The story of aerospace, a tale about humanities neverending dreams to fly like the birds and zip through the sky.
Early Dreams of Flight
While we used to gaze at the sky, up at the birds. The very first real significant aspiration to fly like them, began with Leonardo da Vinci sketches of flying machines. However, it was not until the 19th, and early 20th century that flight was no longer just sketches.
The Wright Brothers
On December 17, 1903, in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright achieved sustained and controlled flight. And hence the famous story of the Wright Brothers marked the start of aviation as we know today.
The World Wars
The next considerable advancements occurred in World War I and World War II, as rapid advancements were needed in order to gain an advantage over opposing nations. Aircrafts such as the Spitfire and B-17 were icons of this era.
The dawn of the Space Age
On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first ever artificial satellite. This marked the beginning of the Space Age, with the United States soon following, by sending astronauts to the Moon in 1969 as part of the Apollo program. During this era aerospace shifted from a military and warfare approach to exploration.
Around the 1980’s the era of reusable spacecraft was initiated. Which enabled the construction of the International Space Station (ISS); allowing astronauts from multiple nations to live and conduct research in a single place.
Private Space Exploration
During recent years companies owned by billionaires such as Blue Origin, SpaceX and Virgin Atlantic have adopted the idea of space exploration and even trips to space for the public. With dreams of living on Mars and adopting the idea of reusable rockets a new era of space travel will begin.
All ideas start somewhere, whether it be a small goal to glide through the air, or someday live on Mars, the history of aerospace goes to show that anything is possible. And as we look to the future, the sky is not the limit; it’s just the beginning of our journey into the cosmos, just like the Wright Brothers dreamed of flying like the birds.
Written by Hemal Nayyar