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Astronomy

Milestones of space exploration

Date

Mission Achievements

Country/ Organization

Mission Name

1931

First German military liquid-fuelled rocket engines developed

 Germany

Walter Riedel

10 May 1946

First space research flight (cosmic radiation experiments)

 United States

captured and improved V-2 rocket

20 February 1947

First animals in space (fruit flies)

 United States

V-2

21 August 1957

First intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)

USSR

R-7 Semyorka/

SS-6 Sapwood

4 October 1957

First artificial satellite

First signals from space

USSR

Sputnik 1

3 November 1957

First animal in orbit, the dog Laika

USSR

Sputnik 2

2 January 1959

First firing of a rocket in Earth orbit

First reaching Earth escape velocity or Trans Lunar Injection

First detection of solar wind

USSR

Luna 1

7 August 1959

First photograph of Earth from orbit

USA (NASA)

Explorer 6

13 September 1959

First impact into another world (the Moon)

First delivery of national (USSR) pennants to a celestial body

USSR

Luna 2

4 October 1959

First photos of far side of the Moon

USSR

Luna 3

19 August 1960

First plants and animals to return alive from Earth orbit

USSR

Sputnik 5

31 January 1961

First Hominidae in space, first tasks performed in space; Ham (chimpanzee).

USA (NASA)

M-R 2

12 April 1961

First human spaceflight–(Yuri Gagarin)

First human-crewed orbital flight

USSR

Vostok 1

16 June 1963

First woman in space (Valentina Tereshkova)

USSR

Vostok 6

19 July 1963

First reusable crewed spacecraft (suborbital)

USA (NASA)

X-15 Flight 90

3 February 1966

First soft landing on another world (the Moon)

First photos from another world

USSR

Luna 9

1 March 1966

First impact into another planet (Venus)

USSR

Venera 3

3 April 1966

First artificial satellite around another world (the Moon)

USSR

Luna 10

2 June 1966

Soft landingon the Moon, photos from the Moon

USA (NASA)

Surveyor 1

21 July 1969

First human on the Moon and first space launch from a celestial body

USA (NASA)

Apollo 11

23 November 1970

First lunar rover

USSR

Lunokhod 1

12 December 1970

First X-ray orbital observatory

USA (NASA)

Uhuru(satellite)

15 December 1970

First soft landing on another planet (Venus)

First signals from another planet

USSR

Venera 7

23 April 1971

First space station

USSR

Salyut 1

June, 1971

First Manned orbital observatory

USSR

Orion 1

14 November 1971

First to maintain orbit around another planet (Mars)

USA (NASA)

Mariner 9

27 November 1971

First impact into Mars

USSR

Mars 2

2 December 1971

First soft Mars landing

First signals from Mars surface

USSR

Mars 3

3 March 1972

First human made object sent on escape trajectory away from the Sun

USA (NASA)

Pioneer 10

15 July 1972

First mission to enter the asteroid belt and leave inner Solar System

USA (NASA)

Pioneer 10

15 November 1972

First orbital gamma ray observatory

USA (NASA)

SAS 2

15 July 1975

First multinational manned mission

USSR

 USA (NASA)

Apollo-Soyuz Test Project

20 July 1976

First photos and soil samples from the surface of Mars

USA (NASA)

Viking Lander

12 April 1981

First Reusable manned spacecraft (orbital)

USA (NASA)

STS-1

1 March 1982

First Venus soil samples & sound recording of another world

USSR

Venera 13

25 January 1983

First Infrared orbital observatory

 USA (NASA)

 UK (SERC)

Netherlands (NIVR)

IRAS

13 June 1983

First spacecraft beyond the orbit of Neptune (first spacecraft to pass beyond all Solar System planets)

 USA (NASA)

Pioneer 10

7 February 1984

First untethered spacewalk, Bruce McCandless II

 USA (NASA)

STS-41-B

24 January 1986

First Uranus flyby (closest approach 81,500 kilometres)

USA (NASA)

Voyager 2

19 February 1986

First consistently inhabited long-term research space station

USSR

Mir

25 August 1989

First Neptune flyby (closest approach at 29,240 km)

 USA (NASA)

Voyager 2

18 November 1989

First orbital cosmic microwave observatory

USA (NASA)

COBE

14 February 1990

First photograph of the whole Solar System

USA (NASA)

Voyager 1

24 April 1990

Optical orbital observatory

USA (NASA)

 ESA

Hubble Space Telescope

22 March 1995

Record longest duration spaceflight (437.7 days) set by Valeri Polyakov

Russia (FKA)

Mir

7 December 1995

First orbit of Jupiter

USA (NASA)

Galileo

7 December 1995

First mission into the atmosphere of a gas giant (Jupiter)

 USA (NASA)

Galileo's atmospheric entry probe

12 February 1997

First orbital radio observatory

Japan (ISAS)

HALCA

4 July 1997

First operational rover on another planet (Mars)

USA (NASA)

Mars Pathfinder

20 November 1998

First multinational space station,

Largest man-made object built in space to date

Russia(FKA)

 USA (NASA)

 Europe (ESA)

Japan (JAXA)

Canada (CSA)

International Space Station

14 February 2000

First orbiting of an asteroid (433 Eros)

USA (NASA)

 ESA

NEAR Shoemaker

12 February 2001

First landing on an asteroid (433 Eros)

 USA (NASA)

NEAR Shoemaker

1 July 2004

First orbit of Saturn

 USA (NASA)

 ESA

Italy (ASI)

CassiniHuygens

19 November 2005

First asteroid ascent (25143 Itokawa).

First interplanetary escape without undercarriage cut-off.

Japan (JAXA)

Hayabusa

15 January 2006

First sample return from comet (81P/Wild)

USA (NASA)

Stardust

6 March 2009

Kepler Mission is launched, first space telescope designated to search for Earth-like exoplanets

USA (NASA)

Kepler Mission

13 June 2010

First sample return from asteroid (25143 Itokawa)

Japan (JAXA)

Hayabusa

18 March 2011

First orbit of Mercury

USA (NASA)

MESSENGER

25 August 2012

First manmade probe in interstellar space.

USA (NASA)

Voyager 1

12 November 2014

First man-made probe to make a planned and soft landing on a comet (67P/ChuryumovGerasimenko).

ESA

Rosetta