Most important events in Space History


Sputnik 1


this Soviet probe was the first ever launched into space

Explorer 1

01/31/1958 - 05/23/1958

the U.S. response to the Soviets launch of Sputnik 1

Pioneer 1

10/11/1958 - 12/11/1958

first NASA launch from Cape Canaveral, intended to reach the moon but doesn't make it

Luna 2


Unmanned Soviet probe that became the first man-made object to make contact with another planetary body

Luna 3


Soviet follow-up to the first moon impactor that became the first spacecraft to take pictures of the far side of the moon

Ranger 7


U.S. spacecraft captured about 4,300 images of the lunar surface

Luna 9


unmanned Soviet probe that sent back panoramic images of the lunar landscape

Luna 10


unmanned Soviet probe that entered orbit around the moon

Surveyor 1

06/01/1966 - 06/30/1966

U.S. probe that snapped over 11,100 images of the lunar surface

Apollo 1


the Apollo 1 mission never went through as the command module exploded at the launch site, killing it's three crew members: Gus Grissom, Edward White, Roger Chaffee

Lunar Orbiter 5

08/01/1967 - 01/31/1968

unmanned U.S. probe that mapped 99% of the lunar surface

Apollo 7

10/11/1968 - 10/21/1968

the first manned Apollo flight to successfully launch

Apollo 8

12/21/1968 - 12/27/1968

NASA astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders were the first humans to visit the moon

Apollo 11

07/20/1969 - 07/24/1969

NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped down on the Sea of Tranquility while their crewmate Michael Collins orbited above in the Apollo Command and Service Module

Apollo 12

11/14/1969 - 11/24/1969

performed the first precise manned landing on the Moon in the Ocean of Storms near the Surveyor 3 probe. NASA astronauts Pete Conrad, Richard Gordon and Alan Bean manned the flight.

Apollo 13

04/11/1970 - 04/16/1970

the Apollo 13 mission was aborted after an oxygen tank erupted, astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise made it back safely

Luna 16


Soviet unmanned sample return mission to the moon that collected moon rocks, it was the first successful robotic sample return

Lunokhod 1


Soviet lunar rover that was the first rover to traverse the moon

Pioneer 10

03/02/1972 - 01/23/2003

Pioneer 10's intention was to reach far past the asteroid belt to one of the outer planets, it suceeded in imaging planet Jupiter and even went past Neptune

Luna 24

08/09/1976 - 08/22/1976

Soviet robotic sample return mission was the last time samples from the moon were brought back to Earth



Challenger exploded 73 seconds after being launched, killing seven crew members: Francis R. Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Ellison S. Onizuka, Judith A. Resnik, Ronald E. McNair, Christa McAuliffe and Gregory B. Jarvis

Hubble Telescope

04/24/1990 - 12/31/2013

the telescope was launched to observe the near ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared

International Space Station

1998 - 2020

the space station is a habitable artificial satelite that collects data for use in several fields

Lunar Prospector

01/07/1998 - 07/31/1999

NASA unmanned spacecraft whose mission was to search of signs of water ice and other minerals in permanently shaded craters at the lunar poles



unmanned probe that was the first lunar mission entry from the European Space Agency


09/14/2007 - 01/01/2019

Japanese lunar orbiter, still in orbit collecting data

Chang'e 1

10/24/2007 - 03/19/2009

unmanned Chinese spacecraft orbited the moon until March 2009, when it was intentionally crashed into the lunar surface



Indian probe that observed the moon from orbit

Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite


NASA moon impactor launched along with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

06/18/2009 - 01/01/2019

NASA's first moon mission since the Apollo era, unmanned orbiter that was originally planned as a precursor to manned American return trips to the moon

STS-135, Atlantis

07/08/2011 - 07/21/2011

the last of NASA's shuttle missions, Atlantis carreid supplies to the International Space Station


09/08/2011 - 01/01/2019

NASA mission to study the lunar gravitational field from orbit to learn more about the moon's formation and history