Space Exploration

Timeline created by wmboeckman
In History
  • First Liquid-fuled Rocket

    First Liquid-fuled Rocket
    Robert H. Goddard successfully launched the world's first liquid-fueled rocket in Auburn, Massachusetts!
  • A4 (now V-2) Rocket Missile Launch

    A4 (now V-2) Rocket Missile Launch
    First manmade object to enter space.
    Its guidance system wasn't accurate and made for a poor weapon.
  • Blunt-body Theory for Spacecraft Re-entry

    Blunt-body Theory for Spacecraft Re-entry
    NACA researcher Harvy Allen designs a successful prototype for a nosecone that would withstand the heat due to air friction.
    This design was later used in the ATLAS ICBM and many other spacecrafts afterward.

    USA's first operational intercontinental ballistic missile.
    This was the platform planned to launch project Mercury.
    Used kerosene rather than alcohol as its liquid fuel.
  • R-7 ICBM

    R-7 ICBM
    Ostashev's team developed and tested their first successful ICBM named the R-7.
    This was the model used to launch Sputnik!
  • Sputnik Launch

    Sputnik Launch
    First manmade object to successfully orbit the earth!
  • Sputnik II

    Sputnik II
    The first living creature from earth sent into orbit, although they shouldn't have done it in the first place as the dog died, probably due to CO2 poisoning and heat exhaustion.
  • Explorer I Launch

    Explorer I Launch
    The first successful US satellite, designed by James Van Allen, was launched unto orbit!
  • Founding of NASA

    Founding of NASA
    Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act.
  • The Original 7 Astronauts (Mercury Seven)

    The Original 7 Astronauts (Mercury Seven)
    7 Former military piolets were chosen to become USA's first astronauts for that is known today as "Project Mercury".
  • Luna 3

    Luna 3
    (USSR) The third soviet satellite to be sent towards the moon, as well as giving us the first photo of the far side of the moon!
  • Tiros-1

    The first weather satellite in low-earth orbit. It used a TV camera to capture weather patterns while orbiting the earth asynchronously (not like modern ones that are synchronous, staying above the earth under one spot).
  • Mercury-Redstone 2

    Mercury-Redstone 2
    A test flight for the manned mission project mercury, and used a test-piolet chimpanzee named Ham. During the launch, multiple systems failed, but luckily Ham made it back to safety with minimal to no injury.
  • First Man Enters Space (Vostok 1)

    First Man Enters Space (Vostok 1)
    Yuri Gagarin, piloting Vostok 1 (with a newer version of the R-7), successfully enters space and lands safely.
    Vostok 1 implemented a spherical re-entry design, allowing for any orientation to take on the air friction.
    Unlike USA astronauts, the USSR cosmonauts landed separately from the entry vehicle by parachuting.
  • First USA Astronaut in Space (Freedom 7)

    First USA Astronaut in Space (Freedom 7)
    Astronaut Alan Shepard was the first American to enter space (sub-orbital), using the Redstone rocket.
  • Apollo Mission Starts

    Apollo Mission Starts
    JFK initiates project Apollo, a mission to get to the moon and back.
  • First 24hrs in Space (Vostok 2)

    First 24hrs in Space (Vostok 2)
    Russian astronaut Gherman Titov orbits the earth for 24hrs, making him the first person to spend that long in space, the first to sleep in space, and the first person to report the feeling of motion sickness after the flight.
  • Friendship 7: First American in orbit

    Friendship 7: First American in orbit
    John Glenn becomes the first American to be put into orbit.
    Friendship-7 (powered by the ATLAS booster) made three orbits before a successful landing.
    There was a false-alarm with re-entry (the computer said the landing bag may have deployed pre-maturely), this could mean that he could burn up on re-entry, but luckily it wasn't the case.
  • Aurora 7

    Aurora 7
    US Astronaut Scott Carpenter has a successful flight, however, he had multiple problems during the event. more than one control systems got engaged, causing the two to "fight" for control, as well as burning up more fuel than usual, all in all, many thought the flight would be fatal, but Scott Carpenter landed safely despite the problems.
  • Vostok 3 and Vostok 4

    Vostok 3 and Vostok 4
    Two flights started, within one day of each other (Aug. 11, Aug. 12), by Russian Cosmonaut Andriyan Nikolayev (Vostok 3) and Pavel Popovich (Vostok 4). The two Vostok capsules made the first-ever ship-to-ship radio contact!
    Andriyan Nikolayev orbited the Earth 64 times over nearly four days in space, while Pavel Popovich neared 3 days in space.
  • Sigma 7

    Sigma 7
    Mercury flight Sigma 7 with pilot Wally Schirra makes "textbook" flight with 6 orbits around the earth.
  • Faith 7 (final Mercury flight)

    Faith 7 (final Mercury flight)
    The final Mercury flight 'Faith 7' with pilot Gordo Cooper makes a successful 22 orbits around the earth, taking 1 day, 10hrs, and 19min.
    Multiple malfunctions occurred, causing Cooper to have to perform a manual re-entry back from space.
  • Vostok 5 and Vostok 6

    Vostok 5 and Vostok 6
    Another two flights by the USSR took place at the same time (with launch dates two days apart) piloted by Cosmonaut Valery Bykovsky and the first female in space Valentina Tereshkova.
    The soviets broadcasted live video of Tereshkova during the flight as she communicated to Vostok 5 (Valery Bykovsky).
  • Voskhod I

    Voskhod I
    A three-manned mission into orbit for over 24hrs utilizing a modified Vostok spacecraft to fit more people.
  • Voskhod II

    Voskhod II
    Alexei Leonov, aboard the Voskhod II, was the first person to do a spacewalk! This was possible through the use of a collapsable inflatable airlock. He had some trouble getting back inside and had to depressurize his suit a bit (risking the bends), but all ended up ok.
  • First Manned Gemini Flight

    First Manned Gemini Flight
    Part of the series of test flights for the ultimate goal of getting to the moon. The two-man (Guss Grissom, John Young) spacecraft powered by the Titan II missile demonstrated to be maneuverable in space and had the first on-board computer for telemetry control.
  • Gemini 4

    Gemini 4
    Our first successful spacewalk was completed, as well as a completed orbit duration of 4 days.
  • Gemini 5

    Gemini 5
    The flight duration was doubled to 8 days in orbit and was successfully completed.
    The first spacecraft to use fuel cells, as batteries wouldn't have lasted.
  • Gemini 6's Target Vehicle Explodes

    Gemini 6's Target Vehicle Explodes
    The plan was for Gemini 6 to successfully dock with a target vehicle, but this target "Atlas-Agena" exploded during launch. Mission was scrubbed. A new plan is formed: Gemini 7 will be the target for Gemini 6's docking plan.
  • Gemini 7

    Gemini 7
    The plan was to stay in orbit for 14 days, leaving enough time to launch Gemini 6 to rendezvous and dock with them. They also had special, more comfortable suits, as they didn't need the extra layers for doing spacewalks, only enough to save them from an accidental cabin de-pressurization. during this time, they performed various types of medical testing.
  • Gemini 6 Docks With Gemini 7

    Gemini 6 Docks With Gemini 7
    After a previous close call due to an engine failure, Gemini 6 successfully maneuvered and performed the first-ever ship-to-ship docking with Gemini 7!
  • Gemini 9 Crew Tragedy

    Gemini 9 Crew Tragedy
    The crew of future-mission Gemini 9 (Eliott See, Charlie Bassett) died in a plane crash accident on the way to St. Luise when they crashed into a roof of a building.
    The backup crew (Tom Stafford, Gene Cernan) become their replacements.
  • Gemini 8: First space Docking

    Gemini 8: First space Docking
    Everything up to docking went smoothly until a nearly disastrous telemetry control error caused the ship to spin out of control. It was made worse when the crew undocked early in an attempt to stop it. The spin got up to 1 revolution per second until the crew activated the nose thrusters, cutting the mission short.
  • Gemini 9: Angry Alligator, Spacewalk from Hell

    Gemini 9: Angry Alligator, Spacewalk from Hell
    Following Gemini 9's Atlas-Agena target rocket exploding, a smaller rocket called the ADTA was used. However, this had also failed as the ADTA protective cover failed to deploy, causing the docking target to look like an "angry alligator".
    During this flight, the crew tested a rocket-powered maneuvering device, but it proved to be far too hard to get set up, as previous spacewalk missions proved to be deceptively easy in comparison.
  • Gemini 10

    Gemini 10
    Another successful docking, as well as a new orbiting record of 475mi above the earth. After that, the crew undocked and found the Gemini 8 Agena target, and proceeded to retrieve a micrometorite collecter via another spacewalk.
  • Gemini 11

    Gemini 11
    The mission plan was to conduct a rendezvous in just one orbit, and it was successful.
    Something as simple as attaching a tether to the end of the spacecraft proved to be incredibly difficult.
    A record orbit height of 850mi was achieved.
  • Gemini 12

    Gemini 12
    In this mission, NASA tries to solve all the issues with EVA through underwater training to simulate zero-g. They developed techniques and methods of working, as well as some equipment to help keep the astronaut in place when doing EVA.
    The result in space was successful!
  • Apollo 5

    Apollo 5
    The lunar module was tested during this unmanned flight, with minor problems with computer software relating to the control of the ascent/descent engines.
  • Tragedy at Pad 34

    Tragedy at Pad 34
    During a countdown test at Pad 34 for the first manned Apollo mission, a fire started on board inside the cockpit, leading to the deaths of the whole crew inside. The cause was most-likely an electrical spark, spread by the flammable nylon netting, with pure-oxygen atmosphere causing many other things to burn that engineers thought previously wouldn't.
    NASA then revamped safety by developing a quick-release hatch, as well as other fire-resistant procedures.
  • Soyuz I: A Soviet Tragedy

    Soyuz I: A Soviet Tragedy
    Soyuz I was launched with one crew member, Vladimir Komarov.
    There were multiple problems and malfunctions, ending in the parachute to fail to deploy. The craft hit the ground at high speed, anding in the death of the astronaut.
  • Apollo 4

    Apollo 4
    Utilizing the newest Saturn V rocket, the launch went smoothly. It reached space with no problems and pushed its orbit out to a peak of 11,000 miles!
  • The Zond Spacecraft

    The Zond Spacecraft
    Launch atop a Proton booster rocket, the Zond was a Soyuz variant designed for a mission to "figure 8" between the moon and the earth. But a catastrophic failure of the device stopped its progress.
  • Apollo 6

    Apollo 6
    During this 2nd test of the Saturn V rocket, there were some problems:
    The first stage engines experienced vibrations ("pogo"), causing 10 Gs of oscillation to occur through the rocket, including where the crew would be situated.
    The third stage engine failed to start at all.
  • "The Decision"

    "The Decision"
    Knowing that the lunar module is behind schedule, and intel from the CIA suggested the USSR was working on lunar flights as well, George Low proposed that if Apollo 7 succeeds, Apollo 8 would be the mission to reach the moon.
  • Apollo 7

    Apollo 7
    A successful manned launch utilizing the new lunar module was done and even had a live TV broadcast from space! All went well, meaning Apollo 8 would be the mission to make it to the moon.
  • Apollo 8

    Apollo 8
    Launched using the Saturn V rocket booster, the launch went perfectly. This manned flight performed "trans-lunar injection" to put them into the path of a lunar orbit by burning its third stage rockets.
    On the 24th, Apollo 8 made it into lunar orbit and got to see the first "earthrise" over the moon. After the 10th orbit, Apollo 8 launched its final stage rockets to take them back into earth's orbit, landing safely.