Space Timeline

By an18329
  • Soviet Rocket Society Established

    The Soviet Union establishes the Society for Studies of Interplanetary Travel. This group would soon be renamed the Society for the Study of Interplanetary Communications and would become the first Soviet rocket society.
  • First American-Designed Rocket Reaches Space

    The United States launches its first American-designed rocket. Known as the Wac Corporal, the rocket reaches the edge of space at an altitude of 50 miles after being launched from the White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico.
  • First Animals in Space

    Fruit flies become the first animals in space as a V-2 rocket is launched from the White Sands Proving Ground. Inside are several vials containing fruit flies, rye seeds, and cotton seeds. The flight reaches an altitude of 60 miles, and the payload is later retrieved intact.
  • The Soviet Union launched the first satellite, Sputnik, into space.

  • The Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 was launched with a dog named Laika on board. Laika did not survive the voyage.

  • Astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space.

    Astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space.
  • Neil Armstrong and "Buzz" Aldrin became the first men on the moon.

  • The U.S. launched its first space station, Skylab.

  • The American probe Viking 2 discovered water frost on the Martian surface.

  • Voyager 1 reached Saturn and began transmitting images.

  • The second Space Shuttle, Challenger, was launched.

  • Voyager 2 began transmitting images from Neptune.

  • The Galileo probe began transmitting data on Jupiter.

  • John Glenn became the oldest man in space.

  • The Space Shuttle Columbia exploded on re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.