Top 5 Facts: NASA missions

Cold War
NASA’s first major space programme was Project Mercury, a series of missions conducted at the height of the Cold War to successfully take an astronaut into space.

Project Gemini, dedicated to developing and practising techniques required for long-term space exploration, was the first project to feature American Spacewalks.

Flying solo
The only space programme ever to send an astronaut beyond low-Earth orbit and land on a celestial body was NASA’s Apollo Program, putting man on the moon in 1969.

NASA’s Space Shuttle Program was subject to two major disasters, losing both the Challenger and Columbia shuttles as well as the lives of 14 astronauts.

Costing an estimated 100 billion euros, the International Space Station is the most expensive object ever constructed in the history of human existence.