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Decades of Progress in Years Gone By

Time Flies with George Adolf

“Knowledge is powerful and self-education is the only education there is.” — Isaac Asimov

We have all benefitted from the unprecedented advances in technology, planetary exploration, and medicine that have taken place during our lifetime. Between 1945 and 1971 there were many breakthroughs, and the progress has accelerated ever since.

For us seniors, it is a challenge to understand and keep up with the changes, and to a lesser extent, for our younger generation as well.

History can provide a thread of knowledge and excitement for the privilege and pride to be part of it. For that reason, I have researched a timeline of significant events for our readers (and myself!) to think about, share with the next generation, and explore deeper if so motivated.

Space Exploration

1893 Zeppelin airship crosses from Europe to America

1939 Turbo (jet) engine aircraft introduced

1947 The sound barrier broken by test pilot Chuck Yeager

1957 Sputnik, Russia: the first satellite in low earth orbit

1960 Yuri Gagarin of Russia orbits the earth

1962 John Glenn of the USA orbits the earth

1969 Apollo 12 USA landing and first walk on the moon

1998 John Glenn at age 77 takes second space flight of 9-day mission

2000 ISS international space station in low orbit

Planetary Exploration

1977 Voyager 1 and 2 explore outer solar and interstellar system.

2004 European Space Agency launches Rosetta, a cosmic space probe

2014 Rosetta lands a space probe on a comet for scientific exploration


1820 The principle of electricity is discovered

1879 Thomas Edison demonstrates the incandescent light bulb

1880 Alexander Graham Bell invents telephone transmission

1900 Radio wireless transmission is invented

1920 Television followed by radar…computer…and internet


1895 Dr. Roentgen discovers x-rays for radiology and radiography

1940 Influenza vaccine created

1952 Polio vaccine created by Dr. Salk

1967 Dr. Barnard performs first heart transplant on a human

1979 Small pox eliminated

1960 First heart bypass surgery

1963 Computer-assisted robotic surgery born

Today: Ongoing stem cell research referred to as “The double spiral key to life.”

I can lay no claim for this list to be complete. Please educate me on any omission or corrections.

George can be reached at

Comments Welcomed

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