Peacetime innovation following WWII led to continued development of the rocket engine and made it the driving force behind the space race of the 1950’s and 1960’s. The first successful orbital launch came from the Soviet unmanned Sputnik 1 in 1957. The early Soviet success spurred on the development of the American space program. In 1961 Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the globe, a feat that marked the beginning of a new era in space exploration. As rocket technology progressed, the amount of unmanned objects in earth orbit rapidly proliferated. The same nations that led space...

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