Space Exploration Timeline

Timeline created by samster
  • Sputnik 1

    the first man-made object to orbit the Earth, is launched by the U.S.S.R., and remains in orbit until January 4, 1958.
  • Vanguard 1

    satellite is launched into orbit, and continues to transmit for 3 years
  • Luna 3

    translunar satellite is launched, orbiting the moon and photographing 70 percent of the far side of the moon
  • Tiros 1

    the first successful weather satellite, is launched by the U.S
  • Mercury Freedom 7

    carries Alan B. Shepard,Jr., the first U.S. Astronaut into space, in a suborbital flight
  • U.S. Mariner 2

    the first successful planetary spacecraft, flies past Venus, and enters a solar orbit.
  • Vostok 6

    carries Soviet Cosmonaut Valentia Tereshkova, the first woman in space and orbits the Earth 48 times
  • U.S. Ranger 7

    relays the first close-range photographs of the Moon
  • Ranger 9

    transmits high-quality images of the moon, many of which were shown live in the first television spectacular about the moon.
  • Soviet Luna 9

    the first spacecraft to soft-land on the moon
  • Soviet Luna 10

    the first spacecraft to orbit the moon
  • Soviet Zond 5

    launched, the first spacecraft to orbit the Moon and return
  • Apollo 13

    suffering an explosion in its SM oxygen tanks. Its Moon landing is aborted, and the crew, James A. Lovell, Jr., John L. Swigert, Jr. and Fred W. Haise, Jr., return safely
  • The Einstein Observatory

    Begins its 30 day mission
  • Challenger mission STS-41G

    carrying the first crew with two women aboard - Sally Ride and Katherine Sullivan. Sullivan becomes the first American woman to walk in space
  • Galaxy size

    Astronomers find that our galaxy is smaller than they thought and the Sun is 23,000 light-years from it's center
  • Space shuttle Discovery

    maneuvers to within 37 feet of Russian space station Mir, in preparation for a shuttle-Mir docking (STS-63). This is the first shuttle mission to be flown by a female pilot
  • Mars Pathfinder

    becomes the first probe to successfully land on Mars since Viking 2 in 1976. It is also the first planetary probe to include a separate roving robot probe (Sojourner) since the Soviet Union's Luna 21 in 1973
  • Space Shuttle Discovery

    lifts off with John Glenn aboard, first American to orbit Earth and at 77, the oldest man to fly in space. The flight is the last purely scientific shuttle flight, focusing on astronomy, life sciences, and materials. One satellite is deployed, one is released and retrieved. Most subsequent shuttle flights are ferry and construction flights for the International Space Station.