Within the mission Shenzou 5 the first Chinese astronaut ("taikonaut") Yang Liwei circles the Earth fourteen times, and safely returns to Earth.
Launch of the first Russian module Zarya of the International Space Station ISS with a Russian Proton Rocket.
Launch of the Hubble Space Telescope within the mission STS-31. The Hubble Space Telescope can be used for observations in the visible and UV wave range. However, because of difficulties with the mirror system and other subsystems the telescope is fully operational only after a maintenance and repair mission in 1993.
Within the mission STS-9 (Orbiter Columbia) the European Research Laboratory Spacelab is launched for the first time. The first West German astronaut Ulf Merbold is onboard the mission, participating for the European Space Organisation ESA.
20 years after the first manned space flight by Yuri Gagarin the US Space Transportation System (STS) carries out its manned maiden flight; the astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen spend three days onboard the space shuttle Columbia.
Launch of the interplanetary probe Voyager II; flyby of Jupiter on 9 July 1979; flyby of Saturn on 26 August 1981; flyby of Uranus on 24 January 1986; flyby of Neptune on 25 August 1989.
The US space probe Viking I lands on Mars, one Orbiter remains in the orbit. Examination of the ground of Mars looking for signs of biological activities.
First joint Soviet-US manned mission: an Apollo – and a Soyuz – space craft carry out a docking manoeuvre as well as joint operations.
Launch of the first US space station Skylab. The crews of the Skylab missions 2, 3, and 4 stay on board the space station, and carry out a large number of scientific experiments. On 11 September 1979 the space station Skylab 7. enters the Earth's atmosphere and burns up; Pieces of the wreckage fall to the ground in the Indian Ocean not far from the coast of Australia.
Launch of the mission Apollo 15 with the astronauts David Scott, Alfred Worden and James Irwin. First flight and run of the Lunar Roving Vehicle.
The first Soviet space station Salyut I (Salyut, Russ. salute) is put into the Earth's orbit. It burns up in autumn of the same year in the Earth's atmosphere.
After the explosion of an oxygen tank the mission Apollo 13 has to be called off halfway to the moon; the astronauts James Lovell, John Swigert and Fred Haise circle the moon and after a dramatic rescue operation return safely to the Earth.
First manned moon landing of the astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin within the mission Apollo XI; the astronaut Michael Collins remains in the mother ship "Columbia" in the lunar orbit during the landing carrying out scientific observations.
First manned circling of the moon (10 orbits) by the astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders within the mission Apollo VIII. First manned flight of the Saturn V-Rocket designed by Wernher v. Braun.
Launch of the mission Gemini-IV with the astronauts McDivitt and White; White carries out the first US spacewalk.
The female cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova is the first woman to fly into space within the mission Vostok 6.
The US astronaut John H. Glenn circles the Earth three times in the Mercury space capsule Friendship-7. The launcher rocket is a modified Atlas rocket.
The first US astronaut Alan B. Shepard carries out a suborbital ballistic space flight in the Mercury space capsule Freedom-7. The launcher rocket is a modified version of the Redstone rocket designed by Wernher v. Braun.
The first Soviet cosmonaut Yuri A. Gagarin circles the Earth one time in the space ship Vostok I (Vostok, Russ. East).
The Soviet space probe Luna III for the first time sends pictures of the rear side of the Moon to the Earth.
The United States of America put the satellite Explorer I into an earth orbit; by means of a Geiger counter onboard the satellite, the scientist Joseph van Allen discovers the Inner Radiation Belt named after him.
The husky Laika is the first mammal to reach an earth orbit with Sputnik II. As Sputnik II is not provided with a reentry system, Laika is not able to return to the Earth.
The USSR put the first artificial earth satellite Sputnik I (Sputnik, Russ. Companion) into an orbit.
First successful launch of a liquid-propellant rocket by the US-American Robert Goddard in Auburn, Massachusetts.
Hermann Oberth publishes his basic works regarding the theory of liquid-propellant rockets: "The Rocket into Interplanetary Space". 1928 the "Path to Space Travel" was published with theoretical and constructive considerations regarding manned space technology.