Space Exploration

  • First Artificial Satellite

     First Artificial Satellite
    The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite.
  • Period: to

    Space exploration

    From October 4, 1957 till January 1, 2000
  • First Animal in Orbit

    First Animal in Orbit
    The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 2 with the first animal aborde, Laika a dog.
  • First Successful American Satellite 

    First Successful American Satellite 
    After one failed atempt, America launches Explorer 1 which acheives an orbit extending 1,560 miles.
  • NASA is Born

    NASA is Born
    Congressional leaders create and sign the National Aeronautics and Space Act. NASA begins operation on October 1st.
  • First Human in Space

    First Human in Space
    The Soviet Union launches cosmonaut Yuri A. Gagarin on a 108-minute flight. Gagarin was the first person to succesful orbit the globe.
  • First American in Space

    First American in Space
    Astronaut Alan Shepard was the fist american to go into space. His suborbital flight lasted 15 minutes.
  • First American to Orbit the Earth

    First American to Orbit the Earth
    John H. Glenn orbits the Earth three times in a nearly five-hour flight.
  • First Spacewalk

    First Spacewalk
    Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov exits his Voskhod 2 capsule for a 12-minute spacewalk.
  • First U.S. Space Tragedy

     First U.S. Space Tragedy
    As the US prepared for a three-man Apollo moon mission, a fire breaks out in a routine ground test. Astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee were killed in the fire.
  • First Manned Apollo Mission

    First Manned Apollo Mission
    Apollo 7 was the first Apollo mission to get astronauts off the ground.
  • First Manned Moon Orbital Launch

     First Manned Moon Orbital Launch
    Apollo 8 astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, Jr., and William Anders become the first to leave the gravitational influence of the Earth in a six day flight.
  • First Manned Moon Landing

     First Manned Moon Landing
    Apollo 11 touches down on the moon. Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., descend to the surface. "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," --- Armstrong.
  • Launch of Apollo 13

     Launch of Apollo 13
    Intended to make the third lunar landing, Apollo 13 is most of the way to the moon when an explosion in its service module oxygen tanks cripples it. Astronauts James Lovell, Jr., John Swigert, Jr., and Fred W. Haise, Jr., use the lunar module as a lifeboat, slingshot around the moon, and return safely to Earth
  • First Occupation of Space Station

    First Occupation of Space Station
    After an earlier attempt that failed due to a jammed hatch, three cosmonauts from the Soviet Union's Soyuz 11 mission successfully board the Salyut 1 space station. Their 24-day mission conducts scientific experiments and sets a new endurance record for space travel.
  • First Rover on the Moon

    First Rover on the Moon
    Apollo 15 carries an electric cart, like a stripped-down, foldable golf cart, to the moon. The rover, capable of carrying two astronauts plus supplies, greatly extends their exploration range
  • First American Space Station Launched

    First American Space Station Launched
    Skylab is launched on what will prove to be a six-year mission
  • First International Space Rendezvous 

    First International Space Rendezvous 
    U.S. and Russian astronauts practice détente in space, Crews from Apollo 18 and Soyuz 19 meet in Earth orbit, shake hands on live TV, and spend two days together.
  • First U.S. Mars Landing

     First U.S. Mars Landing
    Viking 1 soft-lands on Mars. Pictures show a stark, rocky landscape much like some Earthly deserts.
  • Voyagers 1 and 2 Launched

    Voyagers 1 and 2 Launched
    Through August and September NASA launches Voyagers 1 and 2 on a grand tour of the solar system.
  • First Space Shuttle Launch

     First Space Shuttle Launch
    NASA debuts its manned cosmic commuter, the space shuttle, with the first-ever launch of Columbia.
  • First Operational Space Shuttle Mission

     First Operational Space Shuttle Mission
    The first space shuttle, Columbia, carries a crew of four—the largest crew ever to be launched into space on a single vehicle—on its first true mission.
  • First American Woman in Space

    First American Woman in Space
    Sally K. Ride lifts off on the space shuttle Challenger to become the first American woman in space.
  • First Untethered Spacewalk

    First Untethered Spacewalk
    In the first test of NASA's new Manned Maneuvering Unit, a sort of rocket backpack designed to fit over the astronauts' normal spacesuits, astronaut Bruce McCandless exits the space shuttle Challenger without a safety line.
  • Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion 

    Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion 
    In a disaster seen live on television, the space shuttle Challenger disintegrates 73 seconds after liftoff. All seven astronauts are killed, including schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe.
  • Mir Space Station Launched

    Mir Space Station Launched
    The first section of the Russian Mir space station, called the core module, is launched on a Proton rocket.
  • Hubble Space Telescope Deployed

     Hubble Space Telescope Deployed
    A day after launching, the space shuttle Discovery opens its cargo bay doors to deploy a unique cargo: the 12-ton Hubble Space Telescope.
  • Pathfinder Probe Landing on Mars 

     Pathfinder Probe Landing on Mars 
    Descending by parachute and protected by inflated airbags, the Mars Pathfinder probe breaks through the thin Martian atmosphere, settles to the surface, and bounces at least 15 times before coming to rest.
  • John Glenn's Return to Space

    John Glenn's Return to Space
    Thirty-six years after becoming the first American to orbit the Earth, former astronaut John Glenn boards the space shuttle Discovery for a triumphant return.