Exploration of the Planets

  • Sputnik 1 Launched

    Sputnik 1 Launched
    This was a satellite launched b the U.S.S.R. that would orbit the Earth. It was the first human created object to orbit the Earth. In adddition, it was also significant as it marked the first step or beginning of the Space Race between the United States and the USSR.
  • Sputnik 2

    Sputnik 2
    This was the second satellte launched by Russia to orbit the earth in as many months. This satellite was crafted to carry a dog into space. The dogs name was Laika and the plan was for it to remain in space and orbit the Earth for 7 days. This did not pan out, as the temperatures were much higher than expected and the dog diminished in space.
  • N.A.S.A. Begins

    N.A.S.A. Begins
    On this date N.A.S.A. was founded. This is crucial to the Exploration of the Planets, as N.A.S.A. is and always will be the space exploration headquarters of the United States. N.A.S.A. made the exploration of planets possible for the United States. N.A.S.A. immediately became Russia's biggest competition in the race to the moon.
  • Luna 1

    Luna 1
    This was the first space craft to reach the moon. It did not have any living creatures indide of it, as it was a satellite. It was created by the USSR. This gave the USSR an edge over the US in the space race.
  • Pioneer 4

    Pioneer 4
    This was a space probe launched by the United States. It came within 37,000 miles of the moon. Finally it fell into solar orbit. It was the first US space craft to fall into solar orbit.
  • Luna 2

    Luna 2
    This was the second luna space satellite launched by the USSR. This one actually landed on the moon. It carrier the Soviet Coat of Arms. It also was the first man made space craft to impact the moon.
  • Vostok 1

    Vostok 1
    Cosmonaut Yuri A. Gargarin become the first man in history to be carried into space. He was on the the rocket Vostok 1. This was a USSR rocket. He orbited the Earth once in this rocket.
  • Mercury Freedom 7

    Mercury Freedom 7
    Alan Sheppard becomes the first US Atronaut in space. The flight however did not go into orbit, just went up and came back down. Although we were still behind the USSR in the space race, this was a big step for the USA.
  • Mercury Friendship 7

    Mercury Friendship 7
    This is a US ship. John H. Glenn Jr. is aboard and become the first US man in orbit. It orbits the Earth not once, not twice, but three times.
  • Vostok 6

    Vostok 6
    Cosmonaut Valentia Tereshkova become the first woman to enter space. She was in the USSR rocket, Vostok 6. She orbited the Earth a whopping 48 times.
  • US Ranger 7

    US Ranger 7
    US Ranger 7 captured some close range pictures of the moon. This was a big step in the space race between the US and USSR. I'm sure the USSr felt the pressure after this. In addition, this gave the US the clear lead in the race.
  • First Space Walk

    First Space Walk
    This was done by the USSR. It was Cosmonaut Alexei A. Leonov specifically. This walk lasted 12 minutes. It was big for the USSR, as they didn't have much going for them at the time.
  • First American Space Walk

    First American Space Walk
    Ed White II becomes the first American to walk in space. He was on the rocket Gemini 4 when he left to make the walk. The walk lasted around 22 minutes.
  • Luna 9

    Luna 9
    This was launched by the USSR. This was significant in that it became the first ship to land on the moon. It made a soft landing and proved that something with a decent amount of mass would not sink through the moon's thin layer of dust. This gave the USSR a leg up on the USA in the space race.
  • Luna 10

    Luna 10
    This also a USSR spacecraft. It was the first ever to orbit the moon, or anything other than the earth for that matter. It put the USSR way ahead of the USA in the space race.
  • Apollo 7

    Apollo 7
    This becomes the first of the Apollo missions by the US. It was manned by Walter M. Schirra, Jr., Donn F. Eisele, and Walter Cunningham. In addition, it's main achievment was that it orbited the Earth. It served as more of a practice run for the moon.
  • Apollo 8

    Apollo 8
    This was the second manned Apollo mission. It consisted of Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, Jr. and William A. Anders. This mission lasted for a duration of 6 days. It became the first ship with man to orbit the moon; doing so 10 times.
  • Apollo 11

    Apollo 11
    In this mission, Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to ever land on the moon. This was significant in that we won the space race against the USSR, but also a significant step for all of mankind. Armstrong couldn't have put it any better when calling it, "One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."