Space Exploration Milestones: International Explorers

As advancements in space travel have been made over the years, an increasing number of explorers from other countries wanted to get into the action. In this article, you will learn which country was next to contribute another astronaut to explore space, as well as other firsts in space exploration.

The First Astronaut from Canada

Marc Garneau was born in Quebec, making him the first Canadian in space when he traveled aboard the STS-41G space shuttle Challenger from October 5 to 13 in 1984. Over his career, he has been a military officer, engineer, president of the Canadian Space Agency, and politician. As the first Canadian in space, he participated in three flights on NASA space shuttles. In 2006, Garneau began a stint in politics when he sought after a seat as federal Member of Parliament with the Liberal Party of Canada. In the 2011 federal election, he was re-elected to the House of Commons.

First Married Couple in Space

The first and only married couple to fly together in space was Jan Davis and Mark Lee. They traveled aboard the Endeavour space shuttle for a flight that lasted from September 12 to 20 in 1992. Davis was an engineer that was part of three space flights and logged in more than 673 hours in space. She is now retired from NASA and no longer married to Mark Lee, who was a pilot for NASA during their marriage. Lee flew on four Space Shuttle missions, and retired from NASA and the Air Force in 2001.

First Space Shuttle/Space Station Docking

On June 29, 1995, the space shuttle Atlantis STS-71 docked with the Soviet space station named Mir.

The U.S. Endurance Record Broke

It was during her fifth mission that astronaut Shannon Lucid broke the endurance record for the United States. The biochemist spent 188 days aboard the Russian Mir station , setting a world record for women. Lucid is known for flying more missions than any other woman, and at the age of 53 , was the oldest female in space. As of January 2011, Lucid has served in Management in the Astronaut Office, which is located at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

The International Space Station

In December 4, 1998, the first stage of developing the International Space Station was put into place. It wasn’t until November 2, 2000, that the first crew started to call the ISS their new home. An American and Russian crew began living aboard the International Space Station. Research was conducted at the station that involved the study of physics, astronomy, and meteorology. The effects of space on the human body are still conducted.