Aristotle lived around 350 B. C. His ideas on the solar system included the belief that the planets would orbit forever because of their perfect shape. He had a geocentric viewpoint.
Dec 31, 1500
Ptolemy lived about 120 A. D. He predicted the movement of the planets. His thoughts were that planets moved in circles while they orbited the Earth. He had a geocentric viewpoint.
Dec 31, 1543
Copernicus was the first person to believe that the sun was the center of the universe. This is the heliocentric viewpoint.
Galileo was a believer of the heliocentric theory and invented the first telescope.
Sir Isaac Newton discovered the laws of gravity while having his afternoon tea. As an apple fell out of a tree, he realized that gravity that connects the Earth and the moon, and well as all the planets to one another.
Space Race Begins
The Soviet Union launched an artificial satellite called Sputnik 1. Sputnik 1 became the first man-made object to orbit Earth. This lanch started the international space race.
The U.S.A. lanched Vanguard, a rocket. It exploded in flames after rising only four feet.
Explorer 1 Takes Off
A satellite, named Explorer 1, that was built by the U.S. was lanched, breaking altitude records. Explorer 1 orbited for ten years.
NASA is Created
NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) is founded to help provide more research on spaceflight and aeronautics.
U.S Pilots Chosen for Mercury Missions
Pilots M. Scott Carpenter; Leroy Gordon Cooper; John H. Glenn, Jr.; Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Jr.; Walter M. "Wally" Schirra, Jr.; Alan B. Shepard, Jr.; and Donald K. "Deke" Slayton were chosen to man the Mercury missions.
First Chimp in Space
The U.S. sent Ham, a chimp, into space aboard Mercury 2. He stayed in space 16.5 minutes.
First Human in Space
The first human in space was Yuri Gagarin. He was from the Soviet Union, flew aboard Vostok 1, and orbited Earth once.
First American in space
Alan Shepard was the first American in space. He traveled on Freedom 7 and was in space for 16 minutes.
First American orbits Earth
John Glenn was the first American to orbit Earth. He orbited Earth three times.
First Private Satellite
The first private satellite was lanched by NASA and named Telstar 1. It carried telephone and television signals.
First Woman in Space
The first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova, was from the Soviet Union and she traveled aboard Vostok 6.
First Person Walks in Space
Aleksei Leonov became the first person to walk in space. He did this for ten minutes while connected to Voskhod by a ten foot safety line.
Gemini Space Program Begins
The Gemini Space Program began with Gus Grissom and John Yong aboard the spacecraft Molly Brown.
First American Walks in Space
American Edward White walked in space for 23 minutes, while attached to a 25 foot long oxygen cord.
US Discovers Mars
The U.S. probe Mariner 4, after an eight-month journey, found and photographed Mars. This prob sends back the first photos of Mars.
NASA's First Space Tragedy
Apollo 1 became NASA's first space tragedy. A fire triggered by an electrical spark in the capsule killed the three astronauts.
Apollo 8 Orbits the Moon
Apollo 8 flew the first lunar orbit mission. This spaceship became the first to see both the entire moon and Earth, as well as go beyond Earth's gravitational field.
U.S. Walks on the Moon
Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon, after traveling on Apollo 11.
Apollo 13- Near Tragedy
Apollo 13 took off on April 11th. Fifty-six hours into the flight, the oxygen tank ruptured. Through this explosion, the crew survived.
First Soviet Union Space Station
The first space station for the Soviet Union (named Salyut) lanched an unmanned rocket.
Apollo 15- Rover Mission
This mission included the first lunar rover vehicle named "Rover". Moon rocks were brought back from this mission.
Pioneer 10 became the first spacecraft to travel beyond Mars, journeying all the way to Jupiter.
Pioneer 11's Journey
Pioneer 11 became the first to explore Jupiter's polar regions, then traveled to Saturn and photographed both the planet and its moons.
First U.S. Space Station
This was the United States' first space station and remained in use for six years.
First U.S./ Soviet Mission
These two countries worked together to create the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, the first international human space operation.
Viking 1 Explores the Surface of Mars
Viking 1 completed the first successful soft landing on Mars and began to send pictures to Earth in minutes.
Voyager 1 and 2
Twin spacecrafts Voyager 1 and 2 were sent to explore Jupiter and Saturn. Voyager 1 is still in space today.
First Rocket is Lanched
The European Space Agency (ESA) became the first to lanch a rocket. Their rocket was known as Ariane 1.
Space Shuttle Program Begins
The U.S.'s space shuttle, known as the Space Transportation System (STS), became the world's first reusable spacecraft.
First American Woman in Space
Astronaut Sally K. Ride became the first American woman in space, twenty years after Valentina Tereshkova.
First Mission of Spacelab
Columbia (the spacecraft) transported Spacelab, which is the first flight of this lab in space.
The spacecraft Challenger exploded because of a fire in the main fuel tank. All seven crew members were killed.
First Russian Space Station Begins
The first Russian space station, called Mir, began and then stayed in action 15 years.
First Hubble Space Telescope
The space shuttle Discovery successfully carried the first Hubble telescope into space. The telescope was used to examine the Milky Way, our solar system, and other galaxies.
U.S. and Russia Sign Cooperation Agreement
A "Joint Statement on Cooperation in Space" was issued between the U.S. and Russia, after the creation of the Russian Space Agency (RSA) in April 1992.
Atlantis Docks With Mir
The U.S. space shuttle Atlantis docked with the Russian space station Mir. There were eight more docking missions between 1995 and 1998.
U.S. Probe Lands on Mars
The U.S. Pathfinder probe, named Sojourner, landed on Mars exactly seven months after leaving Earth. This was the first man-made craft to land on the surface of another planet.
International Space Station Under Way
The lanch and joining of the Russian Zarya and U.S. Unity modules marked the begining of the International Space Station.
First Space Tourist Takes off
American billionaire Dennis Tito payed the Russian Space Agency about 20 million dollars to take him on a trip to the International Space Station.
Columbia Tragedy Upon Reentry
The U.S. space shuttle Columbia broke apart while returning to Earth over East Texas, and killed all seven crew members.
Spitzer Space Telescope Detects Energy
NASA's Spitzer space telescope was lanched into space by a Delta rocket and discovered energy radiating from objects in space.
China: Third Nation in Space
China became the third nation in space, more than 40 years after the Soviet Union lanched its first manned flight.
Cassini-Huygens Arrives at Saturn
Cassini-Huygens (an orbiter built by NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency) arrived at Saturn's rings and began snapping photos.
First Private Manned Spacecraft Blasts Off
SpaceShipOne becomes the first privatly funded nongovernmental manned spacecraft.
Deep Impact Hurtles into Comet
The spacecraft Deep Impact was sent to discover the makeup of a comet, only to be hit by one in the middle of this mission.
Phoenix Probe Lands on Mars
This probe's mission was to study the history of water and learn more about the geology on Mars before any human exploration.
Successful Test of SpaceX
A new rocket, known as SpaceX, is lanched successfully. It will be used to carry astronauts and supplies into space.
Discovery's Final Flight
The space shuttle Discovery was lanched on this date for its 35th and final flight. This trip was used to deliver supplies to the International Space Station.