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Best Space Mission of All Time

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    1
    STS-51

    STS-51

    • Astronauts (if manned): Carl E. Walz
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-51 was a Space Shuttle Discovery mission that launched the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite ACTS in September 1993. The flight also featured the deployment and retrieval of the SPAS-ORFEUS satellite and its IMAX camera, which captured spectacular footage of Discovery in space. A spacewalk was also performed during the mission to evaluate tools and techniques for the STS-61 Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission later that year. STS-51 was the first shuttle mission to fly a GPS receiver, a Trimble TANS Quadrex. It was mounted in an overhead window where limited field of view and signal attenuation from the glass severely impacted receiver performance. (Full triple-redundant 3-string GPS would not happen until 14 years later with STS-118.) STS-51 was notable for having been scrubbed three times on the launchpad, each time after the crew had boarded the spacecraft: The Advanced Communications Technology Satellite was deployed on flight day 1. This satellite served as a test bed for advanced experimental communications satellite concepts and technology. Its Transfer Orbit Stage (TOS) upper stage fired on time 45 minutes after deployment and boosted the satellite to
    9.20
    5 votes
    2
    STS-61-C

    STS-61-C

    • Astronauts (if manned): Steven Hawley
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-61-C was the twenty-fourth mission of NASA's Space Shuttle program, and the seventh mission of Space Shuttle Columbia. It was the first time that Columbia, the first operational orbiter to be constructed, had flown since STS-9. The mission launched from Florida's Kennedy Space Center on 12 January 1986, and landed six days later on 18 January. STS-61-C's seven-person crew included the second African-American shuttle pilot, future NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, the first Costa Rican-born astronaut, Franklin Chang-Diaz, and the second sitting politician to fly in space, Representative Bill Nelson (D-FL). It was the last shuttle mission before the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, which occurred just ten days after STS-61-C's landing. STS-61-C saw Columbia return to flight for the first time since the STS-9 mission in November 1983, after having undergone major modifications by Rockwell International in California. The launch was originally scheduled for 18 December 1985, but the closeout of an aft orbiter compartment was delayed, and the mission was rescheduled for the following day. However, on 19 December, the countdown was stopped at T-14 seconds due to an
    7.00
    7 votes
    3
    STS-102

    STS-102

    • Astronauts (if manned): Susan J. Helms
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-102 was a Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) flown by Space Shuttle Discovery and launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. STS-102 flew in March 2001; its primary objectives were resupplying the ISS and rotating the Expedition 1 and Expedition 2 crews. Space Station Assembly Flight ISS-5A.1 was the first use of the Multi Purpose Logistics Module (Leonardo) to bring supplies to the station. Also carried an Integrated Cargo Carrier (ICC). The ICC had the External Stowage Platform-1 mounted on its underside. ESP-1 was placed on the port side of 'Destiny' as a storage location for ORUs. The mission also included two spacewalks to relocate the units carried up by the ICC to the Destiny module exterior. NASA began a tradition of playing music to astronauts during the Gemini program, which was first used to wake up a flight crew during Apollo 15. Each track is specially chosen, often by their families, and usually has a special meaning to an individual member of the crew, or is applicable to their daily activities.  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
    7.83
    6 votes
    4
    STS-2

    STS-2

    • Astronauts (if manned): Richard H. Truly
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    • Launch site: Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39
    STS-2 was a Space Shuttle mission conducted by NASA, using the Space Shuttle Columbia. The mission launched on 12 November 1981. It was the second shuttle mission overall, and was also the second mission for Columbia. It thus marked the first time ever that a manned, reusable orbital spacecraft left the Earth for its second mission and returned to space. In the early planning stages of the Space Shuttle program, STS-2 was intended to be a Skylab reboost mission. However, delays with the shuttle's development, and the deteriorating orbit of Skylab, made the mission impossible. By the time STS-2 was launched, Skylab had long since de-orbited. Engle had been the original selection as Lunar Module Pilot for Apollo 17, but was bumped in favor of Harrison Schmitt when it became clear that the mission would be the last lunar landing. As a consequence, both Engle and Truly were rookies during STS-2 (Engle had flown the X-15 above 80 kilometres (50 mi) and so had earned USAF astronaut wings, but was still considered a NASA rookie), constituting the first all-rookie crew since Skylab 4. Following STS-2, NASA policy held that the commander had to be an astronaut who had already flown in
    7.83
    6 votes
    5
    STS-51-G

    STS-51-G

    • Astronauts (if manned): Steven R. Nagel
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-51-G was the eighteenth flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program, and the fifth flight of Space Shuttle Discovery. The mission launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 17 June 1985. Sultan Salman Al Saud of Saudi Arabia was on board as a payload specialist; Al Saud became the first Arab, the first Muslim, and the first member of a royal family to fly into space. Discovery lifted off from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center (KSC), at 7:33 am EDT on 17 June 1985. The mission's crew members included Daniel C. Brandenstein, commander; John O. Creighton, pilot; Shannon W. Lucid, Steven R. Nagel, and John M. Fabian, mission specialists; and Patrick Baudry, of France, and Prince Sultan Salman Al Saud, of Saudi Arabia, both payload specialists. STS-51-G carried three communications satellites as its primary cargo. These were Arabsat 1-B (Arab Satellite Communications Organization); Morelos I (Mexico); and Telstar 3-D (AT&T). All three successfully utilized PAM-D booster stages to achieve geosynchronous transfer orbits after being deployed from Discovery. Also carried was the Spartan 1 carrier module, designed to be deployed from the orbiter and fly free in space before
    7.50
    6 votes
    6
    STS-30

    STS-30

    • Astronauts (if manned): Ronald J. Grabe
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-30 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission, during which Space Shuttle Atlantis deployed the Venus-bound Magellan probe into orbit. The mission launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 4 May 1989, and landed four days later. It was the 29th shuttle mission overall, and the fourth for Atlantis. Atlantis spent three months in the Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF-2) after returning to the Kennedy Space Center at the end of STS-27. During this period technicians got to work removing and replacing all of the damaged Thermal Protection System (TPS) tiles that Atlantis sustained during her prior flight. They also took detailed inspections of the shuttle while simultaneously preparing Atlantis for STS-30. The shuttle was rolled over to the Vehicle Assembly Building and mated with ET-29 and an SRB set on 11 March. Eleven days later on 22 March, Atlantis was rolled out to launch pad 39B. Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off from Pad B, Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida, at 14:48 EDT on 4 May 1989. The primary payload, the Magellan spacecraft with its attached Inertial Upper Stage (IUS), was successfully deployed later that day. STS-30 was the first American planetary
    8.60
    5 votes
    7
    STS-66

    STS-66

    • Astronauts (if manned): Donald R. McMonagle
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-66 was a Space Shuttle program mission that was flown by the Space Shuttle Atlantis. STS-66 launched on 3 November 1994 at 11:59:43.060 am EDT from Launch Pad 39-B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Atlantis landed at Edwards Air Force Base on 14 November 1994 at 10:33:45 am EST. The Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Sciences – 3 (ATLAS-03) was the primary payload aboard STS-66. It continued the series of Spacelab flights to study the energy of the sun and how it affects the Earth's climate and environment. The ATLAS-03 mission made the first detailed measurements from the Shuttle of the Northern Hemisphere's middle atmosphere in late fall. The timing of the flight, when the Antarctic ozone hole is diminishing, allowed scientists to study possible effects of the ozone hole on mid-latitudes, the way Antarctic air recovers, and how the northern atmosphere changes as the winter season approaches. In addition to the ATLAS-03 investigations, the mission included deployment and retrieval of the Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometer Telescope for Atmosphere, or CRISTA. Mounted on the Shuttle Pallet Satellite, the payload is designed to explore the variability of the atmosphere and
    8.60
    5 votes
    8
    Soyuz TM-28

    Soyuz TM-28

    • Astronauts (if manned): Sergei Avdeyev
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    TM-28 was a Soyuz mission to the Mir space station.
    7.17
    6 votes
    9
    Soyuz 4

    Soyuz 4

    • Astronauts (if manned): Aleksei Yeliseyev
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    Soyuz 4 (Russian: Союз 4, Union 4) was launched on January 14, 1969. On board the Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft was cosmonaut Vladimir Shatalov on his first flight. The aim of the mission was to dock with Soyuz 5, transfer two crew members from that spacecraft, and return to Earth. The previous three Soyuz flights were also dock attempts but all had failed for various reasons. The radio call sign of the crew was Amur, while Soyuz 5 was Baikal. This referred to the trans-Siberian railway project called the Baikal-Amur Mainline, which was under construction at the time. The mission presumably served as encouragement to the workers on that project. The two spacecraft docked on January 16, the first time two manned spacecraft had docked (Apollo 9 would do the same in March of the same year). The two craft possessed only a primitive probe (Soyuz 4) and drogue (Soyuz 5) docking assembly. A connecting tunnel for the docking mechanism had not yet been developed, which prevented a simple internal transfer between the craft. This required the two transferring cosmonauts to spacewalk from one vehicle to the other. Aboard Soyuz 5, Yevgeny Khrunov and Aleksei Yeliseyev immediately began preparing for
    8.20
    5 votes
    10
    STS-109

    STS-109

    • Astronauts (if manned): John M. Grunsfeld
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-109 (SM3B) was a Space Shuttle mission that launched from the Kennedy Space Center on 1 March 2002. It was the 108th mission of the Space Shuttle program, the 27th flight of the orbiter Columbia and the fourth servicing of the Hubble Space Telescope. It was also the last successful mission of the orbiter Columbia before the ill-fated STS-107 mission, which culminated in the Columbia Disaster. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was placed in orbit during mission STS-31 on 25 April 1990. Initially designed to operate for 15 years, plans for periodic service and refurbishment were incorporated into its mission from the start. After the successful completion of the second planned service mission (SM2) by the crew of STS-82 in February 1997, three of HST's six gyroscopes failed. NASA decided to split the third planned service mission into two parts, SM3A and SM3B. A fifth and final servicing mission, STS-125 (SM4) launched 11 May 2009 The work performed during SM4 is expected to keep HST in operation through 2014. Further plans for servicing after SM4 are ambiguous as NASA is planning to launch HST's successor, the James Webb Space Telescope in 2014. The purpose of STS-109 was to
    8.20
    5 votes
    11
    STS-40

    STS-40

    • Astronauts (if manned): F. Drew Gaffney
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-40, the eleventh launch of Space Shuttle Columbia, was a nine-day mission. It carried the Spacelab module for Spacelab Life Sciences 1 (SLS-1), the fifth Spacelab mission and the first dedicated solely to biology. STS-40 was the first spaceflight that included three women crew members. Launch originally set for 22 May 1991. Mission postponed less than 48 hours before launch when it became known that a leaking liquid hydrogen transducer in orbiter main propulsion system which was removed and replaced during leak testing in 1990, had failed an analysis by vendor. Engineers feared that one or more of the nine liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen transducers protruding into fuel and oxidizer lines could break off and be ingested by the engine turbopumps, causing engine failure. In addition, one of orbiter five general purpose computers failed completely, along with one of the multiplexer demultiplexers that control orbiter hydraulics ordinance and orbiter maneuvering system / reaction control system functions in aft compartment. New general purpose computer and multiplexer demultiplexer were installed and tested. One liquid hydrogen and two liquid oxygen transducers were replaced
    8.20
    5 votes
    12
    STS-64

    STS-64

    • Astronauts (if manned): Susan J. Helms
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-64 was a Space Shuttle Discovery mission to perform multiple experiment packages. It was launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 9 September 1994. STS-64 marked the first flight of Lidar In-space Technology Experiment (LITE) and first untethered U.S. extravehicular activity (EVA) in 10 years. LITE payload employs lidar, which stands for light detection and ranging, a type of optical radar using laser pulses instead of radio waves to study Earth's atmosphere. First spaceflight of lidar was highly successful technology test. LITE instrument operated for 53 hours, yielding more than 43 hours of high-rate data. Unprecedented views were obtained of cloud structures, storm systems, dust clouds, pollutants, forest burning and surface reflectance. Sites studied included atmosphere above northern Europe, Indonesia and the south Pacific, Russia and Africa. Sixty-five groups from 20 countries are making validation measurements with ground-based and aircraft instruments to verify LITE data. LITE science program is part of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth. Mission Specialists Lee and Meade completed the 28th EVA of the Space Shuttle program on 16 Sept. During the six-hour, 15- minute
    7.00
    6 votes
    13
    Soyuz TMA-3

    Soyuz TMA-3

    • Astronauts (if manned): Pedro Duque
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    Soyuz TMA-3 was a Soyuz (Russian Союз ТМА-3, Union TMA-3) mission to the International Space Station (ISS) launched by a Soyuz FG launch vehicle which was the third flight for the TMA modification of the Soyuz spacecraft, and the 7th Soyuz to fly to the ISS. The commander of the Soyuz was Alexander Kaleri (Russia). The flight engineer was Michael Foale (USA), and Pedro Duque from Spain served as the second flight engineer. After docking with the ISS they exchanged the current crew on ISS and became the eighth station crew, called "ISS Expedition Eight". During the stay on the station Michael Foale was the ISS Commander, while Alexander Kaleri was the engineer. Foale was the first American to have served on both Mir and the ISS. Pedro Duque performed some ESA sponsored science experiments under the mission name Cervantes and then returned with the ISS 7 crew on Soyuz TMA-2. The backup crew was William McArthur, Valery Tokarev and André Kuipers. Foale and Kaleri along with André Kuipers, the third seater from TMA-4 landed on April 29, 2004, near Arkalyk, Kazakhstan. A minor helium leak did not affect their mission.
    8.00
    5 votes
    14
    STS-53

    STS-53

    • Astronauts (if manned): David M. Walker
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-53 was a Space Shuttle Discovery mission in support of the United States Department of Defense. The mission was launched on 2 December 1992 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Discovery carried a classified primary payload for the United States Department of Defense, two unclassified secondary payloads and nine unclassified middeck experiments. Discovery's primary payload, USA-89 NSSDC ID 1992-086B is also known as "DoD-1", and was the shuttle's last major payload for the Department of Defense. The satellite was the second launch of a Satellite Data System-2 military communications satellite, after USA-40 on STS-28. Secondary payloads contained in or attached to Get Away Special (GAS) hardware in the cargo bay included the Orbital Debris Radar Calibration Spheres (ODERACS) the combined Shuttle Glow Experiment/Cryogenic Heat Pipe Experiment (GCP). Middeck experiments included Microcapsules in Space (MIS-l); Space Tissue Loss (STL); Visual Function Tester (VFT-2); Cosmic Radiation Effects and Activation Monitor (CREAM); Radiation Monitoring Equipment (RME-III); Fluid Acquisition and Resupply Experiment (FARE); Hand-held, Earth-oriented, Real-time, Cooperative, User-friendly,
    8.00
    5 votes
    15
    Vostok 2

    Vostok 2

    • Astronauts (if manned): Gherman Titov
    • Space program: Vostok programme
    Vostok 2 (Russian: Восток-2, Orient 2 or East 2) was a Soviet space mission which carried cosmonaut Gherman Titov into orbit for a full day on August 6, 1961 to study the effects of a more prolonged period of weightlessness on the human body. Titov orbited the Earth over 17 times, exceeding the single orbit of Yuri Gagarin on Vostok 1 − as well as the suborbital spaceflights of American astronauts Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom aboard their respective Mercury-Redstone 3 and 4 missions. Indeed, Titov's number of orbits and flight time would not be surpassed by an American astronaut until Gordon Cooper's Mercury-Atlas 9 spaceflight. The flight was an almost complete success, marred only by a heater that had inadvertently been turned off prior to liftoff and that allowed the inside temperature to drop to 50 °F (10 °C), a bout of space sickness, and a troublesome re-entry when the reentry module failed to separate cleanly from its service module. Unlike Yuri Gagarin on Vostok 1, Titov took manual control of the spacecraft for a short while. Another change came when the Soviets admitted that Titov did not land with his spacecraft. Titov would claim in an interview that he ejected from his
    7.80
    5 votes
    16
    Zond 3

    Zond 3

    Zond 3 was a member of the Soviet Zond program sharing designation Zond, while being part of Mars 3MV project. It was unrelated to Zond spacecraft designed for manned circumlunar mission (Soyuz 7K-L1). Zond 3 completed a successful Lunar flyby, taking a number of good quality photographs for its time. It is believed that Zond 3 was initially designed as a companion spacecraft to Zond 2 to be launched to Mars during the 1964 launch window. The opportunity to launch was missed, and the spacecraft was launched on a Mars trajectory as a spacecraft test, even though Mars was no longer attainable. The spacecraft design was similar to Zond 2, in addition to the imaging equipment it carried a magnetometer, ultraviolet (0.25 to 0.35 micrometre and 0.19 to 0.27 micrometre) and infrared (3 to 4 micrometre) spectrographs, radiation sensors (gas-discharge and scintillation counters), a radiotelescope and a micrometeoroid instrument. It also had an experimental ion engine. The spacecraft, a Mars 3MV-4A, was launched from a Tyazheliy Sputnik (65-056B) earth orbiting platform towards the Moon and interplanetary space. The spacecraft was equipped with an f/106 mm camera and TV system that provided
    7.80
    5 votes
    17
    STS-93

    STS-93

    • Astronauts (if manned): Michel Tognini
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-93 marked the 95th launch of the Space Shuttle, the 26th launch of Columbia, and the 21st night launch of a Space Shuttle. Eileen Collins became the first female shuttle Commander on this flight. Its primary payload was the Chandra X-ray Observatory. It would also be the last mission of Columbia until March 2002. During the interim, Columbia would be out of service for upgrading, and would not fly again until STS-109. The launch was originally scheduled for 20 July but the launch was aborted at T-7 seconds. The successful launch of the flight occurred three days later. Five seconds after liftoff, an electrical short disabled one primary and one secondary controller on two of the three main engines. In this event, the engines automatically switched to their backup controllers. The short was later discovered to have been caused by poorly routed wiring which had rubbed on an exposed screw head. This wiring issue led to a program-wide inspection of the wiring in all orbiters. Concurrently, an oxidizer post, which had been intentionally plugged, came loose inside one of the main engine's main injector and impacted the engine nozzle inner surface rupturing a hydrogen cooling line
    7.60
    5 votes
    18
    Luna 20

    Luna 20

    Luna 20 (Ye-8-5 series) was the second of three successful Soviet lunar sample return missions. It was flown as part of the Luna program, also called Lunik 20, as a robotic competitor to the six successful Apollo lunar sample return missions. Luna 20 was placed in an intermediate Earth parking orbit and from this orbit was sent towards the Moon. It entered lunar orbit on February 18, 1972. On February 21, 1972, Luna 20 soft landed on the Moon in a mountainous area known as the Apollonius highlands near Mare Fecunditatis (Sea of Fertility), 120 km from where Luna 16 had landed. While on the lunar surface, the panoramic television system was operated. Lunar samples were obtained by means of an extendable drilling apparatus. The ascent stage of Luna 20 was launched from the lunar surface on 22 February 1972 carrying 55 grams of collected lunar samples in a sealed capsule. It landed in the Soviet Union on 25 February 1972. The lunar samples were recovered the following day. This was the eighth Soviet spacecraft launched to return lunar soil to Earth. It was evidently sent to complete the mission that Luna 18 had failed to accomplish. After a 4.5-day flight to the Moon, which included a
    8.75
    4 votes
    19
    Clementine mission

    Clementine mission

    • Space program: Deep Space Program Science Experiment
    Clementine (officially called the Deep Space Program Science Experiment (DSPSE)) was a joint space project between the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO, previously the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, or SDIO) and NASA. Launched on January 25, 1994, the objective of the mission was to test sensors and spacecraft components under extended exposure to the space environment and to make scientific observations of the Moon and the near-Earth asteroid 1620 Geographos. The Geographos observations were not made due to a malfunction in the spacecraft. The lunar observations made included imaging at various wavelengths in the visible as well as in ultraviolet and infrared, laser ranging altimetry, gravimetry, and charged particle measurements. These observations were for the purposes of obtaining multi-spectral imaging of the entire lunar surface, assessing the surface mineralogy of the Moon, obtaining altimetry from 60N to 60S latitude, and obtaining gravity data for the near side. There were also plans to image and determine the size, shape, rotational characteristics, surface properties, and cratering statistics of Geographos. Clementine carried seven distinct
    6.50
    6 votes
    20
    Saturn I SA-1

    Saturn I SA-1

    SA-1 was the first Saturn I space launch vehicle, the first in the Saturn family, and first mission of the American Apollo program. The rocket was launched on October 27, 1961 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Saturn I booster was a huge increase in size and power over anything previously launched. It was three times taller, required six times more fuel and produced ten times more thrust than the Jupiter-C rocket that had launched the first American satellite, Explorer 1, into orbit in 1958. At the time, NASA had decided to not use all-up testing, when an entire system is tested at once. The agency planned to test each rocket stage in separate launches, so for SA-1 the only live stage was the S-I first stage. This first flight was designed to test the structure of the launch vehicle during a suborbital flight using the nose cone from a Jupiter rocket. As this was the first Saturn flight, the systems were still being developed. It was the first time that a stage had been delivered to Cape Canaveral by barge and it demonstrated this could be done for the larger stages of future Saturn rockets. The first stage and the two dummy upper stages arrived on August 15, 1961 on the barge
    7.40
    5 votes
    21
    Mercury-Atlas 10

    Mercury-Atlas 10

    Mercury-Atlas 10 (MA-10) was a cancelled early manned space mission, which would have been the last flight in NASA's Mercury program. It was planned as a three-day extended mission, to launch in late 1963; the spacecraft, Freedom 7-II, would have been flown by Alan Shepard, a veteran of the suborbital Mercury-Redstone 3 mission in 1961. However, it was cancelled after the success of the one-day Mercury-Atlas 9 mission in May 1963, to allow NASA to focus its efforts on the more advanced two-man Gemini program. Scheduling for the MA-10 mission began as early as mid-1961, before a single orbital flight had been flown. It was planned as a one-day orbital mission, using Spacecraft #15. The - by now heavily-modified - spacecraft #15A was delivered to Cape Canaveral on 16 November 1962, renumbered #15B in January 1963, and prepared for use as a backup spacecraft for MA-9; by this stage, NASA were noncomittal about whether or not a fifth orbital flight would be flown. Shortly after the Mercury-Atlas 8 flight in October 1962, some commentators speculated on the possibility of MA-10 being flown as a "dual mission". In this approach, MA-10 and a new MA-11 flight, the latter using the MA-10
    8.50
    4 votes
    22
    Venera 12

    Venera 12

    • Space program: Venera
    The Venera 12 (Russian: Венера-12) was an USSR unmanned space mission to explore the planet Venus. Venera 12 was launched on 14 September 1978 at 02:25:13 UTC. Separating from its flight platform on December 19, 1978, the lander entered the Venus atmosphere two days later at 11.2 km/s. During the descent, it employed aerodynamic braking followed by parachute braking and ending with atmospheric braking. It made a soft landing on the surface at 06:30 Moscow time (0330 UT) on 21 December after a descent time of approximately 1 hour. The touchdown speed was 7–8 m/s. Landing coordinates are 7°S 294°E / 7°S 294°E / -7; 294. It transmitted data to the flight platform for 110 minutes after touchdown until the flight platform moved out of range. Identical instruments were carried on Venera 11 and 12. Venera 12 flight platform carried solar wind detectors, ionosphere electron instruments and two gamma ray burst detectors - the Soviet-built KONUS and the French-built SIGNE 2. The SIGNE 2 detectors were simultaneously flown on Venera 12 and Prognoz 7 to allow triangulation of gamma ray sources. Before and after Venus flyby, Venera 11 and Venera 12 yielded detailed time-profiles for 143
    6.33
    6 votes
    23
    Little Joe 6

    Little Joe 6

    • Space program: Project Mercury
    The Little Joe 6 was a Launch Escape System test of the Mercury spacecraft, conducted as part of the U.S. Mercury program. The mission used a boilerplate Mercury spacecraft. The mission was launched October 4, 1959, from Wallops Island, Virginia. The Little Joe 6 flew to an apogee of 37 miles and a range of 79 miles. The mission lasted 5 minutes 10 seconds. Maximum speed was 3,075 mph and acceleration was 5.9 g (58 m/s²). Payload 1,134 kg.  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
    9.67
    3 votes
    24
    Soyuz TM-19

    Soyuz TM-19

    • Astronauts (if manned): Talgat Musabayev
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    Commander Malenchenko and Flight Engineer Musabayev, spaceflight rookies, were to have been launched with veteran cosmonaut Gennadi Strekalov, who would have returned to Earth with Viktor Afanaseyev and Yuri Usachyov in Soyuz-TM 18 after a few days on Mir. However, cancellation of one of two Progress-M cargo ships scheduled to resupply Mir during the Agat crew’s stay meant Strekalov’s couch had to carry supplies. The result was an unusual all-rookie flight. Docking occurred without incident on July 3. On November 3, Musabayev, Malenchenko, and Merbold undocked in Soyuz-TM 19 and backed 190 m from Mir. They then activated the Kurs automatic approach system, which successfully redocked the spacecraft. The cosmonauts then transferred back to Mir. The test was related to the difficulties Soyuz-TM 20 and Progress-M 24 experienced during their automatic approaches. Final undocking and reentry the following day occurred without incident. Both cosmonauts and Doctor Valeri Polyakov (arrived on Soyuz TM-18) became the 16th resident crew; many technical problems with the station arose during this mission, necessitating a previously untried manual supply dock by Malenchenko.
    9.67
    3 votes
    25
    STS-51-F

    STS-51-F

    • Astronauts (if manned): Story Musgrave
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-51-F (also known as Spacelab 2) was the nineteenth flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program, and the eighth flight of Space Shuttle Challenger. It launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 29 July 1985, and landed just under eight days later on 6 August. While STS-51-F's primary payload was the Spacelab-2 laboratory module, the payload which received the most publicity was the Carbonated Beverage Dispenser Evaluation, which was an experiment in which both Coca-Cola and Pepsi tried to make their carbonated drinks available to astronauts. STS-51-F's first launch attempt on 12 July 1985 was halted with the countdown at T-3 seconds after main engine ignition, when a malfunction of the number two Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) coolant valve caused the shutdown of all three main engines. Challenger launched successfully on its second attempt at 29 July 1985, 17:00 EDT, after a delay of one hour and 37 minutes due to a problem with the table maintenance block update uplink. Three minutes and 31 seconds into the ascent, one of the center engine's two high pressure fuel turbopump turbine discharge temperature sensors failed. Two minutes and 12 seconds later, the second sensor
    9.67
    3 votes
    26
    A-003

    A-003

    • Space program: Project Apollo
    A-003 was the fourth abort test of the Apollo spacecraft. Apollo mission A-003 was the fourth mission to demonstrate the abort capability of the Apollo launch escape system. The purpose of this flight was to demonstrate launch escape vehicle performance at an altitude approximating the upper limit for the canard subsystem. The launch vehicle was similar to the one used for mission A-002 except that the propulsion system consisted of six Algol motors. The unmanned flight test vehicle consisted of an Apollo boilerplate command and service module (BP-22) and a launch escape system similar to the one used on the previous mission. The command module earth landing system configuration was refined to be more nearly like that of the planned production system, and a forward heat shield jettisoning system was provided. The test vehicle was launched on May 19, 1965, at 06:01:04 a.m. M.S.T. (13:01:04 UTC). Within 2.5 seconds after lift-off, a launch malfunction caused the vehicle to go out of control. The resulting roll rate caused the launch vehicle to break up before second-stage ignition, and a low-altitude spacecraft abort was initiated instead of the planned high-altitude abort. The
    7.20
    5 votes
    27
    STS-1

    STS-1

    • Astronauts (if manned): Robert Crippen
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    • Launch site: Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39
    STS-1 was the first orbital flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program. Space Shuttle Columbia launched on 12 April 1981, and returned to Earth on 14 April, having orbited the Earth 37 times during the 54.5-hour mission. It was the first American manned space flight since the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project on 15 July 1975. STS-1 was also the only US manned maiden test flight of a new spacecraft system, although it was the culmination of atmospheric testing of the Space Shuttle orbiter. The first launch of the Space Shuttle occurred on 12 April 1981, exactly 20 years after the first manned space flight, when the orbiter Columbia, with two crew members, astronauts John W. Young, commander, and Robert L. Crippen, pilot, lifted off from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, at the Kennedy Space Center. This was the first of 24 launches from Pad A. The launch took place at precisely 7 a.m. EST. A launch attempt two days earlier was scrubbed because of a timing problem in one of Columbia’s general-purpose computers. Not only was this the first launch of the Space Shuttle, but it marked the first time that solid-fuel rockets were used for a NASA manned launch (although all of the Mercury and Apollo astronauts
    8.25
    4 votes
    28
    STS-110

    STS-110

    • Astronauts (if manned): Stephen Frick
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-110 was a Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on 8–19 April 2002 flown by Space Shuttle Atlantis. The main purpose was to install the S0 Truss segment, which forms the backbone of the truss structure on the station. The main purpose of STS-110 was to attach the S0 Truss segment to the International Space Station (ISS) to the Destiny Laboratory Module. It forms the backbone of the station to which the S1 and P1 truss segments were attached (on the following missions STS-112 and STS-113, respectively). STS-110 also delivered the Mobile Transporter (MT), which is an 885 kilograms (1,950 lb) (1,950 lb) assembly that glides down rails on the station integrated trusses. During the next shuttle mission, STS-111, the Mobile Base System (MBS) was mounted to the MT. This Mobile Servicing System (MSS) allows the Canadarm2 to travel down the length of the installed truss structure. After a launch scrub on 4 April 2002 due to a hydrogen leak, Space Shuttle Atlantis successfully launched on 8 April 2002, from Launch Complex 39B. The countdown on 8 April encountered an unscheduled hold at the T-5 minute mark due to data dropouts in a backup Launch Processing System.
    7.00
    5 votes
    29
    Soyuz 29

    Soyuz 29

    • Astronauts (if manned): Vladimir Kovalyonok
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    Soyuz 29 (Russian: Союз 29, Union 29) was a 1978 manned Soviet space mission to the Salyut 6 space station. It was the fifth mission, the fourth successful docking, and the second long-duration crew for the orbiting station. Commander Vladimir Kovalyonok and flight engineer Aleksandr Ivanchenkov established a new space-endurance record of 139 days. The crew returned in Soyuz 31, which had been swapped by a crew launched in August who returned in Soyuz 29. The second long-duration mission to Salyut 6 was launched into orbit on 15 June 1978. The space station had been vacant for three months since the record-breaking mission of Soyuz 26 ended after 96 days. The crew successfully docked on 17 June and Kovalyonok and Ivanchenkov reactivated the station. Kovalyonok, who was aboard the failed Soyuz 25 mission to Salyut 6, became the first person to visit the same station twice. They switched on the station’s air regenerators and thermal regulation system, and activated the water recycling system to reprocess water left aboard by Soyuz 26. De-mothballing Salyut 6 occurred simultaneously with the crew’s adaptation to weightlessness, and required about one week. On June 19 Salyut 6 was in a
    9.33
    3 votes
    30
    Apollo 11

    Apollo 11

    • Astronauts (if manned): Neil Armstrong
    • Space program: Project Apollo
    • Launch site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 39A
    Apollo 11 was the spaceflight which landed the first humans, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on the Moon on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC. Armstrong became the first to step onto the lunar surface 6 hours later on July 21 at 02:56 UTC. Armstrong spent about two and a half hours outside the spacecraft, Aldrin slightly less; and together they collected 47.5 pounds (21.5 kg) of lunar material for return to Earth. A third member of the mission, Michael Collins, piloted the command spacecraft alone in lunar orbit until Armstrong and Aldrin returned to it for the trip back to Earth. Launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida on July 16, Apollo 11 was the fifth manned mission of NASA's Apollo program. The Apollo spacecraft had three parts: a Command Module with a cabin for the three astronauts which was the only part which landed back on Earth; a Service Module which supported the Command Module with propulsion, electrical power, oxygen and water; and a Lunar Module for landing on the Moon. After being sent to the Moon by the Saturn V's upper stage, the astronauts separated the spacecraft from it and travelled for three days until they
    8.00
    4 votes
    31
    CONTOUR

    CONTOUR

    • Space program: Discovery Program
    The COmet Nucleus TOUR (CONTOUR) was a NASA Discovery-class space probe that failed shortly after its July 2002 launch. It had as its primary objective close flybys of two comet nuclei with the possibility of a flyby of a third known comet or an as-yet-undiscovered comet. The two comets scheduled to be visited were Encke and Schwassmann-Wachmann-3, and the third target was d'Arrest. It was hoped that a new comet would have been discovered in the inner solar system between 2006 and 2008, in which case the spacecraft trajectory would have been changed if possible to rendezvous with the new comet. Scientific objectives included imaging the nuclei at resolutions of 4m, performing spectral mapping of the nuclei at resolutions of 100–200m, and obtaining detailed compositional data on gas and dust in the near-nucleus environment, with the goal of improving knowledge of the characteristics of comet nuclei. After ignition on 15 August 2002 of the solid rocket motor intended to inject the spacecraft into solar orbit, contact with the probe could not be re-established. Ground-based telescopes later found three objects along the course of the satellite, leading to the speculation that it had
    8.00
    4 votes
    32
    Luna 12

    Luna 12

    Luna 12 (E-6LF series) was an unmanned space mission of the Luna program, also called Lunik 12. Luna 12 was launched towards the Moon from an Earth-orbiting platform and achieved lunar orbit on October 25, 1966. The spacecraft was equipped with a television system that obtained and transmitted photographs of the lunar surface. The photographs contained 1100 scan lines with a maximum resolution of 14.9-19.8 m. Pictures of the lunar surface were returned on October 27, 1966. The number of photographs is not known. Radio transmissions from Luna 12 ceased on January 19, 1967, after 602 lunar orbits and 302 radio transmissions. Luna 12 was launched to complete the mission that Luna 11 had failed to accomplish—take high-resolution photos of the Moon’s surface from lunar orbit. Luna 12 reached the Moon on 25 October 1966 and entered a 133 x 1,200-kilometer orbit. The Soviet press released the first photos taken of the surface on 29 October—pictures that showed the Sea of Rains and the Aristarchus crater. Resolution was as high as 15 to 20 meters. Film was developed, fixed, dried automatically, and scanned for transmission to Earth. No further photos were ever released. After completing
    8.00
    4 votes
    33
    Pad Abort Test-1

    Pad Abort Test-1

    • Space program: Project Apollo
    Pad Abort Test 1 was the first abort test of the Apollo spacecraft on November 7, 1963. Pad Abort Test 1 was a mission to investigate the effects on the Apollo spacecraft during an abort from the pad. The launch escape system (LES) had to be capable of pulling the spacecraft away from a possibly exploding rocket while it sat on the pad. The LES then had to gain enough altitude to allow the command module's parachutes to open, preferably with the spacecraft over water and not land. The flight featured a production model LES and a boilerplate (BP-6) Apollo spacecraft, the first mission to feature one. The spacecraft carried no instruments for measuring structural loads as the capsule's boilerplate structure did not represent that of a real spacecraft. On November 7, 1963, an abort signal was sent to the LES at 09:00:01 local time. This initiated a sequence in which the main solid rockets fired to move the spacecraft and smaller attitude rockets fired so that the spacecraft moved laterally (at Cape Canaveral this lateral movement would be toward the ocean). The LES separated after fifteen seconds with the spacecraft now on a ballistic trajectory. The parachute system worked perfectly
    8.00
    4 votes
    34
    Gemini 5

    Gemini 5

    • Astronauts (if manned): Pete Conrad
    • Space program: Project Gemini
    Gemini 5 (officially Gemini V) was a 1965 manned spaceflight in NASA's Gemini program. It was the third manned Gemini flight, the 11th manned American flight and the 19th spaceflight of all time (includes X-15 flights over 100 kilometres (62 mi)). It was also the first time an American manned space mission held the world record for duration, set on August 26, 1965, by breaking the Soviet Union's previous record set by Vostok 5 in 1963. On August 21, 1965 at 16:07:15 UTC, the REP was released into orbit from the Gemini 5 spacecraft. Gemini 5 doubled the U.S space-flight record of the Gemini 4 mission to eight days. This flight was crucial because the length of time it took to fly to the moon, land and return would take eight days. This was possible due to new fuel cells that generated enough electricity to power longer missions, a pivotal innovation for future Apollo flights. Cooper and Conrad were to have made a practice space rendezvous with a "pod" deployed from the spacecraft, but problems with the electrical supply forced a switch to a simpler "phantom rendezvous," whereby the Gemini craft maneuvered to a predetermined position in space. Mercury veteran Gordon Cooper was the
    6.80
    5 votes
    35
    Luna 13

    Luna 13

    Luna 13 (E-6M series) was an unmanned space mission of the Luna program, also called Lunik 13. The Luna 13 spacecraft was launched toward the Moon from an earth-orbiting platform and accomplished a soft landing on December 24, 1966, in the region of Oceanus Procellarum. The petal encasement of the spacecraft was opened, antennas were erected, and radio transmissions to Earth began four minutes after the landing. On December 25 and December 26, 1966, the spacecraft television system transmitted panoramas of the nearby lunar landscape at different Sun angles. Each panorama required approximately 100 minutes to transmit. The spacecraft was equipped with a mechanical soil-measuring penetrometer, a dynamograph, and a radiation densitometer for obtaining data on the mechanical and physical properties and the cosmic ray reflectivity of the lunar surface. Transmissions from the spacecraft ceased on December 28, 1966. Luna 13 became the third spacecraft to successfully soft-land on the surface of the Moon (after Luna 9 and the American Surveyor 1). The probe landed in the Ocean of Storms at 18:01 UT on 24 December 1966, between the Krafft and Seleucus craters at 18°52' north latitude and
    6.80
    5 votes
    36
    Luna 15

    Luna 15

    Luna 15 (Ye-8-5 series) was an unmanned space mission of the Soviet Luna program, also called Lunik 15. On July 21, 1969, while Apollo 11 astronauts finished the first human moonwalk, Luna 15, an unmanned Soviet spacecraft in lunar orbit at the time, began its descent to the lunar surface. Launched three days before the Apollo 11 mission, it was the third Soviet attempt to return lunar soil back to Earth. The Russian craft crashed on the moon at 15:50 UT, hours before the scheduled American lift off from the moon. Luna 15 was capable of studying circumlunar space, the lunar gravitational field, and the chemical composition of lunar rocks. It was also capable of providing lunar surface photography. Luna 15 was placed in an intermediate Earth orbit after launch and was then sent toward the Moon. After a mid-course correction the day after launch, Luna 15 entered lunar orbit at 10:00 UT on 17 July 1969. The spacecraft remained in lunar orbit for two days while controllers checked all on-board systems and performed two orbital maneuvers. After completing 86 communications sessions and 52 orbits of the Moon at various inclinations and altitudes, it began its descent. Astronauts
    6.80
    5 votes
    37
    Mercury-Atlas 4

    Mercury-Atlas 4

    • Space program: Project Mercury
    Mercury-Atlas 4 was an unmanned spaceflight of the Mercury program. It was launched on September 13, 1961 at 14:09 UTC from Launch Complex 14 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. A Crewman Simulator instrument package was aboard. The craft orbited the Earth once. This flight was an orbital test of the Mercury Tracking Network and the first successful orbital flight test of the Mercury program. (All previous successful launches were suborbital.) The payload consisted of a pilot simulator (to test the environmental controls), two voice tapes (to check the tracking network), a life support system, three cameras, and instrumentation to monitor levels of noise, vibration and radiation. It demonstrated the ability of the Atlas LV-3B rocket to lift the Mercury capsule into orbit, of the capsule and its systems to operate completely autonomously, and succeeded in obtaining pictures of the Earth. It completed one orbit prior to returning to Earth. The capsule was recovered 176 miles east of Bermuda. One hour and 22 minutes after splashdown the destroyer USS Decatur (DD-936) (which was 34 miles from the landing point) picked up the capsule. On the MA-4 mission, all flight objectives were successfully
    6.80
    5 votes
    38
    STS-111

    STS-111

    • Astronauts (if manned): Paul Lockhart
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-111 was a space shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) flown by Space Shuttle Endeavour. STS-111 resupplied the station and replaced the Expedition 4 crew with the Expedition 5 crew. It was launched on 5 June 2002, from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. STS-111, in addition to providing supplies, rotated the crews aboard the International Space Station, exchanging the three Expedition 4 members (1 Russian, 2 American) for the three Expedition 5 members (2 Russian, 1 American). The Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) carried experiment racks and three stowage and resupply racks to the station. The mission also installed a component of the Canadarm2 called the Mobile Base System (MBS) to the Mobile Transporter (MT) (which was installed during STS-110); This completed the Canadian Mobile Servicing System, or MSS. This gave the mechanical arm the capability to "inchworm" from the U.S. Lab fixture to the MSS and travel along the Truss to work sites. STS-111 was the last flight of a CNES astronaut, the French agency having disbanded its astronaut group and transferred them to the ESA.  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the
    6.80
    5 votes
    39
    Mercury-Atlas 5

    Mercury-Atlas 5

    • Astronauts (if manned): Enos
    • Space program: Project Mercury
    Mercury-Atlas 5 was an American unmanned spaceflight of the Mercury program. It was launched on November 29, 1961 with Enos the Chimp, a chimpanzee, aboard. The craft orbited the Earth twice and splashed down about 200 miles south of Bermuda. By November 1961, the Soviets had launched Yuri Gagarin and Gherman Titov into orbit during the Vostok 1 and Vostok 2 manned orbital flights. At that time NASA was still debating placing a chimpanzee in orbit as part of the Mercury-Atlas subprogram, with NASA headquarters questioning the wisdom of the Manned Spacecraft Center launching another unmanned Mercury mission. The NASA Public Affairs Office issued a press release stating "The men in charge of Project Mercury have insisted on orbiting the chimpanzee as a necessary preliminary checkout of the entire Mercury program before risking a human astronaut." prior to the flight. The flight used Mercury spacecraft # 9 and Atlas # 93-D. On February 24, 1961 spacecraft # 9 arrived at Cape Canaveral. It took forty weeks of preflight preparation. This was the longest preparation time in the Mercury program. The mission of spacecraft # 9 kept changing. It had been first been configured for a
    7.75
    4 votes
    40
    A-103

    A-103

    • Space program: Project Apollo
    A-103 was a boilerplate test mission of the Apollo spacecraft, which was launched by SA-9; the eighth unmanned Saturn I flight, and the rocket's first operational launch. Of 12 flight objectives assigned, two were concerned with the operation of the Pegasus satellite, eight with launch vehicle systems performance, one with jettisoning the launch escape system, and one with separation of the boilerplate spacecraft. The satellite objectives were (1) demonstration of the functional operations of the mechanical, structural, and electronic systems and (2) evaluation of meteoroid data sampling in near-Earth orbit. Since the launch trajectory was designed to insert the Pegasus satellite into the proper orbit, it differed substantially from the Saturn-Apollo I trajectory used in missions A-101 and A-102. The launch vehicle consisted of an S-I first stage, an S-IV second stage, and an instrument unit. The spacecraft consisted of a boilerplate command and service module, a launch escape system, and a service module/launch vehicle adapter (BP-16). The Pegasus 1 satellite was enclosed within the service module, attached to the S-IV stage. The orbital configuration consisted of the satellite
    6.60
    5 votes
    41
    STS-37

    STS-37

    • Astronauts (if manned): Jerome Apt
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-37, the eighth flight of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, was a six-day mission with the primary objective of launching the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO), the second of the Great Observatories program which included the visible-spectrum Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the infrared Spitzer Space Telescope. The mission also featured two spacewalks, the first since 1985. The STS-37 mission was successfully launched from launch pad 39B at 9:22:44AM EST on April 5, 1991 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Resumption of the countdown after the T-9 minute hold was delayed about 4 minutes 45 seconds because of two possible weather-condition violations of the launch commit criteria (LCC). The first concerned the cloud ceiling being 500 feet less than the minimum of 8000 feet for a return-to-launch-site (RTLS) abort, and the second concerned the possible weather-condition (wind) effects on blast propagation. Both conditions were found acceptable and the launch countdown proceeded to a satisfactory launch to an inclination of 28.45 degrees. Launch weight: 116,040 kilograms (255,800 lb). The primary payload, Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO), was deployed on
    7.50
    4 votes
    42
    STS-75

    STS-75

    • Astronauts (if manned): Maurizio Cheli
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-75 was a United States Space Shuttle mission, the 19th mission of the Columbia orbiter. The primary objective of STS-75 was to carry the Tethered Satellite System Reflight (TSS-1R) into orbit and to deploy it spaceward on a conducting tether. The mission also flew the United States Microgravity Payload (USMP-3) designed to investigate materials science and condensed matter physics. The TSS-1R mission was a reflight of TSS-1 which was flown onboard Space Shuttle Atlantis on STS-46 in July/August 1992. The Tether Satellite System circled the Earth at an altitude of 296 kilometers, placing the tether system within the rarefied electrically charged layer of the atmosphere known as the ionosphere. STS-75 mission scientist hoped to deploy the tether to a distance of 20.7 kilometres (12.9 mi). Over 19 kilometers of the tether were deployed before the tether broke. It remained in orbit for a number of weeks and was easily visible from the ground, appearing something like a small but surprisingly bright fluorescent light traveling through the sky. The specific TSS1-R mission objectives were: characterize the current-voltage response of the TSS-orbiter system, characterize the
    7.50
    4 votes
    43
    Big Joe 1

    Big Joe 1

    • Space program: Project Mercury
    Big Joe 1 (Atlas 10-D) launched an unmanned boilerplate Mercury capsule from Cape Canaveral, Florida on September 9, 1959. The objective of the Big Joe program was to test the Mercury spacecraft ablating heat shield. It was also the first Project Mercury flight using an Atlas booster. The flight was both a success and failure—the heat shield survived reentry and was in remarkably good condition when retrieved from the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlas-D booster, however, failed to stage and separated too late from the Mercury capsule. Due to the added weight of the unseparated booster engines, the sustainer engine depleted its fuel supply 14 seconds early. The boilerplate capsule was not equipped with a launch escape system. The Mercury capsule flew a 1,424 mile (2,292 km) ballistic flight to the altitude of 90 miles (140 km). The capsule was recovered and studied for the effect of re-entry heat and other flight stresses from its 13-minute flight. Since the data from Big Joe 1 satisfied NASA requirements, a second launch, Big Joe 2 (Atlas 20D), which had been scheduled for the fall of 1959, was canceled and the launch vehicle was transferred to another program. Capsule weight: 2,555 lb
    8.67
    3 votes
    44
    Luna 8

    Luna 8

    Luna 8 (E-6 series), also known as Lunik 8, was a lunar space probe of the Luna program. It was launched in on December 3, 1965 with the objective of achieving a soft landing on the Moon. However, its retrorocket firing occurred too late, and suffered a hard impact on the lunar surface on the Oceanus Procellarum (Ocean of Storms). The mission did complete the experimental testing of its stellar-guidance system and the ground-control of its radio telemetry equipment, its flight trajectory, and its other instrumentation. This, the eleventh Soviet attempt to achieve a lunar soft landing, nearly succeeded. After a successful midcourse correction on 4 December, this spacecraft headed toward the Moon without any apparent problems. Just before the scheduled firing of its retrorocket, a command was sent to inflate cushioning air bags around the landing probe. However, plastic mounting bracket apparently pierced one of the two air bags. The resulting ejection of the air put the spacecraft into a spin of about 12 degrees per second. The spacecraft momentarily regained its proper attitude, long enough for a nine-second-long retrorocket firing, but Luna 8 became unstable again. Without a
    8.67
    3 votes
    45
    STS-57

    STS-57

    • Astronauts (if manned): Ronald J. Grabe
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-57 was a Shuttle-Spacehab mission of Space Shuttle Endeavour that launched 21 June 1993 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. During the course of the ten-day flight, the astronauts successfully conducted scores of biomedical and materials sciences experiments inside the pressurized SPACEHAB module. Two astronauts participated in a spacewalk and EURECA (European Retrievable Carrier) was retrieved by the crew and stowed inside Endeavour’s payload bay. EURECA was deployed from the Space Shuttle Atlantis in the summer of 1992 and contains several experiments to study the long-term effects of exposure to microgravity. An improperly installed electrical connector on Endeavour’s Remote Manipulator System (RMS) arm (installed 180 degrees off its correct position) prevented EURECA from recharging its batteries with orbiter power. A flight rule requiring anntenna stowage was waived and EURECA was lowered into the payload bay without latching its antenna. Mission Specialists G. David Low and Peter Wisoff safely secured EURECA's dual antennas against the science satellite during the spacewalk. David Low was mounted on a foot restraint on the end of Endeavour's robotic arm while Mission
    8.67
    3 votes
    46
    Gemini 12

    Gemini 12

    • Astronauts (if manned): Buzz Aldrin
    • Space program: Project Gemini
    Gemini 12 (officially Gemini XII) was a 1966 manned spaceflight in NASA's Project Gemini. It was the 10th and final manned Gemini flight, the 18th manned American flight and, including X-15 flights over 100 kilometres (62 mi), the 26th spaceflight of all time. At the completion of the previous Gemini flight, the program still had not demonstrated that an astronaut could work easily and efficiently outside the spacecraft. In preparation for Gemini XII new, improved restraints were added to the outside of the capsule, and a new technique—underwater training—was introduced, which would become a staple of future space-walk simulation. Aldrin's two-hour, 20-minute tethered space-walk, during which he photographed star fields, retrieved a micrometeorite collector and did other chores, at last demonstrated the feasibility of extravehicular activity. Two more stand-up EVAs also went smoothly, as did the by-now routine rendezvous and docking with an Agena which was done "manually" using the onboard computer and charts when a rendezvous radar failed. The climb to a higher orbit, however, was canceled because of a problem with the Agena booster. Many documentaries afterward largely credit the
    7.25
    4 votes
    47
    Saturn I SA-5

    Saturn I SA-5

    • Space program: Project Apollo
    SA-5 was the first launch of the Block II Saturn I rocket and was part of the Apollo Program. The major changes that occurred on SA-5 were that for the first time the Saturn I would fly with two stages - the S-I first stage and the S-IV second stage. The second stage featured six engines burning liquid hydrogen. Although this design was meant to be tested several years earlier in the Centaur rocket design, in the end the first Centaur launch was only two months before SA-5. This rocket stage was delivered to the Cape by a modified B-377 aircraft, nicknamed the Pregnant Guppy. Other major design changes included the enlargement of the fuel tanks on the first stage. For the first time the rocket would carry its planned 750,000 lb (340,000 kg) of propellant and would use eight upgraded engines producing a thrust each of 188,000 lbf (836 kN). The first stage also featured for the first time eight fins for added stability during flight. But as with the earlier flight the rocket would still carry only a Jupiter-C nosecone instead of a boilerplate Apollo spacecraft. Also the guidance and control computer on the rocket was positioned above the second stage. This was where it would be found
    8.33
    3 votes
    48
    Soyuz TM-27

    Soyuz TM-27

    • Astronauts (if manned): Léopold Eyharts
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    Soyuz TM-27 is a Russian spacecraft that ferried cosmonauts and supplies to the Mir, the Russian space station. It was the 33rd expedition to Mir. It was launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome on January 29, 1998. The main mission was to exchange one crew member, carry out French mission PEGASE, and conduct routine science experiments. TM-27 docked with Mir. The crew repaired the Spektr solar panel and installed a new VDU station orientation system. Both cosmonauts and astronaut Andy Thomas (arrived on STS-89) became the 25th resident crew. Eyharts landed on 19.02.1998 with Soyuz TM-26-spacecraft. Included astronaut from France.
    8.33
    3 votes
    49
    STS-8

    STS-8

    • Astronauts (if manned): William E. Thornton
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    • Launch site: Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39
    STS-8 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission which launched on 30 August 1983 and landed on 5 September; it conducted the first night launch and night landing of the program, and flew the first African-American astronaut, Guion Bluford. The mission was a notable success, achieving all of its planned research objectives, but was marred by the subsequent discovery that a solid-fuel rocket booster had almost malfunctioned catastrophically during the launch. STS-8 was the eighth Shuttle mission and the third flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger. The primary payload was INSAT-1B, an Indian communications and weather observation satellite, which was released by the orbiter and boosted into a geostationary orbit. The secondary payload, replacing a delayed NASA communications satellite, was a four-metric-ton dummy payload, intended to test the use of the shuttle's "Canadarm" remote manipulator system. Scientific experiments carried on board Challenger included the environmental testing of new hardware and materials designed for future spacecraft, the study of biological materials in electric fields under microgravity, and research into space adaptation syndrome (also known as "space
    8.33
    3 votes
    50
    A-002

    A-002

    • Space program: Project Apollo
    A-002 was the third abort test of the Apollo spacecraft. Mission A-002 was the third in the series of abort tests to demonstrate that the launch system would perform satisfactorily under selected critical abort conditions. The main objective of this mission was to demonstrate the abort capability of the launch escape vehicle in the maximum dynamic pressure region of the Saturn trajectory with conditions approximating the altitude limit at which the Saturn emergency detection system would signal an abort. The launch vehicle was the third in the Little Joe II series. This vehicle differed from the previous two in that flight controls and instrumentation were incorporated, and the vehicle was powered by two Algol and four Recruit rocket motors. The launch escape system was also changed from previous configurations in that canards (forward control surfaces used to orient and stabilize the escape vehicle in the entry attitude) and a command module boost protective cover were incorporated. The Apollo spacecraft was simulated by a boilerplate command and service module (BP-23). The earth landing system was modified from the previous configuration by the installation of modified
    6.20
    5 votes
    51
    Gemini 11

    Gemini 11

    • Astronauts (if manned): Richard F. Gordon, Jr.
    • Space program: Project Gemini
    Gemini 11 (officially Gemini XI) was the ninth manned spaceflight mission of NASA's Project Gemini, which flew from September 12 to 15, 1966. It was the 17th manned American flight and the 25th spaceflight to that time (includes X-15 flights over 100 kilometres (62 mi)). Astronauts Charles "Pete" Conrad, Jr. and Richard F. Gordon, Jr. performed the first-ever direct-ascent (first orbit) rendezvous with an Agena Target Vehicle, used the Agena rocket engine to achieve a world record high-apogee earth orbit, and created a small amount of artificial gravity by spinning the two spacecraft connected by a tether. Gordon also performed two extra-vehicular activities for a total of 2 hours and 41 minutes. Highest orbit (followed twice): The direct-ascent rendezvous and docking with the Agena vehicle was achieved approximately 94 minutes after lift-off, depending on the on-board computer and radar equipment with only minimal assistance from ground support. Gemini 11 used the rocket on its Agena target vehicle to raise its apogee to 850 miles (1,370 km), the highest Earth orbit ever reached by a manned spacecraft. The perigee was 179 miles (288 km), and maximum velocity (at perigee) was
    6.20
    5 votes
    52
    Gemini 4

    Gemini 4

    • Astronauts (if manned): James McDivitt
    • Space program: Project Gemini
    Gemini 4 (or Gemini IV) was the second manned space flight in NASA's Project Gemini, occurring in June 1965. It was the tenth manned American spaceflight (including two X-15 flights at altitudes exceeding 100 kilometers (54 nmi)). Astronauts James McDivitt and Edward H. White, II circled the Earth 66 times in four days, making it the first US flight to approach the five-day flight of the Soviet Vostok 5. The highlight of the mission was the first space walk by an American, during which White floated free outside the spacecraft, tethered to it, for approximately 20 minutes. Both of these accomplishments helped the United States overcome the Soviet Union's early lead in the Space Race. The flight also included the first attempt to make a space rendezvous as McDivitt attempted to maneuver his craft close to the Titan II upper stage which launched it into orbit, but this was not successful. The flight was the first American flight to perform many scientific experiments in space, including use of a sextant to investigate the use of celestial navigation for lunar flight in the Apollo program. Gemini 4 would be the first multi-day space flight by the United States, designed to show that
    6.20
    5 votes
    53
    Luna 11

    Luna 11

    Luna 11 (E-6LF series) was an unmanned space mission of the Soviet Union's Luna program. It was also called Lunik 11. Luna 11 was launched towards the Moon from an earth-orbiting platform and entered lunar orbit on 27 August 1966. The objectives of the mission included the study of: 137 radio transmissions and 277 orbits of the Moon were completed before the batteries failed on 1 October 1966. This subset of the “second-generation” Luna spacecraft, the Ye-6LF, was designed to take the first photographs of the surface of the Moon from lunar orbit. A secondary objective was to obtain data on mass concentrations (“mascons”) on the Moon first detected by Luna 10. Using the Ye-6 bus, a suite of scientific instruments (plus an imaging system similar to the one used on Zond 3) replaced the small lander capsule used on the soft-landing flights. The resolution of the photos was 15 to 20 meters. A technological experiment included testing the efficiency of gear transmission in vacuum as a test for a future lunar rover. Luna 11, launched only two weeks after the U.S. Lunar Orbiter, entered lunar orbit at 21:49 UT on 27 August. Parameters were 160 x 1,193 kilometers. During the mission, the TV
    9.50
    2 votes
    54
    Soyuz TMA-2

    Soyuz TMA-2

    • Astronauts (if manned): Yuri Malenchenko
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    Soyuz TMA-2 was a Soyuz (Russian Союз ТМА-2, Union TMA-2) mission to the International Space Station (ISS) launched by a Soyuz FG launch vehicle. The spacecraft docked with the ISS 2003-04-28 and undocked 2003-10-27.Soyuz TMA-2 was the second flight for the TMA modification of the Soyuz spacecraft, and the 6th Soyuz to fly to the ISS. The commander is Yuri Ivanovich Malenchenko (Russia), and flight engineer Edward Tsang Lu (USA), and after docking with the ISS they exchanged with the resident crew on ISS and became the seventh station crew, called "ISS Expedition Seven". As backup crew Alexander Kaleri and Michael Foale stood by. Originally the Soyuz missions to the ISS were all planned to be only taxi mission to deliver a new Soyuz spacecraft as the station's lifeboat every six month with a visiting crew, but not for crew exchange. Until the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster the same was planned for Soyuz TMA-2, a visiting crew consisting of commander Gennady Padalka and ESA-astronaut Pedro Duque were to spend about one week at the station and then return with the previous Soyuz TMA-1 spacecraft. The third seat might have gone to the Chilean Klaus von Storch as a Chilean space
    9.50
    2 votes
    55
    Gemini 6A

    Gemini 6A

    • Astronauts (if manned): Wally Schirra
    • Space program: Project Gemini
    Gemini 6A (officially Gemini VI-A) was a 1965 manned United States spaceflight in NASA's Gemini program. The mission achieved the first manned rendezvous with another spacecraft, its sister Gemini 7. Although the Soviet Union had twice previously launched simultaneous pairs of Vostok spacecraft, these established radio contact with, but came no closer than several kilometers of each other, while the Gemini 6 and 7 spacecraft came as close as one foot (30 cm) and could have docked had they been so equipped. Gemini 6A was the fifth manned Gemini flight, the 13th manned American flight, and the 21st manned spaceflight of all time (includes X-15 flights over 100 kilometres (62 mi). The original Gemini 6 mission, scheduled for launch on October 25, 1965 at 12:41 pm EDT, had a planned mission duration of 46 hours 47 minutes, completing a total of 29 orbits. It was to land in the western Atlantic Ocean south of Bermuda. The mission was to include four dockings with the Agena Target Vehicle. The first docking was scheduled for 5 hours 40 minutes into the mission. The second at 7 hours 45 minutes, the third at 9 hours 40 minutes and the fourth and final docking at 10 hours 5 minutes into
    7.00
    4 votes
    56
    Gemini 7

    Gemini 7

    • Astronauts (if manned): Frank Borman
    • Space program: Project Gemini
    Gemini 7 (officially Gemini VII) was a 1965 manned spaceflight in NASA's Gemini program. It was the 4th manned Gemini flight, the 12th manned American flight and the 20th spaceflight of all time (includes X-15 flights over 100 kilometers (330,000 ft)). The crew of Frank F. Borman, II and James A. Lovell, Jr spent nearly 14 days in space making a total of 206 orbits, and were joined on orbit by the Gemini-6A flight which performed the first rendezvous maneuver of manned spacecraft. Gemini 7 was originally intended to fly after Gemini 6, but the original Gemini 6 mission was cancelled after the failure during launch of the Agena Target Vehicle with which it was meant to rendezvous and dock. The objective of rendezvous was so important, that it was decided to fly Gemini 6 at the same time as Gemini 7, using the latter as the rendezvous target. The original mission of Gemini 7 changed little with these new plans. It was always planned to be a long duration flight, investigating the effects of fourteen days in space on the human body. This doubled the length of time that anyone had been in space and stood as the longest spaceflight duration record for five years. This 14 day mission
    7.00
    4 votes
    57
    Mercury-Atlas 8

    Mercury-Atlas 8

    • Astronauts (if manned): Wally Schirra
    • Space program: Project Mercury
    Mercury-Atlas 8 (MA-8) was the fifth United States manned space mission, part of NASA's Mercury program. Astronaut Walter M. Schirra, Jr., orbited the Earth six times in the Sigma 7 spacecraft on October 3, 1962, in a nine-hour flight focused mainly on technical evaluation rather than on scientific experimentation. This was the longest U.S. manned orbital flight yet achieved in the Space Race, though well behind the several-day record set by the Soviet Vostok 3 earlier in the year. It confirmed the Mercury spacecraft's durability ahead of the one-day Mercury-Atlas 9 mission that followed in 1963. Planning began for the third U.S. orbital mission in February 1962, aiming for a six-or-seven-orbit flight to build on the previous three-orbit missions. NASA officially announced the mission on June 27, and the flight plan was finalized in late July. The mission focused on engineering tests rather than on scientific experimentation. The mission finally launched on the morning of October 3, having been delayed two weeks because of problems with the Atlas booster. A series of minor booster problems during launch and a faulty temperature controller in Schirra's pressure suit were the only
    7.00
    4 votes
    58
    Skylab 4

    Skylab 4

    • Astronauts (if manned): Gerald P. Carr
    • Space program: Skylab Missions
    Skylab 4 (also SL-4 and SLM-3) was the third Skylab mission and placed the third and final crew aboard the first American space station. The mission started November 16, 1973 with the launch of three astronauts on a Saturn IB rocket from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida and lasted 84 days, one hour and 16 minutes. A total of 6,051 astronaut-utilization hours were tallied by Skylab 4 astronauts performing scientific experiments in the areas of medical activities, solar observations, Earth resources, observation of the Comet Kohoutek and other experiments. The manned Skylab missions were officially designated Skylab 2, 3, and 4. Mis-communication about the numbering resulted in the mission emblems reading Skylab I, Skylab II, and Skylab 3 respectively. Skylab 4 was the last Skylab mission. The crew arrived aboard Skylab to find that they had company – three figures dressed in flight suits. Upon closer inspection, they found their companions were three dummies, complete with Skylab 4 mission emblems and name tags which had been left there by Al Bean, Jack Lousma, and Owen Garriott at the end of Skylab 3. The all-rookie astronaut crew had problems adjusting to the same workload level
    8.00
    3 votes
    59
    Soyuz 16

    Soyuz 16

    • Astronauts (if manned): Anatoli Filipchenko
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    Soyuz 16 (Russian: Союз 16, Union 16) was a 1974 manned test flight for a joint Soviet-US space flight which culminated in the Apollo-Soyuz mission in July, 1975. The two-man Soviet crew tested a docking ring and other systems to be used in the joint flight. The Soyuz 16 mission was the final rehearsal and first manned mission in a program which culminated in the Apollo-Soyuz (ASTP) mission seven months later. The Soviet Union and the United States of America, Cold War rivals, had signed several arms control treaties in the 1960s and 1970s, and had entered into a period of detente by the early 1970s. In 1972, a treaty was signed to participate in a joint manned space flight as a symbol of this detente. Early concepts for a joint flight included docking a Soyuz craft to the American Skylab space station, or an Apollo vehicle docking with a Salyut space station. Once the Americans abandoned their Skylab station in 1974, the Apollo-Salyut concept seemed to be the logical choice, but since the Soviets had started to develop a universal docking adapter for the mission and feared having to publicly reveal details of their military-focused Salyut missions, the two powers opted to link a
    8.00
    3 votes
    60
    STS-107

    STS-107

    • Astronauts (if manned): Kalpana Chawla
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    • Launch site: Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39
    STS-107 was a space shuttle mission by NASA using the Space Shuttle Columbia, launched 16 January 2003. This was a multi-disciplinary microgravity and Earth science research mission with a multitude of international scientific investigations conducted continuously during 16 days in orbit. The seven-member crew died on 1 February 2003 when the orbiter disintegrated during reentry into the Earth's atmosphere. The cause of the accident was determined to be a piece of foam that broke off during launch and damaged the thermal protection system components (reinforced carbon-carbon panels and thermal protection tiles) on the leading edge of the left wing of the Shuttle orbiter, causing an extensive heat build-up. During re-entry the damaged wing slowly overheated and came apart, eventually leading to loss of control and total disintegration of the vehicle. STS-107 carried the SPACEHAB Double Research Module on its inaugural flight, the Freestar experiment (mounted on a Hitchhiker Program rack), and the Extended Duration Orbiter pallet. SPACEHAB was first flown on STS 57. One of the experiments, a video taken to study atmospheric dust, may have detected a new atmospheric phenomenon, dubbed
    8.00
    3 votes
    61
    STS-80

    STS-80

    • Astronauts (if manned): Story Musgrave
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-80 was a Space Shuttle mission flown by Space Shuttle Columbia. The launch was originally scheduled for 31 October 1996, but was delayed to 19 November for several reasons. Likewise, the landing, which was originally scheduled for 5 December, was pushed back to 7 December after bad weather prevented landing for two days. The mission was the longest Shuttle mission ever flown at 17 days, 15 hours, and 53 minutes. Although two spacewalks were planned for the mission, they were both canceled after problems with the airlock hatch prevented astronauts Tom Jones and Tammy Jernigan from exiting the orbiter. Columbia brought with it two free floating satellites, both of which were on repeat visits to space. Also, a variety of equipment to be tested on two planned spacewalks was part of the payload. These would have been used to prepare for construction of the International Space Station. Included in the Shuttle's payload were Columbia carried into orbit two satellites that were released and recaptured after some time alone. The first was the Orbiting and Retrievable Far and Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrometer-Shuttle Pallet Satellite II (ORFEUS-SPAS II). The main component of the
    8.00
    3 votes
    62
    Luna 5

    Luna 5

    Luna 5 (E-6 series) was an unmanned space mission of the Luna program, also called Lunik 5. It was designed to continue investigations of a lunar soft landing. The retrorocket system failed, and the spacecraft impacted the lunar surface at the Sea of Clouds. In May 1965, Luna 5 became the first Soviet probe to head for the Moon in two years. Between it and the previous Luna 4, there were two launch failures (Luna 1964A on 21 March 1964; and Luna 1964B on 20 April 1964) and one partial failure (Cosmos 60, launched on 12 March 1965, which reached Earth orbit but failed to leave for the Moon). Following the mid-course correction on 10 May, the spacecraft began spinning around its main axis due to a problem in a flotation gyroscope in the I-100 guidance system unit. A subsequent attempt to fire the main engine failed because of ground control error, and the engine never fired. After loss of control as a result of the gyroscope problem, Luna 5 crashed. Landing coordinates were 31° south latitude and 8° west longitude. It was the second Soviet spacecraft to reach the surface of the Moon (following Luna 2 in 1959). An observatory noted a 220x80 kilometer cloud lasting for ten minutes at
    6.75
    4 votes
    63
    Salyut 6

    Salyut 6

    • Astronauts (if manned): Georgi Grechko
    • Space program: Salyut program
    Salyut 6 (Russian: Салют-6; lit. Salute 6), DOS-5, was a Soviet orbital space station, the eighth flown as part of the Salyut programme. Launched on 29 September 1977 by a Proton rocket, the station was the first of the 'second-generation' type of space station. Salyut 6 possessed several revolutionary advances over the earlier Soviet space stations, which it nevertheless resembled in overall design. These included the addition of a second docking port, a new main propulsion system and the station's primary scientific instrument, the BST-1M multispectral telescope. The addition of the second docking port made crew handovers and station resupply by unmanned Progress freighters possible for the first time, which in turn allowed the programme to evolve from short-duration station visits to long-duration expeditions, marking the beginning of the transition to multi-modular, long-term research stations in space. From 1977 until 1982, Salyut 6 was visited by five long- and eleven short-duration crews, including cosmonauts from Warsaw Pact countries as part of the Intercosmos programme. These crews were responsible for carrying out the primary missions of Salyut 6, including astronomy,
    6.75
    4 votes
    64
    STS-103

    STS-103

    • Astronauts (if manned): John M. Grunsfeld
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-103 was a Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission by Space Shuttle Discovery. The mission launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 19 December 1999 and returned on 27 December 1999. The primary objective of STS-103 was the Hubble Servicing Mission 3A. STS-103 had four scheduled Extravehicular Activity (EVA) days where four crew members worked in pairs on alternating days to renew and refurbish the telescope. NASA officials decided to move up part of the servicing mission that had been scheduled for June 2000 after three of the telescope's six gyroscopes failed. Three gyroscopes must be working to meet the telescope's very precise pointing requirements, and the telescope's flight rules dictated that NASA consider a "call-up" mission before a fourth gyroscope failed. Four new gyros were installed during the first servicing mission (STS-61) in December 1993 and all six gyros were working during the second servicing mission (STS-82) in February 1997. Since then, a gyro failed in 1997, another in 1998 and a third in 1999. The Hubble team believed they understood the cause of the failures, although they could not be certain until the gyros were returned from space. Having
    6.75
    4 votes
    65
    Cassini-Huygens

    Cassini-Huygens

    • Launch site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 40
    Cassini–Huygens is a flagship-class NASA-ESA-ASI robotic spacecraft sent to the Saturn system. It has studied the planet and its many natural satellites since arriving there in 2004, also observing Jupiter, the Heliosphere, and testing the theory of relativity. Launched in 1997 after nearly two decades of gestation, it includes a Saturn orbiter and an atmospheric probe/lander for the moon Titan called Huygens, which entered and landed on Titan in 2005. Cassini is the fourth space probe to visit Saturn and the first to enter orbit, and its mission is ongoing as of 2012. It launched on October 15, 1997 on a Titan IVB/Centaur and entered into orbit around Saturn on July 1, 2004, after an interplanetary voyage which included flybys of Earth, Venus, and Jupiter. On December 25, 2004, Huygens separated from the orbiter at approximately 02:00 UTC. It reached Saturn's moon Titan on January 14, 2005, when it entered Titan's atmosphere and descended downward to the surface. It successfully returned data to Earth, using the orbiter as a relay. This was the first landing ever accomplished in the outer Solar System. Sixteen European countries and the United States make up the team responsible
    9.00
    2 votes
    66
    Mercury-Atlas 3

    Mercury-Atlas 3

    • Space program: Project Mercury
    Mercury-Atlas 3 (MA-3) was launched unmanned on April 25, 1961 at 16:15 UTC, from Launch Complex 14 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Mercury capsule contained a robotic "mechanical astronaut". Mercury spacecraft No. 8 and Atlas No. 8 100-D were used in the mission. The mission was terminated by the range safety officer after 43.3 seconds due to failure of the launch vehicle to follow its roll and pitch programs. Although the launch vehicle was destroyed, considerable benefit was derived from the flight test. The launch escape system saved the Mercury spacecraft from destruction. The capsule flew to an apogee of 7.2 km and downrange only 1.8 km. The flight of the Mercury capsule lasted 7 minutes and 19 seconds, most of that time descending on its parachute. The spacecraft was recovered some 20 minutes after launch in the Atlantic Ocean and reused on the next flight (MA-4) as spacecraft No. 8A.  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
    9.00
    2 votes
    67
    STS-77

    STS-77

    • Astronauts (if manned): Mario Runco, Jr.
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-77 was the 77th Space Shuttle mission and the 11th mission of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. The mission began from launch pad 39B from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on 19 May 1996 lasting 10 days and 40 minutes and completing 161 revolutions before landing on runway 33. NASA's flight of shuttle Endeavour was devoted to opening the commercial space frontier. During the flight the crew performed microgravity research aboard the commercially owned and operated SPACEHAB module. The mission also deployed and retrieved the Spartan-207/IAE (Inflatable Antenna Experiment) satellite and rendezvoused with a test satellite. A suite of four technology experiments known as the Technology Experiments for Advancing Missions in Space (TEAMS) also flew in the Shuttle's payload bay. The SPACEHAB single module carried nearly 1,400 kilograms (3,100 lb) of experiments and support equipment for 12 commercial space product development payloads in the areas of biotechnology, electronic materials, polymers and agriculture as well as several experiments for other NASA payload organizations. One of these, the Commercial Float Zone Facility (CFZF) was developed through international collaboration between
    9.00
    2 votes
    68
    STS-79

    STS-79

    • Astronauts (if manned): Jerome Apt
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-79 was the 17th flight of Space Shuttle Atlantis, and the 79th mission of the Space Shuttle program. The flight saw Atlantis dock with the Russian space station Mir to deliver equipment, supplies and relief personnel. A variety of scientific experiments were also conducted aboard Atlantis by her crew. It was the first shuttle mission to rendezvous with a fully assembled Mir, and the fourth rendezvous of a shuttle to the space station. STS-79 was the first shuttle mission to a fully completed Mir space station, following the arrival of its Priroda module. This spaceflight was highlighted by the download of American astronaut Shannon Lucid after 188 days in space, the first American crewmember exchange aboard the Russian Space Station Mir, and the fourth Shuttle-Mir docking. Lucid's long-duration spaceflight set a new American record, as well as worldwide spaceflight record for a woman astronaut. She embarked to Mir 22 March on the STS-76 mission. Succeeding her on Mir for an approximately four-month stay was John Blaha, who returned in January 1997 with the STS-81 crew. American astronaut Jerry Linenger replaced him. STS-79 also marked the second flight of the SPACEHAB module in
    9.00
    2 votes
    69
    Little Joe 5

    Little Joe 5

    • Space program: Project Mercury
    Little Joe 5 was an unmanned atmospheric test flight of the Mercury spacecraft, conducted as part of the U.S. Mercury program. The objective was to test a production Mercury capsule (#3) and the Launch Escape System during an ascent abort at maximum dynamic pressure. The mission was launched November 8, 1960, from Wallops Island, Virginia. Sixteen seconds after liftoff, the escape rocket and the tower jettison rocket both fired prematurely. Furthermore, the booster, capsule and escape tower failed to separate as intended. The entire stack was destroyed on impact with the Atlantic Ocean. The Little Joe 5 flew to an apogee of 10.1 miles (16.2 km) and a range of 13 miles (20.9 km). Some capsule and booster debris was recovered from the ocean floor for post flight analysis.  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
    7.67
    3 votes
    70
    Mercury-Atlas 1

    Mercury-Atlas 1

    • Space program: Project Mercury
    Mercury-Atlas 1 (MA-1) was launched at 13:13 UTC on July 29, 1960 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Mercury spacecraft was unmanned and carried no launch escape system. The mission was to conduct a suborbital test flight and reentry of the spacecraft. The capsule had live posigrade separation rockets, but dummy retro rockets. The Atlas rocket suffered a structural failure 58 seconds after launch. The vehicle at that time was at approximately an altitude of 30,000 feet (9.1 km) and 11,000 feet (3.4 km) down range. The rocket suffered a failure near where the spacecraft adapter attaches to the Atlas. The rocket and capsule hit the Atlantic Ocean, broke up and sank. The capsule and portions of the rocket were recovered from the ocean bottom and reconstructed for study. The capsule reached an apogee of 13 km and flew 9.6 km downrange. The flight lasted 3 minutes and 18 seconds. Capsule weight 1,154 kg. Serial numbers: Atlas 50-D, Mercury spacecraft #4. Pieces of Mercury spacecraft # 4, used in the Mercury-Atlas 1 mission, are currently displayed at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, Hutchinson, Kansas.  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents
    10.00
    1 votes
    71
    New Horizons

    New Horizons

    • Space program: New Frontiers program
    • Launch site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 41
    New Horizons is a NASA robotic spacecraft mission currently en route to the dwarf planet Pluto. It is expected to be the first spacecraft to fly by and study Pluto and its moons, Charon, Nix, Hydra, S/2011 P 1, and S/2012 P 1, with an estimated arrival date at the Pluto–Charon system of July 14, 2015. NASA may then also attempt flybys of one or more other Kuiper belt objects, if a suitable target can be located. New Horizons was launched on January 19, 2006, directly into an Earth-and-solar-escape trajectory with an Earth-relative velocity of about 16.26 km/s (58,536 km/h; 36,373 mph) after its last engine was shut down. Thus, the spacecraft left Earth at the greatest-ever launch speed for a man-made object. It flew by the orbit of Mars on April 7, 2006, Jupiter on February 28, 2007, the orbit of Saturn on June 8, 2008; and the orbit of Uranus on March 18, 2011. As of February 2012, its distance to Pluto is less than 10 AU (more than 20 AU from Earth). New Horizons is the first mission in NASA's New Frontiers mission category, larger and more expensive than Discovery missions but smaller than the Flagship Program. The cost of the mission (including spacecraft and instrument
    10.00
    1 votes
    72
    Soyuz 23

    Soyuz 23

    • Astronauts (if manned): Vyacheslav Zudov
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    Soyuz 23 (Russian: Союз 23, Union 23) was a 1976 Soviet manned space flight, the second to the Salyut 5 space station. Cosmonauts Vyacheslav Zudov and Valery Rozhdestvensky arrived at the station, but an equipment malfunction did not allow docking and the mission had to be aborted. The crew returned to earth, but landed on partially frozen Lake Tengiz, the first splashdown in the Soviet space program. While there was no concern about any immediate threat to the crew, recovery took nine hours owing to fog and other adverse conditions. Soyuz 23 was launched 14 October 1976 with an estimated 73- to 85-day mission planned aboard the orbiting Salyut 5 space station. Others suggest a 17- to 24-day mission was a more likely intention. It was the first visit to the station after the sudden termination of the Soyuz 21 mission in August. However on 15 October, during the automatic approach phase, the automatic docking system malfunctioned before the craft was within 100 metres of the station. Crews were normally trained for a manual dock, but not for a manual approach. The mission, accordingly, had to be abandoned. The craft had only two days of battery power, so systems were powered off,
    10.00
    1 votes
    73
    STS-43

    STS-43

    • Astronauts (if manned): James C. Adamson
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-43, the ninth mission for Space Shuttle Atlantis, was a nine-day mission whose primary goal was launching the fourth Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, TDRS-E. The flight also tested an advanced heatpipe radiator for potential use on the then-future space station and conducted a variety of medical and materials science investigations. The launch took place on 2 August 1991, 11:01:59 am EDT. Launch was originally set for 23 July but was moved to 24 July to allow time to replace a faulty integrated electronics assembly that controls orbiter/external tank separation. The mission was postponed again about five hours before liftoff on 24 July due to a faulty main engine controller on the number three main engine. The controller was replaced and retested; launch was reset for 1 August. Liftoff set for 11:01 am delayed due to cabin pressure vent valve reading and postponed at 12:28 pm due to unacceptable return-to-launch site weather conditions. Launch finally occurred on August 2, 1991 without further delays. Launch weight: 117,650 kilograms (259,400 lb). The primary payload, Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-5 (TDRS-5 or TDRS-E), attached to an Inertial Upper Stage (IUS), was
    10.00
    1 votes
    74
    STS-65

    STS-65

    • Astronauts (if manned): Richard Hieb
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-65 is a Space Shuttle program mission of Columbia launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, 8 July 1994. The flight was commanded by Robert D. Cabana who would go on later to lead the Kennedy Space Center. The International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-2) is the second in a series of Spacelab (SL) flights designed to conduct research in a microgravity environment. The IML concept enables a scientist to apply results from one mission to the next and to broaden the scope and variety of investigations between missions. Data from the IML missions contributes to the research base for the space station. As the name implies, IML-2 is an international mission. Scientists from the European Space Agency (ESA), Canada, France, Germany and Japan are all collaborating with NASA on the IML-2 mission to provide the worldwide science community with a variety of complementary facilities and experiments. These facilities and experiments are mounted in twenty 19" racks in the IML 2 Module. Research on IML-2 is dedicated to microgravity and life sciences. Microgravity science covers a broad range of activities from understanding the fundamental physics involved in material behavior to using
    10.00
    1 votes
    75
    Apollo 13

    Apollo 13

    • Astronauts (if manned): Fred Haise
    • Space program: Project Apollo
    Apollo 13 was the seventh manned mission in the American Apollo space program and the third intended to land on the Moon. The craft was launched on April 11, 1970, at 13:13 CST from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, but the lunar landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded two days later, crippling the service module upon which the Command Module depended. Despite great hardship caused by limited power, loss of cabin heat, shortage of potable water, and the critical need to jury-rig the carbon dioxide removal system, the crew returned safely to Earth on April 17. The flight was commanded by James A. Lovell with John L. "Jack" Swigert as Command Module pilot and Fred W. Haise as Lunar Module pilot. Swigert was a late replacement for the original CM pilot Ken Mattingly, who was grounded by the flight surgeon after exposure to German measles. By the standard crew rotation in place during the Apollo program, the prime crew for Apollo 13 would have been the backup crew for Apollo 10 with Mercury and Gemini veteran L. Gordon Cooper in command. That crew was composed of However, Deke Slayton, NASA's Director of Flight Crew Operations, never intended to rotate Cooper and Eisele to
    6.50
    4 votes
    76
    Soyuz 9

    Soyuz 9

    • Astronauts (if manned): Vitali Sevastyanov
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    Soyuz 9 (Russian: Союз 9, Union 9) was a 1970 Soviet manned space flight. The two-man crew of Andrian Nikolayev and Vitali Sevastyanov broke the five-year-old space endurance record held by Gemini 7, with their nearly 18-day flight. The mission paved the way for the Salyut space station missions, investigating the effects of long-term weightlessness on crew, and evaluating the work that the cosmonauts could do in orbit, individually and as a team. Commander Andrian Nikolayev and flight-engineer Vitaly Sevastyanov spent eighteen days in space conducting various physiological and biomedical experiments on themselves, but also investigating the social implications of prolonged spaceflight. The cosmonauts spent time in two-way TV links with their families, watched the World Cup football game, played chess (including this chess game with the crew as white; it was the first chess game played across space) with ground control, and voted in a Soviet election. The mission set a new space endurance record and marked a shift in emphasis away from spacefarers merely being able to exist in space for the duration of a long mission (such as the Apollo flights to the moon) and being able to live
    6.50
    4 votes
    77
    STS-52

    STS-52

    • Astronauts (if manned): William Shepherd
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-52 was a Space Transportation System (NASA Space Shuttle) mission using orbiter Columbia, and launched 22 October 1992. Primary mission objectives were deployment of the Laser Geodynamic Satellite II (LAGEOS-II) and operation of the U.S. Microgravity Payload-1 (USMP-1). LAGEOS-II, a joint effort between NASA and the Italian Space Agency (ASI), was deployed on day 2 and boosted into an initial elliptical orbit by ASI's Italian Research Interim Stage (IRIS). The spacecraft's apogee kick motor later circularized LAGEOS orbit at its operational altitude of 3,666 miles. The USMP-1, activated on day one, included three experiments mounted on two connected Mission Peculiar Equipment Support Structures (MPESS) mounted in the orbiter's cargo bay. USMP-1 experiments were: Lambda Point Experiment; Matériel Pour L'Etude Des Phénomènes Intéressant La Solidification Sur Et En Orbite (MEPHISTO), sponsored by the French agency Centre National d'Études Spatiales; and Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS). Secondary payloads: (1) Canadian experiment, CANEX-2, located in both the orbiter's cargo bay and middeck and which consisted of Space Vision System (SVS); Materials Exposure in
    6.50
    4 votes
    78
    STS-55

    STS-55

    • Astronauts (if manned): Steven R. Nagel
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-55 (Space Transportation System 55), or D-2 was the 55th overall flight of the US Space Shuttle and the 14th flight of Shuttle Columbia. This flight was a multinational Spacelab flight involving 88 experiments from eleven different nations. The experiments ranged from biology sciences to simple earth observations. Columbia carried to orbit the second reusable German Spacelab on the STS-55 mission and demonstrated the shuttle's ability for international cooperation, exploration, and scientific research in space. The Spacelab Module and an exterior experiment support structure contained in Columbia’s payload bay comprised the Spacelab D-2 payload. (The first German Spacelab flight, D-1, flew Shuttle mission 61-A in October 1985.) The U.S. and Germany gained valuable experience for future space station operations. The D-2 mission, as it was commonly called, augmented the German microgravity research program started by the D-1 mission. The German Aerospace Research Establishment (DLR) had been tasked by the German Space Agency (DARA) to conduct the second mission. DLR, NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and agencies in France and Japan contributed to D-2's scientific program.
    6.50
    4 votes
    79
    STS-69

    STS-69

    • Astronauts (if manned): David M. Walker
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-69 was a Space Shuttle Endeavour mission, and the second flight of the Wake Shield Facility (WSF). The mission launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on 7 September 1995. The 11-day mission was the second flight of the Wake Shield Facility (WSF), a saucer-shaped satellite that will fly free of the Shuttle for several days. The WSF will grow thin films in a near perfect vacuum created by the wake of the satellite as it moves through space. The crew also will deploy and retrieve the Spartan 201 astronomy satellite, perform a six-hour spacewalk to test assembly techniques for the international Space Station and test thermal improvements made to spacesuits used during space walks. The Spartan 201 free-flyer will be making its third flight aboard the Shuttle. The Spartan 201 mission is a scientific research effort aimed at the investigation of the interaction between the Sun and its outflowing wind of charged particles. Spartan's goal is to study the outer atmosphere of the Sun and its transition into the solar wind that constantly flows past the Earth. STS-69 will see the first flight of the International Extreme Ultraviolet Hitchhiker (IEH-1), the first of five planned
    6.50
    4 votes
    80
    STS-97

    STS-97

    • Astronauts (if manned): Joseph R. Tanner
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-97 was a Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) flown by Space Shuttle Endeavour. The crew installed the first set of solar arrays to the ISS, prepared a docking port for arrival of the Destiny Laboratory Module, and delivered supplies for the station's crew. During the 11-day mission, the primary objective was completed, which was to deliver and connect the first set of U.S.-provided solar arrays to the International Space Station. The astronauts completed three spacewalks, during which they prepared a docking port for arrival of the Destiny Laboratory Module, installed Floating Potential Probes to measure electrical potential surrounding the station, installed a camera cable outside the Unity Module, and transferred supplies, equipment and refuse between Endeavour and the station. On Flight Day 3, Commander Brent Jett linked Endeavour to the ISS while 230 statute miles above northeast Kazakhstan. The successful checkout of the Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs), the Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER) units, the Canadarm (RMS), the Orbiter Space Vision System (OSVS) and the Orbiter Docking System (ODS) were all completed nominally. Also, the ODS
    6.50
    4 votes
    81
    STS-101

    STS-101

    • Astronauts (if manned): Susan J. Helms
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-101 was a Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) flown by Space Shuttle Atlantis. The mission was a 10-day mission conducted between 19 May 2000 and 29 May 2000. The mission was designated 2A.2a and was a resupply mission to the International Space Station. STS-101 was delayed 3 times in April due to high winds. STS-101 traveled 4.1 million miles and completed 155 revolutions of the earth and landed on runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center. The mission was the first to fly with the "glass cockpit". STS-101 delivered supplies to the International Space Station, hauled up using a Spacehab double module and an Integrated Cargo Carrier pallet. The crew performed a spacewalk and then reboosted the station from 230 miles (370 km) to 250 miles (400 km). Detailed objectives included ISS ingress/safety to take air samples, monitor carbon dioxide, deploy portable, personal fans, measure air flow, rework/modify ISS ducting, replace air filters, and replace Zarya fire extinguishers and smoke detectors. Critical replacements, repairs and spares were also done to replace four suspect batteries on Zarya, replace failed or suspect electronics for Zarya's batteries, replace
    8.50
    2 votes
    82
    Apollo 4

    Apollo 4

    • Space program: Project Apollo
    Apollo 4, (also known as Apollo-Saturn 501 and AS-501), was the first test flight for the Saturn V, the launch vehicle which was ultimately used by the U.S. Apollo program to send the first astronauts to the Moon. Apollo 4 flew without a crew, and was an "all-up test", meaning all rocket stages and spacecraft would be fully functional on the initial flight, a first for NASA. It was the first time the S-IC first stage and S-II second stage flew. It also demonstrated the S-IVB third stage's first in-flight restart. The mission used a Block I Command Service Module (CSM) modified to test several key Block II revisions, including its heat shield at simulated lunar-return velocity and angle. The launch, on November 9, 1967, was the first from the John F. Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida. The mission lasted almost nine hours, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean, achieving all mission goals. NASA deemed the mission a complete success, because it proved the Saturn V worked, an important step towards achieving the Apollo program's primary objective: landing astronauts on the Moon, and bringing them back safely before the end of the decade. AS-501 was the Saturn V's first
    7.33
    3 votes
    83
    Apollo 6

    Apollo 6

    • Space program: Project Apollo
    Apollo 6, launched on April 4, 1968, was the second mission of the United States Apollo Program and last A type mission—unmanned test flight of its Saturn V launch vehicle. It was also the last unmanned Apollo flight. It was intended to demonstrate full lunar injection capability of the Saturn V with a nearly full simulated payload, and also (again) the capability of the Command Module's heat shield to withstand a lunar-speed re-entry. Again, the mission was not designed to go to the moon, but merely to achieve a translunar speed toward an imaginary point in space nowhere near the moon, then turn around and return in about 10 hours. Fuel line failures in several Saturn V second and third stage engines prevented it from achieving lunar injection, but it was able to get close to lunar return velocity by using the Apollo spacecraft's engine, as was done on Apollo 4, the first Saturn V test. Despite the engine failures, the flight nonetheless provided NASA with enough confidence in the Saturn V to use it for manned launches. Since Apollo 4 had already tested the heat shield at full lunar re-entry velocity, a potential third unmanned flight was cancelled. Apollo 6 was intended to send a
    7.33
    3 votes
    84
    Kosmos 27

    Kosmos 27

    • Space program: Venera
    Kosmos 27 (Russian: Космос 27 meaning Cosmos 27) was a space mission intended as a Venus flyby. The SL-6/A-2-e launcher successfully achieved Earth orbit, but the spacecraft failed to escape orbit for its flight to Venus. Beginning in 1962, the name Kosmos was given to Soviet spacecraft which remained in Earth orbit, regardless of whether that was their intended final destination. The designation of this mission as an intended planetary probe is based on evidence from Soviet and non-Soviet sources and historical documents. Typically Soviet planetary missions were initially put into an Earth parking orbit as a launch platform with a rocket engine and attached probe. The probes were then launched toward their targets with an engine burn with a duration of roughly 4 minutes. If the engine misfired or the burn was not completed, the probes would be left in Earth orbit and given a Kosmos designation.
    7.33
    3 votes
    85
    Little Joe 1B

    Little Joe 1B

    • Space program: Project Mercury
    The Little Joe 1B was a Launch Escape System test of the Mercury spacecraft, conducted as part of the U.S. Mercury program. The mission also carried a female Rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) named Miss Sam in the Mercury spacecraft. The mission was launched January 21, 1960, from Wallops Island, Virginia. The Little Joe 1B flew to an apogee of 9.3 statute miles (15.0 km) and a range of 11.7 miles (18.9 km) out to sea. Miss Sam survived the 8 minute 35 second flight in good condition. The spacecraft was recovered by a Marine helicopter and returned to Wallops Island within about 45 minutes. Miss Sam was one of many monkeys used in space travel research.  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
    7.33
    3 votes
    86
    Little Joe 5A

    Little Joe 5A

    • Space program: Project Mercury
    Little Joe 5A was an unmanned Launch Escape System test of the Mercury spacecraft, conducted as part of the U.S. Mercury program. It was an attempted re-test of the failed Little Joe 5 flight. The mission used production Mercury spacecraft #14 atop a Little Joe booster rocket. The mission was launched March 18, 1961, from Wallops Island, Virginia. The LJ-5 failure sequence was repeated when capsule escape rocket again ignited prematurely with the capsule remaining attached to the booster. In this flight however, a ground command was sent to separate the capsule from the booster and escape tower. This allowed the main and reserve parachutes to deploy and the capsule was recovered with only minor damage. It would be used again on the subsequent Little Joe 5B mission, in a third attempt to achieve mission objectives. The Little Joe 5A flew to an apogee of 7.7 miles (12 km) and a range of 18 miles (29 km). The mission lasted 5 minutes 25 seconds. Maximum speed was 1,783 miles per hour (2,869 km/h) and acceleration was 8 G (78 m/s²). Mercury spacecraft # 14 used in the Little Joe 5A mission, is currently displayed at the Virginia Air and Space Center, Hampton, Virginia.  This article
    7.33
    3 votes
    87
    Mercury-Redstone 1A

    Mercury-Redstone 1A

    • Space program: Project Mercury
    Mercury-Redstone 1A (MR-1A) was launched on December 19, 1960 from LC-5 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The mission objectives of this unmanned suborbital flight were to qualify the spacecraft for space flight and qualify the system for an upcoming primate suborbital flight. The spacecraft tested its instrumentation, posigrade rockets, retro rockets and recovery system. The mission was completely successful. The Mercury capsule reached an altitude of 130 miles (210 km) and a range of 235 miles (378 km). The launch vehicle reached a slightly higher velocity than expected - 4,909 miles per hour (7,900 km/h). The Mercury spacecraft was recovered from the Atlantic Ocean by recovery helicopters about 15 minutes after landing. Serial numbers: Mercury Spacecraft # 2 together with the escape tower from Capsule # 8, and the antenna fairing from Capsule # 10 were reflown on MR-1A. Redstone MRLV-3 was used. Flight time 15 minutes 45 seconds. Mercury spacecraft #2, used in both the Mercury-Redstone 1 and Mercury-Redstone 1A missions, is currently displayed at the Exploration Center at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Federal Airfield, near Mountain View, California.  This article
    7.33
    3 votes
    88
    Soyuz 18a

    Soyuz 18a

    • Astronauts (if manned): Oleg Makarov
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    Soyuz 18a (Russian: Союз 18a, Union 18a) (also called Soyuz 18-1 and the April 5 Anomaly) was a manned Soyuz spacecraft launched by the Soviet Union in 1975, intended to dock with the orbiting Salyut 4 space station, but which failed to achieve orbit due to a serious malfunction during launch. The crew consisted of commander Vasili Lazarev, an Air Force major, and flight engineer Oleg Makarov, a civilian. The accident was disclosed by the normally secretive Soviets as it occurred during preparations for their joint Apollo-Soyuz Test Project with the United States which flew three months later. The crew, who feared initially they had landed in China, were successfully recovered. Soyuz 18a was intended to be the second mission to take cosmonauts to the Soviet Salyut 4 space station for a 60-day mission. Both cosmonauts were on their second mission and had flown their first mission together, Soyuz 12, in September 1973 to test a new type of Soyuz spacecraft after the fatal accident of Soyuz 11. The launch proceeded according to plan until T+288.6 seconds at an altitude of 145 kilometres (90 mi), when the second and third stages of the booster began separation. Only three of the six
    7.33
    3 votes
    89
    Soyuz 28

    Soyuz 28

    • Astronauts (if manned): Vladimír Remek
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    Soyuz 28 (Russian: Союз 28, Union 28) was a 1978 Soviet manned mission to the orbiting Salyut 6 space station. It was the fourth mission to the station, the third successful docking, and the second visit to the resident crew launched in Soyuz 26. Cosmonaut Vladimír Remek from Czechoslovakia became the first person launched into space who was not a citizen of the United States or the Soviet Union. The other crew member was Aleksei Gubarev. The flight was the first mission in the Intercosmos program that gave Eastern Bloc and other Communist countries access to space through manned and unmanned launches. The Soyuz 28 mission was the first Intercosmos flight, whereby military pilots from Soviet bloc nations were flown on flights of about eight days to a Soviet space station. Pilots from other nations would eventually also fly. The program was a reaction to American plans to fly Europeans on space shuttle missions. Gubarev and Remek, the first non-Soviet, non-American to travel to space, were launched aboard Soyuz 28 on 2 March 1978, after a three-day delay of unspecified cause. The crew docked with the orbiting Salyut 6 space station, and greeted the occupants Georgi Grechko and Yuri
    7.33
    3 votes
    90
    STS-89

    STS-89

    • Astronauts (if manned): Bonnie J. Dunbar
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-89 was a space shuttle mission to the Mir space station flown by Space Shuttle Endeavour, and launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on 22 January 1998. STS-89 was originally scheduled to return Wendy B. Lawrence but returned David A. Wolf (Mir 24–25 / STS-86) and left Andrew Thomas on Mir. Thomas returned on STS-91. The continuing cooperative effort in space exploration between the United States and Russia and a joint spacewalk will be the focus of NASA's first Shuttle mission of 1998 with the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on Mission STS-89. During the mission, more than 3,175 kilograms (7,000 lb) of experiments, supplies and hardware are scheduled to be transferred between the two spacecraft. This was the eighth of nine planned missions to Mir and the fifth one involving an exchange of U.S. astronauts. Astronaut David Wolf, who had been on Mir since late September 1997, was replaced by Astronaut Andrew Thomas. Thomas spent approximately 4 months on the orbiting Russian facility before returning to Earth when Discovery docked to Mir in late May during STS-91. SPACEHAB Payloads include the Advanced X-Ray Detector (ADV XDT), the Advanced Commercial Generic Bioprocessing
    7.33
    3 votes
    91
    STS-96

    STS-96

    • Astronauts (if manned): Kent Rominger
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-96 was a Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) flown by Space Shuttle Discovery, and the first shuttle flight to dock with the International Space Station. The shuttle carried the Spacehab module in the payload, filled with cargo for station outfitting. STS-96 launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 27 May 1999 at 06:49 EDT STS-96 was a logistics and resupply mission for the International Space Station carrying the Spacehab Double Module (DM) 13th Spacehab overall (6th dual module use). Also the Integrated Cargo Carrier (ICC) carried the Russian cargo crane, known as STRELA, which was mounted to the exterior of the Russian station segment, the SPACEHAB Oceaneering Space System Box (SHOSS) and a U.S. built crane called the ORU Transfer Device (OTD). Other payloads on STS-96 were the Student Tracked Atmospheric Research Satellite for Heuristic International Networking Equipment (STARSHINE), the Shuttle Vibration Forces Experiment (SVF) and the Orbiter Integrated Vehicle Health Monitoring – HEDS Technology Demonstration (IVHM HTD). The STARSHINE satellite consists of an inert, 483 millimetres (19.0 in) hollow sphere covered by 1,000
    7.33
    3 votes
    92
    Gemini 2

    Gemini 2

    • Space program: Project Gemini
    Gemini 2 was the second spaceflight of the American human spaceflight program Project Gemini. Gemini 2, like Gemini 1, was an unmanned mission intended as a test flight of the Gemini spacecraft. Unlike Gemini 1, which was placed into orbit, Gemini 2 made a suborbital flight, primarily intended to test the spacecraft's heat shield. It was launched on a Titan II GLV rocket. The spacecraft used for the Gemini 2 mission was later refurbished, and was subsequently launched on another suborbital flight, along with OPS 0855, as a test for the US Air Force Manned Orbital Laboratory. Gemini 2 was the first craft to make more than one spaceflight since the X-15, and the only one until Space Shuttle Columbia flew its second mission in 1981. The Titan II/Gemini launch vehicle was dismantled to protect it from two hurricanes in August and September 1964. The second stage of the vehicle was taken down and stored in a hangar on 26 August 1964 in preparation for Hurricane Cleo, and the entire launch vehicle was subsequently dismantled and removed from Cape Canaveral's Launch Complex 19 in early September before Hurricane Dora passed over Cape Canaveral on September 9. The Gemini launch vehicle was
    6.25
    4 votes
    93
    STS-51-A

    STS-51-A

    • Astronauts (if manned): Joseph P. Allen
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-51-A was the second flight of Space Shuttle Discovery, and the 14th flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program. The mission launched from Kennedy Space Center on 8 November 1984, and landed just under eight days later on 16 November. STS-51-A was unique, in that it marked the first time a shuttle had deployed two communications satellites, and retrieved from orbit two other communications satellites. The Canadian Anik D2 and SYNCOM IV-l satellites were both successfully deployed by the crew of Discovery. Palapa B-2 and Westar 6, meanwhile, had been deployed during the STS-41-B mission earlier in the year, but had been placed into improper orbits due to the malfunctioning of their kick motors; they were both safely recovered and returned to Earth during STS-51-A. STS-51-A was launched from Florida's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) at 7:15 am EST, 8 November 1984, less than a month after the STS-41-G flight. A launch attempt the day before was scrubbed at T-minus 20 minutes due to high shear winds in the upper atmosphere. The five-person flight crew consisted of Frederick H. Hauck, commander, on his second flight; pilot David M. Walker; and three mission specialists – Anna L. Fisher, Dale
    6.25
    4 votes
    94
    Apollo 7

    Apollo 7

    • Astronauts (if manned): Donn F. Eisele
    • Space program: Project Apollo
    Apollo 7 was the first manned mission in the United States Apollo space program, and the first manned US space flight after a cabin fire killed the crew of what was to have been the first manned mission, AS-204 (later renamed Apollo 1), during a launch pad test in 1967. It was a C type mission—an 11-day Earth-orbital mission, the first manned launch of the Saturn IB launch vehicle, and the first three-person US space mission. The crew was commanded by Walter M. Schirra, with Command Module Pilot Donn F. Eisele, and Lunar Module Pilot R. Walter Cunningham. The mission was the first manned test of the redesigned Block II Apollo Command/Service Module. It flew in Earth orbit so the crew could check life-support, propulsion, and control systems. Despite tension between the crew and ground controllers, the mission was a technical success, which gave NASA the confidence to launch Apollo 8 around the Moon two months later. However, the flight would prove to be the last space flight for all of its three crew members. It was also the final manned launch from what was then known as Cape Kennedy Air Force Station, Florida. Apollo 7 was a test flight, and confidence-builder. After the January
    7.00
    3 votes
    95
    STS-31

    STS-31

    • Astronauts (if manned): Steven Hawley
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-31 was the thirty-fifth mission of the American Space Shuttle program, which launched the Hubble Space Telescope astronomical observatory into Earth orbit. The mission used the Space Shuttle Discovery, which lifted off from Launch Pad 39B on 24 April 1990 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Discovery's crew deployed the telescope on 25 April, and spent the rest of the mission tending to various scientific experiments in the shuttle's payload bay and operating a set of IMAX cameras to record the mission. Discovery's launch marked the first time since January 1986 that two Space Shuttles had been on the launch pad at the same time – Discovery on 39B and Columbia on 39A. Initially, this mission was to be flown in August 1986 as STS-61-J using Atlantis, but was postponed due to the Challenger disaster. John Young was originally assigned to command this mission, which would have been his seventh spaceflight, but was reassigned to an administrative position and was replaced by Loren Shriver. Launched 24 April 1990, 8:33:51 am EDT. Launch scheduled for 18 April, then 12 April, then 10 April, following Flight Readiness Review (FRR). First time date set at FRR was earlier than that
    7.00
    3 votes
    96
    STS-85

    STS-85

    • Astronauts (if manned): Kent Rominger
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-85 was a Space Shuttle Discovery mission to perform multiple space science packages. It was launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 7 August 1997. Jeffrey Ashby was originally assigned to be pilot on this mission, but asked to be relieved in order to take care of his wife, who was dying from cancer. He was replaced by Kent Rominger and was assigned to pilot STS-93 instead. The deployment and retrieval of a satellite designed to study Earth's middle atmosphere along with a test of potential International Space Station hardware highlighted NASA's sixth Shuttle mission of 1997. The prime payload for the flight, the Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescopes for the Atmosphere-Shuttle Pallet Satellite-2 (CRISTA-SPAS-2) made its second flight on the Space Shuttle (previous flight STS-66 in 1994) and was the fourth mission in a cooperative venture between the German Space Agency (DARA) and NASA. During the flight, Davis used Discovery's robot arm to deploy the CRISTA-SPAS payload for about 9 days of free-flight. CRISTA-SPAS consists of three telescopes and four spectrometers that measured trace gases and dynamics of the Earth's middle atmosphere. Davis also operated the
    7.00
    3 votes
    97
    Mercury-Redstone 1

    Mercury-Redstone 1

    • Space program: Project Mercury
    Mercury-Redstone 1 (MR-1) was the first Mercury-Redstone mission in the Mercury program and the first attempt to launch a Mercury spacecraft with the Mercury-Redstone launch vehicle. Intended to be an unmanned sub-orbital flight, it was launched on November 21, 1960 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The launch failed in a peculiar fashion which has been referred to as the "four-inch flight". The purpose of the MR-1 mission was to qualify the Mercury spacecraft and the Mercury-Redstone launch vehicle for the sub-orbital Mercury mission. It would also qualify the spacecraft's automated flight control and recovery systems, as well as the launch, tracking, and recovery operations on the ground. The mission would also test the Mercury-Redstone's automatic inflight abort sensing system, which would be operating in "open-loop" mode. This meant that the abort sensing system could report a condition requiring an abort, but it would be unable to actually trigger an abort itself. Since the flight did not have a living passenger, this would not pose a safety problem, and it would prevent a faulty abort signal from prematurely ending the flight. The mission used Mercury spacecraft #2 together with
    8.00
    2 votes
    98
    STS-100

    STS-100

    • Astronauts (if manned): Kent Rominger
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-100 was a Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) flown by Space Shuttle Endeavour. STS-100 installed the ISS Canadarm2 robotic arm. The highest priority objectives of the flight were the installation, activation and checkout of the Canadarm2 robotic arm on the station. The operation of the arm is critical to the capability to continue assembly of the International Space Station, and was also necessary to attach a new airlock to the station on the subsequent shuttle flight, mission STS-104. A final component of the Canadarm is the Mobile Base System (MBS), installed on board the station during the STS-111 flight. Other major objectives for Endeavour’s mission were to berth the Raffaello logistics module to the station, activate it, transfer cargo between Raffaello and the station, and reberth Raffaello in the shuttle's payload bay. Raffaello is the second of three Italian Space Agency-developed Multi-Purpose Logistics Module that were launched to the station. The Leonardo module was launched and returned on the previous shuttle flight, STS-102, in March. Remaining objectives included the transfer of other equipment to the station such as an Ultra-High
    8.00
    2 votes
    99
    STS-95

    STS-95

    • Astronauts (if manned): Pedro Duque
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-95 was a Space Shuttle Discovery mission launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on 29 October 1998. It was the 25th flight of Discovery and the 92nd mission flown since the start of the Space Shuttle program in April 1981. It was a highly publicized mission due to former Project Mercury astronaut and United States Senator John H. Glenn, Jr.'s return to space for his second space flight. At age 77, Glenn became the oldest person, to date, to go into space. This mission is also noted for inaugurating ATSC HDTV broadcasting in the U.S., with live coast-to-coast coverage of the launch. In another first, Spain's Pedro Duque became the first Spaniard in space. The mission's objectives involved investigating life-sciences experiments, using the SpaceHab to perform these experiments on Senator Glenn. Scientific objectives on this mission were not limited to furthering an understanding of the human body, but also to increase astronomical understanding with regards to the Sun, and how it affects life on Earth. The Spartan 201 spacecraft was released by the crew, flying free from the Shuttle, studying the acceleration of the solar wind that originates in the sun's solar corona. The
    8.00
    2 votes
    100
    Apollo-Soyuz Test Project

    Apollo-Soyuz Test Project

    • Astronauts (if manned): Valeri Kubasov
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    The Apollo–Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) (Russian: Экспериментальный полёт «Союз» — «Аполлон», Eksperimantalniy polyot Soyuz-Apollon, lit. "Experimental flight Soyuz-Apollo"), in July 1975, was the first joint U.S.–Soviet space flight, and the last flight of an Apollo spacecraft. Its primary purpose was as a symbol of the policy of détente that the two superpowers were pursuing at the time, and marked the end of the Space Race between them that began in 1957. The mission included both joint and separate scientific experiments (including an engineered eclipse of the Sun by Apollo to allow Soyuz to take photographs of the solar corona), and provided useful engineering experience for future joint US–Russian space flights, such as the Shuttle–Mir Program and the International Space Station. ASTP was the last manned US space mission until the first Space Shuttle flight in April 1981. It was also U.S. astronaut Donald "Deke" Slayton's only space flight. He was chosen as one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts in April 1959, but had been grounded until 1972 for medical reasons. Jack Swigert had originally been assigned as the command module pilot for the ASTP prime crew, but prior to the
    9.00
    1 votes
    101
    Hayabusa

    Hayabusa

    • Launch site: Uchinoura Space Center
    Hayabusa (はやぶさ, literally "Peregrine Falcon") was an unmanned spacecraft developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to return a sample of material from a small near-Earth asteroid named 25143 Itokawa to Earth for further analysis. Hayabusa, formerly known as MUSES-C for Mu Space Engineering Spacecraft C, was launched on 9 May 2003 and rendezvoused with Itokawa in mid-September 2005. After arriving at Itokawa, Hayabusa studied the asteroid's shape, spin, topography, colour, composition, density, and history. In November 2005, it landed on the asteroid and collected samples in the form of tiny grains of asteroidal material, which were returned to Earth aboard the spacecraft on 13 June 2010. The spacecraft also carried a detachable minilander, MINERVA, which failed to reach the surface. Other spacecraft, notably Galileo and NEAR Shoemaker both sent by NASA, have visited asteroids before, but the Hayabusa mission was the first time that an attempt was made to return an asteroid sample to Earth for analysis. In addition, Hayabusa was the first spacecraft designed to deliberately land on an asteroid and then take off again (NEAR Shoemaker made a controlled descent to the
    9.00
    1 votes
    102
    Mercury-Redstone 3

    Mercury-Redstone 3

    • Astronauts (if manned): Alan Shepard
    • Space program: Project Mercury
    The Mercury-Redstone 3, MR-3 or Freedom 7 spaceflight was the first human spaceflight by the USA and took place on 5 May 1961, with Alan Shepard as the astronaut. It was part of Project Mercury which was an attempt by the USA to bring an astronaut into orbit around the Earth before the Soviet Union during the Cold war. This first manned mission, however, was only a 15-minutes suborbital flight meaning above the limit of space at an altitude of 100 km (62 mi) and down again. The last part of the mission name came from the Redstone rocket that was used for launching the spacecraft. It was the fourth mission by that rocket in the project; the former being unmanned test flights of which one carried a chimpanzee. The launch of MR-3 took place at Cape Canaveral, Florida close to the Atlantic Ocean. After the rocket had burned out, the spacecraft with Shepard on board separated from it and continued until it reached an altitude of 116.5 miles (187.5 km) before falling back and landing by parachute on the ocean off the Bahamas. Here it was picked up by helicopter and brought to an aircraft carrier. During the flight, Shepard observed the Earth and tested the reaction control system of the
    9.00
    1 votes
    103
    Mercury-Redstone BD

    Mercury-Redstone BD

    • Space program: Project Mercury
    Mercury-Redstone BD was an unmanned booster development flight in the U.S. Mercury program. It was launched on March 24, 1961 from Launch Complex 5 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The mission used a boilerplate Mercury spacecraft and Redstone MRLV-5. After the problems that developed during the MR-2 mission carrying the chimpanzee Ham, it was apparent that the Redstone needed further development before it could be trusted to carry a human passenger. Dr. Wernher von Braun added Mercury-Redstone BD to the launch schedule between the MR-2 and MR-3 missions. The cause of previous Redstone rocket over-accelerations was a servo valve that did not properly regulate the flow of hydrogen peroxide to the steam generator. This in turn overpowered the fuel pumps. The thrust regulator and velocity integrator were modified on the MR-BD and later Mercury-Redstone rockets to prevent them from exceeding the speed limit again. Another problem encountered in previous Mercury-Redstone flights were harmonic vibrations induced by aerodynamic stress in the topmost section of the elongated Redstone. To fix this problem, four stiffeners were added to the ballast section and 210 pounds (95 kg) of insulation was
    9.00
    1 votes
    104
    Salyut 3

    Salyut 3

    • Space program: Salyut program
    Salyut 3 (Russian: Салют-3; English: Salute 3; also known as OPS-2 or Almaz 2) was a Soviet space station launched on June 25, 1974. It was the second Almaz military space station, and the first such station to be launched successfully. It was included in the Salyut program to disguise its true military nature. Due to the military nature of the station, the Soviet Union was reluctant to release information about its design, and about the missions relating to the station. It attained an altitude of 219 to 270 km on launch and NASA reported its final orbital altitude was 268 to 272 km. Only one of the three intended crews successfully boarded and manned the station, brought by Soyuz 14; Soyuz 15 attempted to bring a second crew but failed to dock. Although little official information has been released about the station, several sources report that it contained multiple Earth-observation cameras, as well as an on-board gun. The station was deorbited, and re-entered the atmosphere on January 24, 1975. The next space station launched by the Soviet Union was the civilian station Salyut 4; the next military station was Salyut 5, which was the final Almaz space station. The first space
    9.00
    1 votes
    105
    Soyuz 5

    Soyuz 5

    • Astronauts (if manned): Boris Volynov
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    Soyuz 5 (Russian: Союз 5, Union 5) was a Soyuz mission using the Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft launched by the Soviet Union on January 15, 1969, which docked with Soyuz 4 in orbit. It was the first-ever docking of two manned spacecraft of any nation, and the first-ever transfer of crew from one space vehicle to another of any nation, the only time a transfer was accomplished with a space walk – two month before the US Apollo 9 performed the first ever internal crew transfer. The flight was also memorable for its dramatic re-entry. The craft's service module did not separate, so it entered the atmosphere nose-first, leaving cosmonaut Boris Volynov hanging by his restraining straps. As the craft aerobraked, the atmosphere burned through the module. But the craft righted itself before the escape hatch was burned through. Then, the parachute lines tangled and the landing rockets failed, resulting in a hard landing which broke Volynov's teeth. Soyuz 5 was piloted by Commander Boris Volynov and carried flight engineers Aleksei Yeliseyev and Yevgeny Khrunov as crew to be transferred to the Soyuz 4 for reentry. The mission plan contained scientific, technical, and medical-biological research,
    9.00
    1 votes
    106
    STS-29

    STS-29

    • Astronauts (if manned): James Buchli
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-29 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission, during which Space Shuttle Discovery inserted a Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) into Earth's orbit. It was the third shuttle mission following the Challenger disaster of 1986, and launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 13 March 1989. STS-29 was the eighth flight of Discovery and the 28th Space Shuttle mission overall; its planned predecessor, STS-28, was delayed until August 1989. Some conspiracy theorists believe that recorded conversations between STS-29 and its mission controllers prove the existence of alien spacecraft. However, it is most likely that these transmissions are in reality a mere hoax. Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Pad B, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center, at 9:57 am EST on 13 March 1989. The launch was originally scheduled for 18 February, but was postponed to allow for the replacement of faulty liquid oxygen turbopumps on the three main engines. The amended target date of 11 March also proved unviable because of the failure of a master event controller when it was powered up during prelaunch checkout; the controller was quickly replaced. On the rescheduled launch day of 13 March, the
    9.00
    1 votes
    107
    STS-44

    STS-44

    • Astronauts (if manned): Frederick D. Gregory
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-44 was a Space Shuttle mission on Atlantis that launched 24 November 1991. It was a U.S. Department of Defense space mission. The launch was on 24 November 1991 at 6:44:00 pm EST. A launch set for 19 November was delayed due to replacing and testing a malfunctioning redundant inertial measurement unit on the Inertial Upper Stage booster attached to the Defense Support Program satellite. The launch was reset for 24 November and was delayed 13 minutes to allow an orbiting spacecraft to pass and to allow external tank liquid oxygen replenishment after minor repairs to a valve in the liquid oxygen replenishment system in the mobile launcher platform. Launch weight was 117,766 kilograms (259,630 lb). The mission was dedicated to the Department of Defense. The unclassified payload included a Defense Support Program (DSP) satellite and attached Inertial Upper Stage (IUS), deployed on flight day one. Cargo bay and middeck payloads included the Interim Operational Contamination Monitor (IOCM), Terra Scout, Military Man in Space (M88-1), Air Force Maui Optical System (AMOS), Cosmic Radiation Effects and Activation Monitor (CREAM), Shuttle Activation Monitor (SAM), Radiation Monitoring
    9.00
    1 votes
    108
    STS-7

    STS-7

    • Astronauts (if manned): Sally Ride
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    • Launch site: Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39
    STS-7 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission, during which Space Shuttle Challenger deployed several satellites into orbit. The shuttle launched from Kennedy Space Center on 18 June 1983, and landed at Edwards Air Force Base on 24 June. STS-7 was the seventh shuttle mission, and was Challenger's second mission. It was also the first American spaceflight involving a female astronaut. Challenger’s second flight began at 7:33 am EDT, 18 June 1983, with an on-time liftoff. It was the first spaceflight of an American woman (Sally K. Ride), the largest crew to fly in a single spacecraft up to that time (five people), and the first flight that included members of NASA's Group 8 astronaut class selected in 1978 to fly the Space Shuttle. The crew of STS-7 included Robert L. Crippen, commander, making his second Shuttle flight; Frederick H. Hauck, pilot; Ride, John M. Fabian and Norman Thagard, all mission specialists. Thagard conducted medical tests of the Space Adaptation Syndrome, a bout of nausea frequently experienced by astronauts during the early phase of a space flight. Two communications satellites – Anik C-2 for Telesat of Canada, and Palapa B-l for Indonesia – were successfully deployed
    9.00
    1 votes
    109
    STS-71

    STS-71

    • Astronauts (if manned): Charles J. Precourt
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-71 was the third mission of the US/Russian Shuttle-Mir Program, which carried out the first Space Shuttle docking to Mir, a Russian space station. The mission used Space Shuttle Atlantis, which lifted off from launch pad 39A on 27 June 1995 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The mission delivered a relief crew of two cosmonauts, Anatoly Solovyev and Nikolai Budarin, to the station, along with recovering American Increment astronaut Norman Thagard, and was the first in a series of seven straight missions to the station flown by Atlantis. The five-day docking marked the creation of the largest spacecraft ever placed into orbit at that time in history, the first ever on-orbit changeout of Shuttle crew members, and the 100th manned space launch by the United States. During the docked operations, the crews of the shuttle & station carried out various on-orbit joint US/Russian life sciences investigations aboard Spacelab/Mir and a logistical resupply of the Mir, along with the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment-II (SAREX-II) experiment. The primary objectives of this flight were to rendezvous and perform the first docking between the Space Shuttle and the Russian Space Station Mir on
    9.00
    1 votes
    110
    Voskhod 1

    Voskhod 1

    • Astronauts (if manned): Konstantin Feoktistov
    • Space program: Voskhod programme
    Voskhod 1 (Russian: Восход-1, Восход is Russian for Sunrise) was the seventh manned Soviet space flight. It achieved a number of "firsts" in the history of manned spaceflight, being the first space flight to carry more than one crewman into orbit, the first flight without the use of spacesuits, and the first to carry either an engineer or a physician into outer space. It also set a manned spacecraft altitude record of 336 km (209 mi). The three spacesuits for the Voskhod 1 cosmonauts were omitted; there was neither the room nor the payload capacity for the Voskhod to carry them. The original Voskhod had been designed to carry two cosmonauts, but Soviet politicians pushed the Soviet space program into squeezing three cosmonauts into Voskhod 1. The only other space flight in the short Voskhod program, Voskhod 2, carried two suited cosmonauts — of necessity, because it was the flight on which Alexei Leonov made the world's first walk in space. As part of its payload Voskhod 1 carried a ribbon off a Communard banner from the Paris Commune of 1871 into orbit. The original prime crew of cosmonauts for Voskhod 1, composed of Boris Volynov, Georgi Katys, and Boris Yegorov, was rejected
    9.00
    1 votes
    111
    Apollo 12

    Apollo 12

    • Astronauts (if manned): Richard F. Gordon, Jr.
    • Space program: Project Apollo
    Apollo 12 was the sixth manned flight in the United States Apollo program and the second to land on the Moon (an H type mission). It was launched on November 14, 1969 from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, four months after Apollo 11. Mission commander Charles "Pete" Conrad and Lunar Module Pilot Alan L. Bean performed just over one day and seven hours of lunar surface activity while Command Module Pilot Richard F. Gordon remained in lunar orbit. The landing site for the mission was located in the southeastern portion of the Ocean of Storms. Unlike the first landing on Apollo 11, Conrad and Bean achieved a precise landing at the site of the Surveyor 3 unmanned probe, which had landed on April 20, 1967. They carried the first color television camera to the lunar surface on an Apollo flight, but transmission was lost after Bean accidentally destroyed the camera by pointing it at the Sun. On one of two moonwalks, they visited the Surveyor, and removed some parts for return to Earth. The mission ended on November 24 with a successful splashdown. Apollo 12 launched on schedule from Kennedy Space Center, during a rainstorm. It was the first rocket launch attended by an incumbent US
    6.67
    3 votes
    112
    Apollo 17

    Apollo 17

    • Astronauts (if manned): Harrison Schmitt
    • Space program: Project Apollo
    Apollo 17 was the eleventh and final manned mission in the United States Apollo space program. Launched at 12:33 a.m. EST on 7 December 1972, with a three-member crew consisting of Commander Eugene Cernan, Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans, and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt, Apollo 17 remains the most recent manned Moon landing and the most recent manned flight beyond low Earth orbit. Apollo 17 was the sixth Apollo lunar landing, the first night launch of a U.S. human spaceflight and the final manned launch of a Saturn V rocket. It was a "J-type mission", missions including three-day lunar surface stays, extended scientific capability, and the third Lunar Roving Vehicle. While Evans remained in lunar orbit above in the Command/Service Module, Cernan and Schmitt spent just over three days on the lunar surface in the Taurus-Littrow valley, conducting three periods of extra-vehicular activity, or moonwalks, during which they collected lunar samples and deployed scientific instruments. Cernan, Evans, and Schmitt returned to Earth on 19 December after an approximately 12-day mission. The decision to land in the Taurus-Littrow valley was made with the primary objectives for Apollo
    6.67
    3 votes
    113
    Mercury-Redstone 2

    Mercury-Redstone 2

    • Astronauts (if manned): Ham the Chimp
    • Space program: Project Mercury
    Mercury-Redstone 2 (MR-2) was an American space mission, launched at 16:55 UTC on January 31, 1961 from LC-5 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Mercury spacecraft No. 5 carried Ham the Chimp on a suborbital flight, landing in the Atlantic Ocean 16 minutes, 39 seconds after launch. MR-2 was part of Project Mercury, the United States' first manned spaceflight program. It was intended to be the final test flight of the Mercury-Redstone Launch Vehicle prior to the first manned mission. The previous Mercury-Redstone mission, MR-1A, flew a trajectory that was too steep with accelerations too high for a human passenger. MR-1A had climbed to its programmed apogee of about 130 miles (209 km) and landed 235 miles (378 km) downrange. Mercury-Redstone 2 would follow a more flattened trajectory. Its planned flight path was an apogee of 115 miles (185 km) and a range of 290 miles (467 km). Spacecraft No. 5 contained six new systems that had not been on previous flights: environmental control system, attitude stabilization control system, live retrorockets, voice communications system, "closed loop" abort sensing system, and a pneumatic landing bag. Six chimpanzees (four female and two male) and twenty
    6.67
    3 votes
    114
    Skylab 3

    Skylab 3

    • Astronauts (if manned): Jack R. Lousma
    • Space program: Skylab Missions
    Skylab 3 (also SL-3 and SLM-2) was the second manned mission to the first American space station, Skylab. The mission began July 28, 1973, with the launch of three astronauts on the Saturn IB rocket, and lasted 59 days, 11 hours and 9 minutes. A total of 1,084.7 astronaut-utilization hours were tallied by the Skylab 3 crew performing scientific experiments in the areas of medical activities, solar observations, Earth resources, and other experiments. The manned Skylab missions were officially designated Skylab 2, 3, and 4. Mis-communication about the numbering resulted in the mission emblems reading Skylab I, Skylab II, and Skylab 3 respectively. During the approach phase, problems developed in the Apollo CSM's reaction control system, and a leak formed. The crew was able to safely dock with Skylab, but troubleshooting would continue with the problem. For the first time, an Apollo spacecraft would be rolled out to Launch Complex 39 for a rescue mission, made possible by the ability for the station to have two Apollo CSMs docked at the same time. They eventually fixed the problem, and the rescue mission was never launched. The crew, during their first EVA, installed the twin-pole
    6.67
    3 votes
    115
    STS-47

    STS-47

    • Astronauts (if manned): Jerome Apt
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-47 was the 50th Space Shuttle mission of the program, as well as the second mission of Space Shuttle Endeavour. The mission mainly involved conducting experiments in life and material sciences. Spacelab-J—a joint NASA and National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) mission using a manned Spacelab module—conducted microgravity investigations in materials and life sciences. The international crew, consisting of the first Japanese astronaut to fly aboard the Shuttle, the first African-American woman to fly in space and, contrary to normal NASA policy, the first married couple to fly on the same space mission (Lee and Davis), was divided into red and blue teams for around the clock operations. Spacelab-J included 24 materials science and 20 life sciences experiments, of which 35 were sponsored by NASDA, 7 by NASA and 2 collaborative efforts. Materials science investigations covered such fields as biotechnology, electronic materials, fluid dynamics and transport phenomena, glasses and ceramics, metals and alloys, and acceleration measurements. Life sciences included experiments on human health, cell separation and biology, developmental biology, animal and human physiology
    6.67
    3 votes
    116
    STS-83

    STS-83

    • Astronauts (if manned): Gregory T. Linteris
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-83 was a mission of the United States Space Shuttle Columbia. This mission was originally launched on 4 April 1997, and was intended to be on orbit for 15 days, 16 hours. The mission was cut short due to a problem with Fuel Cell #2 and it landed on 8 April, after 3 days 23 hours. NASA decided to fly the mission again as STS-94, which launched 1 July 1997. The primary payload on STS-83 was the Microgravity Science Laboratory (MSL). MSL was a collection of microgravity experiments housed inside a European Spacelab Long Module (LM). It built on the cooperative and scientific foundation of the International Microgravity Laboratory missions (IML-1 on STS-42 and IML-2 on STS-65), the United States Microgravity Laboratory missions (USML-1 on STS-50 and USML-2 on STS-73), the Japanese Spacelab mission (Spacelab-J on STS-47), the Spacelab Life and Microgravity Science Mission (LMS on STS-78) and the German Spacelab missions (D-1 on STS-61-A and D-2 on STS-55). MSL featured 19 materials science investigations in four major facilities. These facilities were the Large Isothermal Furnace, the EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to the Space Station (EXPRESS) Rack, the Electromagnetic
    6.67
    3 votes
    117
    Soyuz 18

    Soyuz 18

    • Astronauts (if manned): Vitali Sevastyanov
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    Soyuz 18 (Russian: Союз 18, Union 18) was a 1975 Soviet manned mission to Salyut 4, the second and final crew to man the space station. Pyotr Klimuk and Vitali Sevastyanov set a new Soviet space endurance record of 63 days and the mark for most people in space simultaneously (seven) was tied during the mission. The Soyuz 18 crew were the back-up crew for the failed Soyuz 18a mission, carried out that mission's objectives, and continued the work of the previous Soyuz 17 crew. Klimuk and Sevastyanov were launched into space on 24 May 1975 and docked with Salyut 4 two days later. The crew quickly set to performing experiments and fixing or replacing equipment. A spectrometer was repaired, a gas analyzer was replaced, and a pumping condenser in the water regeneration system was switched with a hand pump. On 29 and 30 May, biological and medical experiments were performed and the Oasis garden was started. Studies of the stars, planets, Earth and its atmosphere were started on 2 and 3 June. Some 2,000 photographs of the Earth and 600 of the sun were reported taken. More medical experiments were performed in June, and attempts were made to grow plants, including onions. Experiments were
    5.75
    4 votes
    118
    Apollo 15

    Apollo 15

    • Astronauts (if manned): David Scott
    • Space program: Project Apollo
    Apollo 15 was the ninth manned mission in the United States' Apollo space program, the fourth to land on the Moon, and the eighth successful manned mission. It was the first of what were termed "J missions", long stays on the Moon, with a greater focus on science than had been possible on previous missions. It was also the first mission on which the Lunar Roving Vehicle was used. The mission began on July 26, 1971, and ended on August 7. At the time, NASA called it the most successful manned flight ever achieved. Commander David Scott and Lunar Module Pilot James Irwin spent three days on the Moon, including 18½ hours outside the spacecraft on lunar extra-vehicular activity. The mission was the first not to land in a lunar mare, instead landing near Hadley rille, in an area of the Mare Imbrium called Palus Putredinus (Marsh of Decay). The crew explored the area using the first Lunar Rover, which allowed them to travel much farther from the Lunar Module lander than had been possible on missions without the Rover. They collected 77 kg (170 lbs) of lunar surface material. At the same time, Command Module Pilot Alfred Worden orbited the Moon, using a Scientific Instrument Module (SIM)
    7.50
    2 votes
    119
    Luna 16

    Luna 16

    Luna 16 (Ye-8-5 series) was an unmanned space mission, part of the Soviet Luna program. Luna 16 was the first robotic probe to land on the Moon and return a sample of lunar soil to Earth. It represented the first lunar sample return mission by the Soviet Union, and was the third lunar sample return mission overall, following the Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 missions. The spacecraft consisted of two attached stages, an ascent stage mounted on top of a descent stage. The descent stage was a cylindrical body with four protruding landing legs, fuel tanks, a landing radar, and a dual descent engine complex. A main descent engine was used to slow the craft until it reached a cutoff point which was determined by the on-board computer based on altitude and velocity. After cutoff a bank of lower thrust jets was used for the final landing. The descent stage also acted as a launch pad for the ascent stage. The ascent stage was a smaller cylinder with a rounded top. It carried a cylindrical hermetically sealed soil sample container inside a re-entry capsule. The spacecraft descent stage was equipped with a television camera, radiation and temperature monitors, telecommunications equipment, and an
    7.50
    2 votes
    120
    Mercury-Redstone 4

    Mercury-Redstone 4

    • Astronauts (if manned): Gus Grissom
    • Space program: Project Mercury
    Mercury-Redstone 4 was the second United States manned space mission, launched on July 21, 1961. The Mercury program suborbital flight used a Redstone rocket. The spacecraft was named Liberty Bell 7 piloted by astronaut Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom. It reached an altitude of more than 118.26 mi (190.32 km) and traveled about 300 mi (480 km). The Redstone was MRLV-8 and the spacecraft was Mercury spacecraft #11, the first with a centerline window instead of two portholes. Mercury spacecraft #11 was designated to fly the second manned suborbital flight in October, 1960. It came off McDonnell's St. Louis production line in May 1960. Spacecraft #11 was the first Mercury operational spacecraft with a centerline window. It was closer to the final orbital version than was Alan Shepard's Freedom 7. Dubbed Liberty Bell 7, it featured a white, diagonal irregular paint stripe starting at the base of the capsule and extending about two-thirds toward the nose, emulating the crack in the famed Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The stripe is echoed on the left side of the mission insignia. Spacecraft #11 also had a new explosive hatch release. This would allow an astronaut to exit the
    7.50
    2 votes
    121
    MESSENGER

    MESSENGER

    • Space program: Discovery Program
    MESSENGER (an acronym of MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging) is a robotic NASA spacecraft orbiting the planet Mercury, the first spacecraft ever to do so. The 485-kilogram (1,070 lb) spacecraft was launched aboard a Delta II rocket in August 2004 to study Mercury's chemical composition, geology, and magnetic field. It became the second mission after 1975's Mariner 10 to reach Mercury successfully when it made a flyby in January 2008, followed by a second flyby in October 2008, and a third flyby in September 2009. The instruments carried by MESSENGER were tested on a complex series of flybys – the spacecraft flew by Earth once, Venus twice, and Mercury itself three times, allowing it to decelerate relative to Mercury using minimal fuel. MESSENGER successfully entered Mercury's orbit on March 18, 2011, and reactivated its science instruments on March 24, returning the first photo from Mercury orbit on March 29. MESSENGER's formal data collection mission began on April 4, 2011. On March 17, 2012, having collected close to 100,000 images, MESSENGER ended its one-year primary mission and entered an extended mission scheduled to last until March 2013. In 1973,
    7.50
    2 votes
    122
    Salyut 5

    Salyut 5

    • Space program: Salyut program
    Salyut 5 (Russian: Салют-5 meaning Salute 5), also known as OPS-3, was a Soviet space station. Launched in 1976 as part of the Salyut programme, it was the third and last Almaz space station to be launched for the Soviet military. Two Soyuz missions visited the station, each manned by two cosmonauts. A third Soyuz mission attempted to visit the station, but failed to dock, whilst a fourth mission was planned but never launched. Salyut 5 was launched at 18:04:00 UTC on 22 June 1976. The launch took place from Site 81/23 the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, and used a three-stage Proton-K 8K82K carrier rocket with the serial number 290-02. Upon reaching orbit, Salyut 5 was assigned the International Designator 1976-057A, whilst the North American Aerospace Defense Command gave it the Satellite Catalog Number 08911. Salyut 5 was an Almaz spacecraft, the last of three to be launched as space stations after Salyut 2 and Salyut 3. Like its predecessors, it was 14.55 metres (47.7 ft) long, with a maximum diameter of 4.15 metres (13.6 ft). It had a habitable interior volume of 100 cubic metres (3,500 cu ft), and a mass at launch of 1,900 kilograms (4,200 lb).
    7.50
    2 votes
    123
    Soyuz 10

    Soyuz 10

    • Astronauts (if manned): Aleksei Yeliseyev
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    Soyuz 10 (Russian: Союз 10, Union 10) was in 1971 the world's first mission to the world's first space station, the Soviet Salyut 1. The docking was not successful and the crew returned to Earth without having entered the station. Soyuz 10 was launched 22 April 1971 with the plan to dock to Salyut 1. The spacecraft was the first of the upgraded Soyuz 7K-OKS, featuring the new "probe and drogue" docking mechanism with internal crew transfer, intended for visits of space stations. The cosmonauts Vladimir Shatalov, Aleksei Yeliseyev, and Nikolai Rukavishnikov were able to navigate their Soyuz 10 spacecraft to the Salyut 1 station, yet during docking they ran into problems. While the Soyuz crew was able to achieve "soft dock" with Salyut though the "probe and drogue" docking mechanism, it failed to achieve "hard dock" by securing the docking collar – it was not possible for the crew to enter the station safely. The mission was aborted, yet the technical problems did not cease and the Soyuz spacecraft had difficulties detaching from the Salyut 1 space station. After finally undocking, one last hitch presented itself when toxic fumes began to fill the capsule during re-entry, causing the
    7.50
    2 votes
    124
    Soyuz TMA-1

    Soyuz TMA-1

    • Astronauts (if manned): Ken Bowersox
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    Soyuz TMA-1 was a Soyuz mission to the International Space Station (ISS) launched by a Soyuz FG launch vehicle with a Russian-Belgian cosmonaut crew blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. This was the fifth Russian Soyuz class shuttle to fly to the International Space Station. It is also the first flight of the TMA-class Soyuz spacecraft. Soyuz TM-34 was the last of the prior Soyuz-TM spacecraft to be launched. The Soyuz is a three-seat spacecraft is to transport astronauts to the ISS and then there will always be one attached to the ISS for a rescue vehicle for the crew of the outpost. The onboard resources and properties of propellant loaded in the reentry capsule of the Soyuz limit safe operation of the craft in space to six months; thus, Russia committed to fly a new or reburbished Soyuz to the ISS every six months to replace the previous one. These missions to replace the Soyuz at the ISS became known as "taxi" flights. In the spring of 2001, a taxi mission to the space station was being scheduled to take place on October 2002. At first the crew was to be Commander Sergei Zalyotin and Flight Engineer Frank De Winne; however, a report released on February 2002
    7.50
    2 votes
    125
    STS-106

    STS-106

    • Astronauts (if manned): Daniel C. Burbank
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-106 was a Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) flown by Space Shuttle Atlantis. Space Station assembly flight ISS-2A.2b utilized the SPACEHAB Double Module and the Integrated Cargo Carrier (ICC) to bring supplies to the station. The mission also included two spacewalks. Veteran Astronaut Terrence Wilcutt (Col., USMC) lead the seven-man crew, commanding his second Shuttle flight and making his fourth trip into space. During the planned 11-day mission, Wilcutt and his crew mates spent a week inside the ISS unloading supplies from both a double SPACEHAB cargo module in the rear of Atlantis's cargo bay and from a Russian Progress M-1 resupply craft docked to the aft end of the Zvezda Service Module. Zvezda, which linked up to the ISS on 26 July, served as the early living quarters for the station and is the cornerstone of the Russian contribution to the ISS. The goal of the flight was to prepare Zvezda for the arrival of the first residents, or Expedition, crew later in the fall of 2000 and the start of a permanent human presence on the new outpost. That crew, made up of Expedition Commander Bill Shepherd, Soyuz Commander Yuri Gidzenko and Flight Engineer
    7.50
    2 votes
    126
    STS-67

    STS-67

    • Astronauts (if manned): John M. Grunsfeld
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-67 was a human spaceflight mission using Space Shuttle Endeavour that launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on 2 March 1995. Astro-2 was the second dedicated Spacelab mission to conduct astronomical observations in the ultraviolet spectral regions. It consists of three unique instruments – the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT), the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UIT) and the Wisconsin Ultraviolet Photo-Polarimeter Experiment (WUPPE). These experiments will select targets from a list of over 600 and observe objects ranging from some inside the solar system to individual stars, nebulae, supernova remnants, galaxies and active extragalactic objects. This data supplemented data collected on the Astro-1 mission flown on STS-35 in December 1990 aboard Columbia. Because most ultraviolet radiation is absorbed by Earth's atmosphere, it cannot be studied from the ground. The far and extreme ultraviolet region of the spectrum was largely unexplored before Astro-1, but knowledge of all wavelengths is essential to obtain an accurate picture of the universe. Astro-2 had almost twice the duration of its predecessor, and a launch at a different time of year allowed the telescopes to
    7.50
    2 votes
    127
    Little Joe 1

    Little Joe 1

    • Space program: Project Mercury
    Little Joe 1 (LJ-1) was a failed launch of a Little Joe solid fuel rocket that was designed to test the Mercury spacecraft Launch Escape and Recovery systems. The vehicle was 48 ft (15 m) in height, weighed approximately 43,000 lb (20,000 kg), and was 80 in (2.0 m) in diameter with a fin span of 21.3 ft (6.5 m). The Little Joe booster consisted of four Pollux and four Recruit clustered, solid-fuel rockets, could develop a thrust of 250,000 lbf (1,100 kN), and could lift a maximum payload of 3,942 lb (1,788 kg). The escape system, using a Grand Central 1KS52000 rocket motor, weighed 1,015 lb (460 kg). On August 21, 1959, LJ-1 was being prepared for launch from the Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia. Suddenly, about a half hour before the scheduled launch, the escape rocket fired and pulled the Mercury spacecraft away from the launch pad. The spacecraft reached an apogee of 2,000 ft (610 m) and landed about 2000 feet away. The flight time was 20 seconds. According to the Sept. 18, 1959 accident report, the unexpected triggering of the launch escape system was caused by a transient or electrical leak; analysis showed it to be due to the rapid-abort system being wired
    5.50
    4 votes
    128
    AS-202

    AS-202

    • Space program: Project Apollo
    AS-202 (also referred to as SA-202) was the second unmanned, suborbital test flight of a production Block I Apollo Command/Service Module launched with the Saturn IB launch vehicle. It launched August 25, 1966 and was the first flight which included the spacecraft Guidance and Navigation Control system and fuel cells. The success of this flight enabled the Apollo program to judge the Block I spacecraft and Saturn IB ready to carry men into orbit. AS-202 was the third test flight of the Saturn IB, because a delay in the readiness of the Apollo spacecraft 011 pushed its launch past the July 1966 launch of AS-203. It was designed to test the rocket more than had been done on AS-201 by launching the rocket higher and having the flight lasting twice as long. It would also test the Command and Service Module (CSM-011) by having the engine firing four times during the flight. The flight was also designed to test out the heat shield by subjecting it to 260 megajoules per square meter. Over the course of the reentry it generated equivalent energy needed to power Los Angeles for over one minute in 1966. CSM-011 was basically a production model capable of carrying a crew. However it lacked
    6.33
    3 votes
    129
    Luna 24

    Luna 24

    Luna 24 (Ye-8-5M series) was an unmanned space mission of the Soviet Union's Luna programme, also called Lunik 24. The last of the Luna series of spacecraft, the mission of the Luna 24 probe was the third Soviet mission to retrieve lunar soil samples from the Earth's moon (the first two sample return missions were Luna 16 and Luna 20). The spacecraft orbital dry mass was 4,800 kg (11,000 lb). The probe landed in the area known as Mare Crisium (Sea of Crisis). The mission returned 170.1 grams of lunar samples to the Earth on 22 August 1976. Luna 24 was the third attempt to recover a sample from the unexplored Mare Crisium, the location of a large lunar mascon (after Luna 23 and a launch failure in October 1975). After a trajectory correction on 11 August 1976, Luna 24 entered lunar orbit three days later. Initial orbital parameters were 115 × 115 kilometres at 120° inclination. After further changes to its orbit, Luna 24 set down safely on the lunar surface at 06:36 UT on 18 August 1976 at 12°45' north latitude and 62°12' east longitude, not far from where Luna 23 had landed. Under command from ground control, the lander deployed its sample arm and pushed its drilling head about 2
    6.33
    3 votes
    130
    SpaceShipOne flight 11P

    SpaceShipOne flight 11P

    Flight 11P of SpaceShipOne was its eighth independent flight, its first powered flight, and the first privately-funded manned flight to reach supersonic speeds. It occurred on December 17, 2003. The date of the test flight was 100 years to the day since the Wright Brothers made the first powered flight. It followed several months of glide tests. The pilot was Brian Binnie. White Knight, piloted by Peter Siebold, carried SpaceShipOne to launch altitude. At 08:15 PDT at an altitude of 47,900 feet (14.6 km) and a speed of 112 knots (58 m/s), SpaceShipOne was released from White Knight. After gliding to 44,400 feet (13.5 km) and accelerating to Mach 0.55, the rocket was lit for a 15 second burn. 9 seconds into the burn, SpaceShipOne exceeded the speed of sound. The craft climbed at a 70 degree angle, accelerating at 3 g (30 m/s²). At burn-out the Mach number was 1.2. The craft coasted to an apogee altitude of 67,800 feet (20.7 km). The craft was reconfigured into high-drag ("feathered") mode to begin descent. After about a minute of descent, it switched to glider configuration at 35,000 feet (10.7 km). It then glided for 12 minutes back to Mojave Airport. During landing a roll
    6.33
    3 votes
    131
    STS-76

    STS-76

    • Astronauts (if manned): Richard A. Searfoss
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-76 was NASA's 76th Space Shuttle mission, and the 16th mission for Atlantis. STS-76 launched on 22 March 1996 at 3:13 am EST (UTC −5) from Kennedy Space Center launch pad 39B. STS-76 lasted over 9 days, traveled about 3,800,000 miles (6,100,000 km) while orbiting Earth an estimated 145 times, and landing at 5:28 am PST (UTC −8) on 31 March 1996 at Edwards Air Force Base runway 22. The flight was the third Shuttle mission to dock with the Russian Space Station Mir, as part of the Shuttle-Mir Program, carrying astronaut Shanon Lucid to the orbital laboratory to replace NASA astronaut Norm Thagard. STS-76 also carried a SPACEHAB single module along with Lucid, and on flight day 6 Linda Godwin and Michael R. Clifford performed the first U.S. spacewalk around two docked spacecraft. Third linkup between U.S. Space Shuttle and Russian Space Station Mir highlighted by transfer of veteran astronaut Shannon Lucid to Mir to become first American woman to live on station. Her approximately four-and-a-half month stay also eclipsed long-duration U.S. spaceflight record set by first American to live on Mir, Norm Thagard. Lucid was succeeded by astronaut John Blaha during STS-79 in August,
    4.60
    5 votes
    132
    STS-38

    STS-38

    • Astronauts (if manned): Charles D. Gemar
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-38 was a space shuttle mission by NASA using the Space Shuttle Atlantis. It was the 37th shuttle mission, and carried a classified payload for the U.S. Department of Defense. It was the 7th flight for Atlantis and the 7th flight dedicated to the Department of Defense. The mission was a 4-day mission that traveled more than 2 million miles and completed 79 revolutions. Atlantis landed at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility's runway 33. The launch was originally scheduled for July 1990, but was rescheduled due to a hydrogen leak found on Space Shuttle Columbia during the STS-35 countdown. During a rollback to the Orbiter Processing Facility Atlantis was damaged during a hail storm. The eventual launch date of 15 November 1990 was set due to a payload problem. The launch window was between 18:30 and 22:30 EST. The launch occurred at 18:48 EST. Launch occurred 15 November 1990, 18:48:13 EST. Launch was originally scheduled for July 1990. However, a liquid hydrogen leak found on orbiter Columbia during STS-35 countdown prompted three precautionary tanking tests on Atlantis at pad 29 June, 13 July and 25 July 1990. Tests confirmed the hydrogen fuel leak on the external
    8.00
    1 votes
    133
    STS-61-B

    STS-61-B

    • Astronauts (if manned): Charles Walker
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-61-B was NASA's 23rd Space Shuttle mission, and its second using Space Shuttle Atlantis. The shuttle was launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 26 November 1985. During STS-61-B, the shuttle crew deployed three communications satellites, and tested techniques of constructing structures in orbit. Atlantis landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, at 16:33 EST on 3 December 1985, after 6 days and 21 hours in orbit. STS-61B was the quickest turnaround of a Shuttle orbiter from launch to launch in history – just 54 days between Atlantis’s launch on STS-51J and launch on STS-61B. The mission also carried the first Mexican astronaut, Rodolfo Neri Vela. Following landing at the Edwards Air Force Base, completing STS-51-J on October 7, Atlantis returned to the Kennedy Space Center on October 12. The shuttle was moved directly into an Orbiter Processing Facility (OFP) where post-flight de-servicing and pre-flight processing took place simultaneously. After only 26 days in the OPF, a record fast processing in the history of the Space Shuttle Program, the shuttle was rolled to the Vehicle Assembly Building on 7 November. Atlantis was mated with the External Tank and Solid
    8.00
    1 votes
    134
    STS-82

    STS-82

    • Astronauts (if manned): Ken Bowersox
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-82 was the 22nd flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery and the 82nd mission of the Space Shuttle program. It was NASA's second mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope, during which Discovery's crew repaired and upgraded the telescope's scientific instruments, increasing its research capabilities. Discovery launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 11 February 1997, returning to Earth on 21 February 1997 at Kennedy Space Center. The STS-82 mission was the second in a series of planned servicing missions to the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope ("HST"), which had been placed in orbit on 24 April 1990 by Discovery during STS-31. The first servicing mission was done by Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-61. Work performed by Discovery's crew significantly upgraded the scientific capabilities of the HST and helped to keep the telescope functioning smoothly until the next scheduled servicing missions, which were STS-103 in 1999 and STS-109 in 2002. On the third day of the mission, Discovery's seven-member crew conducted the first of four spacewalks (also called Extra-vehicular Activities or "EVAs") to remove two older instruments and install two new astronomy instruments, as
    8.00
    1 votes
    135
    STS-99

    STS-99

    • Astronauts (if manned): Janet L. Kavandi
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-99 was a Space Shuttle Endeavour mission, that launched on 11 February 2000 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The primary objective of the mission was the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) project. The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) is an international project spearheaded by the National Imagery and Mapping Agency and NASA, with participation of the German Aerospace Center DLR. Its objective is to obtain the most complete high-resolution digital topographic database of the Earth. SRTM consists of a specially modified radar system that flew on board the space shuttle during its 11-day mission. This radar system gathered around 8 terabytes of data to produce unrivaled 3-D images of the Earth's surface. SRTM uses C-band and X-band interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IFSAR) to acquire topographic data of Earth's land mass (between 60°N and 56°S). It produces digital topographic map products which meet Interferometric Terrain Height Data (ITHD)-2 specifications (30 meter x 30 meter spatial sampling with 16 meter absolute vertical height accuracy, 10 meter relative vertical height accuracy and 20 meter absolute horizontal circular accuracy). The result of the
    8.00
    1 votes
    136
    Gemini 8

    Gemini 8

    • Astronauts (if manned): Neil Armstrong
    • Space program: Project Gemini
    Gemini 8 (officially Gemini VIII) was the sixth manned spaceflight in NASA's Gemini program. The mission conducted the first docking of two spacecraft in orbit, but suffered the first critical in-space system failure of a U.S. spacecraft which threatened the lives of the astronauts and required immediate abort of the mission. The crew was returned to Earth safely. The only other time this happened was on the flight of Apollo 13. It was the twelfth manned American flight and the twenty-second manned spaceflight of all time (including X-15 flights over 100 kilometres (62 mi)). Command pilot Neil Armstrong's flight marked the second time a U.S. civilian flew into space (Joseph Albert Walker became the first US civilian on X-15 Flight 90). Armstrong had retired from the United States Navy in 1960. The Soviet Union had launched the first civilian, Valentina Tereshkova (also the first woman) aboard Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963. March 16, 1966 Gemini VIII had two major objectives, of which it achieved one. The two objectives were: An emergency condition encountered during the docking resulted in premature use of the reentry control system, after which an immediate landing was required by
    7.00
    2 votes
    137
    Korabl-Sputnik 2

    Korabl-Sputnik 2

    • Astronauts (if manned): Belka
    • Space program: Vostok programme
    Korabl-Sputnik 2 (Russian: Корабль-Спутник 2 meaning Ship-Satellite 2), also known as Sputnik 5 in the West, was a Soviet artificial satellite, and the third test flight of the Vostok spacecraft. It was the first spaceflight to send animals into orbit and return them safely back to Earth. Launched on August 19, 1960 it paved the way for the first human orbital flight, Vostok 1, which was launched less than eight months later. Korabl-Sputnik 2 was the second attempt to launch a Vostok capsule with dogs on board. The first try on July 29 had failed when the R-7 launch vehicle suffered a malfunction of one of its strap-on boosters. A combustion chamber broke apart during ascent, causing the strap-on booster to lose thrust and separate from the rest of the booster, which then crashed downrange. Both dogs were killed. The failure was believed to have been caused by longitudinal vibration which resulted in the combustion chamber disintegrating. Vibration had been responsible for several previous R-7 failures and this accident caused a considerable uproar since the problem was supposedly fixed. The launch of Korabl-Sputnik 2 occurred on 19 August 1960, using a Vostok-L carrier rocket.
    7.00
    2 votes
    138
    Salyut 2

    Salyut 2

    • Space program: Salyut program
    Salyut 2 (OPS-1) (Russian: Салют-2 meaning Salute 2) was a Soviet space station which was launched in 1973 as part of the Salyut programme. It was the first Almaz military space station to fly. Within two weeks of launch the station had lost attitude control and depressurised, leaving it unusable. It decayed from orbit by 28 May 1973, without any crews having visited it. Salyut 2 was an Almaz military space station. It was designated part of the Salyut programme in order to conceal the existence of the two separate space station programmes. Salyut 2 was 14.55 metres (47.7 ft) with a diameter of 4.15 metres (13.6 ft), and had an internal habitable volume of 90 cubic metres (3,200 cu ft). At launch it had a mass of 18,950 kilograms (41,800 lb). A single aft-mounted docking port was intended for use by Soyuz spacecraft carrying cosmonauts to work aboard the station. Two solar arrays mounted at the aft end of the station near the docking port provided power to the station, generating a total of 3,120 watts of electricity. The station was equipped with 32 attitude control thrusters, as well as two RD-0225 engines, each capable of generating 3.9 kilonewtons (880 lbf) of thrust, for
    7.00
    2 votes
    139
    STS-112

    STS-112

    • Astronauts (if manned): Sandra Magnus
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-112 (ISS assembly flight 9A) was an 11-day space shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) flown by Space Shuttle Atlantis. Space Shuttle Atlantis was launched on 7 October 2002 at 19:45 UTC from the Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39B to deliver the 28,000 pound Starboard 1 (S1) truss segment to the Space Station. Ending a 4.5-million-mile journey, Atlantis landed at 15:44 UTC on 18 October 2002 on runway 33 at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility. During the launch, the ET bipod ramp shed a chunk of foam that caused a dent ~4" wide and 3" deep into the metal SRB-ET Attach Ring near the bottom of the left SRB. Prior to the next mission (STS-113), an upper-level decision was made at NASA to continue with launches as scheduled. The launch subsequent to that was the ill-fated STS-107. Space shuttle Atlantis had been scheduled to visit the International Space Station (ISS) again on STS-114 mission in March 2003, however, due to the shuttle Columbia disaster all space shuttles including Atlantis were temporarily grounded. Due to rescheduling of missions Atlantis did not fly again until STS-115 on 9 September 2006. The S1 truss segment, which provides
    7.00
    2 votes
    140
    STS-49

    STS-49

    • Astronauts (if manned): Richard Hieb
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-49 was the maiden flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. The primary goal of its nine-day mission was to retrieve a Intelsat VI satellite (Intelsat 603, which failed to leave low earth orbit two years before), attach it to a new upper stage, and relaunch it to its intended geosynchronous orbit. After several attempts, the capture was completed with a three-person extra-vehicular activity, the first time that three people from the same spacecraft walked in space at the same time. It would also stand until STS-102 in 2001 as the longest EVA ever undertaken. Intelsat VI (F-3) satellite, stranded in an unusable orbit since launch aboard a Titan vehicle in March 1990, was captured by crewmembers during an EVA (extra-vehicular activity) and equipped with a new perigee kick motor. The Satellite was subsequently released into orbit and the new motor fired to put the spacecraft into a geosynchronous orbit for operational use. The capture required three EVAs: a planned one by astronaut Thuot and Hieb who were unable to attach a capture bar to the satellite from a position on the RMS; a second unscheduled but identical attempt the following day; and finally an unscheduled but successful
    7.00
    2 votes
    141
    STS-61

    STS-61

    • Astronauts (if manned): Story Musgrave
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-61 was the first Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission, and the fifth flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. The mission launched on 2 December 1993 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission restored the spaceborne observatory's vision, marred by spherical aberration, with the installation of a corrective optics package. The flight also brought instrument upgrades and new solar arrays to the telescope. With its very heavy workload, the STS-61 mission was one of the most complex in the Shuttle's history. It lasted almost 11 days, and crew members made five spacewalks, an all-time record. Even the retrieval of Intelsat IV on STS-49 in May 1992 required only four. The flight plan allowed for two additional EVAs, which could have raised the total number to seven. The final two contingency EVAs were not made. In order to complete the mission without too much fatigue, the five extravehicular working sessions were shared between two alternating shifts of two astronauts. Endeavour was switched from Pad 39A to Pad 39B due to contamination of the Payload Changeout Room after a windstorm on October 30. The internal HST payload package was not affected because it was tightly
    7.00
    2 votes
    142
    STS-81

    STS-81

    • Astronauts (if manned): John M. Grunsfeld
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-81 was a January 1997 Space Shuttle Atlantis mission to the Mir space station. STS-81 was the fifth of nine planned missions to Mir and the second one involving an exchange of U.S. astronauts. Astronaut John Blaha, who had been on Mir since 19 September 1996, was replaced by astronaut Jerry Linenger. Linenger spent more than four months on Mir. He returned to Earth on Space Shuttle Mission STS-84. Atlantis carried the SPACEHAB double module providing additional middeck locker space for secondary experiments. During the five days of docked operations with Mir, the crews transferred water and supplies from one spacecraft to the other. A spacewalk by Linenger and one of his Russian cosmonaut crewmates occurred after the departure of Atlantis. The STS-81 mission included several experiments in the fields of advanced technology, Earth sciences, fundamental biology, human life sciences, microgravity, and space sciences. It was hoped that data would supply insight for the planning and development of the International Space Station, Earth-based sciences of human and biological processes, and the advancement of commercial technology. STS-81 involved the transfer of 2,710 kilograms
    7.00
    2 votes
    143
    Venera 11

    Venera 11

    • Space program: Venera
    The Venera 11 (Russian: Венера-11) was a USSR unmanned space mission part of the Venera program to explore the planet Venus. Venera 11 was launched on 9 September 1978 at 3:25:39 UTC. Separating from its flight platform on December 23, 1978 the lander entered the Venus atmosphere two days later on December 25 at 11.2 km/s. During the descent, it employed aerodynamic braking followed by parachute braking and ending with atmospheric braking. It made a soft landing on the surface at 06:24 Moscow time (0324 UT) on 25 December after a descent time of approximately 1 hour. The touchdown speed was 7 to 8 m/s. Landing coordinates are 14°S 299°E / 14°S 299°E / -14; 299. Information was transmitted to the flight platform for retransmittal to earth until it moved out of range 95 minutes after touchdown. After ejection of the lander probe, the flight platform continued on past Venus in a heliocentric orbit. Near encounter with Venus occurred on December 25, 1978, at approximately 34,000 km altitude. The flight platform acted as a data relay for the descent craft for 95 minutes until it flew out of range and returned its own measurements on interplanetary space. Venera 11 flight platform
    7.00
    2 votes
    144
    Mars Science Laboratory

    Mars Science Laboratory

    • Space program: Mars Exploration Program
    • Launch site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
    Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is a robotic space probe mission to Mars launched by NASA on November 26, 2011, which successfully landed Curiosity, a Mars rover, in Gale Crater on August 6, 2012 at 05:14:39 UTC. The Curiosity rover's objectives include determining Mars's habitability, studying its climate and exogeology, and collecting data for future human missions. The rover carries a variety of scientific instruments designed by an international team. Curiosity is about twice as long and five times as massive as the Spirit and Opportunity Mars exploration rovers, and carries over ten times the mass of scientific instruments. The MSL spacecraft that transported it to Mars successfully carried out a more accurate landing than previous rovers, within a landing ellipse of 7 by 20 km (4.3 by 12 mi), in the Aeolis Palus region of Gale Crater. This location is near the mountain Aeolis Mons (a.k.a. "Mount Sharp"). It is designed to explore for at least 687 Earth days (1 Martian year) over a range of 5 by 20 km (3.1 by 12 mi). A manager said in a JPL press conference on August 5 that since there are no components that need replenishing, he now believes that the rover will last up to the
    6.00
    3 votes
    145
    Mercury-Atlas 2

    Mercury-Atlas 2

    • Space program: Project Mercury
    Mercury-Atlas 2 (MA-2) was launched unmanned on February 21, 1961 at 14:10 UTC, from Launch Complex 14 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Test objectives for this flight were concerned with the ability of the spacecraft to withstand reentry under the temperature-critical abort conditions and with the capability of the Atlas to meet the proper injection conditions. This Atlas "D" modified for the Mercury mission, was unique in the program in that it incorporated a stainless steel reinforcing band installed around the vehicle between stations 502 and 510. A thin sheet of asbestos was installed between the reinforcing band and the tank skin. This modification was installed as a precaution against the type of failure which had occurred on the previous MA-1 flight. MA-2 flew a successful suborbital mission that lasted 17 minutes 56 seconds. Altitude reached was 114 miles (183 km), speed, 13,227 mph (21,287 km/h). All test objectives were fully met. The capsule was recovered 1,432 miles (2305 km) downrange. Peak acceleration was 15.9 g (156 m/s²). Mass 1,154 kg. Mercury spacecraft # 6 and Atlas # 67-D were used in the mission. Mercury spacecraft # 6 used in the Mercury-Atlas 2 mission, is
    6.00
    3 votes
    146
    Saturn I SA-4

    Saturn I SA-4

    • Space program: Project Apollo
    SA-4 was the fourth launch of a Saturn I launch vehicle and the last of the initial test phase of the first stage. It was part of the Apollo Program. SA-4 was the last flight to test only the S-I first stage of the Saturn I rocket. As with the first three launches this would be a suborbital flight and would test the structural integrity of the rocket. The major addition to this flight was that, in order to test the rocket's ability to deal with an engine failure during the flight, one of the engines would be programmed to shut down about 100 seconds after launch. If all went well the rocket would reroute the fuel for this engine to the other engines and have the rocket burn longer to compensate for the loss of acceleration. This was used successfully on the later Apollo 6 and Apollo 13 flights. Also on this flight, the dummy second stage was outfitted with the aerodynamic design of the real second stage. This included vent ducts, fairings and dummy camera pods. The rocket also flew with antennae designed for the Block II version of the rocket. After the shortest checkout time of any rocket at 54 days, SA-4 went on to experience the longest series of holds of any mission at 120
    6.00
    3 votes
    147
    STS-33

    STS-33

    • Astronauts (if manned): Frederick D. Gregory
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-33 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission, during which Space Shuttle Discovery deployed a payload for the United States Department of Defense (DoD). STS-33 was the 32nd shuttle mission overall, the ninth flight of Discovery, and the fifth shuttle mission in support of the DoD. Due to the nature of the mission, specific details remain classified. Discovery lifted off from Pad A, Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida, on 22 November 1989 at 7:23 pm EST; it landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, five days later. S. David Griggs, the originally scheduled pilot for STS-33, died in a plane crash in June 1989, five months prior to the scheduled launch, and was replaced by John E. Blaha. STS-33 was the original designation for the mission that became STS-51-L, the disastrous final flight of Space Shuttle Challenger. After Challenger's destruction, NASA recycled the mission numbering system back to STS-26, which was the 26th shuttle mission and the first to fly after the disaster. S. David Griggs, a veteran of STS 51-D, was to have been the pilot of this mission. He was killed in the crash of a vintage WWII aircraft in June 1989 while training to serve as pilot on
    6.00
    3 votes
    148
    STS-46

    STS-46

    • Astronauts (if manned): Jeffrey A. Hoffman
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-46 was a NASA space shuttle mission using orbiter Atlantis and launched on 31 July 1992 at 9:56:48 am EDT. Mission's primary objectives were the deployment of the European Space Agency's EURECA (European Retrievable Carrier) and the joint NASA/Italian Space Agency Tethered Satellite System (TSS). EURECA was deployed a day later than scheduled because of a problem with its data handling system. Seven and a half hours after deployment, the spacecraft's thrusters were fired to boost EURECA to its planned operating altitude of around 310 miles. However, thruster firing was cut to six minutes from 24 minutes because of unexpected attitude data from the spacecraft. The problem was resolved and EURECA was successfully boosted to its operational orbit on the mission's sixth day. TSS deployment also was delayed one day because of the problems with EURECA. During deployment, the satellite reached a maximum distance of only 860 feet from the orbiter instead of the planned 12.5 miles because of a jammed tether line. After numerous attempts over several days to free the tether, TSS operations were curtailed and the satellite was stowed for return to Earth. Secondary payloads included:
    6.00
    3 votes
    149
    STS-26

    STS-26

    • Astronauts (if manned): John M. Lounge
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-26 was the 26th NASA Space Shuttle mission and the seventh flight of the Discovery orbiter. The mission launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 29 September 1988, and landed four days later on 3 October. STS-26 was declared the "Return to Flight" mission, being the first mission after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster of 28 January 1986. It was the first mission since STS-9 to use the original STS numbering system, the first to have all its crew members wearing pressure suits for launch and landing since STS-4, and the first mission with bail-out capacity since STS-4. STS-26 was also the first all-veteran crew mission since Apollo 11, with all of its crew members having flown at least one prior mission. The crew for STS-26 is based on the original crew assignment of STS-61-F, which would've launched the Ulysses probe from Challenger in 1986. Ulysses was originally launched on STS-41. Hauck, Lounge and Hilmers were all assigned to that flight, along with Roy D. Bridges, Jr. as Pilot. Bridges never flew again after the Challenger disaster, but would eventually become the Director of Langley Research Center. Covey was the CAPCOM operator during the STS-51-L launch who
    5.00
    4 votes
    150
    AS-201

    AS-201

    • Space program: Project Apollo
    AS-201 (or SA-201), flown February 26, 1966, was the first unmanned test flight of an entire production Block I Apollo Command/Service Module and the Saturn IB launch vehicle. The spacecraft consisted of the second Block I command module and the first Block I service module. The suborbital flight was a partially successful demonstration of the service propulsion system and the reaction control systems of both modules, and successfully demonstrated the capability of the Command Module's heat shield to survive re-entry from low Earth orbit. The Command and Service Module CSM-009 was a Block I version, designed before the Lunar Orbit Rendezvous method was chosen for the Apollo lunar landing; therefore it lacked capability to dock with the Apollo Lunar Module. Block I also employed preliminary designs of certain subsystems, and was heavier than the Block II version with lunar mission capability. All previous command and service modules flown (with one exception) were boilerplate versions. CM-009 was the second production Block I command module to fly, the first being CM-002 flown on a Little Joe 2 rocket for the final Launch Escape System abort test, designated A-004. CM-009 varied
    5.67
    3 votes
    151
    Korabl-Sputnik 1

    Korabl-Sputnik 1

    • Space program: Vostok programme
    Korabl-Sputnik 1 (Russian: Корабль Спутник 1 meaning Ship Satellite 1), (also known as Sputnik 4 in the West) was the first test flight of the Soviet Vostok programme, and the first Vostok spacecraft. It was launched on May 15, 1960. Though Korabl-Sputnik 1 was unmanned, it was a precursor to the first human spaceflight, Vostok 1. A bug in the guidance system had pointed the capsule in the wrong direction, so instead of dropping into the atmosphere the satellite moved into a higher orbit. The descent module re-entered the atmosphere on September 5, 1962. A piece was found in the middle of North 8th Street in Manitowoc, Wisconsin in the northern United States. This spacecraft, the first of a series of spacecraft used to investigate the means for manned space flight, contained scientific instruments, a television system, and a self-sustaining biological cabin with a dummy of a man. The spacecraft was designed to study the operation of the life support system and the stresses of flight. The spacecraft radioed both extensive telemetry and prerecorded voice communications. After four days of flight, the descent module was separated from its equipment module and retrorockets were fired,
    5.67
    3 votes
    152
    STS-56

    STS-56

    • Astronauts (if manned): Stephen S. Oswald
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-56 was a Space Shuttle Discovery mission to perform special experiments. The mission launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 8 April 1993. The primary payload of the flight was the Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science-2 (ATLAS-2), designed to collect data on the relationship between the sun's energy output and Earth's middle atmosphere and how these factors affect the ozone layer. It included six instruments mounted on a Spacelab pallet in the cargo bay, with the seventh mounted on the wall of the bay in two Get Away Special canisters. Atmospheric instruments included the Atmospheric Trace Molecule Spectroscopy (ATMOS) experiment, the Millimeter Wave Atmospheric Sounder (MAS), and the Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet/A (SSBUV/A) spectrometer (on the cargo bay wall). Solar science instruments were the Solar Spectrum Measurement (SOLSPEC) instrument, the Solar Ultraviolet Irradiance Monitor (SUSIM), and the Active Cavity Radiometer (ACR) and Solar Constant (SOLCON) experiments. ATLAS-2 is one element of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth program. All seven ATLAS-2 instruments first flew on ATLAS-I during STS-45, and flew a third time in late 1994 on
    5.67
    3 votes
    153
    Apollo 5

    Apollo 5

    • Space program: Project Apollo
    Apollo 5 was the first unmanned flight of the Apollo Lunar Module, which would later carry astronauts to the lunar surface. It lifted off on January 22, 1968 with a Saturn IB rocket. The Apollo 5 mission tested the Lunar Module in a space environment, in particular its descent and ascent engine systems, and its ability to separate the ascent and descent stages. The descent engine would become the first throttleable rocket engine fired in space. The mission also performed a "fire in the hole" test (as depicted in the mission's insignia) in which the ascent stage engine would be fired while still attached to the descent stage. This was intended to simulate a landing abort during descent to the lunar surface. As with Apollo 4, this flight experienced long delays. The primary cause of this was the Lunar Module, which was well behind schedule. Some of the delay could be attributed to lack of experience in building a manned spacecraft to land on the Moon. The first unmanned launch was originally planned in April 1967, requiring delivery at the Cape around September 1966. But delays kept occurring. Although the Lunar Module was fully designed, there was trouble fabricating the custom made
    6.50
    2 votes
    154
    Little Joe 5B

    Little Joe 5B

    • Space program: Project Mercury
    Little Joe 5B was an unmanned Launch Escape System test of the Mercury spacecraft, conducted as part of the U.S. Mercury program. The mission used production Mercury spacecraft # 14A. The mission was launched April 28, 1961, from Wallops Island, Virginia. The Little Joe 5B flew to an apogee of 2.8 miles (4.5 km) and a range of 9 miles (14 km). The mission lasted 5 minutes 25 seconds. Maximum speed was 1,780 mph (2865 km/h) and acceleration was 10 g (98 m/s²). The mission was a success and Mercury spacecraft # 14A was recovered. Mercury spacecraft # 14A used in the Little Joe 5B mission, is currently displayed at the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton.  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
    6.50
    2 votes
    155
    Ranger 2

    Ranger 2

    Ranger 2 was a flight test of the Ranger spacecraft system of the NASA Ranger program designed for future lunar and interplanetary missions. Ranger 2 was designed to test various systems for future exploration and to conduct scientific observations of cosmic rays, magnetic fields, radiation, dust particles, and a possible hydrogen gas "tail" trailing the Earth. Ranger 2 was of the Ranger Block 1 design and was almost identical to Ranger 1. The spacecraft consisted of a hexagonal base 1.5 m across upon which was mounted a cone-shaped 4 m high tower of aluminum struts and braces. Two solar panel wings measuring 5.2 m from tip to tip extended from the base. A high-gain directional dish antenna was attached to the bottom of the base. Spacecraft experiments and other equipment were mounted on the base and tower. Instruments aboard the spacecraft included a Lyman-alpha telescope, a rubidium-vapor magnetometer, electrostatic analyzers, medium-energy-range particle detectors, two triple coincidence telescopes, a cosmic-ray integrating ionization chamber, cosmic dust detectors, and scintillation counters. The communications system included the high gain antenna and an omni-directional
    6.50
    2 votes
    156
    Soyuz 1

    Soyuz 1

    • Astronauts (if manned): Vladimir Komarov
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    Soyuz 1 (Russian: Союз 1, Union 1) was a manned spaceflight of the Soviet space program. Launched into orbit on April 23, 1967 carrying cosmonaut Colonel Vladimir Komarov, Soyuz 1 was the first flight of the Soyuz spacecraft. The mission plan was complex, involving a rendezvous with Soyuz 2, swapping crew members before returning to Earth. Soyuz 1 was plagued with technical issues, and Komarov was killed when the spacecraft crashed during its return to Earth. This was the first in-flight fatality in the history of spaceflight. Soyuz 1 was the first manned flight of the first-generation Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft and Soyuz rocket, designed as part of the Soviet lunar program. It was the first Soviet manned spaceflight in over two years, and the first Soviet manned flight following the death of the Chief Designer of the space program Sergey Korolyov. Komarov was launched on Soyuz 1 despite failures of the previous unmanned tests of the 7K-OK, Cosmos 133 and Cosmos 140. A third attempted test flight was a launch failure; a launch abort triggered a malfunction of the launch escape system, causing the rocket to explode on the pad. The escape system successfully pulled the spacecraft to
    6.50
    2 votes
    157
    STS-104

    STS-104

    • Astronauts (if manned): Janet L. Kavandi
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-104 was a Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) flown by Space Shuttle Atlantis. Its primary objectives were to install the Quest Joint Airlock and help perform maintenance on the International Space Station. It was successful and returned to Earth without incident, after a successful docking, equipment installation and three spacewalks. The primary purpose of the flight was to deliver and install the Quest airlock. The Joint Airlock is a pressurized flight element consisting of two cylindrical chambers attached end-to-end by a connecting bulkhead and hatch. Once installed and activated, the ISS airlock became the primary path for International Space Station space walk entry and departure for U.S. spacesuits, which are known as Extravehicular Mobility Units, or EMUs. In addition, the Joint Airlock is designed to support the Russian Orlan spacesuit for EVA activity. The Joint Airlock is 20 ft (6.1 m) long, 13 ft (4.0 m) in diameter and weighs 6.5 short tons (5.9 metric tons). It was built at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) by the Space Station Prime Contractor Boeing. The ISS-airlock has two main components: a crew airlock and an equipment
    6.50
    2 votes
    158
    STS-36

    STS-36

    • Astronauts (if manned): John Casper
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-36 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission, during which Space Shuttle Atlantis carried a classified payload for the U.S. Department of Defense (believed to have been a Misty reconnaissance satellite) into orbit. STS-36 was the 34th shuttle mission overall, the sixth flight for Atlantis, and the fourth night launch of the shuttle program. It launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 28 February 1990, and landed on 4 March. Atlantis launched on the STS-36 mission on 28 February 1990 at 2:50:22 EST. The launch was originally set for 22 February 1990, but was postponed repeatedly due to the illness of the crew commander and poor weather conditions. This was the first time since Apollo 13 in 1970 that a manned space mission was affected by the illness of a crew member. The first rescheduled launch attempt, set for 25 February 1990, was scrubbed due to a range safety computer malfunction. Another attempt, set for 26 February 1990, was scrubbed due to weather conditions. The successful launch on 28 February 1990 was set for a classified launch window, lying within a launch period extending from 00:00 to 04:00 EST. The launch weight for this mission was classified. The launch
    6.50
    2 votes
    159
    STS-41-B

    STS-41-B

    • Astronauts (if manned): Ronald McNair
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-41-B was the tenth NASA Space Shuttle mission, launching on 3 February 1984 and landing on 11 February. It was the fourth flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Following STS-9, the flight numbering system for the Space Shuttle program was changed. Thus, the next flight, instead of being designated STS-11, became STS 41-B; the original successor to STS-9, STS-10, was cancelled due to payload delays. Challenger lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 8 am EST on 3 February 1984. Two communications satellites were deployed about 8 hours after launch; one, WESTAR, was for Western Union, and the other, Palapa B-2, for Indonesia. However, the Payload Assist Modules (PAM) for both satellites malfunctioned, placing them into a lower-than-planned orbit. Both satellites were retrieved successfully the following November, during STS-51-A, by the orbiter Discovery. The STS 41-B crew included commander Vance D. Brand, making his second Shuttle flight; pilot Robert L. Gibson; and mission specialists Bruce McCandless II, Ronald E. McNair and Robert L. Stewart. On the fourth day of the mission, astronauts McCandless and Stewart performed the first untethered spacewalk, operating the Manned
    6.50
    2 votes
    160
    STS-51-C

    STS-51-C

    • Astronauts (if manned): James Buchli
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-51-C was the 15th flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program, and the third flight of Space Shuttle Discovery. It was also the first shuttle mission to deploy a dedicated United States Department of Defense (DoD) payload, and as such many mission details remain classified. STS-51-C launched on 24 January 1985, and made the fourth shuttle landing at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 27 January. STS-51-C launched from Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on 24 January 1985 at 14:50 EST, and was the first of nine shuttle missions that year. It was originally scheduled for 23 January 1985, but was delayed because of freezing weather conditions. Challenger had been scheduled for this flight, but Discovery was substituted when problems were encountered with Challenger's thermal protection tiles. STS-51-C marked the 100th human spaceflight to achieve orbit. The mission was the first shuttle flight dedicated to the Department of Defense (DoD), and as such STS-51-C's accomplishments are classified for national security reasons. For the first time, NASA did not provide pre-launch commentary to the public until nine minutes before liftoff. The Air Force only stated that the shuttle successfully
    6.50
    2 votes
    161
    STS-51-D

    STS-51-D

    • Astronauts (if manned): Charles Walker
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-51-D was the sixteenth flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program, and the fourth flight of Space Shuttle Discovery. The launch of STS-51-D from Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida, on 12 April 1985 was delayed by 55 minutes, after a boat strayed into the restricted Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) recovery zone. STS-51-D was the third shuttle mission to be extended. On 19 April, after a week-long flight, Discovery conducted the fifth shuttle landing at KSC. The shuttle suffered extensive brake damage and a ruptured tire during landing. This forced all subsequent shuttle landings to be done at Edwards Air Force Base, California, until the development and implementation of nose wheel steering made landings at KSC more feasible. During STS-51-D, the shuttle crew deployed two communications satellites: TELESAT-l (ANIK C-1) and SYNCOM IV-3 (also known as Leasat-3). TELESAT-1 was attached to a Payload Assist Module (PAM-D) motor and successfully deployed. SYNCOM IV-3, however, failed to initiate antenna deployment and spin-up, or ignite its perigee kick motor upon deployment. The mission was consequently extended by two days to ensure that the satellite's spacecraft sequencer start lever was
    6.50
    2 votes
    162
    STS-70

    STS-70

    • Astronauts (if manned): Nancy J. Currie
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-70 was the 21st flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery, and the last of 7 shuttle missions to carry a Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS). This was the first shuttle mission controlled from the new mission control center room at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. STS-70 was also the first flight of the new Block 1 orbiter main engine, designed to improve both engine performance and safety. The mission was launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on 13 July 1995, only six days after the landing of sister ship Atlantis, marking the fastest turnaround between flights in the history of the program. STS-70 had originally moved ahead of STS-71 because of a delay in the launch of the Russian Spektr laboratory module to the Russian space station Mir. However, on 31 May 1995 shuttle managers assessed damage to the External Tank of STS-70 caused by nesting Flicker Woodpeckers. The damage consisted of about 71 holes (ranging in size from 4 inches in diameter to 1/2 inch in diameter) in the ETs thermal protection foam insulation. Technicians installed safeguards against additional damage. On 2 June, NASA managers decided to delay the launch of Discovery in order to make repairs
    6.50
    2 votes
    163
    STS-72

    STS-72

    • Astronauts (if manned): Winston E. Scott
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-72 was a Space Shuttle Endeavour mission to capture and return to Earth a Japanese microgravity research spacecraft known as Space Flyer Unit (SFU). The mission launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on 11 January 1996. STS-72, the 74th flight of the Space Shuttle program and the 10th of the orbiter Endeavour was launched at 4:41AM EST January 11, 1996 after a brief delay due to communication issues. The nighttime launch window was in support of the mission's primary objective, the capture and return to Earth of a Japanese microgravity research spacecraft known as Space Flyer Unit (SFU). The 3,577 kilograms (7,890 lb) SFU was launched by Japan's National Space Development Agency (NASDA) from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan on 18 March 1995 aboard a Japanese H-II rocket (HII-3), and spent ten months in orbit conducting automated research in materials science, biology, engineering, and astronomy. Mission Specialist Koichi Wakata operated the orbiter's remote manipulator system arm on flight day three to pluck SFU from orbit. Both of the satellites's solar arrays had to be jettisoned prior to retrieval when sensors indicated improper latching following their retraction.
    6.50
    2 votes
    164
    STS-91

    STS-91

    • Astronauts (if manned): Janet L. Kavandi
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-91 was the final Space Shuttle mission to the Mir space station. It was flown by Space Shuttle Discovery, and launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 2 June 1998. STS-91 marked the final Shuttle/Mir Docking Mission. This Phase 1 Program was a precursor to the International Space Station maintaining a continuous American presence in space and developing the procedures and hardware required for an international partnership in space. The mission was the first to use the super lightweight external tank (SLWT) which was the same size, at 154 feet (47 m) long and 27 feet (8.2 m) in diameter, as the external tank used on previous launches, but 7,500 pounds (3,400 kg) lighter. The tank was made of an aluminum lithium alloy and the tank's structural design had also been improved making it 30 percent stronger and 5 percent less dense. The walls of the redesigned hydrogen tank were machined in an orthogonal waffle-like pattern, providing more strength and stability than the previous design. These improvements would later provide additional payload capacity to the International Space Station. Docking of Discovery to Mir, the first for that orbiter, occurred at 16:01 UTC, 4 June
    6.50
    2 votes
    165
    Viking 2

    Viking 2

    The Viking 2 mission was part of the American Viking program to Mars, and consisted of an orbiter and a lander essentially identical to that of the Viking 1 mission. The Viking 2 lander operated on the surface for 1,281 Mars days and was turned off on 11 April 1980 when its batteries failed. The orbiter worked until 25 July 1978, returning almost 16,000 images in 706 orbits around Mars. The craft was launched on September 9, 1975. Following launch using a Titan/Centaur launch vehicle and a 333 day cruise to Mars, the Viking 2 Orbiter began returning global images of Mars prior to orbit insertion. The orbiter was inserted into a 1500 x 33,000 km, 24.6 h Mars orbit on August 7, 1976 and trimmed to a 27.3 h site certification orbit with a periapsis of 1499 km and an inclination of 55.2 degrees on 9 August. Imaging of candidate sites was begun and the landing site was selected based on these pictures and the images returned by the Viking 1 Orbiter. The lander separated from the orbiter on September 3, 1976 at 22:37:50 UT and landed at Utopia Planitia. Normal operations called for the structure connecting the orbiter and lander (the bioshield) to be ejected after separation, but because
    6.50
    2 votes
    166
    Hipparcos

    Hipparcos

    • Launch site: Centre Spatial Guyanais
    Hipparcos (an acronym for "High precision parallax collecting satellite") was a scientific mission of the European Space Agency (ESA), launched in 1989 and operated between 1989 and 1993. It was the first space experiment devoted to precision astrometry, the accurate measurement of the positions of celestial objects on the sky. This permits the accurate determination of proper motions and parallaxes of stars, allowing a determination of their distance and tangential velocity. When combined with radial velocity measurements from spectroscopy, this fixes all six quantities needed to determine the motion of the star. The Hipparcos Catalogue, a high-precision catalogue of more than 100,000 stars, was published in 1997. The lower precision Tycho Catalogue of more than a million stars was published at the same time, while the enhanced Tycho-2 Catalogue of 2.5 million stars was published in 2000. By the second half of the 20th century, the accurate measurement of star positions from the ground was running into essentially insurmountable barriers to improvements in accuracy, especially for large-angle measurements and systematic terms. Problems were dominated by the effects of the Earth's
    5.33
    3 votes
    167
    Apollo 14

    Apollo 14

    • Astronauts (if manned): Edgar Dean Mitchell
    • Space program: Project Apollo
    Apollo 14 was the eighth manned mission in the United States Apollo program, and the third to land on the Moon. It was the last of the "H missions", targeted landings with two-day stays on the Moon with two lunar EVAs, or moonwalks. Commander Alan Shepard, Command Module Pilot Stuart Roosa, and Lunar Module Pilot Edgar Mitchell launched on their nine-day mission on January 31, 1971 at 4:04:02 pm local time after a 40 minute, 2 second delay due to launch site weather restrictions, the first such delay in the Apollo program. Shepard and Mitchell made their lunar landing on February 5 in the Fra Mauro formation; this had originally been the target of the aborted Apollo 13 mission. During the two lunar EVAs, 42 kilograms (93 lb) of Moon rocks were collected and several surface experiments, including seismic studies, were performed. Shepard famously hit two golf balls on the lunar surface with a makeshift club he had brought from Earth. Shepard and Mitchell spent about 33 hours on the Moon, with about 9½ hours on EVA. While Shepard and Mitchell were on the surface, Roosa remained in lunar orbit aboard the Command/Service Module, performing scientific experiments and photographing the
    7.00
    1 votes
    168
    Mercury-Atlas 9

    Mercury-Atlas 9

    • Astronauts (if manned): Gordon Cooper
    • Space program: Project Mercury
    Mercury-Atlas 9 was the final manned space mission of the U.S. Mercury program, launched on May 15, 1963 from Launch Complex 14 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The spacecraft, named Faith 7, completed 22 Earth orbits before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean, piloted by astronaut Gordon Cooper, then an Air Force major. The Atlas rocket was No. 130-D, and the Mercury spacecraft was No. 20. The flight of Sigma 7 had been so nearly perfect that some at NASA thought America should quit while it was ahead and make MA-8 the last Mercury mission, and not risk the chance of future disaster. They thought NASA had pushed the first-generation Mercury hardware far enough, and taking more chances on another longer mission were not warranted. They thought it was time to move on to the Gemini program. Manned Spacecraft Center officials, however, believed that the Mercury team should be given the chance to test man in space for a full day. In addition, all of the Soviet single-seat Vostok spacecraft launched after Vostok 1 lasted for more than a day, thus the Mercury 9 flight would bring the Mercury spacecraft up to the same level as that of the Soviets. In September, 1962, NASA concluded
    7.00
    1 votes
    169
    Soyuz TM-32

    Soyuz TM-32

    • Astronauts (if manned): Talgat Musabayev
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    Soyuz TM-32 was a manned Russian spacecraft which was launched on April 28, 2001, and docked with the International Space Station two days later. It launched the crew of the visiting mission ISS EP-1, which included the first paying space tourist Dennis Tito, as well as two Russian cosmonauts. The Soyuz TM-32 remained docked to the station until October; during this time it served as the lifeboat for the crew of Expedition 2 and later for the crew of Expedition 3. In October it landed the crew of ISS EP-2, who had been launched by Soyuz TM-33. TM-32 carried a three man crew (two Russians and one American, the latter not a professional astronaut) to the International Space Station, ISS. It docked automatically with the ISS at 07:57 UT on April 30, 2001, just a few hours after the space shuttle Endeavour on mission STS-100 undocked. The launched crew stayed for a week and returned in Soyuz TM-31, which had been docked to (or nearby) the station since November 2000 functioning as "lifeboat" for the onboard crew (Expedition 1 and 2). As the new lifeboat for Expedition 2 and later Expedition 3, TM-32 stayed docked at the station for six months (except for a brief move between docking
    7.00
    1 votes
    170
    STS-41-G

    STS-41-G

    • Astronauts (if manned): Jon McBride
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS 41-G was the 13th flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program and the sixth flight of Space Shuttle Challenger. Challenger launched on 5 October 1984, and conducted the second shuttle landing at Kennedy Space Center on 13 October. It was the first shuttle mission to carry a crew of seven, including the first crew with two women (Sally Ride and Kathryn Sullivan), the first American EVA involving a woman (Sullivan), and the first Canadian astronaut (Marc Garneau). STS-41-G was the third shuttle mission to carry an IMAX camera on board to document the flight. Film footage from the mission (including Sullivan and Leestma's EVA) appeared in the IMAX movie The Dream is Alive. On 5 October 1984, Challenger launched from Kennedy Space Center at 7:03 am EDT, marking the start of the STS 41-G mission. It was Challenger's sixth mission, and the 13th liftoff in the Space Shuttle program. On board were seven crew members—the largest flight crew ever to fly on a single spacecraft at that time. They included commander Robert L. Crippen, making his fourth Shuttle flight and second in six months; pilot Jon A. McBride; three mission specialists – David C. Leestma, Sally K. Ride and Kathryn D.
    7.00
    1 votes
    171
    STS-50

    STS-50

    • Astronauts (if manned): Ken Bowersox
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-50 (U.S. Microgravity Laboratory 1) was a United States Space Shuttle mission, the 12th mission of the Columbia orbiter. Columbia landed at Kennedy Space Center for the first time ever due to bad weather at Edwards caused by the remnants of Hurricane Darby. The U.S. Microgravity Laboratory 1 was a spacelab mission, with experiments in material science, fluid physics and biotechnology. It was the first flight of a Space Shuttle with the Extended Duration Orbiter (EDO) hardware, allowing longer flight durations. Primary payload, U.S. Microgravity Laboratory-1 (USML- 1), made its first flight; featured pressurized Spacelab module. USML-1 first in planned series of flights to advance U.S. microgravity research effort in several disciplines. Experiments conducted were: Crystal Growth Furnace (CGF); Drop Physics Module (DPM); Surface Tension Driven Convection Experiments (STDCE); Zeolite Crystal Growth (ZCG); Protein Crystal Growth (PCG); Glovebox Facility (GBX); Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS); Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (GBA); Astroculture-1 (ASC); Extended Duration Orbiter Medical Project (EDOMP); Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE). Secondary experiments
    7.00
    1 votes
    172
    Venera 10

    Venera 10

    • Space program: Venera
    Venera 10 (Russian: Венера-10) was a USSR unmanned space mission to Venus. It consisted of an orbiter and a lander. It launched on June 14, 1975 03:00:31 UTC. The orbiter entered Venus orbit on October 23, 1975. Its mission was to serve as a communications relay for the lander and to explore cloud layers and atmospheric parameters with several instruments and experiments: The orbiter consisted of a cylinder with two solar panel wings and a high gain parabolic antenna attached to the curved surface. A bell-shaped unit holding propulsion systems was attached to the bottom of the cylinder, and mounted on top was a 2.4 meter sphere which held the landers. On October 23, 1975, this spacecraft was separated from the Orbiter, and landing was made with the sun near zenith, at 0517 UT, on October 25. A system of circulating fluid was used to distribute the heat load. This system, plus precooling prior to entry, permitted operation of the spacecraft for 65 min after landing. During descent, heat dissipation and deceleration were accomplished sequentially by protective hemispheric shells, three parachutes, a disk-shaped drag brake, and a compressible, metal, doughnut-shaped, landing cushion.
    7.00
    1 votes
    173
    Vostok 3

    Vostok 3

    • Astronauts (if manned): Andrian Nikolayev
    • Space program: Vostok programme
    Vostok 3 (Russian: Восток-3, Orient 3 or East 3) was a spaceflight of the Soviet space program intended to determine the ability of the human body to function in conditions of weightlessness and test the endurance of the Vostok 3KA spacecraft over longer flights. Cosmonaut Andrian Nikolayev orbited the Earth 64 times over nearly four days in space, August 11–15, 1962, a feat which would not be matched by NASA until the Gemini program (1965–1966). Vostok 3 and Vostok 4 were launched a day apart on trajectories that brought the spacecraft within approximately 6.5 km (4.0 mi) of one another. The cosmonauts aboard the two capsules also communicated with each other via radio, the first ship-to-ship communications in space. These missions marked the first time that more than one manned spacecraft was in orbit at the same time, giving Soviet mission controllers the opportunity to learn to manage this scenario. Gherman Titov had suffered space sickness during his record-breaking one-day mission aboard Vostok 2. This condition was unknown at the time, leading Soviet scientists to devote efforts to study the effect of spaceflight on the human body/. In 1961, Soviet rocket engineer Sergei
    7.00
    1 votes
    174
    A-104

    A-104

    • Space program: Project Apollo
    A-104 was the fourth vehicle boilerplate test of the Apollo spacecraft. It was launched by SA-8, the ninth flight of the Saturn I carrier rocket. The primary mission objective was to demonstrate the launch vehicle iterative guidance mode and evaluation of system accuracy. The launch trajectory was similar to that of mission A-103. The Saturn launch vehicle (SA-8) and payload were similar to those of mission A-103 except that a single reaction control engine assembly was mounted on the boilerplate service module (BP-26) and the assembly was instrumented to acquire additional data on launch environment temperatures. This assembly also differed from the one on the A-101 mission in that two of the four engines were of a prototype configuration instead of all engines being simulated. A-104 was launched from Cape Kennedy Launch Complex 37B at 02:35:01 a.m. EST (07:35:01 GMT) on May 25. 1965, the first nighttime launch in the Saturn I series. A built-in 35 minute hold was used to ensure that launch time coincided with the opening of the launch window. The launch was normal and the payload was inserted into orbit approximately 10.6 minutes after lift-off. The total mass placed in orbit,
    6.00
    2 votes
    175
    Apollo 8

    Apollo 8

    • Astronauts (if manned): William Anders
    • Space program: Project Apollo
    Apollo 8, the second crewed mission in the United States Apollo space program, was launched on December 21, 1968 and became the first human-crewed space craft to leave Earth orbit, reach the Earth's Moon, orbit it and return safely to Earth. The three-astronaut crew — Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders — became the first humans to travel beyond low Earth orbit, the first to see Earth as a whole planet, and then the first to directly see the far side of the Moon. The 1968 mission, the first crewed launch of a Saturn V rocket, was also the first crewed launch from the John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida, located adjacent to Cape Canaveral. Originally planned as a second Lunar Module/Command Module test in an elliptical medium Earth orbit in early 1969, the mission profile was changed in August 1968 to a more ambitious Command Module-only lunar orbital flight to be flown in December, because the Lunar Module was not yet ready to make its first flight. This meant Borman's crew was scheduled to fly two to three months sooner than originally planned, leaving them a shorter time for training and preparation, thus placing more
    6.00
    2 votes
    176
    Beach Abort

    Beach Abort

    • Space program: Project Mercury
    The Beach Abort was an unmanned test in NASA's Project Mercury, of the Mercury spacecraft Launch Escape System. Objectives of the test were a performance evaluation of the escape system, the parachute and landing system, and recovery operations in an off-the-pad abort situation. The test took place at NASA's Wallops Island, Virginia, test facility on May 9, 1960. In the test, the Mercury spacecraft and its Launch Escape System were fired from the ground level. The flight lasted 1 minute, 16 seconds and reached an apogee of 2,465 feet (750 m) and a range of 0.6 mile (0.96 km). A Marine Corps helicopter recovered the spacecraft 17 minutes after launch. Top speed was a velocity of 976 mph (1,571 km/h). The test was considered a success, although there was insufficient separation distance when the tower jettisoned. Mercury Spacecraft #1, the first spacecraft off McDonnell's production line was used in this test. Total payload weight was 1,154 kg. Mercury Spacecraft #1 is displayed at the New York Hall of Science, Corona Park, NY. It is displayed indoors, suspended from the ceiling, with an escape tower of unknown provenance attached.  This article incorporates public domain material
    6.00
    2 votes
    177
    Little Joe 2

    Little Joe 2

    • Space program: Project Mercury
    The Little Joe 2 was a test of the Mercury space capsule. It was the first American animal spaceflight, carrying the Rhesus monkey Sam (Macaca mulatta) close to the edge of space. He was sent to test the space equipment and the adverse effects of space on humans. The flight was launched December 4, 1959, at 11:15 a.m. ET from Wallops Island, Virginia, United States. Little Joe 2 flew 55 miles (88 km) into space. It was recovered, with the monkey intact, in the Atlantic Ocean by USS Borie. Sam was one of a series of monkeys in space. Sam, from the School of Aviation Medicine in San Antonio, Texas, received his name as an acronym of the facility. The flight time was 11 minutes, 6 seconds, with a payload of 1,007 kg. The boilerplate Mercury spacecraft used in the Little Joe 2 mission is currently displayed at Airpower Park and Museum, Hampton, Virginia.  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
    6.00
    2 votes
    178
    Mars Exploration Rover

    Mars Exploration Rover

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Mission (MER) is an ongoing robotic space mission involving two rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, exploring the planet Mars. It began in 2003 with the sending of the two rovers—MER-A Spirit and MER-B Opportunity—to explore the Martian surface and geology. The mission's scientific objective was to search for and characterize a wide range of rocks and soils that hold clues to past water activity on Mars. The mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, which includes three previous successful landers: the two Viking program landers in 1976 and Mars Pathfinder probe in 1997. The total cost of building, launching, landing and operating the rovers on the surface for the initial 90-Martian-day (sol) primary mission was US$820 million. Since the rovers have continued to function beyond their initial 90 sol primary mission, they have each received five mission extensions. The fifth mission extension was granted in October 2007, and ran to the end of 2009. The total cost of the first four mission extensions was $104 million, and the fifth mission extension is expected to cost at least $20 million. In July 2007, during the fourth mission extension, Martian
    6.00
    2 votes
    179
    Skylab 2

    Skylab 2

    • Astronauts (if manned): Paul J. Weitz
    • Space program: Skylab Missions
    Skylab 2 (also SL-2 and SLM-1) was the first manned mission to Skylab, the first U.S. orbital space station. The mission was launched on a Saturn IB rocket and carried a three-person crew to the station. The name Skylab 2 also refers to the vehicle used for that mission. The Skylab 2 mission established a record for human spaceflight duration. Furthermore, its crew were the first space station occupants ever to return safely to Earth – the only other space station occupants, the crew of the 1971 Soyuz 11 mission that had manned the Salyut 1 station, were killed during reentry. The manned Skylab missions were officially designated Skylab 2, 3, and 4. Miscommunication about the numbering resulted in the mission emblems reading Skylab I, Skylab II, and Skylab 3 respectively. Launched on May 25, 1973, the first Skylab crew's most urgent job was to repair the space station. Skylab's meteorite-and-sun shield and one of its solar arrays had torn loose during launch, and the remaining primary solar array was jammed. Without its shield, Skylab baked in the sunshine. The crew had to work fast, because high temperatures inside the workshop would release toxic materials and ruin on-board film
    6.00
    2 votes
    180
    Soyuz TMA-4

    Soyuz TMA-4

    • Astronauts (if manned): Yuri Shargin
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    Soyuz TMA-4 was a Soyuz mission to the International Space Station (ISS) launched by a Soyuz FG launch vehicle. It was launched on April 19, 2004 (UTC) from Baikonur Cosmodrome. Gennady Padalka from Russia, Michael Fincke from the USA and André Kuipers from the Netherlands were flown to the International Space Station. Kuipers returned to Earth 9 days later together with ISS crew 8 with the re-entry module of the Soyuz TMA-3, the other two stayed as ISS crew 9. The craft landed October 24, 2004 with Padalka, Fincke and Yuri Shargin aboard. Soyuz TMA-4 is a Russian passenger spacecraft that was launched by a Soyuz-FG rocket from Baikonur at 03:19 UT on April 19, 2004. It carried three astronauts (a Russian, an American and a Dutch) to the International Space Station (ISS) and docked with the Zarya module of the ISS automatically on April 21 at 05:01 UT. Two of its astronauts remained in the ISS for about six months, while the Dutch astronaut and the two astronauts who had inhabited the ISS for several months left the ISS on April 29 in the TMA-3 that had remained docked with the ISS, soft landing in Kazakhstan at 00:11 on April 30. The Expedition 10 crew, Leroy Chiao-Cdr U.S.A. and
    6.00
    2 votes
    181
    STS-41-C

    STS-41-C

    • Astronauts (if manned): Robert Crippen
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-41-C was NASA's 11th Space Shuttle mission, and the fifth mission of Space Shuttle Challenger. The launch, which took place on 6 April 1984, was the first direct ascent trajectory for a shuttle mission. STS-41-C was extended one day due to problems capturing the Solar Maximum Mission ("Solar Max") satellite, and the landing on 13 April took place at Edwards Air Force Base, instead of at Kennedy Space Center as had been planned. The flight was originally numbered STS-13. Liftoff took place at 8:58 am EST on 6 April 1984. The mission marked the first direct ascent trajectory for the Space Shuttle, which reached its 288-nautical-mile-(533-km)-high orbit using its Orbiter Maneuvering System (OMS) engines only once, to circularize its orbit. The flight had two primary objectives. The first was to deploy the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF), a passive, retrievable, 21,300 pounds (9,700 kg), 12-sided cylinder, 14 feet (4.3 m) in diameter and 30 feet (9.1 m) long, carrying 57 scientific experiments. The second objective was to capture, repair and redeploy the malfunctioning Solar Maximum Mission satellite – "Solar Max" – that had been launched in 1980. The five-man crew included
    6.00
    2 votes
    182
    STS-45

    STS-45

    • Astronauts (if manned): Michael Foale
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-45 was a 1992 spaceflight using Space Shuttle Atlantis. Its almost nine day scientific mission was with a non-deployable payload of instruments. Launch: 24 March 1992, 8:13 am EST. Launch originally scheduled for 23 March, but was delayed one day because of higher-than-allowable concentrations of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen in the orbiter's aft compartment during tanking operations. During troubleshooting, the leaks could not be reproduced, leading engineers to believe that they were the result of plumbing in the main propulsion system not thermally conditioned to the supercold propellants. Launch was rescheduled for 24 March. Launch weight: 105,982 kilograms (233,650 lb). Carried first Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science (ATLAS-1) on Spacelab pallets mounted in orbiter's cargo bay. The non-deployable payload, equipped with 12 instruments from the United States, France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Japan, conducted studies in atmospheric chemistry, solar radiation, space plasma physics and ultraviolet astronomy. ATLAS-1 instruments were: Atmospheric Trace Molecule Spectroscopy (ATMOS); Grille Spectrometer; Millimeter Wave Atmospheric
    6.00
    2 votes
    183
    STS-60

    STS-60

    • Astronauts (if manned): Kenneth S. Reightler, Jr.
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-60 was the first mission of the US/Russian Shuttle-Mir Program, which carried Sergei K. Krikalev, the first Russian cosmonaut to fly aboard a Space Shuttle. The mission used Space Shuttle Discovery, which lifted off from Launch Pad 39A on 3 February 1994 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The mission carried the Wake Shield Facility experiment and a SPACEHAB module into orbit, and carried out a live bi-directional audio and downlink link-up with the cosmonauts aboard the Russian space station Mir. After External Tank separation and main engine cutoff, a 2.5 min OMS burn was initiated at 7:52 am EST that circularized Discovery’s orbit from a 40 by 190 nautical mile (74 by 352 kilometres (219 mi)) orbit to 190 by 190 nautical miles (353 by 352 kilometres (219 mi)). Shortly after liftoff, pilot Kenneth S. Reightler Jr. experienced problems with his portable headset. The problem was traced to the Headset Interface Unit (HIU) and that unit was swapped out with a flight spare. The payload bay doors were opened and around 8:45 am EST the crew was given a go for on-orbit operations. Shortly after reaching orbit, the STS-60 crew began checking Discovery’s systems and activating the
    6.00
    2 votes
    184
    SpaceShipOne flight 15P

    SpaceShipOne flight 15P

    • Astronauts (if manned): Mike Melvill
    • Space program: Tier One
    Flight 15P of SpaceShipOne (X0) was the first privately funded human spaceflight. It took place on June 21, 2004. It was the fourth powered test flight of the Tier One program, the previous three test flights having reached much lower altitudes. The flight carried only its pilot, Mike Melvill, who thus became the first non-governmental astronaut. This flight was a full-altitude test, but not itself a competitive flight for the Ansari X Prize, the prize for the first non-governmental reusable manned spacecraft. Problems were encountered during the flight, but later corrected, paving the way for SpaceShipOne to make competitive flights later in 2004. All times are in PDT, which is seven hours behind UTC. This was the local civil time at the spaceport on the day of the flight. All measurements are first stated in the U.S. customary units in which they were originally reported, with conversions to SI units also given. Taxiing for takeoff from Mojave Spaceport was originally planned for 06:30, because the wind conditions in that area are most favourable in the early morning. Taxiing actually started at 06:37, and the flight took off at 06:47. After an ascent to 47,000 feet (14.3 km)
    5.00
    3 votes
    185
    STS-41-D

    STS-41-D

    • Astronauts (if manned): Charles Walker
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-41-D was the first flight of NASA's Space Shuttle orbiter Discovery. It was the 12th mission of the Space Shuttle program, and was launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 30 August 1984. Three commercial communications satellites were deployed into orbit during the six-day mission, and a number of scientific experiments were conducted. The mission was delayed by more than two months from its original planned launch date, having experienced the Space Shuttle program's first launch abort at T-6 seconds on 26 June 1984. The launch was originally planned for 25 June 1984, but because of a variety of technical problems, including rollback to the Vehicle Assembly Building to replace a faulty main engine, the launch was delayed by over two months. STS-41-D finally launched on 8:41 am EDT on 30 August, after a six-minute, 50-second delay when a private aircraft flew into the restricted airspace near the launch pad. It was the fourth launch attempt for Discovery. The June launch attempt marked the first time since Gemini 6A that a manned spacecraft had experienced a shutdown of its engines just prior to launch. Because of the two-month delay, the STS-41-F mission was canceled
    5.00
    3 votes
    186
    STS-9

    STS-9

    • Astronauts (if manned): Ulf Merbold
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    • Launch site: Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39
    STS-9 (also known as STS-41A and Spacelab 1) was a NASA Space Shuttle mission which carried the first Spacelab laboratory module into orbit. Launched on 28 November 1983, it was the sixth mission of the Space Shuttle Columbia, and was Columbia's last flight until STS-61-C in January 1986. It was also the last time the old STS numbering was used until STS-26 (in the aftermath of the Challenger disaster of STS-51-L). Under the new system, STS-9 would have been designated as STS-41-A. STS-9's six-member crew, the largest of any manned space mission at the time, included John W. Young, commander, on his second shuttle flight; Brewster H. Shaw, pilot; Owen Garriott and Robert A. Parker, both mission specialists; and Byron K. Lichtenberg and Ulf Merbold, payload specialists - the first two non-NASA astronauts to fly on the Space Shuttle. Merbold, a citizen of West Germany, was the first foreign citizen to participate in a shuttle flight. Lichtenberg was a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to STS-9, scientist-astronaut Garriott had spent 56 days in orbit in 1973 aboard Skylab. The mission was devoted entirely to Spacelab 1, a joint NASA/European Space Agency
    5.00
    3 votes
    187
    STS-92

    STS-92

    • Astronauts (if manned): Michael Lopez-Alegria
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-92 was a Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) flown by Space Shuttle Discovery. STS-92 marked the 100th mission of the Space Shuttle. It was launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, 11 October 2000. STS-92 was an ISS assembly flight that brought the Z1 truss, Control Moment Gyros, Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 (PMA-3) (mounted on a Spacelab pallet) and two DDCU (Heat pipes) to the space station. The Z1 truss was the first exterior framework installed on the ISS and allowed the first U.S. solar arrays to be temporarily installed on Unity for early power during flight 4A. The Ku-band communication system supported early science capabilities and U.S. television on flight 6A. The CMGs (Control Moment Gyros) weigh about 27 kilograms (60 lb) and provide non-propulsive (electrically powered) attitude control when activated on flight 5A, and PMA-3 provides shuttle docking port for solar array installation on flight 4A and Lab installation on flight 5A. The mission included seven days of docked operations with the space station, four EVAs, and two ingress opportunities. Over the course of four scheduled spacewalks, two teams of space walkers and an
    5.00
    3 votes
    188
    A-101

    A-101

    • Space program: Project Apollo
    A-101 was the first boilerplate test flight of the Apollo spacecraft, which was launched using SA-6, the sixth Saturn I rocket to fly. The flight took place in 1964. The first five launches of the Saturn I had carried Jupiter-C nosecone that were a proven design allowing engineers to focus on the rocket. However, in order to get to the Moon, it had to be shown that the rocket could actually launch the Apollo spacecraft shape. Therefore, on A-101 the rocket carried a boilerplate spacecraft and a dummy Launch Escape System (LES). The Boilerplate BP-13 duplicated the size, weight, shape, and center of gravity of a manned Apollo command module. A flight-weight command module weighed around 12,000 pounds (5,400 kg); the boilerplate command/service module combination weighted 17,000 pounds (7,700 kg). This allowed it to be instrumented with 116 measuring devices so that engineers could see the strain, pressure, and acceleration experienced by the spacecraft, which they hoped would confirm their calculations. It took three attempts to get the rocket off the pad. The first launch attempt was scrubbed after the liquid oxygen damaged a wire mesh screen during a test, causing fuel
    5.50
    2 votes
    189
    Apollo 9

    Apollo 9

    • Astronauts (if manned): James McDivitt
    • Space program: Project Apollo
    Apollo 9, was the third manned mission in the United States Apollo space program and the first flight of the Command/Service Module (CSM) with the Lunar Module (LM). Its three-person crew, consisting of Commander James McDivitt, Command Module Pilot David Scott, and Lunar Module Pilot Rusty Schweickart, tested several aspects critical to landing on the Moon, including the LM engines, backpack life support systems, navigation systems, and docking maneuvers. The mission was the second manned launch of a Saturn V rocket. After launching on March 3, 1969, the crewmen spent ten days in low Earth orbit. They performed the first manned flight of a LM, the first docking and extraction of a LM, two spacewalks, and the second docking of two manned spacecraft—two months after the Soviets performed a spacewalk crew transfer between Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5. The mission proved the LM worthy of manned spaceflight. Further tests on the Apollo 10 mission would prepare the LM for its ultimate goal, landing on the Moon. Originally Clifton Williams was the lunar module pilot for the backup crew. He died on October 5, 1967, in a T-38 crash. His spot was given to Alan Bean. Later, when the backup crew flew
    5.50
    2 votes
    190
    Pad Abort Test-2

    Pad Abort Test-2

    • Space program: Project Apollo
    Pad Abort Test 2 was the follow-on second abort test to Pad Abort Test 1 of the Apollo spacecraft. Apollo Pad Abort Test 2 was the fifth of six unmanned Apollo missions that flight tested the capability of the launch escape system (LES) to provide for safe recovery of Apollo crews under critical abort conditions. This flight was the second test of the launch escape system with the abort initiated from the launch pad. The launch escape system included qualified launch escape and pitch motors and was equipped with canards to orient the vehicle aft heat shield forward prior to tower jettison and parachute deployment. A boost protective cover was also provided. The spacecraft was BP-23A, a boilerplate command module that had been used on mission A-002 and refurbished to more nearly simulate a Block-I-type command module in mass and other characteristics. The Earth landing system was similar to the one used in mission A-003. The test flight was conducted on June 29, 1965. The vehicle was lifted from Launch Complex 36 by the Launch Escape motor at 06:00:01 a.m. M.S.T. (13:00:01 UTC). The launch escape and pitch control motors ignited simultaneously, placing the test vehicle into the
    5.50
    2 votes
    191
    STS-34

    STS-34

    • Astronauts (if manned): Franklin Chang-Diaz
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-34 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission using Space Shuttle Atlantis. It was the 31st shuttle mission overall, and the 5th flight for Atlantis. STS-34 launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 18 October 1989, and landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on 23 October. During the mission, the Jupiter-bound Galileo probe was deployed into space. Atlantis lifted off from Pad B, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center (KSC), at 12:53 EDT on 18 October 1989. It carried the Jupiter-bound Galileo spacecraft in its cargo bay. The countdown was delayed at T-minus 5 minutes for 3 minutes and 40 seconds to update the onboard computer for a change in the Transoceanic Abort Landing (TAL) site. The TAL site was changed from Ben Guerir Air Base, Morocco, to Zaragoza Air Base, Spain, because of heavy rain at Ben Guerir. The launch was originally targeted for 12 October 1989, the first day of a 41-day launch period during which the planets were properly aligned for a direct flight to Jupiter. The liftoff was rescheduled for 17 October 1989 to replace a faulty main engine controller for Space Shuttle Main Engine No. 2. It was postponed again until 18 October 1989 because of rain-showers
    5.50
    2 votes
    192
    Voskhod 2

    Voskhod 2

    • Astronauts (if manned): Aleksei Leonov
    • Space program: Voskhod programme
    Voskhod 2 (Russian: Восход-2) was a Soviet manned space mission in March 1965. Vostok-based Voskhod 3KD spacecraft with two crew members on board, Pavel Belyaev and Alexei Leonov, was equipped with an inflatable airlock. It established another milestone in space exploration when Alexei Leonov became the first person to leave the spacecraft in a specialized spacesuit to conduct a 12 minute "spacewalk". The Voskhod 3KD spacecraft had an inflatable airlock extended in orbit. Cosmonaut Alexey Leonov donned a space suit and left the spacecraft while the other cosmonaut of the two-man crew, Pavel Belyayev, remained inside. Leonov began his spacewalk 90 minutes into the mission at the end of the first orbit. Cosmonaut Leonov's spacewalk lasted 12 minutes and 9 seconds (08:34:51–08:47:00hrs UTC), beginning over north-central Africa (northern Sudan/southern Egypt), and ending over eastern Siberia. The Voskhod 2 spacecraft was a Vostok spacecraft with a backup, solid fuel retrorocket, attached atop the descent module. The ejection seat was removed and two seats were added, (at a 90-degree angle relative to the Vostok crew seats position). An inflatable exterior airlock was also added to the
    5.50
    2 votes
    193
    Soyuz 7

    Soyuz 7

    • Astronauts (if manned): Vladislav Volkov
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    Soyuz 7 (Russian: Союз 7, Union 7) was part of a joint mission with Soyuz 6 and Soyuz 8 that saw three Soyuz spacecraft in orbit together at the same time, carrying seven cosmonauts. The crew consisted of commander Anatoly Filipchenko, flight-engineer Vladislav Volkov and research-cosmonaut Viktor Gorbatko, whose mission was to dock with Soyuz 8 and transfer crew, as the Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 missions did. Soyuz 6 was to film the operation from nearby. However, this objective was not achieved due to equipment failures. Soviet sources later claimed that no docking had been intended, but this seems unlikely, given the docking adapters carried by the spacecraft, and the fact that the Soyuz 8 crew were both veterans of the previous successful docking mission. This was the last time that the Soviet manned Moon landing hardware was tested in orbit, and the failure seems to have been one of the final nails in the coffin of the programme. The radio call sign of the spacecraft was Buran, meaning blizzard, which years later was re-used as the name of the entirely different spaceplane Buran. This word is apparently used as the name of an active or aggressive squadron in Soviet military
    4.67
    3 votes
    194
    Gemini 1

    Gemini 1

    • Space program: Project Gemini
    Gemini 1 was the first unmanned test flight of the Gemini spacecraft in NASA's Gemini program. Its main objectives were to test the structural integrity of the new spacecraft and modified Titan II ICBM. It was also the first test of the new tracking and communication systems for the Gemini program and provided training for the ground support crews for the first manned missions. The 1964 mission lasted only three orbits (64 orbits were completed before re-entry, but the official mission was complete after the third orbit). The spacecraft stayed attached to the second stage of the rocket and there were no plans for recovery. Gemini Spacecraft Number 1 was built specifically for this mission. It lacked life support systems and had ballast instead. Although it featured a heat shield, the shield had four large holes drilled in it to make sure that the spacecraft was destroyed during reentry. In place of the crew couches were measuring equipment that relayed telemetry measuring the pressure, vibration, acceleration, temperature, and structural loads during the short flight. As with any new spacecraft, there were problems at first during system testings and also the rocket ran into
    6.00
    1 votes
    195
    Luna 7

    Luna 7

    Luna 7 (E-6 series) was an unmanned space mission of the Soviet Luna program, also called Lunik 7. The Luna 7 spacecraft was intended to achieve a soft landing on the Moon. However, due to premature retrofire and cutoff of the retrorockets, the spacecraft impacted the lunar surface in Oceanus Procellarum. Unlike its predecessors, Luna 7 successfully carried out its mid-course correction on October 5 on the way to the Moon, in anticipation of a soft-landing two days later. Unfortunately, immediately prior to planned retro-fire during the approach to the lunar surface, the spacecraft suddenly lost attitude control and failed to regain it. Automatic programmed systems then prevented the main engine from firing. As controllers observed helplessly, Luna 7 plummeted to the lunar surface at a very high speed, crashing at 22:08:24 UT on October 7, 1965, west of the Kepler crater, relatively near the actual intended target. Impact coordinates were 9°N 49°W / 9°N 49°W / 9; -49. Later investigation indicated that the optical sensor of the astronavigation system had been set at the wrong angle and had lost sight of Earth during the critical attitude-control maneuver. It was the tenth
    6.00
    1 votes
    196
    Mercury-Atlas 6

    Mercury-Atlas 6

    • Astronauts (if manned): John Glenn
    • Space program: Project Mercury
    Mercury-Atlas 6 (MA-6) was a human spaceflight mission conducted by NASA, the space agency of the United States. As part of Project Mercury, MA-6 was the successful first attempt by NASA to place an astronaut into orbit. The MA-6 mission was launched February 20, 1962. It made three orbits of the Earth, piloted by astronaut John Glenn, who became the first American to orbit the Earth. The event was named an IEEE Milestone in 2011. The Mercury spacecraft, named Friendship 7, was carried to orbit by an Atlas LV-3B launch vehicle lifting off from Launch Complex 14 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. After four hours and 56 minutes in flight the spacecraft re-entered the Earth's atmosphere, splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean and was safely taken aboard the USS Noa. After the successful completion of the Mercury 5 flight that carried Enos, a chimpanzee, in late November 1961, a press conference was held in early December. Reporters asked NASA's Robert Gilruth who would be the first U.S. astronaut in orbit, piloting Mercury 6. He then announced the team members for the next two Mercury missions. John H. Glenn was selected as prime pilot for the first mission (Mercury 6), with M. Scott Carpenter
    6.00
    1 votes
    197
    STS-113

    STS-113

    • Astronauts (if manned): Michael Lopez-Alegria
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-113 was a Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) flown by Space Shuttle Endeavour. During the 14-day mission in late 2002, Endeavour and its crew extended the ISS backbone with the P1 truss and exchanged the Expedition 5 and Expedition 6 crews aboard the station. With Commander Jim Wetherbee and Pilot Paul Lockhart at the controls, Endeavour docked with the station on 25 November 2002 to begin seven days of station assembly, spacewalks and crew and equipment transfers. This was Endeavour’s last flight before entering its Orbiter Major Modification period until 2007, and also the last shuttle mission before the Columbia disaster. STS-113 was an Assembly Mission (11A) to the International Space Station, delivering the P1 Truss segment, which provides structural support for the Space Station radiators. Mission Specialists John Herrington and Michael López-Alegría performed three spacewalks to activate and outfit the P1. The STS-113 crew and both Expedition crews transferred about 1,969 kilograms (4,340 pounds) of cargo between the shuttle and station. STS-113 delivered the Expedition 6 crew to the station for a four-month increment. The Expedition 5 crew
    6.00
    1 votes
    198
    STS-114

    STS-114

    • Astronauts (if manned): Eileen Collins
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-114 was the first "Return to Flight" Space Shuttle mission following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. The Space Shuttle Discovery launched at 10:39 EDT (14:39 UTC), 26 July 2005. The launch, 907 days (approx. 29 months) after the loss of Columbia, was approved despite unresolved fuel sensor anomalies in the external tank; those anomalies had prevented the shuttle from launching on 13 July, its originally scheduled date. The mission was completed on 9 August 2005. Due to the poor weather at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, the shuttle landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, a secondary landing site. The problem that resulted in the destruction of Columbia – debris separating from the external tank during ascent – unexpectedly recurred during the launch of Discovery. As a result, NASA decided on 27 July 2005 to postpone future shuttle flights pending additional modifications to the flight hardware. On 4 July 2006, NASA resumed shuttle flight with STS-121. This mission was to carry the Expedition 7 crew to the ISS and bring home the Expedition 6 crew. The original crew was to be: STS-114 marked the return to flight of the Space Shuttle after the Columbia disaster and was
    6.00
    1 votes
    199
    STS-28

    STS-28

    • Astronauts (if manned): Brewster H. Shaw
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-28 was the 30th NASA Space Shuttle mission, the fourth shuttle mission dedicated to United States Department of Defense purposes, and the eighth flight of Space Shuttle Columbia. The mission launched on 8 August 1989, lasted just over 5 days, and traveled 2.1 million miles during 81 orbits of the Earth, before landing on runway 17 of Edwards Air Force Base, California. STS-28 was also Columbia's first flight since January 1986, when it had flown STS-61-C, the mission directly preceding the Challenger disaster of STS-51-L. The mission details of STS-28 are classified, but the payload is widely believed to have been the first SDS-2 communications satellite. The altitude of the mission is classified, but must have been between 220 kilometers (140 mi) and 380 kilometers (240 mi), based on the distance traveled and the number of orbits. Space Shuttle Columbia (OV-102) lifted off from Pad 39-B, Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 8 August 1989. The launch took place at 8:37 am EDT. During STS-28, Columbia deployed two satellites: USA-40 and USA-41. Early reports speculated that STS-28's primary payload was an Advanced KH-11 photo-reconnaissance satellite. Later
    6.00
    1 votes
    200
    STS-51-B

    STS-51-B

    • Astronauts (if manned): Frederick D. Gregory
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS 51-B was the seventeenth flight of NASA's Space Shuttle program, and the seventh flight of Space Shuttle Challenger. The launch of Challenger on 29 April 1985 was delayed by 2 minutes and 18 seconds, due to a launch processing failure. Challenger was initially rolled out to the pad to launch on the STS-51-E mission. The shuttle was rolled back when a timing issue emerged with the TDRS-B satellite. When STS-51-E was canceled, Challenger was remanifested with the STS-51-B payloads. Challenger lifted off from Kennedy Space Center (KSC)'s launchpad 39-A at 12:02 pm EDT on 29 April 1985. The crew members included Robert F. Overmyer, commander; Frederick D. Gregory, pilot; Don L. Lind, Norman E. Thagard and William E. Thornton, mission specialists; and Lodewijk van den Berg, of EG&G Energy Management, Inc., and Taylor G. Wang, of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, both payload specialists. STS-51-B was the second flight of the European Space Agency's Spacelab, and the first with the Spacelab module in a fully operational configuration. Spacelab's capabilities for multi-disciplinary research in microgravity were successfully demonstrated. The gravity gradient attitude of the orbiter
    6.00
    1 votes
    201
    STS-51-I

    STS-51-I

    • Astronauts (if manned): John M. Lounge
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-51-I was the twentieth mission of NASA's Space Shuttle program and the sixth flight of Space Shuttle Discovery. During the mission, Discovery deployed three communications satellites into orbit. The mission launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 27 August 1985, and landed seven days later at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Discovery launched at 6:58 am EDT on 27 August 1985. Two earlier launch attempts, one on 24 August and another on 25 August, were scrubbed – the first because of poor weather, and the second because the backup orbiter computer failed and had to be replaced. The successful launch on 27 August took place just as an approaching storm front reached the launch pad area. The five-man STS 51-I crew included Joe H. Engle, commander; Richard O. Covey, pilot; and James van Hoften, John M. Lounge, and William F. Fisher, mission specialists. Their primary mission was to deploy three commercial communications satellites and retrieve and repair the SYNCOM IV-3 satellite, which had been deployed during the STS 51-D mission in April 1985, but had malfunctioned. In addition, a mid-deck materials processing experiment, the Physical Vapor Transport Organic Solid
    6.00
    1 votes
    202
    STS-62

    STS-62

    • Astronauts (if manned): John Casper
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-62 was a Space Shuttle program mission flown aboard Space Shuttle Columbia. The primary payloads were the USMP-02 microgravity experiments package and the OAST-2 engineering and technology payload, both in the orbiter's cargo bay. The two-week mission also featured a number of biomedical experiments focusing on the effects of long duration spaceflight. The landing was chronicled by the 1994 Discovery Channel special about the Space Shuttle Program and serves as the show's opening. A C.F. Martin backpacker guitar was on the shuttle during the mission. Flight Day One (Friday, 4 March 1994) consisted of Ascent operations and orbiter reconfiguration to support orbital operations, an OMS-2 burn to circularize Columbia's orbit to a 160-by-163-nautical-mile (300 by 302 km) orbit, USMP-2 activation, PSE operations, APCG activation, CPCG operations, RMS checkout, DEE operations, CGBA activation. Payload bay doors were opened at 10:26 am EDT. On Flight Day Two (Saturday, 5 March 1994) the astronauts took turns on the crew cabin exercise facility in an effort to slow down the effects of muscle atrophy. Pilot Andrew M. Allen and mission specialist Charles D. Gemar also spent time in the
    6.00
    1 votes
    203
    Vostok 4

    Vostok 4

    • Astronauts (if manned): Pavel Popovich
    • Space program: Vostok programme
    Vostok 4 (Russian: Восток-4, Orient 4 or East 4) was a mission in the Soviet space program. It was launched a day after Vostok 3 with cosmonaut Pavel Popovich on board—the first time that more than one manned spacecraft were in orbit at the same time. The two Vostok capsules came within 6.5 km (4.0 mi) of one another and ship-to-ship radio contact was established. The cosmonauts of Vostok 3 and 4 did not attempt rendezvous. At one point the craft came within a few kilometers of each other and Popovich later reported at a news conference that he saw the other craft from orbit. Popovich is quoted as saying, "I saw it at once," referring to seeing Vostok 3 in orbit. "It looked like a very small moon in the distance." The Vostok 3 and 4 spacecraft landed about 200 km apart, south of Karaganda, Kazakhstan. The mission went largely as planned, despite a malfunction with the Vostok's life-support systems that meant that cabin temperature dropped down to 10 °C (50 °F). The flight was terminated early after a misunderstanding by ground control, who believed that Popovich had given them a codeword asking to be brought back ahead of schedule. The re-entry capsule is now on display at the NPO
    6.00
    1 votes
    204
    Apollo 10

    Apollo 10

    • Astronauts (if manned): John Watts Young
    • Space program: Project Apollo
    Apollo 10 was the fourth manned mission in the United States Apollo space program. It was an F type mission—its purpose was to be a "dry run" for the Apollo 11 mission, testing all of the procedures and components of a Moon landing without actually landing on the Moon itself. The mission included the second crew to orbit the Moon and an all-up test of the lunar module (LM) in lunar orbit. The LM came to within 8.4 nautical miles (15.6 km) of the lunar surface during practice maneuvers. According to the 2002 Guinness World Records, Apollo 10 set the record for the highest speed attained by a manned vehicle at 39,897 km/h (11.08 km/s or 24,791 mph) during the return from the Moon on May 26, 1969. Due to the use of their names as call signs, the Peanuts characters Charlie Brown and Snoopy became semi-official mascots for the mission. Peanuts creator Charles Schulz also drew some special mission-related artwork for NASA. Apollo 10 was the first of only two Apollo missions with an entirely flight-experienced crew. Stafford had flown on Gemini 6 and Gemini 9; Young had flown on Gemini 3 and Gemini 10, and Cernan had flown with Stafford on Gemini 9. They were also the only Apollo crew all
    4.33
    3 votes
    205
    Luna 6

    Luna 6

    Luna 6 (E-6 series) was an unmanned space mission of the Luna program, also called Lunik 6. Luna 6 was intended to travel to the Moon, but, because a mid-course correction failed, it missed the Moon by 159,612.8 km. On this ninth Soviet attempt at a lunar soft-landing, the mission proceeded as planned until the major mid-course correction late on 9 June. Although the main retro-rocket engine (the S5.5A) ignited on time, it failed to cut off and continued to fire until propellant supply was exhausted. An investigation later indicated that the problem had been due to human error; a command had been mistakenly sent to the timer that ordered the main engine to shut down. Although the spacecraft was sent on a completely wrong trajectory, ground controllers put the spacecraft through a series of steps to practice an actual landing, all of which were satisfactorily accomplished. Luna 6 passed by the Moon late on 11 June at a range of 161,000 kilometers and eventually entered heliocentric orbit. Contact was maintained to a distance of 600,000 kilometers from Earth.
    5.00
    2 votes
    206
    STS-42

    STS-42

    • Astronauts (if manned): Ronald J. Grabe
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-42 was a Space Shuttle Discovery mission with the Spacelab module. Liftoff which was originally scheduled for 8:45 EST (13:45 UTC) 22 January 1992, but the launch was delayed due to weather constraints. Discovery successfully lifted off an hour later at 9:52 EST (14:52 UTC). The main goal of the mission was to study the effects of microgravity on a variety of organisms. The shuttle landed at 8:07 PST (16:07 UTC) on 30 January 1992 on Runway 22, Edwards Air Force Base, California. Launch: 22 January 1992, 9:52:33 am EST. Launch delayed one hour due to weather constraints. Launch Weight: 243,396 pounds (110.403 Mg). Carried into orbit the International Microgravity Laboratory-1 (IML-1), a pressurized manned Spacelab module, to explore in depth the complex effects of weightlessness on living organisms and materials processing. The international crew, divided into Red and Blue teams, conducted experiments on the human nervous system's adaptation to low gravity and the effects of microgravity on other life forms such as shrimp eggs, lentil seedlings, fruit fly eggs and bacteria. Low gravity materials processing experiments included crystal growth from a variety of substances such as
    5.00
    2 votes
    207
    STS-5

    STS-5

    • Astronauts (if manned): Joseph P. Allen
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    • Launch site: Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39
    STS-5 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission, the fifth shuttle mission overall and the fifth flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia. It was the first shuttle mission to deploy communications satellites into orbit. STS-5 launched on 11 November 1982 and landed five days later on 16 November. Columbia launched on schedule from Kennedy Space Center (KSC) at 7:19 am EST, 11 November 1982. The shuttle carried a crew of four - the largest spacecraft crew up to that time - and the first two commercial communications satellites to be flown on the shuttle. The commercial satellites were deployed successfully and subsequently propelled into their operational geosynchronous orbits by booster rockets. The two satellites were Satellite Business Systems-3, owned by Satellite Business Systems, and Anik C3, owned by Telesat Canada; both were Hughes-built HS-376-series satellites. In addition, STS-5 carried a West German-sponsored microgravity GAS experiment canister in the payload bay. The crew furthermore conducted three student-designed experiments during the flight. A planned spacewalk by Lenoir and Allen, the first of the Space Shuttle program, was postponed by one day after Lenoir became ill, and
    5.00
    2 votes
    208
    STS-87

    STS-87

    • Astronauts (if manned): Winston E. Scott
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-87 was a Space Shuttle mission launched from KSC pad 39-B on 19 November 1997. It was the 88th flight of the Space Shuttle, and the 24th flight of Columbia. The mission goals were to conduct experiments using the United States Microgravity Payload (USMP-4), to conduct 2 EVAs, and to deploy the SPARTAN-201 experiment. STS-87 flew the United States Microgravity Payload (USMP-4), the Spartan-201, the Orbital Acceleration Research Experiment (OARE), the EVA Demonstration Flight Test 5 (EDFT-05), the Shuttle Ozone Limb Sending Experiment (SOLSE), the Loop Heat Pipe (LHP), the Sodium Sulfur Battery Experiment (NaSBE), the Turbulent GAS Jet Diffusion (G-744) experiment and the Autonomous EVA Robotic Camera/Sprint (AERCam Sprint) experiment. Two mid-deck experiments are the Middeck Glovbox Payload (MGBX) and the Collaborative Ukrainian Experiment (CUE). The United States Microgravity Payload (USMP-4) is a Spacelab project managed by Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama. The complement of microgravity research experiments is divided between two Mission-Peculiar Experiment Support Structures (MPESS) in the payload bay. The extended mission capability offered by the Extended
    5.00
    2 votes
    209
    STS-98

    STS-98

    • Astronauts (if manned): Mark L. Polansky
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-98 was a 2001 Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) flown by Space Shuttle Atlantis. STS-98 delivered to the station the Destiny Laboratory Module. All mission objectives were completed and the shuttle reentered and landed safely at Edwards Air Force Base on 20 February 2001, after twelve days in space, six of which were spent docked to the ISS. The crew continued the task of building and enhancing the International Space Station by delivering the U.S. Destiny Laboratory Module. The Shuttle spent six days docked to the station while the laboratory was attached and three spacewalks were conducted to complete its assembly. The mission also seen the 100th spacewalk in U.S. spaceflight history. STS-98 occurred while the first station crew was aboard the new space station. NASA began a tradition of playing music to astronauts during the Gemini program, which was first used to wake up a flight crew during Apollo 15. Each track is specially chosen, often by their families, and usually has a special meaning to an individual member of the crew, or is applicable to their daily activities.  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or
    5.00
    2 votes
    210
    Gemini 10

    Gemini 10

    • Astronauts (if manned): Michael Collins
    • Space program: Project Gemini
    Gemini 10 (officially Gemini X) was a 1966 manned spaceflight in NASA's Gemini program. It was the 8th manned Gemini flight, the 16th manned American flight and the 24th spaceflight of all time (includes X-15 flights over 100 kilometres (62 mi)). Gemini established that radiation at high altitude was not a problem. After docking with their Agena booster in low orbit, Young and Collins used it to climb another 763.8 kilometers to meet with the dead, drifting Agena left over from the aborted Gemini 8 flight—thus executing the program's first double rendezvous. With no electricity on board the second Agena the rendezvous was accomplished with eyes only—no radar. After the rendezvous, Collins space-walked over to the dormant Agena at the end of a 15.24 meter tether, making Collins the first person to meet another spacecraft in orbit. He retrieved a cosmic dust-collecting panel from the side of the Agena, but returned no pictures of his close encounter; in the complicated business of keeping his tether clear of the Gemini and Agena, Collins' Hasselblad camera worked itself free and drifted off into orbit. Gemini 10 was designed to achieve the objectives planned for the last two
    4.50
    2 votes
    211
    Salyut 4

    Salyut 4

    • Astronauts (if manned): Georgi Grechko
    • Space program: Salyut program
    Salyut 4 (DOS 4) (Russian: Салют-4; English translation: Salute 4) was a Salyut space station launched on December 26, 1974 into an orbit with an apogee of 355 km, a perigee of 343 km and an orbital inclination of 51.6 degrees. It was essentially a copy of the DOS 3, and unlike its ill-fated sibling it was a complete success. Three crews attempted to make stays aboard Salyut 4 (Soyuz 17 and Soyuz 18 docked; Soyuz 18a suffered a launch abort). The second stay was for 63 days duration, and an unmanned Soyuz capsule remained docked to the station for three months, proving the system's long-term durability. Salyut 4 was deorbited February 2, 1977, and re-entered the Earth's atmosphere on February 3. Installed on the Salyut 4 were OST-1 (Orbiting Solar Telescope) 25 cm solar telescope, designed at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, and two X-ray telescopes. One of X-ray telescopes, often called the Filin telescope, consisted of four gas flow proportional counters, three of which had a total detection surface of 450 cm² in the energy range 2-10 keV, and one of which had an effective surface of 37 cm² for the range 0.2 to 2 keV (32 to 320 aJ). The field of view was limited by a slit
    4.50
    2 votes
    212
    Apollo 16

    Apollo 16

    • Astronauts (if manned): Ken Mattingly
    • Space program: Project Apollo
    Apollo 16 was the tenth manned mission in the United States Apollo space program, the fifth and penultimate to land on the Moon and the first to land in the lunar highlands. The second of the so-called J-missions, the mission was crewed by Commander John Young, Lunar Module Pilot Charles Duke and Command Module Pilot Ken Mattingly. Launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 12:54 PM EST on 16 April 1972, the mission lasted eleven days, one hour, and fifty-one minutes, and concluded at 2:45 PM EST on 27 April. John Young and Charles Duke spent 71 hours—just under three days—on the lunar surface, during which they conducted three extra-vehicular activities, or moonwalks, totaling 20 hours and 14 minutes. The pair drove the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), the second ever produced and used on the Moon, a cumulative distance of 26.7 kilometres (16.6 mi). On the surface, Young and Duke collected 95.8 kilograms (211 lb) of lunar samples for return to Earth, while Command Module Pilot Ken Mattingly orbited in the Command/Service Module above to perform observations. Mattingly spent a total of 126 hours and 64 revolutions in lunar orbit. After Young and Duke rejoined Mattingly in
    5.00
    1 votes
    213
    Gemini 9A

    Gemini 9A

    • Astronauts (if manned): Eugene Andrew Cernan
    • Space program: Project Gemini
    Gemini 9A (officially Gemini IX-A) was a 1966 manned spaceflight in NASA's Gemini program. It was the 7th manned Gemini flight, the 13th manned American flight and the 23rd spaceflight of all time (includes X-15 flights over 100 kilometres (62 mi)). Stafford and Cernan became the first backup crew to fly in space since Scott Carpenter replaced Deke Slayton on MA-7. The original prime crew for Gemini 9, Elliot See (Command Pilot) and Charles Bassett (Pilot), were both killed on February 28, 1966 (less than four months before the mission) when their T-38 crashed into the McDonnell building in St. Louis, Missouri where technicians were working on their Gemini spacecraft. The backup crew of Stafford and Cernan was promoted to the prime crew, while a new backup crew was created from the crew originally assigned as backup to Gemini 10. This latter fact is significant as the standard crew rotation meant that a spot on the backup crew of Gemini 10 would have placed Buzz Aldrin on the prime crew of the non-existent Gemini 13. (The crew rotation usually meant that after serving on a backup crew, an astronaut could expect to skip two missions and then be on a prime crew.) Being moved up to
    5.00
    1 votes
    214
    Luna 9

    Luna 9

    Luna 9 (E-6 series, N.13) was an unmanned space mission of the Soviet Union's Luna program. On February 3, 1966 the Luna 9 spacecraft was the first spacecraft to achieve a soft landing on the Moon, or any planetary body other than Earth, and to transmit photographic data to Earth. The automatic lunar station that achieved the landing weighed 99 kilograms (220 lb). It used a landing bag to survive the impact speed of 54 kilometres per hour (34 mph). It was a hermetically sealed container with radio equipment, a program timing device, heat control systems, scientific apparatus, power sources, and a television system. The Luna 9 payload was carried to Earth orbit by a 3-stage Molniya SL-6/A-2-e rocket, and then sent toward the Moon by the fourth stage. The flight apparatus separated from the payload shortly before Luna 9 landed. After landing in the Oceanus Procellarum on February 3, the four petals which covered the top half of the spacecraft opened outward and stabilized it on the lunar surface. Spring-controlled antennas assumed operating positions, and the television camera rotating mirror system, which operated by revolving and tilting, began a photographic survey of the lunar
    5.00
    1 votes
    215
    STS-105

    STS-105

    • Astronauts (if manned): Susan J. Helms
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-105 was a mission of the Space Shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station, launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, 10 August 2001. This mission was Discovery's final mission until STS-114, because Discovery was grounded for a refit, and then all Shuttles were grounded in the wake of the Columbia disaster. The refit included an update of the flight deck to the glass cockpit layout, which was already in use on the Space Shuttle Atlantis. The main purpose of STS-105 was the rotation of the International Space Station crew and the delivery of supplies utilizing the Italian-built Multi Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) Leonardo on its second flight (STS-102, STS-105). The crew also performed two spacewalks and conducted scientific experiments. The Multi Purpose Logistics Module (MLPM) taken on STS-105 contained additional scientific racks, equipment and supplies. It is 6.4 meters long (21 ft) and 4.6 meters (15 ft) in diameter) and weighs over 4,082 kilograms (9,000 lb). An identical module named Raffaello has flown twice (STS-100 and, later, STS-108). Aboard Leonardo were six Resupply Stowage Racks, four Resupply Stowage Platforms, and two new scientific experiment
    5.00
    1 votes
    216
    Vostok 6

    Vostok 6

    • Astronauts (if manned): Valentina Tereshkova
    • Space program: Vostok programme
    Vostok 6 (Russian: Восток-6, Orient 6 or East 6) was the first human spaceflight mission to carry a woman, cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, into space. This also made her the first civilian in space. The spacecraft was launched on June 16, 1963. Data was collected on the female body's reaction to spaceflight. Like other cosmonauts on Vostok missions, she maintained a flight log, took photographs, and manually oriented the spacecraft. Her photographs of the horizon from space were later used to identify aerosol layers within the atmosphere. The mission, a joint flight with Vostok 5, was originally conceived as being a joint mission with two Vostoks each carrying a female cosmonaut, but this changed as the Vostok program experienced cutbacks as a precursor to the retooling of the program into the Voskhod program. Vostok 6 was the last flight of a Vostok 3KA spacecraft. It was revealed in 2004 that an error in the control program made the spaceship ascend from orbit instead of descending. Tereshkova noticed the fault on the first day of the flight and reported it to Sergey Korolev. The mistake was promptly repaired. Tereshkova entered the data that she got from the Earth into the
    5.00
    1 votes
    217
    A-105

    A-105

    • Space program: Project Apollo
    A-105 was the final boilerplate test of an Apollo spacecraft, launched by the final flight of the Saturn I carrier rocket, SA-10, in 1965. A-105 was an Apollo boilerplate spacecraft; boilerplate BP-9A was used for the flight. The spacecraft reentered on November 22, 1975. The Saturn launch vehicle (SA-10) was similar to those of missions A-103 and A-104. As on the previous mission, the boilerplate service module was equipped with a test installation of a reaction control engine package. The primary flight objective was to continue demonstration of the launch vehicle's interactive guidance mode and evaluation of system accuracy. A-105 was launched from Cape Kennedy Launch Complex 37B at 08:00 EST (13:00 GMT) on July 30, 1965, on the last Saturn I rocket, SA-10. A planned thirty-minute hold ensured that launch time coincided with the opening of the Pegasus launch window. The launch was normal and the payload was inserted into orbit approximately 10.7 minutes after lift-off. The total mass placed in orbit, including the spacecraft, Pegasus spacecraft, adapter, instrument unit, and S-IV stage, was 34,438 pounds (15,621 kg). The spacecraft was separated 812 seconds after lift-off. The
    4.00
    2 votes
    218
    Saturn I SA-3

    Saturn I SA-3

    • Space program: Project Apollo
    Saturn-Apollo 3 (SA-3) was the third flight of the Saturn I launch vehicle, the second flight of Project Highwater, and was part of the American Apollo program. The rocket was launched on November 16, 1962, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Saturn I launch vehicle components were delivered to Cape Canaveral by the barge Promise on September 19, 1962, but erection of the first stage booster onto its launch pedestal was delayed until September 21 due to a tropical depression that moved over the Florida peninsula. The dummy second and third stages (S-IV and S-V) and payload were assembled on the booster on September 24. Ballast water was loaded into the dummy stages on October 31, and the RP-1 fuel was loaded on November 14. For this launch, Cape Canaveral director Kurt Debus asked Marshall Space Flight Center director Wernher von Braun, who was overseeing the Saturn project, that no outside visitors be allowed on NASA grounds due to the ongoing tensions of the Cuban missile crisis. Saturn-Apollo 3 launched at 17:45:02 on November 16, 1962, from Launch Complex 34. The only hold in the countdown sequence was for 45 minutes due to a power failure in ground support equipment. This
    4.00
    2 votes
    219
    Apollo 1

    Apollo 1

    • Astronauts (if manned): Edward Higgins White
    • Space program: Project Apollo
    Apollo 1 (initially designated Apollo Saturn-204 and AS-204) was scheduled to be the first manned mission of the U.S. Apollo manned lunar landing program, with a target launch date of February 21, 1967. A cabin fire during a launch pad test on January 27 at Launch Pad 34 at Cape Canaveral killed all three crew members—Command Pilot Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Senior Pilot Edward H. White and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee—and destroyed the Command Module. The name Apollo 1, chosen by the crew, was officially retired by NASA in commemoration of them on April 24, 1967. Immediately after the fire, NASA convened the Apollo 204 Accident Review Board to determine the cause of the fire. Although the ignition source was never conclusively identified, the astronauts' deaths were attributed to a wide range of lethal design and construction flaws in the early Apollo Command Module. The manned phase of the project was delayed for 20 months while these problems were corrected. The Saturn IB launch vehicle, SA-204, scheduled for use on this mission, was later used for the first unmanned Lunar Module test flight, Apollo 5. The first successful manned Apollo mission was flown by Apollo 1's backup crew on Apollo
    4.00
    1 votes
    220
    Mercury-Atlas 7

    Mercury-Atlas 7

    • Astronauts (if manned): Scott Carpenter
    • Space program: Project Mercury
    Mercury-Atlas 7 was the second American orbital Mercury program manned space mission, launched May 24, 1962. The Mercury spacecraft was named Aurora 7 and made three Earth orbits, piloted by astronaut Scott Carpenter. A targeting mishap during reentry took the spacecraft 250 miles (about 400 km) off course, delaying recovery of Carpenter and the craft. The mission used Mercury spacecraft No. 18 and Atlas launch vehicle No. 107-D. The original prime crew for Mercury Atlas-7 was to have been Deke Slayton, with Schirra as his back-up. However Slayton was removed from all flight crew availability after the discovery of cardiac arrhythmia during a training run in the g-loading centrifuge. If Slayton had flown MA-7, his spacecraft would have been named Delta 7, as this would have been the fourth manned flight and Delta (Δ) is the fourth letter in the Greek alphabet. Mercury spacecraft No. 18 was delivered to Cape Canaveral, Florida on November 15, 1961. Atlas No. 107-D was rolled out of the Convair factory in San Diego, California on February 25, 1962. It was delivered to Cape Canaveral on March 6, 1962. The focus of Carpenter's five-hour mission was on science. The full flight plan
    4.00
    1 votes
    221
    STS-108

    STS-108

    • Astronauts (if manned): Yuri Onufrienko
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-108 was a Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) flown by Space Shuttle Endeavour. Its primary objective was to deliver supplies to and help maintain the ISS. STS-108 was the 12th shuttle flight to visit the International Space Station and the first since the installation of the Russian airlock called Pirs on the station. Endeavour delivered the Expedition 4 crew to the orbital outpost. The Expedition 3 crew returned to Earth on Endeavour. While at the station, the crew conducted one spacewalk and attached the Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module to the station so that about 2.7 metric tons (3 tons) of equipment and supplies could be unloaded. The crew later returned Raffaello to Endeavour's payload bay for the trip home. SSAF-UF-1 carried the Multi Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM-2) ‘Raffaello’ (2nd flight) 4th MPLM flight overall. Also the Multiple Application Customized Hitchhiker (MACH-1) MPESS Hitchhiker experiment bridge: with CAPL-3, Starshine-2, SEM-11 & 15, G-0761, Prototype Synchrotron Radiation Detector (PSRD) & COLLIDE-2. As well as the Lightweight MPESS Carrier #2 (LMC) carrying: SEM-12, G-0785, G-0064 and G-0730. The launch of Endeavour
    4.00
    1 votes
    222
    STS-3

    STS-3

    • Astronauts (if manned): Jack R. Lousma
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    • Launch site: Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39
    STS-3 was NASA's third Space Shuttle mission, and was the third mission for the Space Shuttle Columbia. It launched on 22 March 1982, and lasted eight days. STS-3 was the first shuttle launch with an unpainted external tank, and the only mission to land at the White Sands Space Harbor near Las Cruces, New Mexico. Columbia was launched from Kennedy Space Center at 11:00 am EST, on 22 March 1982, the planned launch date. The launch was delayed by one hour due to the failure of a heater on a nitrogen-gas ground support line. Prior to the launch, Columbia had spent only 70 days in the Orbiter Processing Facility—a record checkout time. The two-man crew consisted of Jack R. Lousma, commander, and C. Gordon Fullerton, pilot. The primary objectives of the flight were to continue testing the "Canadarm" Remote Manipulator System (RMS), and to carry out extensive thermal testing of Columbia by exposing its tail, nose and top to the Sun for varying periods of time. The crew found that prolonged exposure to the Sun caused the cargo bay doors to warp slightly and not close. Rolling the orbiter to balance temperatures around the orbiter resolved the issue. In addition, in its payload bay,
    4.00
    1 votes
    223
    STS-59

    STS-59

    • Astronauts (if manned): Jerome Apt
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-59 Shuttle mission was a Space Shuttle program mission that took place in 1994. The launch was chronicled by the 1994 Discovery Channel special about the Space Shuttle Program. Endeavour began its sixth mission on the morning of 9 April 1994 with an on-time launch at 7:05 am Eastern time. Soon after, the six astronauts began activating the sensitive radar equipment in the payload bay that would be operated around the clock during the next ten days. By 8 pm, the Space Radar Laboratory-1 experiments of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth were all activated and began their study of the earth's ecosystem. STS-59 ground controllers finished activating Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C (SIR-C) and began processing its first images of the earth, while engineers working with the X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (X-SAR) worked their way through some initial activation problems. Meanwhile, the Measurement of Air Pollution from Satellite (MAPS) instrument took data on the carbon monoxide content and distribution in the atmosphere since shortly after launch. During the initial activation of the X-SAR, controllers reported they were unable to fully power up the amplifier that provides power to the
    4.00
    1 votes
    224
    STS-78

    STS-78

    • Astronauts (if manned): Susan J. Helms
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-78 was the fifth dedicated Life and Microgravity Spacelab mission for the Space Shuttle program, flown partly in preparation for the International Space Station project. The mission used the Space Shuttle Columbia, which lifted off successfully from Kennedy Space Center’s launch pad 39-B on 20 June 1996. During the 16-day, 21-hour mission, the crew of Columbia assisted in the preparations for the International Space Station by studying the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the human body in readiness for ISS Expeditions, and also carried out experiments similar to those now being carried out on the orbital station. Following launch, Columbia climbed to an altitude of 278 kilometres (173 mi) with an orbital inclination of 39° to the Earth's equator to allow the seven-member flight crew to maintain the same sleep rhythms they were accustomed to on Earth and to reduce vibrations and directional forces that could have affected on-board microgravity experiments. Once in orbit, the crew entered the 40 foot (13 m) long pressurised Spacelab module to commence over 40 science experiments to take place during the mission. Not only did these experiments make use of the module’s
    4.00
    1 votes
    225
    STS-90

    STS-90

    • Astronauts (if manned): Richard A. Searfoss
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-90 was a mission of the United States Space Shuttle Columbia. Neurolab is a Spacelab module mission focusing on the effects of microgravity on the nervous system. The goals of Neurolab are to study basic research questions and to increase the understanding of the mechanisms responsible for neurological and behavioral changes in space. Specifically, experiments will study the adaptation of the vestibular system and space adaptation syndrome, the adaptation of the central nervous system and the pathways which control the ability to sense location in the absence of gravity, and the effect of microgravity on a developing nervous system. The mission is a joint venture of six space agencies and seven U.S. research agencies. Investigator teams from nine countries will conduct 31 studies in the microgravity environment of space. Other agencies participating in this mission include six institutes of the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research, as well as the space agencies of Canada, France, Germany, and Japan, and the European Space Agency. Neurolab’s 26 experiments targeted one of the most complex and least understood parts of
    4.00
    1 votes
    226
    STS-94

    STS-94

    • Astronauts (if manned): Gregory T. Linteris
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-94 was a mission of the United States Space Shuttle Columbia, launched on 1 July 1997. This was a reflight of the STS-83 Microgravity Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. MSL was originally launched on 4 April 1997 at 2:20 pm EST and was intended to be on orbit for 15 days, 16 hours. The mission was cut short due to a problem with Fuel Cell #2 and Columbia landed on 8 April 1997 after 3 days 23 hours. The primary payload on STS-83 was the Microgravity Science Laboratory (MSL). MSL was a collection of microgravity experiments housed inside a European Spacelab Long Module (LM). It built on the cooperative and scientific foundation of the International Microgravity Laboratory missions (IML-1 on STS-42 and IML-2 on STS-65), the United States Microgravity Laboratory missions (USML-1 on STS-50 and USML-2 on STS-73), the Japanese Spacelab mission (Spacelab-J on STS-47), the Spacelab Life and Microgravity Science Mission (LMS on STS-78) and the German Spacelab missions (D-1 on STS-61-A and D-2 on STS-55). MSL featured 19 materials science investigations in 4 major facilities. These facilities were the Large Isothermal Furnace, the EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to the Space
    4.00
    1 votes
    227
    A-001

    A-001

    • Space program: Project Apollo
    A-001 was the second abort test of the Apollo spacecraft. Mission A-001 was the second in the series of tests conducted to demonstrate that the launch escape system could safely remove the command module under critical abort conditions. Unlike Pad Abort Test 1, in which the launch escape system was ignited at ground level, this mission was flown to demonstrate the capability of the escape system to propel the command module safely away from a launch vehicle while in the high-dynamic-pressure (transonic) region of the Saturn trajectory. The launch vehicle was the second in the series of Little Joe II vehicles, which had been developed to accomplish early and economical testing of the launch escape system. The Little Joe II was propelled by seven solid-propellant rocket motors - one Algol sustainer motor, which provided thrust for about 42 seconds, and six Recruit motors, which burned out approximately 1.5 seconds after ignition. The spacecraft consisted of a launch escape system and a boilerplate command and service module (BP-12). Unacceptable wind conditions had forced a 24-hour postponement of the launch, but the vehicle was successfully launched on May 13, 1964, at 05:59:59.7
    0.00
    0 votes
    228
    A-102

    A-102

    • Space program: Project Apollo
    A-102 was a boilerplate test of the Apollo spacecraft, launched using Saturn I SA-7 in 1964. It marked the second of five boilerplate tests conducted early in the Apollo program, and used boilerplate spacecraft BP-15. A-102 was designed to repeat the flight of A-101. It would once again carry a boilerplate Apollo Command and Service Module. The only difference from Boilerplate 13 carried on A-101 was that on Boilerplate 15 one of the simulated Reaction Control System thruster quads (attitude control thrusters) was instrumented to record launch temperatures and vibrations. Another major difference on A-102 was that the Launch Escape System (LES) tower would be jettisoned using the launch escape and pitch control motors. The mission used Apollo boilerplate BP-15. However, the major change on A-102 was that for the first time a Saturn rocket would carry a programmable computer. Previous launches had used an onboard 'black box' that was preprogrammed. On A-102 it would be possible to reprogram the computer during flight so that any anomalous behavior could potentially be corrected. In early July, a small crack in engine number six was found. This meant removing the engine, the first
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    0 votes
    229
    AS-203

    AS-203

    • Space program: Project Apollo
    AS-203 (or SA-203) was an unmanned flight of the Saturn IB rocket on July 5, 1966. It carried no Apollo Command/Service Module spacecraft, as its purpose was to verify the design of the S-IVB rocket stage restart capability that would later be used in the Apollo program to boost astronauts from Earth orbit to a trajectory towards the Moon. It successfully achieved its objectives, but the stage was inadvertently destroyed after four orbits. The purpose of the AS-203 flight was to investigate the effects of weightlessness on the liquid hydrogen fuel in the S-IVB-200 second-stage tank. The lunar missions would use a modified version of the S-IVB-500 as the third stage of the Saturn V launch vehicle. This called for the stage to fire briefly to put the spacecraft into a parking Earth orbit, before restarting the engine for flight to the Moon. In order to design this capability, engineers needed to verify that the anti-slosh measures designed to control the hydrogen's location in the tank were adequate, and that the fuel lines and engines could be kept at the proper temperatures to allow engine restart. In order to keep residual propellants in the tanks on orbit, there would be no
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    Gemini 3

    Gemini 3

    • Astronauts (if manned): Gus Grissom
    • Space program: Project Gemini
    Gemini 3 was the first manned mission in NASA's Gemini program, the second American manned space program. On March 23, 1965, the spacecraft, nicknamed Molly Brown, performed the seventh manned US spaceflight, and the 17th manned spaceflight overall (including X-15 flights over 100 kilometers). It was also the final manned flight controlled from Cape Canaveral, Florida before mission control functions were shifted to the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas. The crew of Gemini 3 was changed after Shepard was grounded with an inner ear disorder in late 1964. On March 23, 1965 at 15:57:00 UTC, at the end of the first orbit, over Corpus Christi, Texas, a 1 minute 14 second burn of the orbit attitude and maneuvering system (OAMS) engines gave a delta-V of 15.5 meters per second; which was the first orbital maneuver by any manned spacecraft. The orbit was changed from 161.2 kilometres (100.2 mi) x 224.2 kilometres (139.3 mi), period 88.3 minutes to an orbit of 158 kilometres (98 mi) x 169 kilometres (105 mi), period 87.8 minutes. The mission's primary goal was to test the new, maneuverable Gemini spacecraft. In space, the crew fired thrusters to change the shape of their orbit,
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    Giotto mission

    Giotto mission

    Giotto was a European robotic spacecraft mission from the European Space Agency, intended to fly by and study Halley's Comet. On 13 March 1986, the mission succeeded in approaching Halley's nucleus at a distance of 596 kilometers. The spacecraft was named after the Early Italian Renaissance painter Giotto di Bondone. He had observed Halley's Comet in 1301 and was inspired to depict it as the star of Bethlehem in his painting Adoration of the Magi. Originally a United States partner probe was planned that would accompany Giotto, but this fell through due to budget cuts at NASA. There were plans to have observation equipment on board a Space Shuttle in low-Earth orbit around the time of Giotto's fly-by, but they in turn fell through with the Challenger disaster. The plan then became a cooperative armada of five spaceprobes including Giotto, two from the Soviet Union's Vega program and two from Japan: the Sakigake and Suisei probes. The idea was for Japanese probes and the pre-existing American probe International Cometary Explorer to make long distance measurements, followed by the Russian Vegas which would locate the nucleus, and the resulting information sent back would allow
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    Little Joe 1A

    Little Joe 1A

    • Space program: Project Mercury
    Little Joe 1A (LJ-1A) was an unmanned rocket launched as part of NASA's Mercury program on November 4, 1959. This flight, a repeat of the Little Joe 1 (LJ-1) launch, was to test a launch abort under high aerodynamic load conditions. After lift-off, the pressure sensing system was to indicate when the correct abort dynamic pressure was reached. This should have happened about thirty seconds after launch. A signal was sent to the explosive bolts to separate the spacecraft from the launch vehicle. Up to this point, everything was going as planned. The impulse was also intended to ignite the escape motor. The motor was ignited, but it took a number of seconds to build up thrust, and thus the abort maneuver was not accomplished at the desired dynamic pressure. Because of this, a repeat of the test was planned. Other events from launch through recovery occurred without incident. An altitude of 9 statute miles (14.5 km) and a range of 11.5 statute miles (18.5 km) were obtained, and a speed of 2,021.6 miles per hour (3,254 km/h) was reached. Flight time 8 minutes 11 seconds. Payload 1,007 kg.  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National
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    Lunar Prospector

    Lunar Prospector

    • Space program: Discovery Program
    The Lunar Prospector mission was the third selected by NASA for full development and construction as part of the Discovery Program. At a cost of $62.8 million, the 19-month mission was designed for a low polar orbit investigation of the Moon, including mapping of surface composition and possible polar ice deposits, measurements of magnetic and gravity fields, and study of lunar outgassing events. The mission ended July 31, 1999, when the orbiter was deliberately crashed into a crater near the lunar south pole after the presence of water ice was successfully detected. Data from the mission allowed the construction of a detailed map of the surface composition of the Moon, and helped to improve understanding of the origin, evolution, current state, and resources of the Moon. Several articles on the scientific results were published in the journal Science. Lunar Prospector was managed out of NASA Ames Research Center with the prime contractor Lockheed Martin. The Principal Investigator for the mission was Dr. Alan Binder. His personal account of the mission, Lunar Prospector: Against all Odds, is highly critical of the bureaucracy of NASA overall, and of its contractors. The spacecraft
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    Saturn I SA-2

    Saturn I SA-2

    • Space program: Project Apollo
    Saturn-Apollo 2 (SA-2) was the second flight of the Saturn I launch vehicle, the first flight of Project Highwater, and was part of the American Apollo program. The rocket was launched on April 25, 1962, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Launch preparation for the mission began at Cape Canaveral on February 27, 1962, with the arrival of the second Saturn I launch vehicle. The only significant change made to the vehicle from the previous SA-1 flight was the addition of extra baffles in the propellant tanks to prevent fuel sloshing. While no serious delays were encountered, there were several minor problems reported. A leak was detected between the liquid oxygen dome and injector for the #4 H-1 rocket engine; while attempts were made to fix the problem, it was eventually decided to launch without replacing the engine. Minor problems were found in the guidance subsystem and service structure operations, damaged strain gauges were found in a liquid oxygen stud and truss member, and a manhole cover on the dummy Centaur (S-V-D) third stage had to be replaced. Problems arose with two of the fueling computers, but each was repaired. Three hydraulic systems were also listed as potential
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    Soyuz 3

    Soyuz 3

    • Astronauts (if manned): Georgi Beregovoi
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    Soyuz 3 ("Union 3", Russian: Союз 3) was a spaceflight mission launched by the Soviet Union on October 26, 1968. For four consecutive days, Commander Georgy Beregovoy piloted the Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft through eighty-one orbits of Earth. The Soviet space program had experienced great success in its early years, but by the mid-1960s the pace of success had grown sluggish. The Soyuz project was intended to rejuvenate the program with docking capability for spacecraft: forging a direct physical link between two independent craft would be the basis for the Soviet space station program. The maned spacecraft Soyuz 1 was launched with the expectation of "union" with the manned Soyuz 2 craft, but even before the second craft was launched, it became apparent that the Soyuz 2 mission had to be canceled before the landing of Soyuz 1 – this saved the lives of the crew of Soyuz 2. Soyuz 1 ended in disaster, as Commander Vladimir Komarov was killed on April 23, 1967 by a faulty parachute system and the Soyuz 2 mission would have flown with with the same defective parachute system as Soyuz 1. As a result revised spacecraft were built for redesigned Soyuz 2 and Soyuz 3 missions in 1968. The
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    Soyuz 6

    Soyuz 6

    • Astronauts (if manned): Georgi Shonin
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    Soyuz 6 (Russian: Союз 6, Union 6) was part of a joint mission with Soyuz 7 and Soyuz 8 that saw three Soyuz spacecraft in orbit together at the same time, carrying seven cosmonauts. The crew of Georgi Shonin and Valeri Kubasov were meant to take high-quality movie photography of Soyuz 7 and Soyuz 8 docking but the rendezvous systems on all three spacecraft failed. It is still not known exactly what the actual problem was, but it is often quoted as being a helium pressurization integrity test. The version of Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft used for the missions carried a torus shaped docking electronics equipment housing surrounding the motor assembly on the back of the service module. This is thought to have been pressurized with helium to provide a benign environment for the electronics. It was then jettisoned after docking to lower the mass of the spacecraft for reentry. What went wrong with the electronics on all three spacecraft is still not known. The crew was made up of Georgi Shonin and Valeri Kubasov, who carried out important experiments in space welding. They tested three methods: using an electron beam, a low pressure plasma arc and a consumable electrode. The apparatus was
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    Soyuz 8

    Soyuz 8

    • Astronauts (if manned): Aleksei Yeliseyev
    • Space program: Soyuz programme
    Soyuz 8 (Russian: Союз 8, Union 8) was part of a joint mission with Soyuz 6 and Soyuz 7 that saw three Soyuz spacecraft in orbit together at the same time, carrying seven cosmonauts. The crew consisted of commander Vladimir Shatalov and flight-engineer Aleksei Yeliseyev, whose mission was to dock with Soyuz 7 and transfer crew, as the Soyuz 4 (involving, among others, these two cosmonauts) and Soyuz 5 missions did. Soyuz 6 was to film the operation from nearby. However, this objective was not achieved due to equipment failures. Soviet sources were later to claim that no docking had been intended, but this seems unlikely, given the docking adapters carried by the spacecraft, and the fact that both Shatalov and Yeliseyev were veterans of the previous successful docking mission. This was the last time that the Soviet crewed Moon landing hardware was tested in orbit, and the failure seems to have been one of the final nails in the coffin of the programme. The radio call sign of the spacecraft was Granit, meaning Granite. This word is apparently used as the name of a reactive or defensive squadron in Soviet military training, and, just like the Soyuz 5, it was constructed and its crew
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    STS-27

    STS-27

    • Astronauts (if manned): William Shepherd
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    • Launch site: Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39
    STS-27 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission, the 27th shuttle mission overall and the third flight of Space Shuttle Atlantis. Launching on 2 December 1988 on a four-day mission, it was the second shuttle flight after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster of 1986. STS-27 carried a classified payload for the U.S. Department of Defense. The Space Shuttle Atlantis (OV-104), at the time the youngest in NASA's shuttle fleet, made its third flight on a classified mission for the United States Department of Defense (DoD). It deployed a single satellite, USA-34. Recently declassified NASA archival information has identified USA-34 as Lacrosse 1, a side-looking radar, all-weather surveillance satellite, for the US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The mission was originally scheduled to launch on 1 December 1988, but the launch was postponed one day because of cloud cover and strong wind conditions at the launch site. Liftoff occurred from Launch Complex 39, Pad B (LC-39B) at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 2 December 1988 at 09:30 EST. Atlantis touched down on 6 December 1988 on Runway 17 at Edwards Air Force Base, California, at 18:35 EST. The
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    STS-39

    STS-39

    • Astronauts (if manned): Richard Hieb
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-39 was the twelfth mission of the Space Shuttle Discovery. The primary purpose of the mission was to conduct a variety of payload experiments for the Department of Defense. Launch was originally scheduled for 9 March, but during processing work at Pad A, significant cracks were found on all four lug hinges on the two external tank umbilical door drive mechanisms. NASA managers opted to roll back the vehicle to the VAB on 7 March, and then to OPF for repair. The faulty hinges were replaced with units taken from orbiter Columbia, and reinforced. Discovery was returned to the launching pad on 1 April, and the launch was rescheduled for 23 April. The mission was again postponed when, during prelaunch external tank loading, a transducer on high-pressure oxidizer turbopump for main engine number three showed readings out of specification. The transducer and its cable harness were replaced and tested. The launch was rescheduled for 28 April. Actual launch occurred at 28 April 1991, 7:33:14 am EDT. Launch weight: 112,207 kilograms (247,370 lb). STS-39 was a dedicated Department of Defense mission. Unclassified payload included Air Force Program-675 (AFP675); Infrared Background
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    STS-41

    STS-41

    • Astronauts (if manned): William Shepherd
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-41 was the eleventh mission of the Space Shuttle Discovery. The four-day mission with a primary objective to launch the Ulysses probe as part of the "International Solar Polar Mission". 6 October 1990, 7:47:15 am EDT. Liftoff occurred 12 minutes after two-and-a-half-hour launch window opened at 7:35 am EDT, 6 October. Heaviest payload to date. Launch Weight: 259,593 lb (117.749 Mg) . Primary payload, ESA-built Ulysses spacecraft to explore polar regions of Sun, deployed. Two upper stages, Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) and a mission-specific Payload Assist Module-S (PAM-S), combined together for first time to send Ulysses toward out-of- ecliptic trajectory. Other payloads and experiments: Shuttle Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SSBUV) experiment; INTELSAT Solar Array Coupon (ISAC); Chromosome and Plant Cell Division Experiment (CHROMEX); Voice Command System (VCS); Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE), Investigations into Polymer Membrane Processing (IPMP); Physiological Systems Experiment (PSE); Radiation Monitoring Experiment III (RME III); Shuttle Student involvement Program (SSIP) and Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) experiment. Six hours after Discovery's launch, the
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    STS-48

    STS-48

    • Astronauts (if manned): James Buchli
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-48 was a Space Shuttle mission that launched on 12 September 1991, from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The orbiter was Space Shuttle Discovery. The primary payload was the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite. The mission landed on 18 September at 12:38 am at Edwards Air Force Base on runway 22. The mission was completed in 81 revolutions of the Earth and traveled 2.2 million miles. The 5 astronauts carried out a number of experiments and deployed several satellites. The total launch weight was 240,062 pounds (108,890 kg) and the landing weight was 192,780 pounds (87,440 kg). Space Shuttle Discovery was launched into a 57-degree inclination orbit from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Launch Complex 39A at 7:11 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on September 12, 1991. Launch was delayed for 14 minutes at the T-5 minute mark due to a noise problem in the air-to-ground link. The noise cleared itself, and the countdown proceeded normally to launch. On the third day of the mission, the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) was deployed from Discovery's payload bay 350 statute miles above Earth to study human effects on the planet's atmosphere and its shielding ozone layer. The UARS
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    STS-54

    STS-54

    • Astronauts (if manned): Susan J. Helms
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-54 Shuttle mission was a Space Transportation System (NASA Space Shuttle) mission using orbiter Endeavour. This was the third flight for Endeavour, and launched 13 January 1993. The primary payload was the fifth Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-F) which was deployed on day one of the mission. It was later successfully transferred to its proper orbit by the Inertial Upper Stage booster. Also carried into orbit in the payload bay was a Hitchhiker experiment called the Diffuse X-ray Spectrometer (DXS). This instrument collected data on X-ray radiation from diffuse sources in deep space. Other middeck payloads to test the effects of microgravity included the Commercial General Bioprocessing Apparatus (CGPA) for-life sciences research; the Chromosome and Plant Cell Division in Space Experiment (CHROMEX) to-study plant growth; the Physiological and Anatomical Rodent Experiment (PARE) to examine the skeletal system and the adaptation of bone to space flight; the Space Acceleration Measurement Equipment (SANS) to measure and record the microgravity acceleration environment of middeck experiments; and the Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE) to measure the rate of flame
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    STS-58

    STS-58

    • Astronauts (if manned): William S. McArthur
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-58 shuttle mission of Space Shuttle Columbia launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 18 October 1993. It was also the last time Columbia would land at Edwards Air Force Base. STS-58 was a 1993 shuttle mission dedicated to life sciences research. Columbia’s crew performed a series of experiments to gain knowledge on how the human body adapts to the weightless environment of space. Experiments focused on cardiovascular, regulatory, neurovestibular and musculoskeletal systems of the body. The experiments performed on Columbia’s crew and on laboratory animals (48 rats held in 24 cages), along with data collected on the SLS-1 mission in June 1991, will provide the most detailed and interrelated physiological measurements acquired in the space environment since the Skylab program in 1973 and 1974. Crew members conducted experiments aimed at understanding bone tissue loss and the effects of microgravity on sensory perception. Two neurovestibular experiments investigating space motion sickness and perception changes were performed on the 2nd day as well. Astronauts Lucid and Fettman wore a headset, called an Accelerometer recording Unit, designed to continually record head
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    STS-6

    STS-6

    • Astronauts (if manned): Story Musgrave
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    • Launch site: Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39
    STS-6 was a NASA Space Shuttle mission conducted using Space Shuttle Challenger, carrying the first Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, TDRS-1, into orbit. Launched on 4 April 1983, STS-6 was the sixth shuttle mission and the first of the ten missions flown by Challenger. The mission took off from Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A, and landed at Edwards Air Force Base on 9 April. This was the first Space Shuttle mission during which a spacewalk was conducted, and the first in which the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) was used. STS-6 was the last shuttle mission with a four-person crew until STS-135, the final shuttle mission, which launched on 8 July 2011. The mission was originally scheduled to launch on 20 January 1983. However, a hydrogen leak in one of the orbiter's main engines was discovered. Later, after a flight readiness firing of the main engines on 25 January 1983, fuel line cracks were found in the other two engines. A spare engine replaced the engine with the hydrogen leak, and the other two engines were removed, repaired and reinstalled. While the engine repairs were underway, a severe storm caused contamination of the mission's primary cargo, the first Tracking
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    STS-61-A

    STS-61-A

    • Astronauts (if manned): James Buchli
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-61-A (also known as D-1) was the 22nd mission of NASA's Space Shuttle program. It was a scientific Spacelab mission, funded and directed by West Germany – hence the non-NASA designation of D-1 (for Deutschland-1). STS-61-A was the last successful mission of the Space Shuttle Challenger, which was destroyed during STS-51-L in 1986. STS-61-A currently holds the record for the largest crew, eight people, aboard any single spacecraft for the entire period from launch to landing. The mission carried the NASA/ESA Spacelab module into orbit with 76 scientific experiments on board, and was declared a success. Payload operations were controlled from the German Space Operations Center in Oberpfaffenhofen, West Germany, instead of from the regular NASA control centers. Space Shuttle Challenger lifted off from Pad A of Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, at 12:00 EST on 30 October 1985. This was the first Space Shuttle mission largely financed and operated by another nation, West Germany. It was also the only shuttle flight to launch with a crew of eight. The crew members included Henry W. Hartsfield, Jr., commander; Steven R. Nagel, pilot; Bonnie J. Dunbar, James F. Buchli
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    STS-63

    STS-63

    • Astronauts (if manned): Michael Foale
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-63 was the second mission of the US/Russian Shuttle-Mir Program, which carried out the first rendezvous of the American Space Shuttle with Russia's space station Mir. Known as the 'Near-Mir' mission, the flight used Space Shuttle Discovery, which lifted off from launch pad 39B on 3 February 1995 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. A night launch and the 20th mission for Discovery, it marked the first time a Space Shuttle mission had a female pilot, Eileen Collins, and carried out the successful deployment and retrieval of the Spartan-204 platform, along with the scheduled rendezvous and flyaround of Mir, in preparation for STS-71, the first mission to dock with Mir. STS-63's primary objective was to perform a rendezvous and fly around the Russian space station Mir. The objectives of the Mir Rendezvous/Flyby were to verify flight techniques, communications and navigation aid sensor interfaces, and engineering analyses associated with Shuttle/Mir proximity operations in preparation for the STS-71 docking mission. Other objectives of the flight were to perform the operations necessary to fulfill the requirements of experiments located in SPACEHAB-3 and to fly captively, then
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    STS-88

    STS-88

    • Astronauts (if manned): Nancy J. Currie
    • Space program: Space Shuttle program
    STS-88 was the first Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS). It was flown by Space Shuttle Endeavour, and took the first American module, the Unity node, to the station. The seven-day mission was highlighted by the mating of the U.S.-built Unity node to the Functional Cargo Block (Zarya module) already in orbit, and three spacewalks to connect power and data transmission cables between the Node and the FGB. Zarya, built by Boeing and the Russian Space Agency, was launched on a Russian Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in November 1998. Other payloads on the STS-88 mission included the IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC), the Argentine Scientific Applications Satellite-S (SAC-A), the MightySat 1 Hitchhiker payload, the Space Experiment Module (SEM-07) and Getaway Special G-093 sponsored by the University of Michigan. Node 1, named Unity, was the first space station hardware delivered by the space shuttle. It has two Pressurized Mating Adapters (PMA), one attached to either end. One PMA is permanently mated to Zarya, and the other is used for orbiter dockings and crew access to the station. Unity also contains an International Standard Payload
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    Venera 9

    Venera 9

    • Space program: Venera
    Venera 9 (Russian: Венера-9) (manufacturer's designation: 4V-1 No. 660) was a USSR unmanned space mission to Venus. It consisted of an orbiter and a lander. It was launched on June 8, 1975 02:38:00 UTC and weighed 4,936 kg (10,884 lb). The orbiter was the first spacecraft to orbit Venus, while the lander was the first to return images from the surface of another planet. The orbiter consisted of a cylinder with two solar panel wings and a high gain parabolic antenna attached to the curved surface. A bell-shaped unit holding propulsion systems was attached to the bottom of the cylinder, and mounted on top was a 2.4 meter sphere which held the lander. The orbiter entered Venus orbit on October 20, 1975. Its mission was to act as a communications relay for the lander and to explore cloud layers and atmospheric parameters with several instruments and experiments. It performed 17 survey missions from October 26, 1975 to December 25, 1975. On October 20, 1975, the lander spacecraft was separated from the orbiter, and landing was made with the Sun near zenith at 05:13 UTC on October 22. Venera 9 landed within a 150 km radius of 31°01′N 291°38′E / 31.01°N 291.64°E / 31.01; 291.64, near
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    Vostok 1

    Vostok 1

    • Astronauts (if manned): Yuri Gagarin
    • Space program: Vostok programme
    Vostok 1 (Russian: Восток-1, East 1 or Orient 1) was the first spaceflight in the Vostok program and the first human spaceflight in history. The Vostok 3KA spacecraft was launched on April 12, 1961. The flight took Yuri Gagarin, a cosmonaut from the Soviet Union, into space. The flight marked the first time that a human entered outer space, as well as the first orbital flight of a manned vehicle. Vostok 1 was launched by the Soviet space program, and was designed by Soviet engineers guided by Sergei Korolev under the supervision of Kerim Kerimov and others. The spaceflight consisted of a single orbit of the Earth (to this date the shortest orbital manned spaceflight). According to official records, the spaceflight took 108 minutes from launch to landing. As planned, Gagarin landed separately from his spacecraft, having ejected with a parachute 7 km (23,000 ft) above ground. Due to the secrecy surrounding the Soviet space program at the time, many details of the spaceflight only came to light years later, and several details in the original press releases turned out to be false. The world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, had been put into orbit by the Soviets in 1957, and
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    Vostok 5

    Vostok 5

    • Astronauts (if manned): Valery Bykovsky
    • Space program: Vostok programme
    Vostok 5 (Russian: Восток-5, Orient 5 or East 5) was a joint mission of the Soviet space program together with Vostok 6; as with the previous pair of Vostok 3 and Vostok 4 the two Vostok spacecraft came close to one another in orbit and established a radio link. Cosmonaut Valery Bykovsky was originally intended to stay in orbit for eight days, but the mission details changed many times due to elevated levels of solar flare activity at the time and he was eventually ordered back after five days. This remains the record for solo manned flight in Earth orbit. A problem with the spacecraft's waste collection system is reported to have made conditions "unpleasant" in the capsule. The only other difficulty encountered was that, like on Vostok 1 and Vostok 2, the re-entry module failed to separate cleanly from the service module when it was time for Bykovsky to come home. The Vostok 5 landing coordinates were 53°23′52″N 67°36′18″E / 53.39777°N 67.60500°E / 53.39777; 67.60500, 2 km northwest of Karatal, North Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan; and 550 km northwest of Karagandy, Kazakhstan. At the landing location is a small fenced park with two monuments. One monument is a 10-meter tall silver
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