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firsts in spaceflight





first spacecraft / individual date
artificial satellite Sputnik 1 Oct. 4, 1957
living creature in space dog Laika Nov. 3, 1957
American satellite Explorer 1 Feb. 1, 1958
recorded message from space SCORE Dec. 18, 1958
probe to reach escape velocity/lunar flyby Luna 1 Jan. 2, 1959
polar orbiting satellite Discoverer 1 Feb. 28, 1959
lunar impact Luna 2 Sep. 12, 1959
weather satellite Explorer 7 Oct. 13, 1959
active comsat Courier 1B Oct. 4, 1960
human in space Yuri Gagarin Apr. 12, 1961
satellite telephone call & TV broadcast Echo 1 Feb. 24, 1962
real-time active comsat Telstar 1 Jul. 10, 1962
successful planetary flyby (Venus) Mariner 2 Aug. 27, 1962
woman in space Valentina Tereshkova Jun. 16, 1963
geosynchronous satellite Syncom 2 Jul. 26, 1963
joint US/USSR space project Echo 2 Jan. 25, 1964
geostationary satellite Syncom 3 Aug. 19, 1964
commercial comsat Early Bird/Intelsat 1 Apr. 6, 1965
manned flight to leave Earth orbit Apollo 8 Dec. 21, 1968
human on the Moon Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11 Jul. 21, 1969
satellite repaired in orbit SMM (by Shuttle) Apr. 6, 1984
satellites brought back from space Shuttle mission STS-19 Nov.16, 1984
ion-powered deep space probe Deep Space 1 Oct. 24, 1998


Related categories

   • SATELLITES AND SPACE PROBES
   • MANNED SPACEFLIGHT