October 15, 2001
NASA's Galileo spacecraft passes within 112 miles of Jupiter's moon Io.
The radiation environment near Io in particular was very unhealthy for Galileo's systems, and so these flybys were saved for the extended mission when loss of the spacecraft would be more acceptable.
, Galileo spacecraft
November 3, 1957
The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 2.
On board is the first animal to enter orbit, a dog named Laika. Sputnik 2 was the second spacecraft launched into Earth orbit, on November 3, 1957, and the first to carry a living animal, a dog named Laika. Sputnik 2 was a 4-meter (13 foot) high cone-shaped capsule with a base diameter of 2 meters (6.6 feet). It contained several compartments for radio transmitters, a telemetry system, a programming unit, a regeneration and temperature control system for the cabin, and scientific instruments.
, Soviet Union
January 14, 2005Landing of the Huygens probe on Saturn's moon Titan.
The Huygens probe was an atmospheric entry probe carried to Saturn's moon Titan as part of the Cassini–Huygens mission. The probe was supplied by the European Space Agency (ESA) and named after the Dutch 17th century astronomer Christiaan Huygens. The combined Cassini–Huygens spacecraft was launched from Earth on October 15, 1997. Huygens separated from the Cassini orbiter on December 25, 2004, and landed on Titan on January 14, 2005 near the Xanadu region. This was the first landing ever accomplished in the outer solar system. It touched down on land, although the possibility that it would touch down in an ocean was also taken into account in its design. The probe continued to send data for about 90 minutes after reaching the surface. It remains the most distant landing of any craft launched from Earth.
November 15, 1988In the Soviet Union, the unmanned Shuttle Buran is launched on her first and last space flight.
The Buran spacecraft analogous in function and design to the US Space Shuttle and developed by Chief Designer Gleb Lozino-Lozinskiy of Energia rocket corporation. To this day, Buran remains the only space shuttle vehicle from the Soviet Buran program that was launched into space before the program closure. The Buran completed one unmanned spaceflight in 1988. The program was cancelled in 1993. In 2002, the Buran was destroyed when the hangar in which it was stored, at the Baikonur cosmodrome, collapsed.
December 15, 1970Soviet spacecraft Venera 7 successfully land on Venus. It is the first successful soft landing on another planet
The Venera 7 was a Soviet spacecraft, part of the Venera series of probes to Venus. When it landed on the Venusian surface, it became the first man-made spacecraft to successfully land on another planet and to transmit data from there back to Earth.
, Venera 7