Rhetorical Functions in Academic Writing: Tests

Narrating & reporting

Using the information given here, write a short history of the space age.

Year

Event

1926

First launch of a liquid fuel rocket: Robert Goddard (United States)

1957

First satellite orbits Earth: Sputnik 1 (U.S.S.R.); first animal in space: Sputnik 2 (U.S.S.R.)

1958

First U.S. satellite launched and first scientific discovery in space (Van Allen radiation belt): Explorer 1; first satellite to use solar power: Vanguard (United States)

1959

First craft to leave gravity of Earth: Luna 1 probe to the Moon (U.S.S.R.); first craft to impact another world: Luna 2 probe to the Moon (U.S.S.R.); first craft to photograph the Moon’s far side: Luna 3 (U.S.S.R.); first television images from space: Explorer 6 (United States)

1960

First U.S. weather satellite: Tiros 1

1961

First human in space and to orbit Earth: Yuri A. Gagarin (U.S.S.R.), in the Vostok 1; first U.S. astronaut into space (suborbital) Alan B. Shepard Jr. in Mercury- Redstone 3; first interplanetary probe: Venera 1 to Venus (U.S.S.R.)

1962

First U.S. astronaut to orbit Earth: John Herschel Glenn Jr. in Mercury-Atlas 6; first successful scientific planetary mission, the fly-by of Venus: Mariner 2 (United States); first observatory in space: Orbiting Solar Observatory 1 (United States)

1963

First woman in space: Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova in Vostok 6 (U.S.S.R.)

1964

First successful fly-by of Mars: Mariner 4 (United States); first multiperson space mission: Voskhod I (U.S.S.R.)

1965

First spacewalk: Alexei Leonov in Voskhod 2 (U.S.S.R.); first U.S. spacewalk: Edward H. White II in Gemini 4

1966

First craft to enter the atmosphere of another planet (Venus): Venera 2 (U.S.S.R.); first unmanned spacecraft to soft land on the Moon: Luna 9 (U.S.S.R.); first unmanned spacecraft to orbit another world (Moon): Luna 10 (U.S.S.R.); first U.S. unmanned soft landing on the Moon: Surveyor 1

1968

First humans to orbit another world (Moon), Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders in Apollo 8 (United States)

1969

First humans on another world (Moon), July 20, Neil Alden Armstrong and Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. in Apollo 11 and first samples of the Moon returned to Earth (United States) (Mike Collins orbited the Moon in the Command Module)

1970

First unmanned spacecraft to return samples of another world to Earth (Moon): Luna 16 (U.S.S.R.); first roving vehicle on the Moon: Luna 17 (U.S.S.R.)

1971

First manned space station: Salyut (U.S.S.R.); first human-operated roving vehicle on another world (Moon): Apollo 15 (United States); first soft-landing on another planet (Mars): Mars 3 (U.S.S.R.)

1973

First fly-by of Jupiter: Pioneer 10 (United States); first U.S. space station: Skylab 1

1974

First fly-by of Mercury: Mariner 10 (United States); first duel-planet mission (Venus and Mercury): Mariner 10 (United States)

1975

First photos from the surface of Venus: Venera 9 (U.S.S.R.); first international space flight: Apollo-Soyuz (United States and U.S.S.R.)

1976

First unmanned Mars landing: Viking 1 (United States); first craft to search for life on another planet: Viking 1 (United States)

1979

First fly-by of Saturn: Pioneer 11 (United States)

1980-1984

First satellite to be retrieved, repaired, and redeployed in space: Solar Maximum Mission (United States); launch (1980), repair mission (1984), ceased functioning (1989)

1981

Flight of the first space shuttle: John Watts Young and Robert L. Crippen, of the United States (and first reusable spacecraft with human crew) aboard the Columbia (the Enterprise, the prototype space shuttle, was never flown in space)

1983

First U.S. woman astronaut: Sally Kirsten Ride; first orbital radar mapping of another world: Venera 15 (U.S.S.R.)

1984

First U.S. untethered spacewalk: Bruce McCandless

1985

First spacecraft pictures of comet nucleus (Halley), by Giotto (Europe), though numerous other probes, such as the Vega 1 (U.S.S.R.) and Suisei (Japan), also took pictures; the Vega 1 was the first to reach the comet

1986

First fly-by of Uranus: Voyager 2 (United States); first permanently inhabited space station: Mir (U.S.S.R.)

1989

First fly-by of Neptune: Voyager 2 (United States)

1991

First fly-by of an asteroid (Gaspra): Galileo (United States)

1994 - 1995

Longest duration spaceflight: 438 days, Valery Polyakov on the Mir space station (Russia)

1995

First U.S. astronaut to board the Russian Mir space station: Norman Thagard; First woman U.S. space shuttle pilot: Eileen M. Collins

(From: The New York Public Library - Science Desk Reference, Macmillan, 1995, pp. 347-348.)