Astronomy

Manned Projects/Missions

Project Mercury

1958 - 1963

Project Mercury was the United States first man in space program which made six manned flights from 1961 to 1963. The goals were to orbit a manned spacecraft around Earth, to investigate man's ability to function in space, and to recover both man and spacecraft safely.

Project Gemini

1962 - 1968

In January of 1962, project Gemini was the second United States manned space program. Gemini involved 12 flights, including two unmanned flight tests of the equipment. Its major objectives were
*To subject man and equipment to space flight up to two weeks in duration.
*To rendezvous and dock with orbiting vehicles and to maneuver the docked combination by using the target vehicle's propulsion system.
*To perfect methods of entering the atmosphere and landing at a preselected point on land.

Shuttle-Mir

1962 - 1998

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev began talks to cooperate in space. Between March 1995 and May 1998, NASA and Russian scientists conducted experiments designed to answer vital questions about how humans, animals and plants function in space, how our solar system originated and developed, how we can build better technology in space and how we can build future space stations.

Apollo

1963 - 1972

Apollo was the mission that landed the first man on the moon and claimed a huge victory for the United States in the space race during the cold war. The goals were
*To establish the technology to meet other national interests in space.
*To achieve preeminence in space for the United States.
*To carry out a program of scientific exploration of the Moon.
*To develop man's capability to work in the lunar environment.

Space Shuttle Missions

1968

Created in 1968 at the height of the apollo program, the space shuttle program was designed to fulfill two basic roles in post apollo NASA manned flights.The first goal was to provide NASA with an efficient, re-usable method of carrying astronauts to and from a permanently manned space station. The second goal was for space shuttles to serve as multi-purpose satellite delivery vehicles with the potential to completely replace Atlas-Centaur, Delta and Titan rockets.

Sky-Lab Missions

1973 - 1979

The objectives of the sky-lab were to prove that humans could live and work in space for extended periods, and to expand our knowledge of the solar system.

International Space Station

1984

In 1984 President Ronald Reagan commited he wanted to build a permantly occupied space station. NASA in vited 13 other countries with space knowledge and a year later 9 of the 13 had signed on. The goals of the International space station were to find solutions to crucial problems in medicine, ecology and other areas of science. Lay the foundation for developing space-based commerce and enterprise. Create greater worldwide demand for space-related education at all levels by cultivating the excitement, wonder and discovery that the ISS symbolizes.
Foster world peace through high-profile, long-term international cooperation in space. So far over 900 researchers have been able to conduct experiments that have had good sucess either on the space station or back on Earth because of the space station.

SpaceX

2002

SpaceX key goals are too enable other humans from Earth to live on other planets and to create reusable rockets. SpaceX is priavtly owned although NASA grants them millions of dollars at a time to continue research

Satellites & Probes

Explorer

January 31, 1958 - March 31, 1970

Explorer 1 was the first satellite launched by the United States. A cosmic ray detector designed to measure the radiation environment in Earth's orbit was the primary instrument on the Explorer. The Explorer revolved around Earth in a looping orbit that took it as close as 220 miles to Earth and as far as 1,563 miles.

Pioneer

12/06/1958 - January 23, 2003

Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft that traveled through the Asteroid belt, and the first spacecraft that made direct observations and obtained close-up images of Jupiter. It made its closest passing in December of 1973. During this passing, this satellite took photographs of the planet and its moons, and took measurements of the magnetosphere, magnetic field, radiation fields, atmosphere, and interior of Jupiter.
Pioneer was made popular by being the most remote object ever made by man through the majority of its mission.

Viking

August 20, 1975 - 1976

The Viking was made to Viking was the first mission to land on Mars and it provided very helpful information on mars

Voyager

1977

The main purpose of the Voyager is to explore Jupiter and Saturn. As of now, Voyager is farther away from us than anything that has ever come from Earth. It is in the the outermost layer of the heliosphere, the "Heliosheath." The mission was extended when Voyager made a "string of discoveries," for instance, the discovery of volcanoes on one of Jupiter's moons.
The second voyager, Voyager 2, was made to explore Neptune and Uranus. Voyager 2 is the only probe to have visited those two planets.
Now, Their mission is to explore the outermost edge of the Sun's domain and even further.

Galileo

1989 - 2003

Galileo was designed to operate for 22 months in Jovian orbit using ten instruments/experiments to study Jupiter's atmosphere, satellites, and magnetosphere.
Galileo discovered far less lightning activity than anticipated, helium abundance in Jupiter very nearly the same as in the Sun, extensive resurfacing of Io's surface from continuous volcanic activity since the Voyagers flew by in 1979, and evidence for a liquid water ocean under Europa's surface.

Mars Pathfinder

1996 - 1997

The Pathfinder's main goal was to be a demonstration of the technology used to deliver a lander and a rover to Mars. Along with accomplishing this goal, the Pathfinder also returned a miraculous amount of data. Pathfinder lived up to and beyond its expectations. The Pathfinder returned 2.3 billion bits of information, including fifteen analyses of soil, rocks, and data on weather factors such as wind.

Cassini

1997

Cassini's main purposes were to...

1.) Determine the three-dimensional structure and dynamic behavior of the rings of Saturn
2.) Determine the composition of the satellite surfaces and the geological history of each object
3.) Determine the nature and origin of the dark material on Iapetus's leading hemisphere
4.) Measure the three-dimensional structure and dynamic behavior of the magnetosphere
5.) Study the dynamic behavior of Saturn's atmosphere at cloud level
6.) Study the time variability of Titan's clouds and hazes
7.) Characterize Titan's surface on a regional scale

Stardust

1999 - 2006

Stardust's primary mission was to collect dust samples from the coma of comet Wild 2,and also collect samples of cosmic dust, and return these to Earth for analysis. Stardust was the first sample return mission of its kind.

Genesis

2001

Many scientists believe that the solar system was formed when a cloud of dust and gas from other generations of stars collapsed some 4-1/2 billion years ago, forming the Sun, planets, comets and asteroids. Exactly how that transformation took place both intrigues and mystifies scientists.
The Genesis mission will provide more clues by collecting samples of the solar wind, material flowing outward from the Sun. Comparing them with compositions of the planets will help in the effort to understand our cosmic origins.

Mars Rovers (Spirit)

June 10, 2003 - May 25, 2011

Some of the objectives for this rover to complete were...

1.) Characterize the mineralogy and textures of rocks and soils and determine the processes that created them.
2.) Search for geological clues to the environmental conditions that existed when liquid water was present.
3.) Determine the distribution and composition of minerals, rocks, and soils surrounding the landing sites.
4.) Search for and characterize a variety of rocks and soils that hold clues to past water activity.

So, mainly, this rover was made to study rocks and soil on the surface of mars. Spirit was set on the opposite side of Mars that Opportunity was set on.

Mars Rovers (Oporitunity)

July 7, 2003

The main mission of Opportunity is to investigate soil and rock samples and take panoramic pictures of its landing site. This sampling allows NASA scientists to make hypotheses about how water might be or might have been on Mars.

Deep impact

January 2005 - july 2005

Deep Impact spacecraft arrived at Comet Tempel 1 and impacted it with a 820 lbs mass. On impact, the crater produced is expected to range in size from that of a house to that of a football stadium, and 2 to 14 stories deep. Ice and dust debris is ejected from the crater which reveals fresh material beneath. The sunlight that is reflected off the ejected material provides a dramatic brightening that fades slowly as the debris dissipates into space or falls back onto the comet. Images from cameras and a spectrometer are sent to Earth covering the approach, the impact and its aftermath. Results from these missions will lead to a better understanding of both the solar system's formation and implications of comets colliding with Earth.

Phoenix Mars Lander

august 4, 2007 - May 25, 2008

Phoenix was NASA's sixth successful landing out of seven attempts and was the first successful landing in a Martian polar region. The lander completed its mission in August 2008, and made a last brief communication with Earth on November 2 as available solar power dropped with the Martian winter. The mission was declared concluded on November 10, 2008, after engineers were unable to re-contact the craft. The program was considered a success because it completed all planned science experiments and observations

IRIS

September 2009

There is almost no information available about the goals of IRIS, but it is believed that the experiment involves testing of a satellite/debris deorbit technology, since increasing of orbiting objects causes a faster decay.

Curiosity

November 2011

Curiositys main goals were to investige the climate and geology of Mars. To assess the whether of selected field sites inside Gale Crater and it`s environmental conditions favorable for microbial life including water; and more studies of the planet for future human exploration.

NuSTAR

June 2012 - August 2012

NuSTAR is the first focussing high energy X-ray satellite in orbit. It`s goals were to
*Conduct a survey of black holes
*Mapping young supernovae explosions
*Studying nature's most powerful cosmic accelerators
*Identifying high energy sources in our Galaxy

Telescopes

Hubble

1990

The vision of the Hubble was to excel in science communication and stay a powerhouse in the field especially within the areas of visual science communication, popular science writing and innovative knowledge management. The goals were to
•To serve the community of astronomers, journalists, teachers and inform people with the best possible science communication products, as efficiently as possible, and adapt our strategies to suit the needs of the target group whenever needed
• Increase the awareness of ESA
•Inform about the results from HST
•Increase the awareness of astronomy and the scientific work process
•Implement IYA2009
•Increase the awareness of the IAU
•Contribute towards strengthening the European and global astronomy communication community
The Hubble has givin us unbeliveable images throught space and has the most public impact than any other space mission in history.

James Webb

1993

The goals of the James Webb telescope were to study the birth and evolution of galaxies, and the formation of stars and planets. James Webb will also try to study the origin of life and get better understaning of the "big bang" It`s plan is to launch around 2018 and orbit the Earth for one year.

Chandra

July 1999

Chandra is the worlds most outstanding x-ray telescope that is designed to detect very hot spots around the universe.

Future

MAVEN

2014

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) is meant to provide information about the Red Planet's atmosphere, climate history and potential habitability in better detail than we've ever had. MAVEN is based on designs from NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey missions.