Earth's gravity field extends well into outer space. It's strong enough to keep our moon in place, and will eventually pull back all the satellites we have launched into orbit.
The first man in space boarded the Russian spacecraft Vostok 1 in April 12, 1961 with a 50-50 chance of survival. The spacecraft orbited the earth for one hour and 48 minutes and returned successfully.
Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system. The surface temperature on Venus is a burning 461.85 °C (863.33 °F). On Pluto it is so cold that liquid nitrogen turns to solid! Pluto's estimated surface temperature is around -228°C (-378°F).
The American space shuttle is the most complex machine ever built. It is made up of 2.5 million parts and it's engines produced 44 million horsepower on takeoff. The space shuttle program closed on July 21, 2011, after having brought 3 millions pounds of cargo into space.
The International Space Station travels 253 miles (408km) above the earth at 17,100 (27,519km/h) miles per hour and completes a full circle of the earth every 90 minutes. Astronauts on board get to see a sunrise and sunset 16 times each day.