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1900 - 1999

1903
The Wright Brothers build and fly the first motorized airplane in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, forever giving mankind "wings."

1905
Albert Einstein introduces his Special Theory of Relativity and contributes to the development of quantum theory. Introducing the concept of space-time and postulating that mass and energy are equivalent and transposable, he formulated the equation E=mc2. In doing so, Einstein predicts that the velocity of light is the absolute "speed limit" in the universe.

1927
Aviator Charles Lindbergh makes the first nonstop solo transatlantic airplane flight and galvanizes world interest in aviation.

1930
Edith Keeler dies in a bus accident. Her death could've been prevented by Dr. Leonard McCoy (CMO - USS Enterprise, NCC-1701), but Dr. McCoy is prevented by Captain James T. Kirk, also of the Enterprise.

1932
Seven women are knifed to death in Shanghai, China, on Earth. The murders remain unsolved until 2267, when new information suggests they have been committed by an energy being that thrives on fear.

1936
American battleship USS Enterprise CV-6 launches. After barely missing the Japanese attack on Pearl Habor in 1941, the Enterprise will participate in every major battle in the Pacific theater during World War II and become the most decorated ship in U.S. history.

1937
Aviator Amelia Earhart, who captured the world's attention as the first woman to match Lindbergh's transatlantic flight, vanishes somewhere over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to circumnavigate the globe.

1947

  • It is reported that observers in Roswell, New Mexico, find a strange craft, and its crews, crashed in the desert. Officials claim the object was a weather balloon. People begin to believe beings from outer space are visiting the Earth.
  • Test pilot Chuck Yeager travels faster than the speed of sound in a new rocket-powered plane. Yeager's supersonic flight begins the Jet Age.

1957
Earth's Space Age, and the so-called space race, begins when the USSR puts an artificial satellite, SPutnik-1, into orbit around the planet.

1960
Radio astronomer Frank D. Drake carries out humanities first attempt to detect intersellar radio transmissions in an effort called SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). The stars chosen by Drake for the first SETI search are Tau Ceti and Epsilon Eridani.

1961

  • Yuri Gagarin is the first human to achieve orbital space flight. His craft, Vostok I, circles the Earth once. The flight, which lasts less than two hours, proves that the human body can function in the weightlessness of space.
  • The first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise CVAN-65, is commissioned.

1969
First manned lunar landing. The crew of Apollo 11 - Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. (with Michael Collins remaining in lunar orbit) - set down in the Sea of Tranquility, collect moon rocks, and return safely to Earth.

1972
The Pioneer 10 Jupiter flyby space probe is launched. During its journey, the probe sends 500 images of this enormous planet, plus amazing technical data, back to Earth. This mission is followed up by Pioneer 11 and the Voyager series, all of which allow mankind to closely observe the large outer planets and their moons.

1976

  • Viking 2 lands on Mars at Utopia Planitia and sends images from the planet's red surface to Earth. Viking conducts experiments to discover the presence of microorganisms. The test results are debated.
  • NASA unveils Enterprise (Space Shuttle OV-101), the prototype for its new fleet of reusable Earth-orbiting shuttles. Flight testing begins the following year.

1983
Pioneer 10 passes Pluto's orbit boundary and becomes the first man-made object to exit the Earth's solar system. The probe carries an engraved plaque with a message of greetings from the people of Earth.

1986

  • The first human habitat in permanent Earth orbit, the Mir space station, begins construction. Mir becomes a shared resource and training ground for future space stations.
  • NASA's space shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after lift-off, killing all seven on board including the first private citizen in space. The tragedy brings the manned space program to a temporary halt pending an investigation.

1992

  • The book Chicago Mobs of the Twenties is published in New York.
  • Khan Noonien Singh rises to power, assuming dictorial control over one quarter of the Earth, from South Asia to the Middle East. Khan is the product of genetic engineering and eugenics experiments. NASA's space shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after lift-off, killing all seven on board including the first private citizen in space. The tragedy brings the manned space program to a temporary halt pending an investigation.

1993
A group of genetically bred "superior" humans seize power simultaneously in some forty of Earth's nations. Terrible wars ensue, in part because the genetic "supermen" take to fighting among themselves. Entire populations are bombed out of existance during these Eugenic Wars, and Earth is believed to be on the verge of a new dark age.

1994
An organization that places dead loved ones into cryogenic capsules orbiting Earth receives a brief surge in popularity. The hope is that future generations will revive the departed.

1996

  • Earth scientists announce the discovery that a Mars meteorite may contain fossilized evidence of primitive bacterial life. While the findings are considered inconclusive, the possibility that life may exist or have once existed on the Red Planet adds urgency to Martian exploration efforts.
  • Eugenics Wars end. Khan Noonien Singh is overthrown and escapes from Earth on the DY-100-class sleepship S.S. Botany Bay along with 96 of his fellow genetic supermen.
  • The poet Tarbolde, from Canopius Planet, writes "Nightingale Woman," a love sonnet considered to be among the most passionate for the next two centuries.

1999

  • The sixth space probe in the Voyager series is launched and continues studying the planets in Earth's solar system.
  • Astronomers make the first direct observation of an extrasolar planet passing in front of a star, leading scientists to conclude that planetary systems may be a common phenomenon in the galaxy and boosting optimism that intelligent life exists elsewhere.
  • British astronomer John Burke of the Royal Academy maps the area of space including Sherman's Planet. This region is later the subject of a territitoal dispute between the Federation and the Klingon Empire.
  • Because previous deep-space exploration attempts ultimately failed, a new approach, an unmanned probe named Friendship 1, leaves Earth with a message of peace, warp technology instructions, and an invitation to visit Earth.
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