15. Oktober 2003

Within the mission Shenzou 5 the first Chinese astronaut ("taikonaut") Yang Liwei circles the Earth fourteen times, and safely returns to Earth.

20. November 1998

Launch of the first Russian module Zarya of the International Space Station ISS with a Russian Proton Rocket.

24. April 1990

Launch of the Hubble Space Telescope within the mission STS-31. The Hubble Space Telescope can be used for observations in the visible and UV wave range. However, because of difficulties with the mirror system and other subsystems the telescope is fully operational only after a maintenance and repair mission in 1993.

20. Februar 1986

Launch of the basic module of the first modular Soviet space station Mir ( "Peace").

28. November 1983

Within the mission STS-9 (Orbiter Columbia) the European Research Laboratory Spacelab is launched for the first time. The first West German astronaut Ulf Merbold is onboard the mission, participating for the European Space Organisation ESA.

12. April 1981

20 years after the first manned space flight by Yuri Gagarin the US Space Transportation System (STS) carries out its manned maiden flight; the astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen spend three days onboard the space shuttle Columbia.

20. August 1977

Launch of the interplanetary probe Voyager II; flyby of Jupiter on 9 July 1979; flyby of Saturn on 26 August 1981; flyby of Uranus on 24 January 1986; flyby of Neptune on 25 August 1989.

20. August 1975

The US space probe Viking I lands on Mars, one Orbiter remains in the orbit. Examination of the ground of Mars looking for signs of biological activities.

15. Juli 1975

First joint Soviet-US manned mission: an Apollo – and a Soyuz – space craft carry out a docking manoeuvre as well as joint operations.

14. Mai 1973

Launch of the first US space station Skylab. The crews of the Skylab missions 2, 3, and 4 stay on board the space station, and carry out a large number of scientific experiments. On 11 September 1979 the space station Skylab 7. enters the Earth's atmosphere and burns up; Pieces of the wreckage fall to the ground in the Indian Ocean not far from the coast of Australia.

26. Juli 1971

Launch of the mission Apollo 15 with the astronauts David Scott, Alfred Worden and James Irwin. First flight and run of the Lunar Roving Vehicle.

19. April 1971

The first Soviet space station Salyut I (Salyut, Russ. salute) is put into the Earth's orbit. It burns up in autumn of the same year in the Earth's atmosphere.

April 1970

After the explosion of an oxygen tank the mission Apollo 13 has to be called off halfway to the moon; the astronauts James Lovell, John Swigert and Fred Haise circle the moon and after a dramatic rescue operation return safely to the Earth.

16. Juli 1969

First manned moon landing of the astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin within the mission Apollo XI; the astronaut Michael Collins remains in the mother ship "Columbia" in the lunar orbit during the landing carrying out scientific observations.

21. Dezember 1968

First manned circling of the moon (10 orbits) by the astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders within the mission Apollo VIII. First manned flight of the Saturn V-Rocket designed by Wernher v. Braun.

31. Januar 1966

First soft landing of the unmanned Soviet probe Luna IX on the moon.

3. Juni 1966

Launch of the mission Gemini-IV with the astronauts McDivitt and White; White carries out the first US spacewalk.

18. März 1965

Mission Voschod II (Voschod, Russ. sunrise); crew of two men; first spacewalk by Alexey Leonov.

16. Juni 1963

The female cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova is the first woman to fly into space within the mission Vostok 6.

21. Februar 1962

The US astronaut John H. Glenn circles the Earth three times in the Mercury space capsule Friendship-7. The launcher rocket is a modified Atlas rocket.

5. Mai 1961

The first US astronaut Alan B. Shepard carries out a suborbital ballistic space flight in the Mercury space capsule Freedom-7. The launcher rocket is a modified version of the Redstone rocket designed by Wernher v. Braun.

12. April 1961

The first Soviet cosmonaut Yuri A. Gagarin circles the Earth one time in the space ship Vostok I (Vostok, Russ. East).


The Soviet space probe Luna III for the first time sends pictures of the rear side of the Moon to the Earth.

31. Januar 1958

The United States of America put the satellite Explorer I into an earth orbit; by means of a Geiger counter onboard the satellite, the scientist Joseph van Allen discovers the Inner Radiation Belt named after him.

3. November 1957

The husky Laika is the first mammal to reach an earth orbit with Sputnik II. As Sputnik II is not provided with a reentry system, Laika is not able to return to the Earth.

4. Oktober 1957

The USSR put the first artificial earth satellite Sputnik I (Sputnik, Russ. Companion) into an orbit.

16. März 1926

First successful launch of a liquid-propellant rocket by the US-American Robert Goddard in Auburn, Massachusetts.


Hermann Oberth publishes his basic works regarding the theory of liquid-propellant rockets: "The Rocket into Interplanetary Space". 1928 the "Path to Space Travel" was published with theoretical and constructive considerations regarding manned space technology.


Konstantin Tsiolkovsky develops a basic theory regarding space travel with rockets. He published his findings in two books: "A Rocket into Cosmic Space" (1903); "The Exploration of Cosmic Space by Means of Rocket Space Ships" (1911)