Space Exploration Timeline

  • Sputnik 1

    Sputnik 1
    The Soviet satellite "Sputnik 1" is the first object sent into space and to successfully orbit the Earth.
  • Soviet dog, Laika goes to space

    Soviet dog, Laika goes to space
    The first "Earthling", a Soviet dog named Laika, is successfully sent into space.
  • Explorer 1

    Explorer 1
    The first United States satellite to orbit the Earth- "Explorer 1" -is launched.
  • NASA

    NASA ( National Aeronautics and Space Administration) is formed.
  • Yuri Gagarin

    Yuri Gagarin
    Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin becomes the first person in space. (he orbits the Earth)
  • Alan Shepard

    Alan Shepard
    Alan Shepard becomes the first United States citizen in space.
  • John Glenn

    John Glenn
    Astronaut John Glenn becomes the first United States citizen to orbit the Earth
  • First American space shuttle

    First American space shuttle
    The first American space shuttle is launched. This is the first "re-usable" space craft in history.
  • Neil Armstrong

    Neil Armstrong
    Apollo 11 crew member Neil Armstrong is the first man to walk on the moon. His fellow crew member Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin is right behind him, making him the second man to walk on the moon.
  • Voyager II

    Voyager II
    Voyager II, the first space probe to fly by the four gas giant planets-Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune-is launched.
  • Columbia Space Shuttle

    Columbia Space Shuttle
    The space shuttle Columbia explodes upon re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.
  • Challenger explodes

    Challenger explodes
    The space shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after take-off, killing all of its crew members including the first teacher in space, Christa McAuliffe.
  • Hubble Space Telescope

    Hubble Space Telescope
    The Hubble Space Telescope is launched into orbit around the Earth.
  • Pathfinder lands on Mars

    Pathfinder lands on Mars
    The un-manned American space probe "Pathfinder" lands on Mars and begins its successful exploration of the planet.
  • International Space Station begins

    International Space Station begins
    Human habitation in the International Space Station begins