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Forum: Historic Explorers
Name Description Status
David-Néel, Alexandra 1868-1969, Belgian-French explorer and writer, best known for her 1924 visit to Tibet when it was closed to foreigners. Added 8 April
Livingstone, David 1813-1873, Scottish medical missionary and explorer to Africa, worked to heal malaria and end slavery. Added 8 April
Ahmad Ibn Rustah c. 900-1000, Persia, traveler and geographer through Europe and Asia.
Al-Idrisi, Muhammad 1099-1165, explorer and skilled mapmaker, whose compendium The Pleasure of Him Who Longs to Cross the Horizons describes regions as far apart as Ireland and China. Added 1 April
Amundsen, Roald 1872-1928, Norway, first to reach the South Pole and first to navigate the Northwest Passage. Used on the Moon
Andrée, Salomon August 1854-1897, Swedish balloonist who made an ill-fated attempted to reach the North Pole in a hydrogen balloon. Added 21 March
Armstrong, Neil First to walk on the Moon. Used on the Moon
Balboa, Vasco Núñez de First European to reach the Pacific Ocean. Used on the Moon
Baré, Jeanne 1740-1807, French naturalist who had to disguise herself as a man, but became the first woman to circumnavigate the Earth. Added 25 March
Ibn Battuta 1304-1368/9, Moroccan explorer who journeyed throughout the Muslim world and beyond, including eastern Europe, north Africa, southeast Asia and China. Widely regarded as one of the greatest travelers of all time, he published a journal of his travels in the Rihla. Added 22 March
Beebe, William & Barton, Otis Otis Barton (1899-1992), US, developed the Bathysphere and participated in the first deep ocean dives in 1930.
Bering, Vitus 1681?-1741, Danish, Russian officer who was commissioned by Peter the Great to lead the Great Northern Expedition, one of the largest organized explorations in history.
Bird, Isabella 1831-1904, British, first female member of the Royal Geographical Society. She explored and wrote about much of Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Hawaii and parts of the US. Added 1 April
Boym, Michał 1612-1659, Polish scientist and explorer who was among the first westerners to visit China; he published the first translation dictionaries between Chinese and European languages. Added 28 March
Columbus, Christopher Started Spanish colonization of New World. Used on Mars
Cook, James Historic explorer of the southern regions of the globe, Including Australia. Used on the Moon
Cousteau, Jacques-Yves 1910-1977, France, ocean explorer and co-developer of SCUBA.
de Sautuola, Marcelino d. 1888, Spanish archaeologist who explored of the Cave of Altamira, discovering the first prehistoric cave paintings known to modern humans. Added 28 March
Dezhnev, Semyon & Popov, Fedot Alekseyevich Semyon Dezhnev (1605-1673) and Fedot Alekseyevich Popov (died c.1650), Russian, first to cross the Bering Strait in recorded history.
Elcano, Juan Sebastián 1476-1526, Spanish basque explorer, completed Magellan's circumnavigation of the Earth after Magellan died. Added 25 March
Enrique of Malacca 16th century, Malay slave of Ferdinand Magellan, who widely believed to be the first person to complete a circumnavigation of the Earth. Added 21 March
Evliya Çelebi b. 1611, Ottoman Turk, traveled through the Ottoman Empire and neighboring lands, recording the 10-volume travelogue Seyâhatnâme. Added 21 March
Giffard, Henri 1825-1882, France, built and flew the first powered airship, 1852.
Hannu c. 2100-2000 BCE, Egypt, reportedly opened up trade routes between, Egypt, Punt and Libya.
Henry the Navigator 1394-1460, Portuguese, regarded as the one who started the European Age of Discovery. Added 21 March
Heyerdahl, Thor 1914-2002, Norway, sailed 8000 miles on the Kon-Tiki, a hand-built raft, to show that ancient people could travel long sea voyages.
Hillary, Edmund & Norgay, Tenzing Edmund Hillary (1919-2007), New Zealand, and Tenzing Norgay (1914-1986), Nepal, the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
Hyecho 704–787, Korean Buddhist monk who was the first to travel across the Asian content, recording an extensive memoir of his journey. Added 1 April
Ingólfr Arnarson & Hallveig c. 874, husband and wife, first Nordic settlers of Iceland.
Ivanov, Kurbat d. 1666, Russia, early Cossack explorer of Siberia.
Kupe 10th century, Polynesian explorer believed to have discovered New Zealand, and later becoming the subject of Maori mythology. Added 21 March
Leif Erikson c. 970-1020, Iceland, believe to be the first European to land on North America.
Lewis, Clark, and York First US explorers of the western US, 1804-1806. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were led by guide Sacagawea; York was Clark's African-American slave. Added 22 March
Magellan, Ferdinand Commander of the first round-the-world voyage. Used on the Moon
Marco Polo Traveled from Europe to Asia and recorded his travels. Used on the Moon
Martel, Édouard-Alfred 1859-1938, France, pioneer of cave exploration.
Piccard, Auguste 1884-1962, Switzerland, conducted scientific measurements of the upper atmosphere using high altitiude balloons, reaching a maximum altitude of 23 km.
Pilâtre de Rozier, Jean-François & d’Arlandes François Laurent Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier (1754-1785) and François Laurent d’Arlandes (1742-1809), France, made the first manned free balloon flight in 1783.
Piri Reis c. 1470-1553, Ottoman admiral and cartographer, drew some of the earliest known maps of the New World. Added 21 March
Pyanda, Demid d. 1637, Russia, early Cossack explorer of Siberia.
Sacagawea 1788-1812, US Native American, accompanied the Lewis and Clarke Expedition across North America as interpreter and guide, 1804–1806.
Shackelton, Ernest 1874-1922, Britain, led three expeditions to Antarctica. Used on the Moon
Shōsuke, Tanaka Japanese sailor who established trade routes to the Americas, 1610.
Tinné, Alexandrine 1835-1869, Dutch explorer in Egypt at a time when women explorers were rare; died attempting to cross the Sahara. Added 25 March
Wright, Wilbur & Orville Wilbur Wright (1867-1912) and Orville Wright (1867-1912), US, invented and flew the first airplane, 1903.
Xuanzang 602-664, China, early traveler to India.
Zheng He 1371-1433, China, led expeditionary voyages of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.