This month marks the 50th anniversary of the launching of Sputnik, the earth's first artificial satellite. What are the highlights of these first 50 years of space exploration?

1961: Alan Shepard is chosen to pilot Freedom 7, leading to protests among more qualified and experienced chimpanzee astronauts

1964: Sun officially determined to be really, really hot

1969: First moon walk followed by first refreshing moon nap

1971: Halfway back to Earth, the crew of Apollo 15 turn the spacecraft around after realizing they left lunar module pilot James Irwin on the moon

1985: Birth of first person to whom walking on moon

doesn't seem absolutely unbelievable

2001: Space tourist Dennis Tito returns from orbit smelling a little different and spooking the regulars at the diner

2005: International Space Station gets a flat screen

2007: NASA researchers discover that everything we ever wanted was here on Earth all along