Space travel timeline By:Sakshi K

By kwsmyre
  • First Liquid Fueled Rocket Launched

    U.S. rocket scientist Robert H. Goddard launches the first liquid fueled rocket from his Aunt Effie's farm in Auburn, Massachusetts. The 4-foot high rocket dubbed "Nell" reaches an altitude of 41 feet and a speed of about 60 miles per hour. The flight lasts only 2 1/2 seconds, but paves the way for the U.S. rocket program.
  • 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.
  • First Artificial Satellite

    The USSR beat the United States into space by launching
    Sputnik 1. At 184 pounds, it was the world's first artificial satellite. Sputnik transmitted radio signals back to Earth for only a short time, but it was a major accomplishment.
  • Sputnik 1 launches

    With the help of a rocket created by famed rocket designer Sergei Korolev, the Soviet Union launches an artificial satellite into space. Sputnik 1, an aluminum sphere weighing about 184 pounds (83.5 kilograms), was the first man-made object to orbit Earth.
  • First Live Animal in Space

    Following the success of Sputnik 1, the Soviets launched Sputnik 2 on November 3, 1957. The spacecraft contained a pressurized container that housed a dog named Laika. The capsule contained a controlled atmosphere, food supply, waste collection system and biological sensors. Laika lived 8 days until the food supply ran out, and proved that animals could survive in space.
  • First American Satellite

    America launched its first satellite. Weighing only 30 pounds, Explorer 1 was launched into orbit by the Army on a Jupiter-C rocket. The satellite contained several scientific instruments. This mission discovered the radiation belts surrounding the Earth.
  • Explorer 1 takes off

    On January 31, 1958, the United States launched Explorer 1, a 31-pound (14-kilogram) bullet-shaped satellite. Explorer broke the altitude records of Sputnik 1 and 2, traveling 1,529 miles (2,461 kilometers) into space. It remained in orbit until 1967.
  • NASA is Born

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is founded, taking over the responsibilities of the existing National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics.
  • First Spacecraft to Achieve Solar Orbit

    The Russian satellite Luna 1 is launched in an attempt to hit the Moon. The spacecraft misses the Moon and is flung out into space by the Moon's gravity. It becomes the first man-made object to achieve an orbit around the Sun.
  • First Weather Satellite

    Tiros 1, the first successful weather satellite, is launched by the United States. Two television cameras in the satellite returned views of clouds above the Earth. Tiros 1 was only operational for 78 days, but proved that satellites could be useful tools for surveying weather conditions from space.
  • First Man in Space

    Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin became the first human to venture into space. The Vostok 1 spacecraft made one complete orbit around Earth in 108 minutes, and reached altitudes of 112 to 203 miles. The flight lasted only one hour and 48 minutes.
  • First American in Space

    On May 5, 1961, Astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American to be launched into space. Shepard's suborbital flight lasted only15-minutes, during which time he experienced about 5 minutes of "weightlessness" and tested the maneuvering capability of his Mercury capsule.
  • First American in Orbit

    Astronaut John H. Glenn was launched into orbit aboard an Atlas D rocket, where he became the first American to orbit the Earth. Glenn made a total of 3 complete orbits, and the flight time was 4 hours and 56 minutes.
  • First woman in space

    Aboard the last Vostok flight, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, a former textile worker, is the first woman in space.
  • First Space Walk

    Commander Pavel I. Belyayeu and Pilot Alexei A. Leonov into Earth’s orbit were launched into orbit aboard Voskhod 2. Alexei Leonov performed the first, tethered space walk outside of his spacecraft while in Earth’s orbit. This historic venture into space lasted a mere 12 minutes.
  • Gemini Space Program begins

    The goal of the Gemini program was to master new space technology and study astronaut endurance to prepare for future lunar missions. The program tested orbital rendezvous, docking, and spacewalking. There were ten manned flights in the Gemini program.
  • First Spaceflight Casualty

    Soviet Soyuz 1 is launched, carrying Vladimir M. Komarov. On April 24 it crashed, killing Komarov, the first spaceflight fatality.
  • Cosmonaut dies during landing

    Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov is the first person to die during a spaceflight when Soyuz 1 crashes upon reentry.
  • First lunar orbit

    The Apollo 8 crew—Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, Jr., and William A. Anders—flew the first lunar orbit mission. The men became the first people to see the backside of the moon and Earth in its entirety.
  • APPOLO 11: First men to walk on the moon

    stronaut Neil A. Armstrong, with the help of astronaut Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., pilots the lunar module, Eagle, to the moon from Apollo 11's command module, where pilot Michael Collins remains.
  • APOLLP 13:near tragedy

    The Apollo 13 crew—James A. Lovell, Jr., John L. Swigert, Jr., and Fred W. Haise, Jr.—takes off on April 11 with a mission to make a lunar landing.
  • Pioneer 10 travels to Jupiter

    ioneer 10 is the first spacecraft to travel beyond Mars.
  • Pioneer 11 snaps close up of Saturn

    rom Jupiter, the U.S. probe flew within 13,000 miles (20,921 kilometers) of Saturn and within 1,200 miles (1,931 kilometers) of its rings. It took the first close-up images of the planet. Data returned by the probe showed that Saturn has radiation belts and a strong magnetic field.
  • First U.S. Space Station

    Skylab, the first U.S. experimental space station, launches almost two years after Salyut 1.
  • Joint U.S-Soviet Mission launched

    The United States and Soviet Union work together to create the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, the first international human space operation.
  • Voyager 1 and 2 take off for solar system

    Twin spacecraft Voyager 1 and 2 are designed to conduct close-up studies of Saturn and Jupiter.
  • Space Shuttle program begins

    The American space shuttle, called the Space Transportation System (STS), becomes the world's first reusable spacecraft.
  • First American woman in space

    Twenty years after Valentina Tereshkova entered space, astronaut Sally K. Ride is the first U.S. woman in space aboard the shuttle Challenger (STS-7).
  • First Suborbital flight

    After two previous failures, Germany successfully launches their V-2 rocket. It is the first man-made object to achieve sub-orbital spaceflight, reaching an altitude of 100 km (62 miles). The V-2 is the progenitor of all modern rockets including the U.S. Apollo program's Saturn V moon rocket.