It’s been 50 years since the first flight into space (hats off to Yuri Gagarin), pretty remarkable when your average car nowadays has more computing power than the earliest manned spacecraft. The infographic below details some of the amazing ways we’ve traveled beyond into the space starting with Gagarin’s first manned flight, which took place on 12 April 1961.
Today, with budget cuts to big names like NASA, it’s the funding and the sources that look like they’re going to change. There are services like Virgin Galactic on the horizon, Richard Branson’s SpaceShipOne already offering commercial suborbital flights and it is these that look to be the future of the pursuit; privatized space travel.
Meanwhile NASA having had their Ares launch vehicles and the associated Constellation program cancelled due to budget cut constraints, still have mileage in SpaceX and its Falcon launch vehicles along with the Dragon spacecraft for the space agency’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Program. SpaceX just last week introduced a new heavy-lift rocket, a 27 engine behemoth called Falcon Heavy, the biggest rocket since the Saturn V, planned to launch in 2013. So where the future lies is still uncertain but it could be out of this world (pun intended).