NASA's Timeline

Satellites and Probes

Pioneer

1958 - 1978

The first three Pioneer missions were intended to be the first ever "lunar attempts", but failed. Pioneer 4 and 5 however, were successful. 10 & 11 were the first ever vehicles to visit Jupiter. 12 & 13 observed Venus.

Explorer

January 31, 1958 - March 31, 1970

First satellite sent into space by the United States. Burned up in Earths atmosphere after 58,000 + orbits.

Viking

August 20, 1975 - November 11, 1982

The first spacecraft to ever land on Mars.

Voyager

1977 - 2025

First Voyager spacecraft to launch was Voyager 2. Voyager 1 launched just a few weeks later. Longest operating spacecraft EVER! Journey to Uranus & Neptune. Goal: To enter interstellar space.

Galileo

October 18, 1989 - September 21, 2003

An unmanned NASA spacecraft that studied Jupiter and its moons.

Mars Pathfinder

December 4,1996 - July 2, 1997

A rover conducted many experiments on Mars surface.

Cassini

1997 - 2012

Robotic spacecraft sent to the Saturn system. It studied the planet and its many natural satellites and observed Jupiter, the Heliosphere and tested the theory of relativity.

Stardust

1999 - 2006

Mission to collect stardust.

Mars Rovers (Spirit & Opportunity)

June 10, 2003 - March 22, 2010

During the missions the rovers studied the landscape or rocks on Mars.

Deep Impact

2005

Space probe. Goal: to study the composition of a comet.

Genisis

2006

Experimental space habitat.

Phoenix Mars lander

May 25, 2008 - May 12, 2010

Mission scientists used instruments aboard the lander to search for environments suitable for microbial life on Mars, and researched the history of water there.

IRIS

2009

Program to build a radiation tolerant IP router for spacecrafts.

Curiosity

2011

Car sized robotic rover Gale crater on Mars.

NuSTAR

2012

Space based X-Ray telescope that uses a Wolter telescope to focus on high energy.

Manned Projects & Missions

Mercury

1958 - 1963

First human spacecraft program in the U.S. Goal: Put humans in orbit around Earth (before Soviet Union)

Apollo

1960 - 1968

Third human spaceflight. Apollo 1: disaster. Apollo 8: Orbited the moon. Apollo 11: Landed on the moon. Apollo 13: Accident.

Gemini

1961 - 1965

Second human spaceflight of NASA develop space techniques in order to support the Apollo mission in the future.

SkyLab

1973 - 1979

U.S. Space station.

Space Shuttle

1981

Reusable launch system and orbital spacecraft.

Shuttle-Mir

1994 - 1998

Space program between Russia and U.S.

International Space Station

1998

Space station/ facility & research laboratory.

SpaceX

2002

Transporting cargo - possibly humans (later)

Telescopes

Hubble

1990

Carried into orbit by a shuttle

James Webb

1996

Infrared telescope.

Chandra

1999

Xray observatory