Today marks the 50th anniversary of mankind’s first manned space flight. On April 12, 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Garagin entered the void of space, leading the way for many more humans to come.
We take space exploration very seriously here at Holy Taco, so to honor the fine men and women that helped take humanity in to the stars, we present to you a timeline of space travel’s most important events.
April 12, 1961 – Vostok 1 is launched by the U.S.S.R., carrying Cosmonaut Yuri A. Gargarin, the first man in space. He orbited the Earth once thus becoming the first human to mutter the word “meh…” in space.
May 5, 1961 – Mercury Freedom 7 carries Alan B. Shepard, Jr., the first U.S. Astronaut into space, in a suborbital flight; says space smells like “that vodka-swigging, borsht-eating commie, Gargarin.”
February 20, 1962 – Mercury Friendship 7 lifts off with John H. Glenn, Jr., the first American in orbit, and orbits the Earth three times.
June 16, 1963 – Vostok 6 carries Soviet Cosmonaut Valentia Tereshkova, the first woman in space and orbits the Earth 48 times, or, as a mostly male dominated Russian space program put it, “One and one half menstrual cycles.”
July 31, 1964 – U.S. Ranger 7 relays the first close-range photographs of the Moon. Moon doesn’t smile in any of the pictures.
March 18, 1965 – The first spacewalk is made from Soviet Voskhod 2 by Cosmonaut Alexei A. Leonov. Duration is 12 minutes.
June 3, 1965 – Edward White II makes the first U.S. space walk from Gemini 4. Duration is 22 minutes. Edward releases the contents of his toilet in the vacuum of space while soaring over Russia.
January, 1969 – Soyuz 4 & 5 perform the first Soviet spaceship docking. Years later, the word “docking” is used to describe two men wrapping each other’s penises in each other’s foreskin, like one worm eating another worm.
July 20, 1969 – Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, Jr. head to studio 8 on the Warner Bros. Studios lot to film the Apollo 11 moonwalk.
April 11, 1970 – Apollo 13 is launched. Astronaut Fred Haise famously proclaims, “If this is ever turned in to a movie, I really hope Bill Paxton doesn’t play me.”
January 31, 1971 – Apollo 14 moon mission is launched by the U.S. with the legendary Alan Shepard, along with Stuart Roosa and Edgar Mitchell on board. Shepard becomes the first man to hit a golf ball on the moon, bans women and blacks from stepping foot in moon clubhouse.
July 30, 1971 – Apollo 15 astronauts David Scott and James Irwin drive the first moon rover, refuse to drive through the dark side of the moon, fearing they would be “mugged and raped.”
January, 1986 – Voyager 2 flies past Uranus. The world giggles.
January 28, 1986 – The space shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after liftoff of mission STS-51L. The world immediately stops giggling.
January 25, 1994 – U.S. launches Clementine, a new DOD satellite that performs a lunar mapping mission using advanced ballistic missile defense technologies. Finds three potentially debilitating bombing targets just in case we declare war on the moon.
November 19, 1997 – Space Shuttle Columbia lifts off with three American astronauts, one Japanese, and the first Ukrainian astronaut. The ensuing sitcom pilot was not picked up for NBC’s fall lineup.