Space exploration timeline By lp19669 Period: Jan 1, 1609 to Dec 1, 2014 1609-1956 Dec 1, 1610 FIrst sighting of the moon 1610- The first spotting of the moon through a telescope by Galileo Galilei. It was the first sighting of the moon ever. Aug 15, 1926 First rockets 1926-Robert H. Goddard launches first liquid fueled rockets. First rockets ever. Mar 2, 1933 Soviet Union's first rocket 1933-Soviet Union launches first rocket of their own. First rocket launched by the soviet union. Sep 25, 1947 First animals in space 1947-First animals launched into space (fruit flies) by the U.S. Fist animals in space. Jan 14, 1957 First animal in orbit 1957-First animal launched into orbit, dog named Laika launched by USSR and did not return alive. First animal ever in orbit in space. Oct 4, 1957 First artifical satelite First artificial satellite, Sputnik I, is launched by Soviet Union. It was a satellite the size of a beach ball that went into space and it took 98 minutes to get into earth's orbit. May 25, 1961 JFK anounces flight into space President Kennedy declares the American space objective to put a man on the moon and return him safely by the end of the decade. He demanded that someone gets on the moon before the soviets. Feb 20, 1962 First american in orbit John Glenn becomes first American to orbit Earth, completing three orbits. He was the first american in space. Jul 20, 1969 First man on the moon Man walks on the moon. Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin of Apollo XI spend 21 1/2 hours on the moon, 2 1/2 of those outside the capsule. Dec 7, 1972 Longest stay on the moon Apollo 17 mission that includes the longest and last stay of man on the moon — 74 hours, 59 minutes — by astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt. Jun 19, 1983 First spacecraft beyond neptune First spacecraft beyond the orbit of Neptune by U.S. NASA. First spacecraft beyond neptune. Aug 3, 1990 First picture of solar system First photograph of the whole solar system by U.S. NASA. First photo of solar system. Apr 29, 1995 Longest orbit Longest duration in the orbit of earth by Valeri Polyakov (437.7 days) from Russia. Longest orbit around earth. Feb 8, 2001 First landing on an asteroid First landing on an asteroid by U.S. NASA. First time landing on an asteroid. Nov 18, 2014 Space probe on comet NASA lands space probe on comet.