Apollo 13 Mission

Apollo 13 Mission

In April 1970, the crew of NASA's Apollo 13 mission swung around the far side of the moon at an altitude of 158 miles (254 km), putting them 248,655 miles (400,171 km) away from Earth.

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On April 12, 1961, humanity became a spacefaring species when cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin blasted into orbit on a 108-minute flight high above Earth.

So Gagarin set the original record — first person in space. But over the years, people have notched many other records as our species has extended its toehold in the cold depths of space.

Here's a look at some of these marks, from the oldest person in space to the most consecutive days spent away from terra firma.

Alan Shepard, on May 5, 1961, became the first American in space. Shepard's suborbital flight in NASA's Freedom 7 vehicle lasted just 15 minutes, carrying him to an altitude of 115 miles (185 km). He splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean just 302 miles (486 km) downrange of his Florida launch site.

Shepard would later get more than this tiny taste of space experience. In 1971, he went to the moon on NASA's Apollo 14 mission. During that flight, the 47-year-old astronaut set another record, becoming the oldest person to walk the surface of another world.


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