The first satellite ever launched into space was Sputnik 1. Sputnik 1 was
launched October 4, 1957 by Russia. It was the first world satellite.
Sputnik 1 was only 53 inches long. Despite its small size, Sputnik weighed
84 kilograms. Sputnik 1 triggered the start of the whole space race.
Later that year Russia was ready to launch Sputnik 2. Sputnik 2 was larger because it was the first satellite to launch a dog. The dog’s name was Laika. Sputnik 2 was launched November 3, 1957. Sputnik 2 just made more rivalry between the United States and Russia. Sputnik 2 weighed also weighed more than Sputnik 1.
After the two satellites, the United States had to get even so they started working on a satellite. The space race was getting intense, especially when the United States got a satellite up. The first American satellite was Explorer 1.
The first type of navigation satellite was invented in the late 1950’s. The first communication satellite was Score, which was launched December 18, 1958. The first weather satellite was named Tiros and was launched April 1, 1960. Syrcom 3 was the first geosynchronous telecommunication satellite, which was launched August 19, 1960. Solar Max was the first satellite to be repaired in space.
The following information tells about space probes that explored the planets.
Mercury The first and only space probe that went to Mercury was Marineer 10. It was launched in 1974.
Venus The space probes to visit Venus were: Mariner 2 and 10; Venera 4, 7, 9, 13, 14; Pioneer Venus 1 and 2; Magellan. Mariner 2 was launched in 1962, and Mariner 10 was launched in 1975. The Venera satellites were launched in 1967, 1970, 1975, and 1982. Pioneer Venus 1 and 2 were both launched in 1978, and Magellan was launched in 1990.
Mars The space probes that visited Mars were Mariner 4 and 9; Viking 1 and 2; Mars Pathfinder; Mars Global Surveyor. The Mariners were launched in 1965 and 1971, the Vikings were launched in 1976, Mars Pathfinder was launched in 1997, and the Mars Global Surveyor was launched in 1997.
Jupiter The space probes that went to Jupiter were: Pioneer 10 and 11; Voyager 1 and 2; Galileo. Pioneer 10 was launched in 1973 and Pioneer 11 was launched in 1974. Voyager 1 and 2 were launched in 1979 and Galileo was launched in 1995.
Saturn The only two space probes that went to Saturn were Voyager 1 and 2. They were both launched in 1979 and arrived at Saturn in 1980.
Uranus The only probe that successfully made it to Uranus was Voyager 2 which got to Uranus in 1980.
Neptune The only probe that made it to Neptune was Voyager 2, which got there in 1981.
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