California Science Center  5            9-2013

I'm thinking the guy that got to try this out for the first time had to wonder if it would fly or take a nose dive right back into the ground. But I'm sure the people that helped hold it while the pilot took his chances were glad to be running along side of it instead of being in the hot seat.



When I saw this satellite all I could say was WOW, because it's huge. This is a replica of the Cassini Huygens spacecraft that was used to explorer Saturn and it's moons.



It's the largest planetary probe ever built by NASA and was a big success. You can also see how big it is with the people below it for reference.



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More random satellites.



What a big ceiling fan :-]



This is the Mercury spacecraft which was the first human spaceflight program of the United States led by its newly created space agency called NASA. The Mercury program ran from 1959 through 1963 with the goal of putting a human in orbit around the Earth, and doing it before the Soviet Union as part of the early space race. It involved 7 astronauts flying a total of 6 solo trips. On May 5th. 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American in space but not the first human as the Soviet Union has that claim.

The name 'Mercury' comes from a Roman God and along with the manned missions, Mercury had a total of 20 unmanned launches as a part of the development of the project. This also involved test animals, most famously the chimpanzees Ham and Enos.



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When the project ended in May 1963, the Americans' NASA program was still behind the Soviet Space Program, but the gap was getting closer and the race to the Moon began.



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