Space exploration, research, by means of manned and unmanned spaceships, of the confines of the universe beyond the Earth's atmosphere and the use of the. In the 2000s, the People's Republic of China began a successful manned space flight program, while the European Union, Japan and India also planned future manned space missions. Starting in the 1990s, private interests began to promote space tourism and then private space exploration of the Moon (see Google Lunar X Prize). Common reasons for exploring space include advancing scientific research, uniting different nations, guaranteeing the future survival of humanity, and developing military and strategic advantages over other countries.
After the first 20 years of exploration, the focus shifted from one-off flights to renewable hardware, such as the space shuttle program, and from competition to cooperation, such as with the International Space Station (ISS). Space exploration has often been used as an indirect competition for geopolitical rivalries such as the Cold War. Space exploration is the continuous discovery and exploration of celestial structures in outer space through constantly evolving and growing space technology. The first era of space exploration was driven by a “space race” between the Soviet Union and the United States, the launch of the first artificial object that orbited the Earth, the USSR's Sputnik 1, on October 4, 1957, and the first landing on the Moon of the American ship Apollo 11 on July 20, 1969, are often considered milestones of this early period.
Although the observation of objects in space, known as astronomy, predates recorded history, it was the development of large and relatively efficient rockets in the early 20th century that allowed the physical exploration of space to become a reality. Although the study of space is mainly carried out by astronomers with telescopes, the physical exploration of space is carried out both with unmanned robotic probes and with manned space flights.