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Oudesterrewacht.nl

Prof. dr. Malcolm Fridlund (Leiden University,Onsala Space Observatory

Launching into the night — a brief history of space exploration  

Space research did not begin with the launch of Sputnik 1 on the 4th of October 1957. Its history goes back more than one thousand years. Using early military rockets, a Chinese man named Wan-Hu — according to the legend — strapped himself to a chair to which 47 rockets were fastened. This was fine in order to “study the heavens”. After ignition Wan-Hu has never been seen again.

It was in the early parts of the 20th century that space research was starting of – first theoretically and then with the efforts of Goddard in the USA and von Braun in Germany in the 1930ties. After WWII, using captured military V2 rockets The Americans began the first scientific launches into space, studying the UV light from the Sun.

In this talk I will outline what happened next, the formation of NASA and ESA, and talk about the high points of space research like the Hubble telescope. I will also talk briefly about where it may lead us in the next few decades.

N.b.: Deze lezing is in het Engels / This lecture will be in English.

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