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Historical Spacecraft Pictures

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

Model of a rocket based on one of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky's designs, displayed in the Space History Museum in Kaluga, Russia

V-2 rocket

A captured V-2 rocket from World War II being test launched in White Sands, New Mexico


Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, was launched atop Korolev's R-7 rocket on October 4, 1957

Vanguard 1

Vanguard 1, America's first attempted satellite, explodes seconds after lift-off on December 6, 1957

Explorer 1

America's second attempt at getting a satellite into space is successful with the launch of Explorer 1 atop a Jupiter C missile on January 31 1958


X-15 American Experimental Jet-Powered sub-orbital spacecraft, flown by Neil Armstrong in 1960, nine years before he set foot on the Moon.

Freedom 7

Alan Shepard lifts off to become the first American in space on May 5, 1961 in the Mercury spacecraft Freedom 7, on top of a Redstone booster.

Friendship 7

John Glenn lifting off inside the Mercury craft, Friendship 7, atop an Atlas booster on February 20, 1962 for a four-hour space flight.

Gemini 3

Gemini 3 lifting off on March 23, 1965, carrying Gus Grissom, and John Young on Gemini's first piloted flight.

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