For as long as there have been people on Earth, we have looked up at the sky and wondered about the Sun, Moon, stars, and occasional dramatic events we saw there. But it is only in the past 40 years that we developed the technical ability to leave our planet and actually visit other bodies in the universe.
After World War II, both the United States and the Soviet Union created programs to improve the design of rockets which would make space travel possible. What then followed was a race to travel into space with unmanned probes and manned spacecraft.
During the last four decades, hundreds of satellites, probes and space shuttles have been launched, which have explored near-Earth space, traveled to the Moon, the Sun, and to all the planets except Pluto. And, with permanent space stations already in orbit around Earth and telescopes exploring more and more of our universe, space research is still continuing. Talk of future developments includes building a colony on Mars, searching for life in other galaxies, and other exciting programs.