Special Report

The Most Important Events in NASA's History

Source: NASA

46. Permanent space presence begins
> Date: Feb. 1, 2000

Humankind began permanent presence in space with the crew of Bill Shepherd, Yuri Gidzenko, and Sergei Krikalev aboard the International Space Station.

Source: NASA

47. Columbia disintegrates
> Date: Feb. 1, 2003

Another shuttle tragedy occurred in 2003, when the Columbia was destroyed on re-entry, killing all seven crew members — David M. Brown, William C. McCool, Michael P. Anderson, Kalpana Chawla, Rick D. Husband, Laurel B. Clark, and Ilan Ramon. NASA suspended shuttle missions for more than two years as it probed the disaster.

Source: NASA / JPL-Caltech

48. Voyager heads into interstellar space
> Date: April 25, 2012

Voyager 1, launched on Sept. 5, 1977, when Jimmy Carter was president, became the first spacecraft to reach interstellar space.

Source: NASA / Bill Ingalls

49. Female ‘computer’ receives medal
> Date: Nov. 24, 2015

Katherine Johnson, one of the African American women portrayed in the film “Hidden Figures,” received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. Johnson and other female “computers” were recognized for contributing to the success of the U.S. space program in the 1960s.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

50. First all-woman space walk
> Date: Oct.18, 2019

Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir were the first all-women spacewalk team. Among the 15 women who have done spacewalks, 14 have been astronauts from NASA.

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