On October 4, 1957, Russian scientists launched the first artificial satellite into space. This event brought on what is known as “The Space Race” when the U.S. and Russia were competing with each other in the advancement of space technology. This race cost America over 20 billion dollars and lasted until the year 1975.
Apollo 8 became the first manned mission to orbit the Moon. As it orbited, its crew members all read the Genesis account of creation.
Astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the surface of the Moon in 1969 on the Apollo 11 space mission. They landed in what is known as “Mare Tranquillitatis” or the “Sea of Tranquility”, which was chosen because it was one of the flattest and smoothest places where they could land safely and collect samples.
During this mission, the astronauts set up a retro-reflector on the lunar surface. That experiment has enabled scientists to shoot a laser beam at the reflector. Based on this technology, the Moon’s distance is said to be receding from Earth at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per year. Two other Apollo missions have contributed to this operation by installing additional reflectors.
The last three Apollo missions employed the Lunar Roving Vehicle, or Moon Buggy. Apollo 15, the first to use the Moon Buggy, landed at the northern end of the Apennine Mountain Range, near Mount Hadley, and spent a good deal of time exploring in the Rover. Over the course of the six lunar Apollo missions, 842 pounds of lunar material was brought back for analysis.
The lunar space missions came to an end with Apollo 17, which became the first night launch, on December 7, 1972.
Sadly, since the time of the famous “space race”, NASA lost one of its greatest scientists, with the passing of Dr. Wernher von Braun. Today, while evolutionary theory has become the scientific norm, Von Braun stated: “One cannot be exposed to the law and order of the universe without concluding that there must be design and purpose behind it all.”
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