Talk:Timeline of space exploration

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All done. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 01:06, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Now this proves how productive a few clicks on Random article can be. Jobjörn (Talk | contribs) 01:07, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Make this a redirect perhaps?[edit]

The concept of space exploration and its timeline seem to be better covered at land.Space exploration#Timeline of space exploration. What is in this article that is not there is a history of American aeronautical buraucracy and of the history of Robert H. Goddard. Would anyone object to making this a redirect to the appropriate section of the Space exploration article? Dpv 21:18, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

No, not at all. Except, of course, that you can't re-direct to a section. But a re-direct to the article seems fine. Jobjörn (Talk ° contribs) 08:38, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
Good point. I had done it before, but the end result was a redirect to the top of the page. I'll make this one a redirect to the top of the page now. Dpv 12:33, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

redirect SNAFU[edit]

Ok the Space Exploration article links to a Timeline of space exploration article which is in desperate need of reform preferably pending discussion however the discussion of that timeline redirects to Talk:Timeline of American space exploration which is obviously an entirely different article as the Timeline of space exploration is almost totally composed of Russian and Soviet triumphal space 'firsts' (including numerous failed missions as various first 'successes' and omitting an enormous number of 'firsts' by other space agencies).

I believe I've fixed the talk pages.WolfKeeper 04:16, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

How do we patch this mess up?Zebulin 22:48, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Add stuff to the timeline.WolfKeeper 04:16, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

"First Success"[edit]

Several entries do not appear to qualify as any sort of "first success". Is there any particular reason a "timeline of space exploration" should limit itself to largely symbolic "firsts"? Perhaps the column header should instead say "mission" or "accomplishment"?Zebulin 02:55, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree. And we do already have a good list of firsts at Spaceflight records. For this list I would say that, for instance, the two current Mars rovers are significant although they are not the first Mars landers or even the first Mars rovers. Rmhermen 17:05, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

It's ugly now with the word "first" appearing so many times but once we get several other non "first" events into the table it should be a bit easier on the eyes.Zebulin 20:19, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Indeed, all of this first nonsense looks ridiculously competitive if not nationalistic. Many of the firsts can be deleted as being manifestly obvious by virtue of the associated dates. It's a timeline after all. Some uses of the word first, such as for Sputnik being the first artificial satellite, should remain only for truly important events. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:11, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

First space telescope[edit]

Hubble was definitely not the first space telescope. See Orion 1 and Orion 2 Space Observatories, Astron, Granat.

Divisions by years[edit]

The article was divided at 1942 - the V2 was the first in 1942, and that makes sense. I started divisions with Sputnik 1 and with Gargain's flight. I ended the latter division with Apollo 11 because that was the culmination of an era. I started another division with the Shuttle. Those are the reasons for my divisions - I like to start a division with something new, but I thought it appropriate to end an era with Apollo 11. Bubba73 (talk), 00:04, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

I would say that the succession of moon landings constituted part of the same era as Apollo 11. They were the same program after all. If we must divide by era I would suggest putting all Apollo missions in the next era. Also, additional missions may be added to the article and we want it to be obvious to future editors where those missions should be placed if they happen to be in 1969 or another year that coincides with one end of an era.Zebulin (talk) 00:11, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Do you mean all Apollo landing missions should be in the same section, so have 1969-1980 and start with Apollo 11? My thoughts were that most of the manned space program of the 1960s culminated in Apollo 11.Bubba73 (talk), 03:09, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
what does that mean? can you rephrase that? Apollo 11 was far from the last word in lunar exploration. In any event we need it to be clear to any naive reader of the articles what exactly the divisions are.Zebulin (talk) 03:25, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
What I mean is that after Shepard's flight, the US manned space program was geared towards the moon landing. Apollo 11 was the culmination of that effort. Effectively the end of the "space race". As you said on the other article, it should be clear which period was the "space race". Bubba73 (talk), 03:30, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
I'd rather end it with the Apollo-soyuz so that all of the Apollo missions are lumped together especially since Apollo 17 seems far more like the end of a chapter than Apollo 11 does both technically and politically.Zebulin (talk) 03:36, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
That's a very good point. One drawback is that it makes the section from there to the Shuttle pretty small, and I selected the first Shuttle launch as the start of a new era. But 1942-1957 is pretty small too. Bubba73 (talk), 03:55, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Just a thought - what about an additional division, 1961-1968 (Gargarin through Apollo 8), 1969-1975 (basically Apollo 11 through ASTP), 1976-1980, and the Shuttle starts the next era? Bubba73 (talk), 04:02, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

I wonder if it's fair for us to organize the timeline so closely around manned spaceflight when so much of space exploration has involved unmanned spacecraft. That could be broken up according to the suborbital era, followed by the brief earth/lunar satellite era, followed by the inner planetary exploration era and finally the outer solar system and beyond era. A simple breakup into 'decades' might work too with the only oddball being the multi-decade pre sputnik section. That has the advantage of requiring the least explanatory notation.Zebulin (talk) 06:01, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, the V2 and Sputnik are two unmanned ones that start new sections. I thought one objective was to show the space race era, but you can do the sections as you think is best. Bubba73 (talk), 15:04, 16 January 2008 (UTC)


1903 First serious work published that showed physical Space Exploration was theoretically possible: Исследование мировых пространств реактивными приборами (The Exploration of Cosmic Space by Means of Reaction Devices) Russia Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

How does one define "serious"? Surely, Newton's Principia (1685) was the first "serious" work to provide physicists with the theoretical framework to engineer space exploration. Rockets themselves were anticipated by the ancient Greeks and Chinese, who had demonstrated examples of reaction devices at least as early as the first century AD (Hero's engine, Chinese fireworks). In patent speak, to one skilled in the arts, the theoretical possibility of space travel was so obvious by 1903 that even non-scientists were writing about it before then (From the Earth to the Moon, 1865; War of the Worlds, 1898; The First Men In the Moon, 1901).

Newton never provided a way to get to the Moon, just because his theory provided tools that enabled it, doesn't mean he had any clue how to do that. Greeks and Chinese didn't have the maths nor the understanding of de laval nozzles to get sufficiently high speed exhausts, nor could they have built a rocket due to lack of materials like aluminium, which were only separated in useful quantities in the 1800s. Tsiolkovsky was lucky that he had all the components that could be assembled into the concept of a rocket that could reach the moon; but still he was the first to make the conceptual leap to something that could be broadly done.- (User) WolfKeeper (Talk) 04:07, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Tsiolkovsky never provided a way to get to the Moon, either; at least, he never gifted the world with an exact set of blueprints to follow. Instead of using an ambiguous word like "serious", why not state exactly what it was Tsiolkovsky contributed to rocketry in 1903?
Because he analyses rockets in terms of their delta-v and showed that rockets are capable of reaching orbit, the moon and the planets. I mean, have you read his paper? I translated bits of it using bablefish, it's quite clear what he did.- (User) WolfKeeper (Talk) 15:05, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

First human made object sent on escape trajectory away from the Sun[edit]

I just added a [verification needed] tag on the Pioneer 10 since according to this page the first man made object known to have been sent out of Earth and solar orbit is a manhole cover. It would be nice to reference this fact better and place it in this page JunCTionS 03:45, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

it could not have possibly been going that fast. Zebulin (talk) 04:26, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick and very interesting response, nevertheless, although the article you send me is quite interesting, and very carefully thought through, I don't believe it to be in conclusive since it does not specify the calculations done for the final argument. And most of the links are dead (although this doesn't change much).
I do realize that it presents a point of view where the most likely scenario is that the manhole is just a myth, but it does not disprove it. To do so (or to prove it) I believe it is necessary to find out either the force of the bomb (since I believe he did the calculations with the lowest estimate) or find the frame rate (and vertical range) of the high-speed camera.
Also, he ends it claiming the probable source of the myth is the author of the Smithsonian article when the most probable source is mentioned before, Dr. Robert (Bob) Brownlee. I'll try to see if I get the time to do this research. JunCTionS 06:17, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
More in favor of the myth hypothesis, as a reference in the Operation_Plumbbob article is this . Nevertheless, what's apparently written by Dr. Brownlee himself again fails to show certainty in the numbers since he does not cite the frame rate (or the force of the bomb). This discussion, of course, also affects the claim made in the Operation's WP article (thanks for the link with the key name) JunCTionS 06:23, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
And finally I'm convinced on the unlikeliness of this event given another (unnamed in other sources) argument... the aerodynamics of the lid and it's comparison with other similar object (which odd objects might these be? Meteors) this being my source I rest convinced and will remove the [verification needed] tag I placed on Pioneer 10. Nevertheless I believe this new source is necessary for the Plumbbob article. JunCTionS 06:34, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

"flag" image (logo) for non government or transgoverment agencies[edit]

Due to the very nature of logos there will never be free images available to identify the ESA and Intelsat ltd. Only fair use would ever be an option and all such appeals to fair use are these days summarily deleted and removed. Rather than assigning inaccurately associated flag images (ie the UN flag or the EU flag) to these non state actors I think we should simply leave the small copyvio notification images indefinitely as they are not misleading and at once make it perfectly clear why there is no image available.Zebulin (talk) 08:40, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

As of September 11 2011, the EU flag is being used on this page to represent ESA. This is wrong - many members of the EU are not members of ESA, and at least one ESA member (Norway) is not an EU member. Even if the ESA logo is deemed unusable here, it's still not correct to use the EU flag. (talk) 05:10, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

The whole "Country/Organization" thing in the tables is kinda weird, and is contributing to this problem. Through the "Prior to 1942" section and the first table, we've got country names (I just tweaked it to make it more consistent within that table), and only one instance of a named agency. Then, in the following tables, it switches to country abbreviations for the United States and Soviet Union, the agency always being specified for the one but never for the other. Finally, other nations come into the table, and the nomenclature and format is all over the map (compare "UK-CERC" with "ASI" with "France" with "Japan (JAXA)")...and also the intractable problem of what "flag" to use for the ESA comes in. I'd suggest splitting this column into separate "Country" and Organization" columns, and then use a consistent format for each throughout the page (short names, not abbreviations, in the country column; and vice versa in the organization column)...except the large number of ESA members would create a real problem in the country column whenever they're involved and I have no idea what to do with that, unless a small number of lead ESA countries can be identified mission-by-mission. KevinTMC (talk) 21:35, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Herman Potočnik's nationality issue[edit]

Since Herman Potočnik Noordung is being listed at the spreadsheet, I have doubts on the country flag under which he is presented. He was Slovene by nationality and his book was published in German because of his education and the official language of that time being German. And, moreover, the book was published in Berlin, "Richard Carl Schmidt Verlag" being the publisher. So - which flag do we put there? His original one or the "publishing location" one? Thank you. Blaz Sef (talk) 11:15, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Anik A1[edit]

What exactly is the significance of the Anik A1? I'm pretty sure I remember there being something important about it from a world perspective, but I can't figure out what. Currently in this article, it is only listed as the first Canadian one, which isn't significant from a world perspective. On its own article it is described as the "world's first national domestic" satellite. What does that actually mean? --Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 17:36, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

  • I've removed it. It has absolutely nothing to do with exploration. I've gone through the list and eliminated many entries that were clearly irrelevant, howver I have left borderline cases for now. --GW 11:20, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Merge of "Timeline of space exploration" and "List of space exploration milestones, 1957-1969"[edit]

Long-standing proposal; discussion at Talk:List of space exploration milestones, 1957-1969#Merge with Timeline of space exploration? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:31, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Yes it is a long-standing proposal. I started the "milestones" article but I am not opposed to a merger - there is a lot of overlap. The emphasis in "milestones" is different, though - it groups them by the type of achievement and it concentrates on "firsts". At the time I didn't know about similar articles. As I found them I listed them under See Also. Bubba73 (the argument clinic), 01:46, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

First photograph of the whole Earth?[edit]

I noticed that there was an entry for the first photograph of the whole solar system, but not one for the first photograph of the whole Earth. These photos have become iconic, and I'd say that it should be listed. It's not clear what the criteria should be for the "first", however. Should pictures that show part of the Earth in shadow count? I would have thought that a full diameter should be visible at least. The highest-impact pictures are certainly those that show the full Earth in sunlight, but are they that much more historically significant than the earlier ones? A few candidate images (and source info) are here: and here: (not my sites, other sites exist, etc.). Any thoughts? (talk) 04:50, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

1914 grammar[edit]

The Table entry for 1918 appears to be either missing words or clarifying commas to make the sentence readable. "Goddard files for, and is subsequently awarded, ..." SquashEngineer (talk) 14:34, 24 October 2016 (UTC)

Shirugaki (talk) 00:48, 3 May 2015 (UTC)[edit]

Me thinks that the "update" tag should be removed, as the article looks fully updated to me. Unless keeping it would mean that when something major happened in space history, then someone would automatically update this article? In that case "LET THE GAMES BEGIN!"

Shirugaki (talk) 00:48, 3 May 2015 (UTC) Toyjol Stpts

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