From the dawn of man until very recently, humans have been Earthbound, unable to reach even the clouds—let alone space. It's only within the last hundred years or so that the advent of manned flight and rocket ships has made the heavens attainable. In that time, we've sent people to the moon, rovers to Mars, and space probes deep into the reaches of our solar system. And advanced telescopes that orbit Earth are bringing even the most remote edges of the universe closer to home. See where space travel started, and where it's going.

More About Space Exploration

  • Photo: Portrait of the Apollo 1 crew in 1967

    Early U.S. Spaceflight

    The U.S. space program has had its share of successes and setbacks. See some unforgettable images from the early days of space exploration as America set its sights toward the sky.

  • Photo: Glowing, sombrero-shaped galaxy

    Hubble Images

    Since it was placed into orbit in April 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has captured images and information that have transformed our understanding of the universe.

  • Photo: Astronauts upgrading Hubble Space Telescope

    Hubble Space Telescope

    Since 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has given the world a bonanza of breathtaking images of the universe. See what it takes to keep this celebrity telescope running like a top.

  • Photo: Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the moon

    Moon Exploration

    Over a brief three-year period, six U.S. astronaut crews landed on the moon, forging a new branch of space exploration. Follow in their famous footsteps.

The Innovators Project

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'Live From Space' March 14

How to Feed Our Growing Planet

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    Feed the World

    National Geographic explores how we can feed the growing population without overwhelming the planet in our food series.

See blogs, stories, photos, and news » »


  • Explaining Stillbirth

    A new study on marmoset monkeys offers some hints about the causes of stillbirth.


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Latest Video

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    Be the First to Own Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

    The updated companion book to Carl Sagan's Cosmos, featuring a new forward by Neil deGrasse Tyson is now available. Proceeds support our mission programs, which protect species, habitats, and cultures.

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