. Pioneers of Spaceflight

Spaceflight began in the mid­dle of the twentieth century, but scientists and writers had imagined the possibility long before. In the seventeenth cen­tury, physicist Sir Isaac Newton set out laws of motion that determine the way in which objects move through space. Fantasies about space travel came from science-fiction writ­ers such as Jules Verne. In his 1865 book From the Earth to the Moon, Verne wrote of people flying to the Moon in a capsule fired from a huge cannon. In 1898, H. G. Wells imagined Martian spacecraft invading Earth in The War of the Worlds. At this time, people could only study the Moon and Mars by peering through optical telescopes, and there were many fanciful notions about alien life-forms on distant worlds.

Подпись: James Van Allen was born in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and studied physics at the University of Iowa. During World War II, he designed parts for anti-aircraft guns and then served with the U.S. Navy in the Pacific. In 1951, Van Allen became head of the Physics Department at the University of Iowa, where he taught for more than thirty years. A renowned astrophysicist, he was one of the first American sci-entists to propose launching satellites. Using equipment installed by Van Allen, the first U.S. satellite Explorer 1 (January 1958) detected two belts of electrically charged particles orbiting Earth. They were named after Van Allen, who later discovered similar radiation belts around the planet Saturn. Professor Van Allen received many awards for his work, including the Gold Medal of the U.K. Royal Astronomical Society; the National Medal of Science, 1987; the Vannevar Bush Award, 1991; and the National Air and Space Museum Trophy, 2006.Подпись:Russian teacher Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935) fig­ured out the mathematical principles of spaceflight by rockets. In 1923, Hermann Oberth (1894-1989) wrote The Rocket into Planetary Space, a book that predicted spaceflight.

Подпись: О Voyager 1 took photographs of Jupiter and its four planet-size moons, and the images were assembled to form this composite photo. Unmanned spaceflights into deep space are expanding human knowledge of the universe.

Johannes Winkler Oberth (1897-1947), along with other German enthusiasts, formed the Society for Space Travel. One of its members was Wernher von Braun (1912-1977), who helped design the V-2 rocket of World War II and later worked on the U. S. space program. In 1926, American Robert H. Goddard (1882-1945) launched the world’s first liquid-fuel rocket.

The American Interplanetary Society was founded in 1930 by G. Edward Pendray, David Lasser, Laurence Manning, and others. In 1934, it became known as the American Rocket Society.

In 1963, it became part of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The American Rocket Society and the British Interplanetary Society both helped stimulate public interest in space­flight and encouraged test flights of rockets at a time when governments had little interest in spaceflight.