Space Exploration - Timeline


The following table lists down the major space missions along with their timelines −

Mission Year Comment Country
WAC Corporal 1946 It was the first (US designed) rocket that reached the edge of space. USA
V-2 1946 The first pictures of the Earth were taken from an altitude of 105 km. USA
R-1 1951 First time dogs were sent to space. USSR
R-7 1957 First intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) developed. USSR
Sputnik 1 1957 First artificial satellite. USSR
Sputnik 2 1957 First animal (dog named Laika) sent to the orbit. USSR
Explorer 6 1959 First photograph of Earth taken from the orbit (by NASA). USA
Vostok I 1961 First manned flight carrying Yuri Gagarin USSR
OSO-1 1962 First orbital solar observatory (by NASA). USA
Vostok 6 1963 First woman in space (Valentina Tereshkova). USSR
Luna 10 1966 First artificial satellite around the Moon. USSR
Apollo 8 1968 First piloted orbital mission of Moon (by NASA). USA
Apollo 11 1969 First human on the Moon and first space launch from a celestial body (by NASA) - Commander Neil Armstrong and Pilot Buzz Aldrin. USA
Luna 16 1970 First automatic sample return from the Moon. USSR
Salyut 1 1971 First space station. USSR
Pioneer 10 1972 First human made object that had been sent on escape trajectory away from the Sun (by NASA). USA
Mariner 10 1974 First photograph of Venus from Space (by NASA). USA
Venera 13 1982 First Venus soil samples and sound recording of another world. USSR
STS-41-B 1984 First untethered spacewalk, Bruce McCandless II (by NASA). USA
Voyager 1 1990 First photograph of the whole Solar System (by NASA). USA
Mir 1995 First Record longest duration spaceflight (i.e. 437.7 days) set by Valeri Polyakov. Russia
HALCA 1997 First orbital radio observatory. Japan
NEAR Shoemaker 2000 First orbiting of an asteroid (433 Eros) – by NASA. USA
NEAR Shoemaker 2001 First landing on an asteroid (433 Eros) – by NASA. USA
Genesis 2004 First sample return beyond lunar orbit (solar wind)- by NASA. USA
Cassini Huygens 2005 First soft landing on Titan (Moon of Saturn).
Hayabusa 2005 First interplanetary escape without undercarriage cutoff. Japan
Stardust 2006 First sample return from comet (81P/Wild) – by NASA. USA
Kepler Mission 2009 First space telescope designated to search for Earth-like exoplanets – by NASA. USA
MESSENGER 2011 First orbit of Mercury – by NASA. USA
Voyager 1 2012 First manmade probe in interstellar space – by NASA. USA
Rosetta 2014 First man-made probe to make a planned and soft landing on a comet. European Space Agency
2015 Lettuce was the first food eaten that was grown in space. USA & Japan