is risky. The exploration of space has not been accomplished without
loss of life.
January 1967, during training for the first Apollo mission, astronauts
Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Edward White, and Roger Chaffee
died when a flash fire erupted in their spacecraft on the launch
pad. U.S. manned flights were halted for almost two years while
the Apollo spacecraft was redesigned.
April 1967 the flight of Soyuz 1 ended in tragedy when the capsule's
descent parachute failed to open. Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov died
in the crash landing, and the next manned Soyuz flight was delayed
for 18 months.
the items left on the Moon by the Apollo 15 crew was a small memorial
to the astronauts and cosmonauts who had lost their lives in the
quest to explore space. Replicas gift of the artist, Paul Van Hoeydonck
THE MOON RACE
the race to the Moon ended, the Soviet and American manned spaceflight
programs moved in other directions. In the United States, many expected
the Apollo missions to be the beginning of an era in which humans
would move out into space, to bases on the Moon and space stations
in Earth orbit, perhaps on to Mars. Others questioned whether costly
manned spaceflight should continue, now that the race was won.
the Soviets, the competition with the United States did not end when
they began to pursue longer-term goals, such as establishing a permanent
presence in space with a series of Earth-orbiting space stations.
They also sent automated probes to explore the surfaces of Venus and
many Americans, landing on the Moon ended the Space Race. Effort shifted
to other programs as the last lunar mission, Apollo 17, was completed
in 1972. In 1973 and early 1974, U.S. astronauts occupied Skylab,
an experimental space station adapted from Apollo hardware. The focus
in the 1970s was on developing a new vehicle--a reusable Space Shuttle--for
future human missions in Earth orbit. The United States also sent
robotic explorers to Mars and the outer planets.