List of spaceflight records
Several records and firsts in spaceflight have been documented since the field's beginnings in the 20th century. Achievements in spaceflight are broadly divided into crewed and uncrewed categories. Records involving animal spaceflight have also been noted in earlier experimental flights, typically to establish the feasibility of sending humans to outer space.
The notion of "firsts" in spaceflight is closely tied to the Space Race. During the 1950s and 1960s, the Soviet Union and the United States competed with each other to be the first countries to accomplish various feats. In 1957 the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial orbital satellite. In 1961 Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to enter space aboard Vostok 1, and in 1969 American Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first person to set foot on the Moon. Following the conclusion of the Apollo program in 1972, no human has since traveled beyond Low Earth Orbit.
During the 1970s the Soviet Union directed its energies to human habitation of space stations for increasing periods of time. In the 1980s the United States began launching its Space Shuttles, craft which allowed for larger crew sizes and thus larger numbers of people in space at a given time. Following their first mission of détente on the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, the Soviet Union and the United States again collaborated with each other on the Shuttle-Mir initiative, efforts which led to the International Space Station (ISS) which has been continuously inhabited by humans for over 20 years.
Other firsts in spaceflight involve demographics, private enterprise, and distance. Dozens of countries have sent at least one traveler to space, and in 1963 Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman in space aboard Vostok 6. Throughout the 20th century spaceflight was the domain of government agencies, but this began to change in the early 21st century as private business engaged the field. In 2004 the sub-orbital spaceplane SpaceShipOne became the first privately funded craft to enter space; in 2020 SpaceX's Dragon 2 became the first privately developed orbital vehicle, ferrying a crew to the ISS. As of 2021 the uncrewed probe Voyager 1 is the most distant artificial object from the Earth, part of a small class of vehicles which are leaving the Solar System.
First independent suborbital and orbital human spaceflight by country
|USSR||Vostok 1||Yuri Gagarin||Vostok 3KA||Vostok-K||12 April 1961||Orbital|
|USA||Mercury-Redstone 3 (Freedom 7)||Alan Shepard||Mercury Spacecraft No.7||Mercury-Redstone||5 May 1961||Sub-orbital|
|USA||Mercury-Atlas 6 (Friendship 7)||John Glenn||Mercury Spacecraft No.13||Atlas LV-3B||20 February 1962||Orbital|
|China||Shenzhou 5||Yang Liwei||Shenzhou spacecraft||Long March 2F||15 October 2003||Orbital|
Human spaceflight firsts
This section needs additional citations for verification. (June 2015)
Note: Some space records are disputed as a result of ambiguities surrounding the border of space. Most records follow the FAI definition of the space border which the FAI sets at an altitude of 100 km (62.14 mi). By contrast, the NASA-, USAF- and FAA-defined border of space is at 50 mi (80.47 km).
||Yuri Gagarin||Vostok 1||USSR||12 April 1961|
|Alan Shepard||Freedom 7||USA||5 May 1961|
||Gherman Titov||Vostok 2||USSR||6 August 1961 – |
7 August 1961
|Person to land in a spacecraft after orbital flight||John Glenn||Friendship 7||USA||20 February 1962|
||USSR||12 August 1962 – |
15 August 1962
||Valentina Tereshkova||Vostok 6||USSR||16 June 1963 – |
19 June 1963
|Spaceflight (suborbital) by winged spacecraft||Joe Walker||X-15 Flight 90||USA||19 July 1963|
|Person to enter space twice (suborbital flights above 100 kilometres (62 mi))||Joe Walker||X-15 Flights 90 and 91||USA||22 August 1963|
||Voskhod 1||USSR||12 October 1964 – |
13 October 1964
|Spacewalk||Alexei Leonov||Voskhod 2||USSR||18 March 1965|
|Orbital maneuvers (change orbit)||Gus Grissom, John W. Young||Gemini 3||USA||23 March 1965|
|Person to fly two orbital spaceflights||Gordon Cooper||USA|
|Persons to spend one week in space||Gemini 5||USA||21 August 1965 – |
29 August 1965
||USA||15 December 1965 – |
16 December 1965
||Gemini 8 and Agena||USA||16 March 1966|
|Multiple (dual) rendezvous (with Agena 10, then Agena 8)||Gemini 10||USA|
|Spaceflight fatality (during landing)||Vladimir Komarov||Soyuz 1||USSR||23 April 1967 – |
24 April 1967
||Walter Schirra||USA||22 October 1968|
||Apollo 8||USA||24 December 1968 – |
25 December 1968
||USSR||16 January 1969|
|Solo flight around the Moon||John Young||Apollo 10||USA||22 May 1969|
||Apollo 11||USA||20 July 1969|
|Five people in space at the same time||USSR||12 October 1969 – |
13 October 1969
||USSR||13 October 1969 – |
16 October 1969
|Person to complete four spaceflights||James A. Lovell||USA||17 April 1970|
||James A. Lovell||USA||11 April 1970 – |
17 April 1970
||USA||11 April 1970 – |
17 April 1970
||Soyuz 9||USSR||1 June 1970 – |
19 June 1970
|People to EVA out of sight of their spacecraft||Apollo 14||USA||6 February 1971|
||USSR||22 April 1971 – |
24 April 1971
||USSR||7 June 1971 – |
29 June 1971
|People to travel in a wheeled vehicle on a planetary body other than Earth
||Apollo 15||USA||31 July 1971– |
2 August 1971
|Deep space EVA (trans-Earth trajectory)||Al Worden||Apollo 15||USA||5 August 1971|
|Person to be in lunar orbit twice (during separate lunar expeditions)||John W. Young||USA||16 April 1972 – |
27 April 1972
|People in orbit for four weeks||Skylab 2||USA||25 May 1973 – |
22 June 1973
|People in orbit for eight weeks||Skylab 3||USA||28 July 1973 – |
25 September 1973
|People in orbit for 12 weeks||Skylab 4||USA||16 November 1973 – |
8 February 1974
||Vasily Lazarev, Oleg Makarov||Soyuz 18a||USSR||5 April 1975|
|First international docking||Thomas P. Stafford, Vance D. Brand, Donald K. Slayton – USA||Apollo CSM, Soyuz 19||USA||17 July 1975|
|Crew to visit occupied space station||Vladimir Dzhanibekov, Oleg Makarov||Soyuz 27 visits Salyut 6 EO-1 crew||USSR||10 January 1978 – |
16 January 1978
|People in orbit 19 weeks
|Vladimir Kovalyonok, Aleksandr Ivanchenkov||Salyut 6 EO-2, Soyuz 29-Soyuz 31||USSR||15 June 1978 – |
2 November 1978
|People in orbit 26 weeks
|Leonid Popov, Valery Ryumin||Salyut 6 EO-4, Soyuz 35-Soyuz 37||USSR||9 April 1980 – |
11 October 1980
||STS-1||USA||12 April 1981|
|Person to fly four different types of spacecraft||John W. Young||
||USA||12 April 1981|
|Person to complete five spaceflights||John W. Young||USA||14 April 1981|
|Four-person spaceflight in a single spacecraft||STS-5||USA||11 November 1982 – |
16 November 1982
|Five-person spaceflight in a single spacecraft||STS-7||USA||18 June 1983 – |
24 June 1983
|Six-person spaceflight in a single spacecraft||STS-9||28 November 1983 – |
8 December 1983
|Person to complete six spaceflights||John W. Young||USA||8 December 1983|
||Bruce McCandless II||STS-41-B||USA||7 February 1984|
|Eight people in space at the same time (no docking)||Salyut 7 EO-3, Soyuz T-10, STS-41-B||8 February 1984 – |
11 February 1984
|11 people in space at the same time (no docking)||STS-41-C, Salyut 7 EO-3, Soyuz T-10-Soyuz T-11||6 April 1984 – |
11 April 1984
|People to complete four spacewalks during the same mission||Leonid Kizim, Vladimir Solovyov||Salyut 7||USSR||26 April – |
18 May 1984
|Spacewalk by a woman||Svetlana Savitskaya||Soyuz T-12||USSR||25 July 1984|
|Welding in space||Vladimir Dzhanibekov, Svetlana Savitskaya||Salyut 7, Soyuz T-12||USSR||25 July 1984|
|People in orbit 33 weeks (7 months)||Leonid Kizim, Vladimir Solovyov, Oleg Atkov||Salyut 7 EO-3, Soyuz T-10-Soyuz T-11||USSR||8 February 1984 – |
2 October 1984
|Seven-person spaceflight in a single spacecraft
||STS-41-G||5 October 1984 – |
13 October 1984
|Two women in space at the same time||Kathryn D. Sullivan, Sally K. Ride||STS-41-G||USA||5 October 1984 – |
13 October 1984
|Partial crew exchange at a space station||Alexander Volkov, Vladimir Vasyutin replace Vladimir Dzhanibekov||Soyuz T-14, Salyut 7||USSR||17 September 1985 – |
26 September 1985
|Eight-person spaceflight in a single spacecraft
||STS-61-A||30 October 1985 – |
6 November 1985
|Fatalities during launch||STS-51-L||USA||28 January 1986|
||Soyuz T-15 from Mir to Salyut 7 back to Mir||USSR||15 March 1986 – |
16 July 1986
|Complete crew exchange at a space station||Vladimir Titov, Musa Manarov replace Yuri Romanenko, Alexander Alexandrov||Soyuz TM-4-Soyuz TM-2, Soyuz TM-3, at Mir||USSR||21 December 1987 – |
29 December 1987
|People in orbit 52 weeks (one year)||Vladimir Titov, Musa Manarov||Mir EO-3, Soyuz TM-4-Soyuz TM-6||USSR||21 December 1987 – |
21 December 1988
|12 people in space at the same time (no docking)||STS-35, Mir EO-7, Soyuz TM-10Soyuz TM-11||2 December 1990 – |
10 December 1990
|First civilian to use a commercial space flight, and the first journalist to report on space from outer space.||Toyohiro Akiyama – Japan||Soyuz TM-10, Soyuz TM-11||Japan||2 December 1990 – |
10 December 1990
|Three women in space at the same time||Millie Hughes-Fulford, Tamara E. Jernigan, M. Rhea Seddon||STS-40||USA||5 June 1991 – |
14 June 1991
||STS-49||USA||13 May 1992|
|13 people in space at the same time (no docking)||STS-67, Mir, Soyuz TM-20, Soyuz TM-21||14 March 1995 – |
18 March 1995
|Ten people in a single spacecraft (docking)
||STS-71, Mir, Soyuz TM-21||29 June 1995 – |
4 July 1995
|Space tourist||Dennis Tito||Soyuz TM-32/31, ISS EP-1||April 28, 2001 – |
May 6, 2001
|Person to complete seven trips to space||Jerry L. Ross||USA||19 April 2002|
|Privately funded human space flight (suborbital)
||Mike Melvill||SpaceShipOne flight 15P||USA||21 June 2004|
|13 people in a single spacecraft (docking)
||ISS, Soyuz TMA-14, Soyuz TMA-15, STS-127||17 July 2009|
|Four women in space at the same time
||5 April 2010 – |
20 April 2010
|Six spacecraft docked to a space station
||9 July 2018|
||18 October 2019|
|30 May 2020 – |
31 May 2020
|16 people in space (50 miles) at the same time (no docking)||
||11 July 2021|
|14 people in space (100 km) at the same time (no docking)||20 July 2021|
||Inspiration4||USA||16 September 2021 – |
19 September 2021
|14 people in orbit at the same time (no docking)||16 September 2021 – |
17 September 2021
Most orbital launches from Earth
- 7 launches
Most orbital launches overall
- 7 launches
- John W. Young (USA) launched from Earth 6 times (two Gemini, two Apollo Command Module, two Space Shuttle) and from the Moon once (Apollo Lunar Module Ascent Stage) (1965–1983)
- Jerry L. Ross (USA), Space Shuttle (1985–2002)
- Franklin Chang Díaz (Costa Rica/USA*), Space Shuttle (1986–2002)
Largest number of different spacecraft at launch (from Earth only)
- 3 spacecraft
- Walter Schirra (USA) – launched aboard a Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo (1962–1968)
- John W. Young (USA) – launched aboard a Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle (1965–1983)
- Soichi Noguchi (Japan) – launched aboard a Space Shuttle, Soyuz, and SpaceX Crew Dragon (2005–2020)
- Shane Kimbrough (USA) – launched aboard a Space Shuttle, Soyuz, and SpaceX Crew Dragon (2008–2021)
- Akihiko Hoshide (Japan) – launched aboard a Space Shuttle, Soyuz, and SpaceX Crew Dragon (2008–2021)
- 2 spacecraft with a third scheduled but not yet flown
- Thomas Marshburn (USA) – launched aboard a Space Shuttle and Soyuz (2007–2013), scheduled to launch in a SpaceX Crew Dragon (SpaceX Crew-3) in 2021
- Michael López-Alegría (USA) – launched aboard a Space Shuttle and Soyuz (1995–2007), scheduled for launch in a SpaceX Crew Dragon (SpaceX Axiom Space-1) in 2022
- Michael Fincke (USA) – launched aboard a Space Shuttle and Soyuz (2004–2011), scheduled for launch in a Boeing Starliner (Boeing CFT) in 2022
- Barry Wilmore (USA) – launched aboard a Space Shuttle and Soyuz (2009–2014), scheduled for launch in a Boeing Starliner (Boeing CFT) in 2022
- Sunita Williams (USA) – launched aboard a Space Shuttle and Soyuz (2006–2012), scheduled for launch in a Boeing Starliner (Boeing Starliner-1) in 2022
- Koichi Wakata (Japan) – launched aboard a Space Shuttle and Soyuz (1996–2014), scheduled for launch in a Boeing Starliner (Boeing Starliner-1) in 2022
- Peggy Whitson (USA) – launched aboard a Space Shuttle and Soyuz (2002–2017), scheduled for launch in a SpaceX Crew Dragon (Axiom Mission 2) in 2022
Note: While many space fliers of various nations have launched in two different spacecraft vehicles, these people are scheduled for a third.
Largest number of different launch vehicles (overall)
- 4 launch vehicles
- John W. Young (USA) – launched from Earth aboard a Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle, and launched from the Moon aboard the Apollo Lunar Module Ascent Stage
Largest number of different launch sites
- 3 sites
Note: SpaceShipTwo flights are suborbital. SpaceShipTwo flights surpass the U.S. definition of spaceflight (50 mi (80.47 km)), but fall short of the Kármán line (100 km (62.14 mi)), the FAI definition used for most space recordkeeping.
Total human spaceflight time by country
|Nation||Total people||Total person flights||Total in orbit (@ update)*||Total person days*+||% of total person days|
|United Arab Emirates||1||1||-||7.88|
|Astronauts currently in space:||Crew vehicles currently in space:
|Table data accurate as of 2021-09-18 04:05 UTC|
|* includes those in orbit at time table was updated|
+TOTAL person days in orbit will not match the sum of the totals for individual nations as some individuals are dual citizens
Most time in space
Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, who has spent 878 days in space over five missions, became the record holder for the most time spent in space when he surpassed, on 28 June 2015, the record of cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, who spent 803 days, 9 hours and 39 minutes (about 2.2 years) in space over the span of six spaceflights on Soyuz, the Space Shuttle, Mir, and the International Space Station. Yuri Malenchenko is currently in second place, having spent 828 days in space on six spaceflights.
The following is a list of the 50 space travelers with the most total time in space, as of 2 May 2021.[update], most of it acquired from spaceflight on long-duration missions. Travelers currently in space are ranked by total time in space of their completed missions only.
- Currently in space
Ten longest human spaceflights
Longest single flight by a woman
NASA astronaut Christina Koch holds the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman (328 days), returning on February 6, 2020. She surpassed NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson's 289 days during Expedition 61 in 2019. In third place is American astronaut Anne McClain with 204 days.
Longest continuous occupation of space
An international partnership consisting of Russia, the United States, Canada, Japan and the member states of the European Space Agency have jointly maintained a continuous human presence in space since 31 October 2000, when Soyuz TM-31 was launched. Two days later it docked with the International Space Station. Since then space has been continuously occupied for 20 years, 323 days.
Longest continuous occupation of a spacecraft
The International Space Station has been continuously occupied since 2 November 2000 (20 years, 321 days). It broke the record of 9 years and 358 days of the Soviet/Russian Space Station Mir on 23 October 2010.
Longest solo flight
Valery Bykovsky flew solo for 4 days, 23 hours in Vostok 5 from 14 to 19 June 1963. The flight set a space endurance record which was broken in 1965 by the (non-solo) Gemini 5 flight. The Apollo program included long solo spaceflight, and during the Apollo 16 mission, T. K. Mattingly orbited solo around the Moon for more than 3 days and 9 hours.
Longest time on the lunar surface
Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt of the Apollo 17 mission stayed for 74 hours 59 minutes and 40 seconds (over 3 days) on the lunar surface after they landed on 11 December 1972. They performed three EVAs (extra-vehicular activity) totaling 22 hours 3 minutes, 57 seconds (as commanders were always the first one out of the LM and the last to get back in, Cernan's EVA time was slightly longer).
Longest time in lunar orbit
Ronald Evans of Apollo 17 mission stayed in lunar orbit for 6 days and 4 hours (148 hours); however, for the solo portion of that flight around the Moon, T. K. Mattingly on Apollo 16 spent 1 hour 38 minutes longer than Evans' solo duration.
Speed and altitude records
Farthest humans from Earth
The Apollo 13 crew (Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert), while passing over the far side of the Moon at an altitude of 254 km (158 mi) from the lunar surface, were 400,171 km (248,655 mi) from Earth. This record-breaking distance was reached at 0:21 UTC on 15 April 1970.
Highest altitude for crewed non-lunar mission
Gemini 11 crew Charles Conrad, Jr. and Richard F. Gordon, Jr. fired their Agena Target Vehicle rocket engine on 14 September 1966, at 40 hours 30 minutes after liftoff and achieved a record apogee altitude of 739.2 nautical miles (1,369.0 km).
The Apollo 10 crew (Thomas Stafford, John W. Young and Eugene Cernan) achieved the highest speed relative to Earth ever attained by humans: 39,897 kilometers per hour (11.082 kilometers per second or 24,791 miles per hour, approximately 32 times the speed of sound and 0.0037% of the speed of light). The record was set 26 May 1969.
Earliest-born to reach space
- Man – Georgy Beregovoy (born 15 April 1921), on Soyuz 3 on 26 October 1968 (81 orbits in approx. 4 days.)
- Woman – Valentina Tereshkova (born 6 March 1937), on Vostok 6 on 16–19 June 1963 (48 orbits, approx. 3 days.)
- Man - Oliver Daemen (aged 18 years), on Blue Origin NS-16, on 20 July 2021 (approx. 10 minutes.)
- Woman - Sirisha Bandla (aged 33 years), on Virgin Galactic Unity 22, on 11 July 2021 (approx. 36 minutes.)
- Man – Gherman Titov (aged 25 years), on Vostok 2 on 6 August 1961 (17.5 orbits, approx. 1 day.)
- Woman – Valentina Tereshkova (aged 26 years), on Vostok 6 on 16–19 June 1963 (48 orbits, approx. 3 days.)
- Man - Sir Richard Branson (aged 71 years), on Virgin Galactic Unity 22, on 11 July 2021 (approx. 36 minutes.)
- Woman - Wally Funk (aged 82), on Blue Origin NS-16, on 20 July 2021 (approx. 10 minutes.)
- Man – John Glenn (aged 77), on STS-95 on 29 October 1998 (approx. 9 days, 20 hours.)
- Woman – Peggy Whitson (aged 56), on Soyuz MS-03 on 17 November 2016 (approx. 289 days.) She turned 57 on 9 February 2017, while still in space.
Most spacewalks (number and duration)
Both of these are the record for the largest total number of spacewalks by a male and a female, and the most cumulative time spent on spacewalks by a male and a female.
- Man – Anatoly Solovyev, 16 spacewalks for a total time of 82 hours, 21 minutes.
- Woman – Peggy Whitson, 10 spacewalks for a total time of 60 hours, 21 minutes.
Most spacewalks during a single mission
- 7: Anatoly Solovyev, during the 24th Expedition on the Soviet/Russian space station Mir, in 1997–98. (Two were internal "spacewalks" inside a depressurized module.)
- 7: Andrew Morgan, during his first spaceflight on board the ISS for Expedition 60/61/62 in 2019–2020. He spent 45 hours and 48 minutes outside the station.
Longest single spacewalk
- 8 hrs 56 min, by James Voss and Susan Helms, 11 March 2001 on an ISS assembly mission during Shuttle mission STS-102. The space walkers were delayed early in their excursion when a portable foot restraint attachment device became untethered, and Voss had to retrieve a spare from its storage location on the outside of the station's Unity module. After approximately six hours of work the pair reentered Space Shuttle Discovery’s airlock and waited for a docking port to be maneuvered to its new location, but remained at the ready to assist if needed.
Greatest distance from a spacecraft during a spacewalk
- All-time (and while on a planetary body): 7.6 kilometers: 1144 (4.7 miles, 25,029 feet), Apollo 17, Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt, EVA-2, December 12, 1972. During their second of three moonwalks, Cernan and Schmitt rode the lunar rover to geological station 2, Nansen Crater, at the foot of the South Massif. As all spacewalks not occuring on a planetery body (the Moon) have involved short maximum distances from the spacecraft (see below), this remains the furthest distance that humans have traveled away from the safety of a pressurizable spacecraft, during an EVA of any type.
- Orbital flight: approximately 100 meters (or 320 feet), Bruce McCandless, STS-41-B, February 7, 1984. With the exception of six Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) sorties in 1984 and a test of the Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER) in 1994, all other orbital spacewalks have involved a safety tether, anchoring the spacefarer to the spacecraft at a short distance. Among the former untethered spacewalks, Bruce McCandless' first test of the MMU established an orbital EVA distance record from a spacecraft which remained unbroken by later untethered EVAs.
First animals in space
The first animals to enter space were fruit flies launched by the United States in 1947 aboard a V-2 rocket to an altitude of 68 miles (109 km). They were also the first animals to safely return from space. Albert II, a rhesus monkey, became the first primate in space aboard a U.S. V-2 rocket on June 14, 1949, and died on reentry due to a parachute failure.
First animal in orbit
Laika was a Soviet female canine launched on 3 November 1957 on Sputnik 2. The technology to de-orbit had not yet been developed, so there was no expectation for survival. She died several hours into flight. Belka and Strelka became the first canines to safely return to Earth from orbit on 19 August 1960.
Longest canine single flight
First animals beyond low-Earth orbit
An assortment of animals including a pair of Russian tortoises, as well as wine flies and mealworms launched with a number of other biological specimens including seeds and bacteria on a circumlunar mission aboard the Soviet Zond 5 spacecraft on 15 September 1968. It was launched by a Proton-K rocket. The capsule came within 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) of the Moon and later successfully returned to Earth, the first spacecraft in history to return safely to Earth from the Moon.
Notable uncrewed spaceflights
|In reference to:||Spacecraft||Event||Origin||Date|
|Earth||MW 18014 (A-4(V-2))||First rocket to reach space (suborbital flight).||Germany||20 June 1944|
|Earth||V-2 No. 20||First living organisms (fruit flies) in space (suborbital flight). Successfully recovered.||USA||20 February 1947|
|Earth||R-1V||First mammals (dogs) in space (suborbital flight). Successfully recovered.||USSR||22 July 1951|
|Earth||Sputnik 1||First satellite in orbit.||USSR||4 October 1957|
|Earth||Sputnik 2||First animal in orbit, Laika the dog.||USSR||3 November 1957|
|Earth||Vanguard 1||Oldest satellite still in orbit, in addition to its upper launch stage. Expected to stay in orbit 240 years. Ceased transmission in May 1964.||USA||17 March 1958|
|Earth||Pioneer 1||Failed to reach the Moon as intended, but reached a record–setting distance of 113,800 kilometres (70,700 mi) from Earth.||USA||11 October 1958|
|Earth||Jupiter AM-13||First monkey in space, Gordo, a squirrel monkey.||USA||13 December 1958|
|Earth||Luna 1||First spacecraft to achieve Earth's escape velocity.||USSR||4 January 1959|
|Moon||Luna 1||First flyby. Distance of 5,995 kilometres (3,725 mi).||USSR||4 January 1959|
|Sun||Luna 1||First spacecraft in heliocentric orbit.||USSR||4 January 1959|
|Moon||Luna 2||First impact.||USSR||14 September 1959|
|Moon||Luna 3||First image of lunar far-side.||USSR||7 October 1959|
|Earth||Discoverer 13||First satellite recovered from orbit.||USA||11 August 1960|
|Earth||Korabl-Sputnik 2||First living beings recovered from orbit.||USSR||19 August 1960|
|Venus||Venera 1||First flyby. Distance of 100,000 kilometres (62,000 mi) (lost communication contact before).||USSR||19 May 1961|
|Moon||Ranger 4||First spacecraft to impact the far side of the Moon.||USA||26 April 1962|
|Earth||Alouette 1||First satellite designed and constructed by a country other than the USA or USSR (the British satellite Ariel 1, launched five months earlier, was designed and constructed by the USA).||Canada||29 September 1962|
|Venus||Mariner 2||First planetary flyby. Distance of 34,762 kilometres (21,600 mi) (with communication contact).||USA||14 December 1962|
|Earth||Lincoln Calibration Sphere 1||Oldest spacecraft still in use (50 years as of 2015[update]).||USA||6 May 1965|
|Mars||Mariner 4||First flyby and first planetary imaging. Distance of 9,846 kilometres (6,118 mi).||USA||14 July 1965|
|Earth||Astérix||First satellite launched independently by a nation other than the USA or USSR (other nations had previously flown satellites launched on American rockets).||France||26 November 1965|
|Moon||Luna 9||First soft landing and first pictures from the lunar surface.||USSR||3 February 1966|
|Earth||Kosmos 110||First seeds to germinate in space.||USSR||22 February 1966|
|Venus||Venera 3||First impact.||USSR||1 March 1966|
|Moon||Luna 10||First orbiter.||USSR||3 April 1966|
|Docking||Cosmos 186, Cosmos 188||First automated docking of uncrewed spacecraft.||USSR||30 October 1967|
|Moon||Surveyor 6||First planned, controlled, powered flight from the surface of another body.||USA||17 November 1967|
||USSR||15 September 1968|
|Moon||Luna 16||First automated sample return.||USSR||24 September 1970|
|Moon||Luna 17||First robotic roving vehicle, Lunokhod 1.||USSR||17 November 1970|
|Venus||Venera 7||First soft landing on another planet.||USSR||15 December 1970|
|Earth||Salyut 1||First space station.||USSR||19 April 1971|
|Mars||Mariner 9||First orbiter.||USA||14 November 1971|
|Mars||Mars 2||First impact.||USSR||27 November 1971|
|Mars||Mars 3||First soft landing. Maintained telemetry signal for 20 seconds before transmissions ceased.||USSR||2 December 1971|
|Sun||Pioneer 10||First spacecraft to achieve the Sun's escape velocity.||USA||3 March 1972|
|Jupiter||Pioneer 10||First flyby. Distance of 132,000 kilometres (82,000 mi).||USA||4 December 1973|
|Mercury||Mariner 10||First flyby. Distance of 703 kilometres (437 mi).||USA||29 March 1974|
||USSR||22 October 1975|
|Mars||Viking 1||First surface-level imaging of Mars.||USA||20 July 1976|
|Saturn||Pioneer 11||First flyby. Distance of 21,000 kilometres (13,000 mi).||USA||1 September 1979|
|Venus||Venera 13||First sound recording made on another planet.||USSR||1 March 1982|
|Orbital Space Station||Soyuz T-5, Salyut 7||First species of plant to flower in space. Arabidopsis thaliana Valentin Lebedev.||USSR||1 July 1982|
|Trans-Neptunian region||Pioneer 10||First to travel past the orbit of Neptune, the furthest major planet from the Sun.||USA||13 June 1983|
|Venus||Vega 1||First helium balloon atmospheric probe. First flight (as opposed to atmospheric entry) in another planet's atmosphere.||USSR||11 June 1985|
|Comet Giacobini-Zinner||International Cometary Explorer (ICE)||First flyby through a comet tail (no pictures). Distance of 7,800 kilometres (4,800 mi).||USA||11 September 1985|
|Uranus||Voyager 2||First flyby. Distance of 81,500 kilometres (50,600 mi).||USA||24 January 1986|
|Comet Halley||Vega 1||First comet flyby (with pictures returned). Distance of 8,890 kilometres (5,520 mi).||USSR||6 March 1986|
|Earth||Mir Core Module, Kvant-1||First modular space station.||USSR||9 April 1987|
|Orbital Spaceplane||Buran||First fully automated orbital flight of a spaceplane (with airstrip landing).||USSR||15 November 1988|
|Phobos||Phobos 2||First flyby. Distance of 860 kilometres (530 mi).||USSR||21 February 1989|
|Neptune||Voyager 2||First flyby. Distance of 40,000 kilometres (25,000 mi).||USA||25 August 1989|
|951 Gaspra||Galileo||First asteroid flyby. Distance of 1,600 kilometres (990 mi).||USA||29 October 1991|
|Jupiter||Galileo probe||First impact.||USA||7 December 1995|
|Jupiter||Galileo||First orbiter.||USA||8 December 1995|
|Mars||Mars Pathfinder||First automated roving vehicle, Sojourner.||USA||4 July 1997|
|433 Eros||NEAR Shoemaker||First asteroid orbiter.||USA||14 February 2000|
|433 Eros||NEAR Shoemaker||First asteroid soft landing.||USA||12 February 2001|
|Saturn||Cassini orbiter||First orbiter.||
||1 July 2004|
|Solar wind||Genesis||First sample return from farther than the Moon.||USA||8 September 2004|
|Titan||Huygens probe||First soft landing.||14 January 2005|
|Comet Tempel 1||Deep Impact||First comet impact.||USA||4 July 2005|
||Japan||19 November 2005|
|81P/Wild||Stardust||First sample return from comet.||USA||15 January 2006|
||USA||As of December 2019[update]|
|Longest time in operation||Voyager 2||Longest continually operating space probe (since August 1977).||USA||As of 2015[update]|
|Earth to Venus trajectory||IKAROS||First interplanetary solar sail.||Japan||Set sail on 10 June 2010|
|25143 Itokawa||Hayabusa||First sample return from an asteroid.||Japan||13 June 2010|
|Mercury||MESSENGER||First orbiter.||USA||17 March 2011|
|Earth–Sun L2 Lagrange point||Chang'e 2||First object to reach the L2 Lagrangian point directly from lunar orbit.||China||25 August 2011|
|International Space Station||SpaceX Dragon||First commercial spacecraft to berth with the International Space Station.||USA||25 May 2012|
|Interstellar medium||Voyager 1||First spacecraft to cross the heliopause, thereby exiting the heliosphere and entering interstellar space.||USA||25 August 2012|
|4179 Toutatis||Chang'e 2||China||13 December 2012|
|67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko||Rosetta||First comet orbiter.||ESA||6 August 2014|
|67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko||Philae||First comet soft landing.||ESA||12 November 2014|
|Ceres||Dawn||First dwarf planet orbiter.||USA||6 March 2015|
|Mars||Opportunity||Longest distance traveled on surface of another world (26.219 miles (42.195 km), marathon-length).||USA||23 March 2015|
|Mercury||MESSENGER||First impact.||USA||30 April 2015|
|Pluto||New Horizons||USA||14 July 2015|
|All 9 planets in the pre-IAU redefinition version of the Solar System||All United States spacecraft including New Horizons||With the New Horizons flyby of Pluto, the United States is the first nation to have its space probes explore all nine planets in the pre-2006 IAU redefinition version of the Solar System.||USA||14 July 2015|
|Earth||Falcon 9||First re-flight of orbital class rocket.||USA||30 March 2017|
|Earth||Shortest period between orbital launches (launched 72 seconds apart).||23 December 2017|
|Moon||Chang'e 4||First soft landing at the far side of the Moon.||China||3 January 2019|
|101955 Bennu||OSIRIS-REx||Smallest body to be orbited by spacecraft (492 m (1,600 ft) diameter) and closest ever orbit (680 m (2,230 ft) altitude).||USA||12 June 2019|
|Moon||Chang'e 5||First rendezvous and docking by a robotic spacecraft in lunar orbit.||China||5 December 2020|
|Mars||Ingenuity||First controlled, powered flight by a rotary wing aircraft on another planet.||USA||19 April 2021|
|Sun||Highest velocity of a spacecraft relative to the Sun: 147.8 km/s (532,000 km/h; 330,000 mph).
Closest ever approach to the Sun: distance of 0.070 AU (11,100,000 kilometres; 6,500,000 mi). Spacecraft will continue to lower its perihelion by multiple Venus gravity assists until its closest approach in 2024, which is expected to bring the probe within 9.86 solar radii (6,900,000 km; 4,300,000 mi) of the Sun's surface at a velocity of 191.7 km/s (690,000 km/h; 430,000 mph), by which point it will have become the fastest object in the Solar System apart from comets (overtaking asteroid 2005 HC4).
|29 April 2021|
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- Manned Maneuvering Unit
- Omega Speedmaster
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