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Space Exploration Timeline

By bcurt4
  • Period: to

    Space Exploration Time Period

  • Sputnik/Gemini/Mercury Programs: Sputnik

    Made in the Soviet Union, this program was mainly developed by Mikhail Tikhonravov, and Yuri Gargarin. On this day, Russia launched the first satellite to be sent to orbit, in order to keep up in the space race, and hopefully get ahead with this project.
  • The Pioneer Program Pt.1

    On this day, the first pioneer (out of 13) was launched into space. It lasted for 77 seconds then blew up. Developed by NASA, and manufactured by the TRW, the series of these unmanned spacecraft’s purposes were to on go certain space mission and hopefully be able to study ionizing radiation, cosmic rays, magnetic field, and micrometeorites.
  • Sputnik/Gemini/Mercury Programs: Mercury

    (Made by NASA), this day kicked off the U.S.’s first man in space program, containing series of launches from October 1958, to 1963. The purpose of this was to get ahead in the space race by starting at a goal of putting a man in space.
  • Sputnik/Gemini/Mercury Programs: Gemini

    On this day was the first Gemini spacecraft launching, kicking off the Gemini space program. Developed by NASA, there would be a series of launches between the dates April 8, 1964-November 15, 1966. The purpose of this program, was to allow two people in space at once, and would hopefully boost the U.S.’s ability to move ahead in the space race.
  • Venera Probes

    On this day, the first of 16 Venera Probes had sent their first signals. This Soviet Union ran space program had been kept a secret, and no other countries were involved. Out of the 16 probes that were sent to space, 3 failed. The Venera Probes were sent to Venus, and were the first successful probes to land on Venus. This Soviet Union program lasted for 22 years (1961-1983), but went bankrupt after these years. The last probe to give signals was on October 10, 1983.
  • The Pioneer Program Pt.1

    On this date, one out of the two most well-known pioneers was launched (Pioneer 10). Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to approach Jupiter, as well as Saturn. The other most well known pioneer was The Pioneer 11 (launched on April 5, 1973). This got even closer to Saturn, and collected sim.
  • Viking Probes Pt. 1

    On this day, the first of the two Viking probes was launched into space. Its purpose/destination: to reach Mars and study the surface and atmosphere there. The Viking 1 would land on Mars on June 19, 1976 making it the first time to successfully land on Mars.
  • Viking Probes Pt. 2

    On this day, the second Viking Probe was launched into space (Viking 2). It had the same purpose and mission, and would land on Mars three week after the Viking 1 did. When the Viking 2 approached Mars, a lander would deploy (would land on Mars and study it), and an orbiter would deploy (which would orbit Mars. The Viking 1 had already done the same thing.
  • Voyager Probes: 2

    On this day, NASA launched their second voyager probe. This time, it's mission would be to take advantage of rare planets (such as Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune), it successfully reached these planets, and is still in space today.
  • Voyager Probes: 1

    On this day, NASA launched the Voyager 1. It exited our solar system, and it's job was to enter and study the interstellar space, and to study Saturn. The probe got close-up images of Saturn, and is still in space today.
  • Space Shuttle Project

    On this day, NASA kicked off its space shuttle program, launching 5 space shuttles in the course of 30 years (July 21, 2011 being the date of the last one launched). The 5 space shuttles (The Atlantis, The Columbia, The Challenger, Discovery, and the Endeavor) were all meant to explore unknown areas of space, and collect samples.
  • Viking Probes Pt. 3

    On this day, the Viking Probe mission ended. NASA had lost signal to the Viking 1, but on the other hand the Vikings were supposed to last for 90 days each, but ended up lasting a collective total of 6 years. The Viking Probes had taken pictures of the climate, and collected materials on the surface.
  • Magellan Spacecraft

    On this day, the Magellan Spacecraft took off. This NASA developed spacecraft’s objective was to reach Venus, and take HD pictures of the planet. When it reached Venus, it orbited the planet with 6 mapping cycles (cycles lasted from 1989-1994). The mission ended on October 13, 1994 and the spacecraft ended up mapping out 98% of the planet in HD images.
  • Galileo Spacecraft Pt. 1

    On this day, the Galileo spacecraft took off in hope to make it to Jupiter, and be able to study the planet itself, and the nearby moon Titian. Made by thousands of scientists, engineers, and NASA, this would end up being a 14 year mission.
  • Hubble Space Telescope

    Developed and made by NASA and the European Space Agency, the Hubble Space Telescope (named after Edwin Hubble) was launched into space for gathering information on planets, galaxies, and stars, Over the course of years, the Hubble has snapped over 570,000 pictures, gave us an estimation on how big the universe is, and helped us see what the universe looked like before the Big Bang. The Hubble is still in space today, feeding us important pictures and information daily.
  • Mariner Program

    On this day, the first Mariner (of 10) was launched. It failed. The next launch was successful (took off on August 27, 1962). It was effectively able to get pictures from another planet. Ran by NASA, the Mariner (an interplanetary probe) would go on to take pictures of Mars, Mercury, and Venus in the course of nine years (1962-1971). The Mariner 4 was the first spacecraft to provide close range images of Mars, and the Mariner 10 did the same for Mercury being the first obtain close range images
  • Galileo Spacecraft Pt. 2

    On this day, The Galileo spacecraft reached Jupiter, and started to explore it's atmosphere, and study it's many moons.
  • N.E.A.R. Mission

    Managed by John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, on this day the N.E.A.R space probe was launched into space. Its mission was to study, and attempt to land on the close asteroid: Eros. The space probe would be the first to orbit and land on an asteroid, and would help find information on comets and asteroids and what their characteristics were. This was the first discovery mission, and the last call to Earth from the probe was on February 21, 2001.
  • Cassini Mission

    On this day, the Cassini was launched. Its mission: to explore Saturn and it’s bigger moon Titian. Manufactured/made by NASA, The European Agency, and 17 other countries being involved, this spacecraft is expected to return in September of 2017. As the Cassini reached Saturn and made its first orbit on June 30, 2004 it studied Saturn, and its unique atmosphere. The Huygens (a little probe on the Cassini) broke off and landed on Titian successfully. It then released later on December 24,
  • Genesis Spacecraft Pt. 1

    The Genesis takes off into flight for an expected 886 days in orbit.
  • Mars Exploration Rover Pt 1

    One this day, one of two NASA developed rovers was launched towards Mars. The first one launched was called Spirit. Spirit as well as Opportunity (other rover) was being sent to Mars to look for the possibilities of life, and to see if water was on Mars also. The two rovers would land on Mars within three weeks, and be sent to opposite sides of the planet. Spirit landed on Mars on January 3, 2004.
  • Mars Exploration Rover Pt. 2

    As for Opportunity, it took off on this day and landed on Mars on January 24, 2004. Both were on either side of the planets studying the surface searching for life and water. Unfortunately, on March 22, 2010 NASA lost communication with Spirit, and Opportunity remains on Mars today.
  • Galileo Spacecraft Pt. 3

    On this day, the Galileo purposely self-destructed at the end of it's mission to avoid infecting other planets with bacteria.
  • Genesis Spacecraft Pt.2

    As the Genesis hits the Earth's atmosphere after 886 in space, it faces a technical problem. The gravity switches were oriented incorrectly, and the Genesis crash lands in Utah.
  • Genesis Spacecraft Pt. 3

    Despite the crash landing, the solar-wind ions were buried beneath the surface of the collectors, which made it able to detect and quantify elements in the solar-wind. The solar winds were then released to scientists all over the world.
  • Space Stations

    On this day, the first space station orbited (Russian Salyut 1). As for the U.S. hearing this news, they sent a space station out on May 14, 1973. This was the second space station ever launched, and was made in NASA’s sky-lab. Later, Russia made their second space station and launched it on February 20, 1986. It was called Mir Space Station. After this, the ISS was made (International Space Station). This had 15 nations operating the station, and in February 24, 2011 it had been fully built.