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Pluto Theme #1: Space Missions and Spacecraft

Space missions and spacecraft icon Space Missions and Spacecraft: the launch vehicles that have carried our people and our machines into space, and the spacecraft we have used to explore the cosmos. Revisit our discussion forum.

Proposed Name Description Citation Notes
P1.1 Sputnik First artificial Earth satellite, launched by the Soviet Union in 1957. britannica.com Extremely popular, with broad international support.
P1.2 Challenger US Space Shuttle lost in a launch accident in 1986 with a crew of 7 and experiments to observe Halley's comet aboard. nasa.gov Extremely popular, with broad international support.
P1.3 Columbia US Space Shuttle lost in a reentry accident in 2003 with a crew of 7 and numerous research payloads aboard. nasa.gov Extremely popular, with broad international support. Not likely to be confused with Columbia Valles on Mars, which is named for a river in Washington, US.
P1.4 Soyuz Soviet/ Russian human space transport vehicle. Also honors the loss of Soyuz 11 crew in 1971. britannica.com Extremely popular, with broad international support.
P1.5 Coleta de Dados The first satellites developed entirely in Brazil, the two Satelite de Coleta de Dados collect environmental data. inpe.br Favored by > 90% of voters from Central and South America.
P1.6 Chandrayaan India's first robotic mission to the Moon, 2008-2009. britannica.com Favored by 51% of voters from India.
P1.7 Astrid Sweden's first two micro-satellites, launched 1995 and 1998. Both studied Earth's auroras. rymdstyrelsen.se Not likely to be confused with a crater on Venus, which was merely assigned a Scandinavian female name.
P1.8 Hayabusa Japanese robotic spacecraft that rendezvoused with asteroid 25143 Itokawa and returned samples to Earth, 2003-2010. global.jaxa.jp  
P1.9 Yutu Chinese lunar rover, 2014. britannica.com  
P1.10 Voyager US program 1977-2989 to explore all the giant planets of our solar system, it made the first flybys of Uranus and Neptune. Its Interstellar mission continues to explore the heliosphere. britannica.com  
P1.11 Pioneer Early US program of lunar, planetary, and heliospheric missions including the first Jupiter, and Saturn missions, 1958-c. 1997. britannica.com  
P1.12 Luna Series of 15 Soviet moon orbiters and landers, 1959-1976. britannica.com  
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