Timeline of artificial satellites and space probes

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This timeline of artificial satellites and space probes includes unmanned spacecraft including technology demonstrators, observatories, lunar probes, and interplanetary probes. First satellites from each country are included. Not included are most earth science satellites, commercial satellites or manned missions. List is not yet complete and can become out-of-date.

Key: Year - Origin - Target - Status - Description

1950s[edit]

1960s[edit]

  • 1960 -  USA - Sun - Success - Pioneer 5 solar monitor
  • 1962 -  UK - Earth - Success Ariel 1 the first British satellite in space (on American rocket)
  • 1962 -  Canada - Earth - Success - Alouette 1, the first Canadian satellite (on American rocket)
  • 1964 -  Italy - Earth - Success - San Marco 1, the first Italian satellite (on American rocket)
  • 1965 -  France - Earth - Success - Asterix, the first French satellite
  • 1967 -  Australia - Earth - Success - WRESAT, the first Australian satellite (on American rocket)

1970s[edit]

1980s[edit]

  • 1980 -  USA - Sun - Failure - Solar Maximum Mission solar probe succeeded after being repaired in Earth orbit
  • 1981 -  India - Earth - Success - Bhaskara-2 India, launched by ISRO
  • 1981 -  Soviet Union - Venus - Success - Venera 13 launched, it returned the first colour pictures of the surface of Venus
  • 1981 -  Soviet Union - Venus - Success - Venera 14 flyby and lander
  • 1981 -  Bulgaria - Earth - Success - Bulgaria 1300, polar research mission, launched by the Soviet Union
  • 1983 -  Soviet Union - Venus - Success - Venera 15 orbiter
  • 1983 -  Soviet Union - Venus - Success - Venera 16 orbiter
  • 1983 -  Europe - Earth - Success - Launch of the EXOSAT X-ray satellite
  • 1983 -  Japan - Earth - Success - Launch of the Tenma X-ray satellite (ASTRO-B)
  • 1983 -  USA/ Netherlands/ UK - Earth - Success - Launch of the IRAS satellite
  • 1984 -  Soviet Union - Venus/Halley's Comet - Success - Vega 1 flyby, atmospheric probe and lander
  • 1984 -  Soviet Union - Venus/Halley's Comet - Success - Vega 2 flyby, atmospheric probe and lander
  • 1986 -  Europe - Halley's Comet - Success - Giotto flyby
  • 1987 -  Japan - Earth - Success - Launch of the Ginga X-ray satellite (ASTRO-C)
  • 1988 -  Soviet Union - Mars - Failure - Phobos 1 orbiter and lander
  • 1988 -  Soviet Union - Mars - Partial Failure - Phobos 2 flyby and lander
  • 1989 -  USA - Venus - Success - Magellan orbiter launched which mapped 99 percent of the surface of Venus (300 m resolution)
  • 1989 -  USA - Venus/Earth/Moon/Gaspra/Ida/Jupiter - Success - Galileo flyby, orbiter and atmospheric probe
  • 1989 -  USA - Neptune - Success - Voyager 2 sends back images of Neptune and its system
  • 1989 -  Europe - Earth - Success - Launch of the Hipparcos satellite
  • 1989 -  USA - Earth - Success - Launch of the COBE satellite
  • 1989 -  Soviet Union - Earth - Success - Launch of the Granat gamma-ray and X-ray satellite

1990s[edit]

2000s[edit]

2010s[edit]

  • 2010 -  Japan - Venus - Akatsuki orbiter - failed orbital insertion
  • 2010 -  Japan - Venus IKAROS - launched - first solar-sail spacecraft
  • 2010 -  China - Moon - Chang'e-2 - success - lunar orbiter/impacter
  • 2011 -  USA - Jupiter - Juno - launched and en route
  • 2011 -  Russia - Mars - Fobos-Grunt - Failure - lander and sample return
  • 2012 -  Iran - Earth - Navid - launched - earth-watching satellite
  • 2012 -  USA - Mars - Mars Science Laboratory with Curiosity rover—orbit and landed
  • 2012 -  North Korea - First successful North Korean orbital rocket launch
  • 2013 -  South Korea - First successful South Korean orbital rocket launch
  • 2013 -  UK - Earth - STRaND-1 - success - First smartphone-operated satellite to be launched and dubbed the world's first "phonesat"
  • 2013 -  Ecuador - Earth - NEE-01 PEGASO - First Ecuadorian satellite
  • 2013 -  Estonia - Earth - ESTCube-1 - Launched - First Estonian satellite
  • 2013 -  Japan - several planets - Hisaki - Planetary atmosphere observatory

External links[edit]