Earth orbit

STS 1 Columbia – The first orbital NASA’s Space Shuttle program launches from Titusville

The first orbiter, Columbia (Space Transportation System-1), launched on 12 April 1981 from Kennedy Space Center Launch pad 39A and returned on 14 April, having orbited the

OAO 2 Stargazer – The first successful space telescope in Earth orbit

The Orbiting Astronomical Observatory 2, launched on December 7, 1968. An Atlas-Centaur rocket launched it into a nearly circular 750-kilometre altitude Earth orbit. Data was collected in ultraviolet

Sputnik 1 – The full-scale replica of the world’s first satellite is being exhibited in Sydney

The Soviet Union launched it into an elliptical low Earth orbit on 4 October 1957. It orbited for three weeks before its batteries died and then orbited

Belka and Strelka – The Soviet Space Dogs resting at the Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow

Korabl-Sputnik 2 was a Soviet artificial satellite, and the third test flight of the Vostok spacecraft. It was the first spaceflight to send animals into orbit. Launched

COS-B satellite – The first European Space mission in low Earth orbit

The mission consisted of a satellite containing gamma-ray detectors, which was launched by NASA on behalf of the ESRO on August 9, 1975. The mission was completed

Shenzhou 5 – The first Chinese manned flight in space

China became the third country in the world to have independent human spaceflight capability after the Soviet Union and the United States. Shenzhou 5 was the first

Vostok 1 – The first manned spacecraft in space

The Vostok 3KA space capsule was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome on April 12, 1961, with Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin aboard, making him the first human to cross

Apollo-Soyuz Project – United States and Soviet Union working together in Earth orbit

The Project would send NASA astronauts Tom Stafford, Deke Slayton and Vance Brand in an Apollo Command and Service Module to meet Russian cosmonauts Aleksey Leonov and

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