The vast outer space appears just as endless as the anxiety some feel before it. The idea of something that empty and endless fills many of us with a feeling of unease and sometimes even fear.

This view of the north polar region of the Moon. Photo via NASA. This view of the north polar region of the Moon. Photo via NASA.

However, even though outer space might appear both endless and lonely, it’s not empty at all – celestial bodies such as meteors, nordic lights, stars and moons, and black holes occur semi-frequently, and, if you’re a believer (or a major fan of The X-Files), you might dare to dream about extraterrestrial life.

Some people are so intrigued by space and distant galaxies that they’ve dedicated their entire life’s work to it – Jurij Gagarin, Alan Shepard, Neil Armstrong, Valentina Tereshkova and Buzz Aldrin all belong to the group of people who first entered the Space Age.

The first man ever in space was Jurij Gagarin, a Soviet cosmonaut who orbited the earth in the spacecraft Vostok. The space journey took place on 12 April 1961. The lap around the earth took 1 hour and 29 minutes, and made Gagarin both a symbol for Soviet success and famous all over the world. In April this year, Catawiki auctioned off a photograph showing Gagarin signing autographs to factory workers in Manchester. The Soviet Union had beaten the United States in the race for space.

But it didn’t take long before the US caught up – before a month had passed, on 5 May 1961 Alan B. Shepard became the first American in space.

The stakes were raised on 21 July 1969, when the American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first human beings to walk the moon – the eagle had landed. While Armstrong climbed down the ladder approaching the moon’s surface, he said the words that would make a permanent mark upon the minds of millions:

"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

We’ll leave you with one of the most iconic footages ever created – the Apollo 11 moonwalk.

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