Exploring the Universe

Space pictures featuring a collection of astrophotographers, space artists, major observatories and space organisations.

Helen Sharman

On 18th May 1991 Helen Sharman became the first Briton in Space. Aboard the Soyuz TM-12 with cosmonauts Anatoly Artsebarsky and Sergey Krikalyov, they launched into space on May 18th 1991. She spent 7 days on the Mir space station, returning on 26th May 1991.

Vostock 1 Launch

Vostok 1 was launched from Kazakhstan on 12th April 1961, this was the first human spaceflight in history. Manned by Yuri Gagarin, he became the first man in space. The flight lasted 1 hour and 48 minutes from lift-off to touch-down, and made one orbit of Earth.

Magellan Mission to Venus

The Magellan spacecraft was launched 4 May 1989 to map the surface of Venus. The probe was one of NASA's most successful interplanetary missions providing radar images of a superior quality.

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