Pop Quiz: Pioneering Missions and Discoveries

This month’s pop quiz is all about the pioneering missions and discoveries that have made a significant contribution in human spaceflight. Take the quiz to test out your space history knowledge!

What significant event happened on April 12?

Yuri Gagarin
Correct! Wrong!

April 12 is a historic date in human spaceflight. Not only is it the anniversary of the first shuttle mission (STS-1), which launched in 1981, but it’s also the day Yuri Gagarin became the first person in space 20 years earlier. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the STS-1 launch and the 60th anniversary of Gagarin's trailblazing flight.

What mission featured the first female ISS commander?

Expedition 16
Correct! Wrong!

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson became the first woman to command the International Space Station during Expedition 16, her second spaceflight.

What was the first International human spaceflight?

Correct! Wrong!

The first international human spaceflight was the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, a joint effort between Russia and the United States to achieve the first international docking in space.

What shuttle orbiter carried the Hubble Telescope into space?

Correct! Wrong!

On April 24, 1990, Discovery launched into space carrying the Hubble Telescope.

True or False: Millionaire Dennis Tito was the first commercial space tourist.

Correct! Wrong!

In 2001, American businessman Dennis Tito became the first private citizen to visit the Space Station.

What mission featured the first American spacewalk?

Correct! Wrong!

NASA astronaut Ed White became the first American to spacewalk during the Gemini 4 mission, just ten weeks after Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov conducted the first spacewalk.

Who was the first educator in space?

Correct! Wrong!

NASA astronaut Christa McAuliffe was selected by NASA to be the first “Teacher in Space." Tragically, McAuliffe lost her life in the Challenger explosion before she was able to fly in space. Although Barbara Morgan was later named NASA’s first Educator Astronaut, Morgan told NASA in a pre-flight interview that, “Christa was, is, and always will be our ‘Teacher in Space,’ our first teacher to fly.”

What mission was the first to travel to the Moon?

Correct! Wrong!

While Apollo 11 was the first mission to land men on the Moon, Apollo 8 was the first mission to take men to the Moon.

Which mission delivered the first Commercial Crew Program astronauts to the ISS?

Correct! Wrong!

NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission was the first flight to deliver Commercial Crew Program astronauts to the ISS. The crewed test flight of SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft launched on May 30, 2020 carrying astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the ISS, thereby returning launch capabilities to American soil for the first time since 2011 (when the Space Shuttle Program concluded).

Pop Quiz: Pioneering missions and discoveries

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