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Forum: Space Missions and Spacecraft
Name Description Status
Skylab First US space station, used for scientific research 1973-1979. Added 8 April
Akari Japanese infrared astronomy satellite, 2006-2011.
Apollo US human space flight program that successfully placed the first human beings on the Moon. Used on the Moon
Ariane Launch vehicle used by the European Space Agency, 1979-present.
Astrid Sweden's first two micro-satellites, launched 1995 and 1998. Both studied Earth's auroras. Added 25 March
Atlas US rocket family launched numerous US planetary exploration missions, including New Horizons. Used on the Moon
Centaur US upper stage that has been used to inject numerous US planetary exploration missions on their course, including New Horizons. Used on Mars
Challenger US Space Shuttle lost in a launch accident in 1986 with a crew of 7 and experiments to observe Halley’s comet aboard.
Chandrayaan India’s first robotic mission to the Moon, 2008-2009.
Chang'e Ongoing series of Chinese Moon missions. Added 21 March
Coleta de Dados The first satellites developed entirely in Brazil, the two Satélite de Coleta de Dados collect environmental data. Added 28 March
Columbia US Space Shuttle lost in a reentry accident in 2003 with a crew of 7 and numerous research payloads aboard.
Delta US rocket family that has launched numerous US science missions. Used on Mars
Eagle Name of the Apollo 11 lunar lander that complete the first human landing on the Moon in July 1969. Used on Mars
Eureca “European Retrievable Carrier” that carried 15 instruments and one year in space and then was returned to Earth by the Space Shuttle, 1992-1993.
Exosat European X-ray Observatory Satellite, 1983-1986.
Galileo US mission that was the pioneering first orbiter and atmospheric probe of Jupiter. Used on Ganymede
Gemini US human space flight vehicle carrying crews of two to develop techniques and technologies in preparation for project Apollo. Used on Mars
Ginga Japanese X-ray astronomy satellite, 1987-1991.
Giotto European robotic spacecraft that flew past Halley’s comet in 1986. Used on Mercury
Hakucho Japan’s first X-ray astronomy satellite, 1979-1985.
Hayabusa Japanese robotic spacecraft that rendezvoused with asteroid 25143 Itokawa and returned samples to Earth, 2003-2010.
Himawari Named after the sunflower, a satellite used for meteorology research operated by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). Added 28 March
Hipparcos European satellite devoted to precise measurements of celestial objects, 1989-1993. Used on the Moon
Kaguya Japanese robotic lunar orbiter, 2007-2009, also known as SELENE.
Luna Series of 15 Soviet moon orbiters and landers, 1959-1976. Added 25 March
Lunokhod Series of Soviet robot rovers send to the Moon between 1969 and 1977. Added 25 March
Mangalyaan Indian robotic Mars orbiter, 2013-present. Added 21 March
Mariner US program of planetary exploration that made the first successful explorations of Mars, Venus, and Mercury. Used on Mars
MaSat Two small 10-cm cube satellites launched by Hundary, doing Earth imaging. Added 25 March
Mercury US human space transport vehicle that took the first US astronauts to space. Planet Name
Nozomi Japanese robotic Mars orbiter, launched in 1998 but failed to achieve orbit.
Pioneer Early US program of lunar, planetary, and heliospheric missions including the first Jupiter, and Saturn missions.
Saturn US rocket that launched all Apollo missions, including the first human expeditions to the Moon. Planet Name
Shenzou Chinese space flight program that placed the first Chinese astronauts in space.
Sojourner US Mars rover, 1997.
Soyuz Soviet/Russian human space transport vehicle.
Spacelab US/European laboratory flown on 22 Space Shuttle missions.
Spirit US Mars rover, whose planned 90-day mission lasted from 2004-2010. Its twin rover, Opportunity, is still operational.
Sputnik First artificial Earth satellite, launched by the Soviet Union in 1957. Added 21 March
Suzaku Named after the phoenix, a Japanese X-ray astronomy satellite built to investigate high energy astronomical phenomena. Added 28 March
Tenma Japanese X-ray astronomy satellite, 1983-1989.
Titan US launch vehicle that lofted numerous pioneering planetary exploration missions, including Voyager. Moon of Saturn
Venera Soviet program of pioneering missions to the planet Venus.
Viking US program of Mars orbiters and landers that conducted the first successful explorations of the surface of Mars.
Voskhod Soviet human space flight vehicle program that put the first multiple crew human mission in space.
Vostok Soviet human space flight vehicle program that put the first human in space. Used on Mercury
Voyager US program to explore all the giant planets of our solar system, it made the first flybys of Uranus and Neptune and has continued outward to explore the heliosphere.
Wise US “Wide Infrared Survey Explorer” satellite imaged the entire sky in infrared light, 2009-2011.
Yohkoh Japanese/British/US solar observatory spacecraft, 1991-2005.
Yutu Chinese lunar rover, 2014.