SOURCE: BBC News
New details have emerged about the air crash on 27 March 1968 that killed Yuri Gagarin - the first man in space.Fellow cosmonaut Alexey Leonov claims an "unauthorised" plane flew too close to Gagarin's fighter jet, sending it into a spin.Gagarin and his flight instructor Vladimir Seryogin died when their MiG-15 went down near the town of Novoselovo, about 90km from Moscow.Secrecy surrounding the crash has led to vigorous speculation down the years....
Some are baffled and others saddened by the fact that humans put footprints on the moon more than 40 years ago and have not ventured a fraction of that distance from home since. Have we lost our spirit of exploration?Not at all, said Arizona State University historian Stephen Pyne, but we're seeing the end of one great era of exploration and the start of a new one. In a talk May 15 at Drexel University, Pyne said we are just entering a third great era of exploration kicked off by the Voyager spacecraft, which explored thousands of times farther than any human-led expedition could go.The twin spacecraft Voyagers 1 and 2 were launched in 1977 and since then have brought us spectacular pictures not only of the planets but their bizarre and diverse moons. Today, Voyager 1 is on the verge of crossing through a theoretical boundary called the heliopause, which marks the end of the solar wind's reach and the beginning of interstellar space....
by Robert Huddleston
Editor's Note: On the tenth anniversary of the Space Shuttle Columbia re-entry disaster, Robert Huddleston, a NASA engineer in the 1960s, explains how NASA's top-heavy, mixture-of-public-and-private culture, so problematic during the shuttle program and a contributing factor to both the Columbia and Challenger disasters, dates back to the beginning of the agency.Related LinksHNN Hot Topics: Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster NASA brass meet with President Kennedy in 1961. Photo via Wiki Commons.
The underside of the Space Shuttle Columbia shortly before it began to burn up upon re-entry on February 1, 2003. Credit: U.S. Air Force. Columbia shuttle crew not told of possible problem with reentry (1-31-13) Jonathan Coopersmith: After Columbia, Now What? (8-5-05) NYT: The Triumphs and Tragedies of the Space Program (2-2-03)
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