Timeline of Space Exploration Firsts

Timeline created by katj
  • Publication of Principia

    The English astronomer Sir Isaac Newton publishes the Philosophae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. This three-volume work outlines Newton's three laws of motion as well as his law of universal gravitation and a derivation of Kepler's laws for the motion of the planets. The Principia is considered by many to be one of the most important scientific works ever written.
  • 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 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.
  • Soviet Rocket Society Established

    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 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.
  • 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.
  • First U.S. High Altitude Flight

    The U.S. military achieves its first high-altitude space flight using a rebuilt German V-2 rocket. Launched from the White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico, the flight reaches an altitude of 70 miles.
  • Voyager arrives at Saturn

    Voyager 1 spacecraft arrives at Saturn and begins sending back extraordinary images of the ringed planet and its many moons.
  • First Space Shuttle Launch

    The first manned mission of Space Transportation System (STS-1), Columbia is launched.This mission,as well as the next three,will be a test flight to try the spacecrafts systems.
  • First Venus Soil Samples

    The Soviet Venera 13 spacecraft lands on the planet Venus and provides the first scientific analysis of the Venusian soil.
  • New Space Endurance Record

    Soviet cosmonauts Anatoli N. Berezovoi and Valentin V. Lebedev are launched in Soyuz T-5 to rendezvous with Salyut 7 and become the first team to inhabit the space station. They return to Earth in Soyuz T-7, setting a new duration record of 211 days.
  • First Operational Space Shuttle Mission

    The Space Shuttle Columbia begins its fifth mission, the first operational Space Shuttle mission. STS-5 launches with a four-member crew on a five day mission that deploys two commercial satellites and performs a number of scientific experiments
  • Maiden Voyage of Challenger

    America's second Space Shuttle, Challenger, embarks on its first mission into space. The STS-6 mission includes America's first space walk in nine years