it Nil Einne (talk) 15:55, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Updates to March 2011[edit]

The lead introductory section being sadly out of date, I have updated the US plans for FY 2011 & beyond, so far as they are currently known (which they are not, due to the current negotiations about a continuing budget resolution.) This will need to be updated again as soon as the dust has cleared, but the article was embarrassingly dated, as it had been for many months. I also added a paragraph to the "Future of space exploration" section, about the recent Nautilus-X concept study under way at NASA, involving most of the agency centers. Hope some of this comes to fruition, I think it shows that we are well positioned to move beyond LEO (far better than the USA was to go to the Moon in May 1961). Wwheaton (talk) 05:57, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Sources needed[edit]

The section "History of exploration in the 20th Century" seems to me to be pretty deficient in sources, and I think we need to tighten it up. I just reverted a claim that Wells and Verne "inspired" Tsiolkovsky, Oberth, and Goddard. There may be a little truth in this, but Verne's Moon trip -- in a cannon shell -- was obviously unrealistic, Well's First Men in the Moon got here by a gravity shield ("cavorite") that flatly violated the Law of Conservation of Energy, and earlier SciFi explorers mostly were carried by carried by geese, demons, spirits, etc — nothing that seems likely to have inspired serious work. Tsiolkovsky, by contrast, computed the performance of a hydrogen/oxygen rocket, and showed that escape from Earth was really possible without magic. I will try to do some of this as I have time, but probably not nearly all it needs. I have several books from the 1950s era, especially Willy Ley's Rockets, Missiles, and Space Travel, which has fairly extensive historical material. I believe there is a lot of material out there, and if we are going to present an extensive history in this article (actually I think just a brief outline here, with links to separate articles, might be better), then we really should cite the most important historical sources. A lot of the source material seems to be in Russian; perhaps our Russian friends can help us in ferreting out more of this, with English translations whenever they can be found. Thanks. Wwheaton (talk) 02:14, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

Sigh. Do my edits have revert me stamped over them today? FFS!Rememberway (talk) 02:41, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
Goddard was inspired by "war of the worlds", the others had read "from earth to the moon"- Tsiolkovsky, von Braun, Oberth. This is not in any way doubtful it's a matter of public record.Rememberway (talk) 02:54, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
Or perhaps you just think that at the beginning of the 1900s they all suddenly, at more or less the same time went, well, rockets have been around for hundreds of years, but let's go to the moon with them! Just by sheer luck?Rememberway (talk) 02:55, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

Outdated source / dead link[edit]

The first source is outdated / nonexistent, since the definition of "space exploration" is a relatively controversial aspect of space policy if someone could either look into repairing the link (I wasn't able to find the article myself, but someone might have better research capabilities) or finding an alternative definition that would be beneficial. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:04, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

"What do you find controversial about "Space exploration is the use of astronomy and space technology to explore outer space."? Rmhermen (talk) 20:16, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Picture looking a bit stale[edit]

The picture is lovely, but the shuttle has retired permanently, possibly a space station, and some Geostationary Satellites ? and maybe some medium or low earth orbit sats (like gps, iridium) too, with movement lines (like trails)to indicate movement relative to the ground... I can help out with small pd clipart images for them I think, please ask on my talkpage. Penyulap talk 13:42, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

geostationary satellites are so overwhelmingly dedicated solely to communications and global positioning that they probably would not be well suited as a poster child for space exploration. A space station or apollo hardware and interplanetary space probes would be more obvious examples of space exploration, as distinct from space exploitation.Zebulin (talk) 17:13, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

First part of lead[edit]

I would like to reword the first part of the lead from this:

Space exploration is the discovery and exploration of outer space by means of space technology. Physical exploration of space is conducted both by human spaceflights and by robotic spacecraft.

– to this:

Space exploration is the ongoing discovery and exploration of celestial structures in outer space by means of continuously evolving and growing space technology. While the study of space is carried out mainly by astronomers with telescopes, the physical exploration of space is conducted both by unmanned robotic probes and human spaceflight.


Rather than to just go in and change it, I thought it would be better to see how others felt about it, first. – Paine Ellsworth CLIMAX! 22:58, 25 December 2013 (UTC)


As there has been no objection, I shall go ahead and improve the lead. Feel free to revert and discuss it here if your objection comes after the edit. – Paine Ellsworth CLIMAX! 04:44, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

Pictures focuse HEAVILY on the US side of the story[edit]

We have the following images in the article: Saturn V rocket, Moon, Cape Canaveral, Sputnik 1 (surprisingly), Apollo CSM, Apollo 17, Robert Gilruth, planets and comets (images made by MESSENGER, HST, Voyager 2 and Apollo 17), Apollo 16, Spirit Rover, Voyager 1, Concept art for a NASA Vision mission, Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Lunar Delta-v's, European Space Agency's Columbus Module.

15+  US-related images.

1  Russia-related picture. No Mir ever happened. No, Soviets never landed on planets. And they don't ever take pictures of space, e.g. dark side of the Moon and such. And, basically, we currently all fly to the ISS on pigs with wings, not Russian Russian Soyuz rocket. For those who can not only use their heads as a waste bag: Space Shuttle program is dead now, so better place ISS image instead of Shuttle in terms of altitude.

1 for the  EU.Well, I can more or less understand this.

 China has zero. Wonder what they Chinese are launching there, as they've had much more launches than the US had recently.

To sum up, not only was Gagarin's flight less important for the space exploration history than the launch of the Saturn V rocket from the first picture. The first human spaceflight was so irrelevant for space exploration that we did not even find any place for the picture in this article. FeelSunny (talk) 02:00, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

NASA images are, of course, much more readily available than those of other countries. I don't think it is fair to count the images of each planet in terms of the spacecraft that produced them since NASA images are usually the only ones that can be freely licensed and Wikipedia's non-free content policy prohibits the use of non-free images where free ones do exist. Also I'd like to see equivalent images of the planets not produced by NASA missions - NASA is the only agency to have sent probes to the outer planets (except the joint ESA-NASA Huygens probe which landed on Titan), and to Mercury.
There are, maybe, a couple too many Apollo images. I also don't see the importance of the Bumper image or the need for one of Gilruth. I would like to see images of Vostok 1 and recent Indian/Chinese/Japanese/Russian missions, but in the cases where such images are available, justifying their use in terms of WP:NFC can often prove difficult. --W. D. Graham 06:59, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
There have been excellent soviet images in the article in the past and all were eventually removed for licensing reasons. Please help us find freely available images to better represent the enormous spectrum of non-NASA contributions and your complaint about poor image representation in the article will be quickly addressed.Zebulin (talk) 05:21, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Gagarin in Sweden.jpgValentina Tereshkova, world's first woman astronaut, from RIAN archives.jpg Laika Stamp.jpg Soyuz TMA-9 launch.jpg File:Vostok1 big.gif Christmas 1997 on the Mir Space Station.jpg.

Timeline Visualization[edit]

Added an infographic in the history of exploration section about every probe that left geocentric orbit to explore objects in the Solar System from the beginning to nowadays. The main source for the picture is the archive on the NASA website, and I also consulted the wiki page of every single mission. It contains info about the names of the probes, their main destinations, their type, their years of trip, or activity, their encounters on the way and if the missions were considered successful or failures. FraPado86 (talk) 10:31, 9 December 2014 (UTC)