By DAVID MURPHY The first space mission to land a man on a celestial body has been launched.
Kenneth Gates, an engineer and founder of the Space Systems Loral company, landed the Sputnik-1 satellite at 11:51am GMT (2:51pm AEST) on Friday in Kazakhstan.
Mr Gates, who was born in Wales but spent much of his life in England, has built his career on building satellites that fly far into space.
His first successful satellite, Sputniks 1A, was launched in 1975 and is considered one of the most important spacecrafts of its time.
The launch marked the culmination of an ambitious project called “The Big Sky Challenge”, which aims to send a man into space by 2030.
Mr Kerry said Mr Gates and his wife Mary were delighted with the achievement.
“I know that they are extremely excited about it, but we are just a couple of happy-go-lucky guys and it was a dream come true to be able to get the opportunity to launch this satellite,” Mr Kerry said.
The mission was the first in a series of missions to send humans into space for research and education.
Mr Gorell, who is a member of the American Astronaut Society, said the mission was an incredible achievement.”[It] shows the value of our space programme and what we can achieve,” he said.
“The Big-Sky Challenge was very successful because it put people on the moon and it’s very exciting to be the first human to get there, but the mission is still a great achievement for the British people.”
Mr Gates was born on March 7, 1920, in Plymouth, England.
He spent his childhood in Oxfordshire, but his mother moved the family to Manchester when he was seven.
Mr Allen and Mr Gates married in 1966, and they have two daughters, Catherine and Claire.
He moved to California in 1977 and then to Britain in 1983, where he earned a doctorate in aeronautical engineering at the University of Warwick.
Mr Shepard was a British space pioneer who, with a $50 million donation from the British government, founded the US space agency Nasa.