Space Exploration

  • Sputnik, Gemini, and Mercury Program

    Sputnik Program was the Russians start at space exploration. The Sputnik Program launched an instrument into space that was the size of a beach ball. The sputnik program launched the U.S. into space by starting NASA. NASA launched the Mercury Program on October 7, 1958. The Mercury Program used a Redstone rocket, a missile originally designed for Military use. The Gemini program was the next launched by NASA. There was a total of 12 missions in the Gemini Program.
  • Pioneer Program

    The Pioneer program launches its first probe into space on 8/7/58 and its last on 12/9/78
    The pioneer program launched probes into space and got informaiton about other planets in our solar system.
    The program launched 14 probes into space.
  • The Mars Exploration Rover

    The Mars Exploration Rover Program’s goal was to find out more about the planet but mainly to find out if mars could sustain life. The total cost of the program was $820 million dollars. The 5th rover launched stuck to the soil on mars and was named a stationary rover. Hundreds of scientist were hired to track the rovers and record their findings. There have been 38 tries to mars but not all of them have landed successfully on the moon.
  • Venera Space Probes

    The Venera Space Probes gathered information from Venus. It gathered atmosphere temperatures and surface pictures. The Venera Space Probes. Venera 13 sent back 14 colored photos of the surface of Venus and another 8 in black and white. Venera 3 was the first probe to crash land on another planet on March 1, 1966. Venera 4 was the first probe ever to enter another planet’s atmosphere.
  • The Mariner Program

    The Mariner program launched 10 vehicles into space costing about $554 million USD. All the vehicles were launched from cape Canaveral. Mariners 3-4 could take about 20 pictures. An interesting fact is that Mariners 11-12 were planned as part of the mariner program however they were renamed “Mariner Jupiter-Saturn probes.” As the program progressed the “Mariner Jupiter-Saturn probes,” were turned into the voyager program.
  • Space Shuttle

    There are 6 space shuttles built and are all at the Kennedy space station in Florida. Kennedy challenged America to land on the moon. He wanted to beat Russia to the moon. The space stations were key in getting to the moon. The six space shuttles are Enterprise, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavor. The cost of each space shuttle is $2.1 billion USD. Columbia weighs 13 African Elephants.
  • Apollo Programs

    The Apollo Missions are the most famous space missions ever. In this program were the first people to walk on the moon (Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin). The Apollo missions cost around $25.4 Billion USD which is roughly equal to 170 Billion dollars today. We brought back 840 pounds of moon rock as a result of these missions.
  • Space Stations

    A space station is a spacecraft or satellite designed to be occupied by a crew. There are 16 different countries who are involved in the international space station. The international space station cost $150 billion dollars. The international space station was launched on November 20th, 1998, the Skylab Space Station was launched on august 8th, 1969, and the MIIR Space Station was launched on February 20th, 1986.
  • Viking Probes

    The Viking probes collected information about Mars. Scientist collected soil samples from Viking 1 and Viking 2 was used to collect data of the atmosphere. Both the Vikings returned 16,000 images. The total cost of the probes was about 1 billion dollars. The temperature of mars ranged from -14 degrees in the summer to -120 degrees in the winter.
  • Voyager Probes

    The Voyagers explored giant planets like Jupiter and Saturn. Each Voyager cost around 250 million. The Voyagers. They were launched from cape Canaveral, Florida. Voyager 1 became the most distant human object in space. They included many things about the culture of earth like noises and pictures.
  • Magellan Spacecraft

    The Magellan spacecraft was built to orbit Venus. It cost around 551 million USD found that the densities of earth and Venus are very close. The Magellan spacecraft mapped 95% Venus and captured high detail pictures of Venus craters. The Magellan spacecraft was the 1st spacecraft to be launched by a shuttle. It was also the first spacecraft to be intentionally crashed into Venus’s atmosphere.
  • Hubble Space Telescope

    The Hubble Space Telescope is monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Named after Edwin Hubble, it orbits the earth and takes pictures every day. It weighs 12 tons and it cost 2.5 billion dollars.
  • Galileo Spacecraft

    The Galileo Program cost around 1.6 Billion USD and ran from 1995-2003. The Galileo space craft made the only observation of a comet impacting a planet- comet Shoemaker-Levy 9’s collision with Jupiter. The Galileo returned 14, 387 images and orbiting Jupiter 25 times.
  • N.E.A.R. Mission

    The N.E.A.R. Spacecraft was launched on February 17 1996,at 8:43 p.m. and entered the orbit of the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous- Shoemaker. The N.E.A.R. Spacecraft studied the asteroid 433 Eros. The N.E.A.R. Spacecraft was the first man-made thing to orbit an asteroid and touch down on an asteroid.
  • Cassini Program

    The Cassini Program was formed to get information about Saturn and the moon Titan. It consisted of probes and orbiters around Saturn and Titan. The total cost of the Cassini Program was around 3.27 Billion dollars. The probes and orbiters were launched from Cape Canaveral and from Houston. The probe landed on Titan on Jan. 14, 2005. It returned spectacular results.
  • Genesis Spacecraft

    The genesis spacecraft was formed to collect solar wind samples (ions). Helped us understand what planets were formed by and how the solar nebula developed. It crashed into Utah on September 8, 2004 due to a failure in the parachute. We learned that the sun has 99% of the materials in our solar system and the outer layer of the sun hasn’t changed for billions of years.