First in Space

First Spacecraft in Space

Name of the SpacecraftMission
Luna 2Luna 2 was first spacecraft to make a landing on the moon. Launched by the USSR on 12 Sep 1959 it impacted the surface of the moon on 14.09.1959
Luna 3Luna 3 was first space probe to photograph the far side or the dark side of the moon. It was launched by the USSR on 04 Oct 1959
Apollo 11Apollo 11 was first spacecraft which landed the first humans, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon.
Mariner 4Mariner 4 was the first spacecraft to flyby Mars and also the first to return images of another planet. It was launched by the USA on 28.11.1964
Mariner 9It was the first spacecraft to orbit another planet - Mars. It was launched by the USA on 30.05.1971
Mars 3It was the first spacecraft to land successfully on Mars. It was launched by the USSR on 28.05.1971
Pioneer 10Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to reach the planet Jupiter. It was launched by the USA on 02.03.1972 and reached closest to Jupiter on 04.12.1973. In 1983, Pioneer 10 became the first spacecraft to travel past the orbit of the most distant planet, Neptune.
GalileoGalileo launched by the USA on 18.10.1989 was the first spacecraft to flyby an asteroid, 951 Gaspra. It also discovered Dactyl, a moon of the asteroid Ida. The spacecraft was the first to orbit Jupiter in December 1995.
Mariner 10Launched on 03.11.1973, Mariner 10 was the first spacecraft to flyby Mercury.
MessengerMessenger was the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury. It was launched by the USA on 03.08.2004, it entered the orbit of Mercury on 18.03.2011
Helios 2Helios 2 launched on 15.01.1976 was a joint venture of the United States and West Germany. It set the record for being closest spacecraft to the Sun, at a distance of 43.432 million kilometers on 17 April 1976.
Voyager 1Voyager 1 launched on 05.09.1977 by NASA, to study solar system and interstellar medium, became the first man-made object to enter the interstellar space on 25 August 2012. (This was confirmed by NASA in Sep 2013).
PhilaePhilae, a lander which accompanied Rosetta spacecraft of the European Space Agency is the first spacecraft to land on a comet on 12 Nov 2014. The comet was 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.
Chang'e 4A Chinese lunar exploration mission that achieved the first soft landing on the far side of the Moon, on 3 January 2019.

First in Space - Human Beings/Animals

Event Name of the Person Vehicle
First animal in spaceLaika, the dogSputnik-2
03 Nov 1957
First primate in spaceAlbert II, a rhesus monkeyV-2
14 Jun 1949
First man in spaceMaj Yuri GagarinVostok 1
12 Apr 1961
First woman in spaceValentina TereshkovaVostok 6
16 Jun 1963
First person to walk in spaceAlexei LeonovVoskhod 2
18 Mar 1965
First woman to walk in spaceSvetlana SavitskayaSalyut 7
25 Jul 1984
First American in spaceAllan ShepardMR-3 (Freedom 7)
05 May 1961
First American to orbit the earthJohn GlennFriendship 7
20 Feb 1962
First man on moonNeil ArmstrongApollo 11
20 Jul 1969
First Indian in spaceSqn Ldr Rakesh SharmaSoyuz T-11
02 Apr 1984
First US woman in spaceSally RideSTS-7 (Challenger)
18 Jun 1983
First space touristDennis TitoSoyuz TM32/31
28 Apr 2001
First woman space touristAnousheh AnsariSoyuz TMA9
18 Sep 2006
First Indian (American) Woman in spaceKalpana ChawlaSpaceship Columbia
19 Nov 1997
First Chinese in spaceLt Col Yang LiweiShenzou V
15 Oct 2003
First Chinese woman in spaceLiu YangShenzou 9
16 Jun 2012
First female commander of a space shuttleEileen CollinsDiscovery
03 Feb 1995
First female commander of International Space StationPeggy Whitson
October 2007

First Satellites - Countrywise

EventName of the SatelliteDate
First SatelliteSputnik by USSR04 Oct 1957
First American SatelliteExplorer 101 Feb 1958
First British SatelliteAriel 1*26 April 1962
First Canadian SatelliteAlouette 1#01 Sep 1962
First Italian SatelliteSan Marco 1@15 Dec 1964
First French SatelliteAsterix26 Nov 1965
First Japanese SatelliteOshumi11 Feb 1970
First Chinese SatelliteDong Fang Hong I24 Apr 1970
First Indian satelliteAryabhatta**19 Apr 1975
First Israeli satelliteOfeq 119 Sep 1988
First Pakistani satelliteBadr-1@@16 July 1990
First Iranian satelliteSina 1##28 Oct 2005
  • *Ariel 1 was made and launched by the USA.
  • #Alouette 1 was constructed by Canada but launched by the USA.
  • @San Marco 1 was built by Italy but launched by the USA.
  • **Aryabhatta was made by India (ISRO) and launched by the USSR.
  • ## Sina 1 was made by Iran and launched by Russia.
  • @@Badr-1 was made by Pakistan and launched by China.

Space Agencies of Countries

CountrySpace AgencyAcronymHeadquaters
ChinaChina National Space AdministrationCNSABeijing
JapanJapan Aerospace Exploration AgencyJAXATokyo
RussiaRussian Fedral Space AgencyROSCOSMOSMoscow
IsraelIsraeli Space AgencyISATel Aviv
AustraliaCommonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research OrganisationCSIROCanberra
FranceNational Centre of Space ResearchCNESParis
U.KU.K Space AgencyUKSASwindon, Wiltshire
U.S.A.National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationNASAWashington, D.C.
S. KoreaKorea Aerospace Research InstituteKARIDaejeon
BrazilBrazilian Space AgencyAEBBrasilia
PakistanPakistan Space and upper Atmosphere Research CommissionSUPARCOKarachi
IranIranian Space AgencyISATehran
MalaysiaMalaysian National Space AgencyANGKASABanting
CanadaCanadian Space AgencyCSALongueuil, Quebec
GermanyGerman Aero Space CenterDLRCologne (Koln)
IndonesiaNational Institute of Aeronautics and Space LAPANJakarta



Select the right answer

1. In which year did Maj Yuri Gagarin 1st go into space in the year?

2. What was the name of the space flight which launched Neil Armstrong on his journey to moon?

3. Who was the first woman to go into space?

4. In which year did Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma become the first Indian to go into space?

5. What kind of animal was the first to be sent into space?

6. Which space shuttle which carried Kalpana Chawla into space for the first time?

7. Who was the first American to go into space?

8. What was the name of the first satellite launched by the USSR?

9. What was the name of the first Indian satellite?

10. In which year was the first satellite launched into space?

11. What was the name of the first space shuttle launched by NASA?

12. What was the name of the lander which became the first to land on a comet?

13. Which was the first spacecraft to make a landing on the moon?

14. In which year did Neil Armstrong land on the moon?

15. Which was the first spacecraft to enter the interstellar space?