In the 1960s American astronauts were journeying to space on Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions that lasted days, or even just hours, in small cramped spacecraft with crews of up to three. On these missions to Earth orbit, and eventually to the Moon, every minute was invaluable. “Astronaut happiness wasn’t necessarily a factor,” says spaceflight historian David Hitt.
Dare to Explore: Milestones to Mars is a new exhibit at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville that brings the journey to life in a way you’ve never experienced before – with a collection of rarely seen treasures from the museum’s archives as well as some new additions that share the story of where we’ve been and where we’re going.
The year is 1975. A Russian spacecraft and an American spacecraft dock in orbit. The next month, I am born, missing the first era of American spaceflight by two weeks.
The year is 1981. A new era of American spaceflight begins. This time, I’m old enough to appreciate it.