Timeline of planetary exploration

Timeline of planetary exploration by date of launch.

Already-launched missions in italic have not yet achieved success or failure.

  • 1957
  • 1958
    • Explorer 1 - 1 February 1958 - Earth Orbiter
    • Vanguard 1 - 17 March 1958 - Earth Orbiter
    • Pioneer 0 - 17 August 1958 - Attempted Lunar Orbit (Launch Failure)
    • Luna 1958A - 23 September 1958 - Attempted Lunar Impact? (Launch Failure)
    • Pioneer 1 - 11 October 1958 - Attempted Lunar Orbit (Launch Failure)
    • Luna 1958B - 12 October 1958 - Attempted Lunar Impact? (Launch Failure)
    • Pioneer 2 - 8 November 1958 - Attempted Lunar Orbit (Launch Failure)
    • Luna 1958C - 4 December 1958 - Attempted Lunar Impact? (Launch Failure)
    • Pioneer 3 - 6 December 1958 - Attempted Lunar Flyby (Launch Failure)
  • 1959
    • Luna 1 - 2 January 1959 - Lunar Flyby (Attempted Lunar Impact?) 1st Lunar Flyby
    • Pioneer 4 - 3 March 1959
    • Luna 1959A - 16 June 1959 - Attempted Lunar Impact? (Launch Failure)
    • Luna 2 - 12 September 1959 - 1st Lunar Impact
    • Luna 3 - 4 October 1959 - Lunar Flyby
    • Pioneer P-3 - 26 November 1959 - Attempted Lunar Orbiter (Launch Failure)
  • 1960
    • Luna 1960A - 15 April 1960 - Attempted Lunar Flyby (Launch Failure)
    • Luna 1960B - 18 April 1960 - Attempted Lunar Flyby (Launch Failure)
    • Pioneer P-30 - 25 Sept 1960 - Attempted Lunar Orbiter (Launch Failure)
    • Marsnik 1 (Mars 1960A) - 10 October 1960 - Attempted Mars Flyby (Launch Failure)
    • Marsnik 2 (Mars 1960B) - 14 October 1960 - Attempted Mars Flyby (Launch Failure)
    • Pioneer P-31 - 15 December 1960 - Attempted Lunar Orbiter (Launch Failure)
  • 1961
    • Sputnik 7 - 4 February 1961 - Attempted Venus Impact
    • Venera 1 - 12 February 1961 - Venus Flyby (Contact Lost)
    • Ranger 1 - 23 August 1961 - Attempted Lunar Test Flight
    • Ranger 2 - 18 November 1961 - Attempted Lunar Test Flight
  • 1962
    • Ranger 3 - 26 January 1962 - Attempted Lunar Impact
    • Ranger 4 - 23 April 1962 - Lunar Impact
    • Mariner 1 - 22 July 1962 - Attempted Venus Flyby (Launch Failure)
    • Sputnik 19 - 25 August 1962 - Attempted Venus Flyby
    • Mariner 2 - 27 August 1962 - 1st Venus Flyby
    • Sputnik 20 - 1 September 1962 - Attempted Venus Flyby
    • Sputnik 21 - 12 September 1962 - Attempted Venus Flyby
    • Ranger 5 - 18 October 1962 - Attempted Lunar Impact
    • Sputnik 22 - 24 October 1962 - Attempted Mars Flyby
    • Mars 1 - 1 November 1962 - Mars Flyby (Contact Lost)
    • Sputnik 24 - 4 November 1962 - Attempted Mars Lander
  • 1963
    • Sputnik 25 - 4 January 1963 - Attempted Lunar Lander
    • Luna 1963B - 2 February 1963 - Attempted Lunar Lander (Launch Failure)
    • Luna 4 - 2 April 1963 - Attempted Lunar Lander
    • Cosmos 21 - 11 November 1963 - Attempted Venera Test Flight?
  • 1964
    • Ranger 6 - 30 January 1964 - Lunar Impact (Cameras Failed)
    • Venera 1964A - 19 February 1964 - Attempted Venus Flyby (Launch Failure)
    • Venera 1964B - 1 March 1964 - Attempted Venus Flyby (Launch Failure)
    • Luna 1964A - 21 March 1964 - Attempted Lunar Lander (Launch Failure)
    • Cosmos 27 - 27 March 1964 - Attempted Venus Flyby
    • Zond 1 - 2 April 1964 - Venus Flyby (Contact Lost)
    • Luna 1964B - 20 April 1964 - Attempted Lunar Lander (Launch Failure)
    • Zond 1964A - 4 June 1964 - Attempted Lunar Lander (Launch Failure)
    • Ranger 7 - 28 July 1964 - Lunar Impact
    • Mariner 3 - 5 November 1964 - Attempted Mars Flyby
    • Mariner 4 - 28 November 1964 - 1st Mars Flyby
    • Zond 2 - 30 November 1964 - Mars Flyby (Contact Lost)
  • 1965
    • Ranger 8 - 17 February 1965 - Lunar Impact
    • Cosmos 60 - 12 March 1965 - Attempted Lunar Lander
    • Ranger 9 - 21 March 1965 - Lunar Impact
    • Luna 1965A - 10 April 1965 - Attempted Lunar Lander? (Launch Failure)
    • Luna 5 - 9 May 1965 - Lunar Impact (Attempted Soft Landing)
    • Luna 6 - 8 June 1965 - Attempted Lunar Lander
    • Zond 3 - 18 July 1965 - Lunar Flyby
    • Luna 7 - 4 October 1965 - Lunar Impact (Attempted Soft Landing)
    • Venera 2 - 12 November 1965 - Venus Flyby (Contact Lost)
    • Venera 3 - 16 November 1965 - Venus Lander (Contact Lost) 1st Venus Impact
    • Cosmos 96 - 23 November 1965 - Attempted Venus Lander?
    • Venera 1965A - 23 November 1965 - Attempted Venus Flyby (Launch Failure)
    • Luna 8 - 3 December 1965 - Lunar Impact (Attempted Soft Landing?)
  • 1966
    • Luna 9 - 31 January 1966 - 1st Lunar Lander
    • Cosmos 111 - 1 March 1966 - Attempted Lunar Orbiter?
    • Luna 10 - 31 March 1966 - 1st Lunar Orbiter
    • Luna 1966A - 30 April 1966 - Attempted Lunar Orbiter? (Launch Failure)
    • Surveyor 1 - 30 May 1966 - Lunar Lander
    • Explorer 33 - 1 July 1966 - Attempted Lunar Orbiter
    • Lunar Orbiter 1 - 10 August 1966 - Lunar Orbiter
    • Luna 11 - 24 August 1966 - Lunar Orbiter
    • Surveyor 2 - 20 September 1966 - Attempted Lunar Lander
    • Luna 12 - 22 October 1966 - Lunar Orbiter
    • Lunar Orbiter 2 - 6 November 1966 - Lunar Orbiter
    • Luna 13 - 21 December 1966 - Lunar Lander
  • 1967
    • Lunar Orbiter 3 - 4 February 1967 - Lunar Orbiter
    • Surveyor 3 - 17 April 1967 - Lunar Lander
    • Lunar Orbiter 4 - 8 May 1967 - Lunar Orbiter
    • Venera 4 - 12 June 1967 - 1st Venus Atmospheric Probe
    • Mariner 5 - 14 June 1967 - Venus Flyby
    • Cosmos 167 - 17 June 1967 - Attempted Venus Probe
    • Surveyor 4 - 14 July 1967 - Attempted Lunar Lander
    • Explorer 35 (IMP-E) - 19 July 1967 - Lunar Orbiter
    • Lunar Orbiter 5 - 1 August 1967 - Lunar Orbiter
    • Surveyor 5 - 8 September 1967 - Lunar Lander
    • Zond 1967A - 28 September 1967 - Attempted Lunar Test Flight (Launch Failure)
    • Surveyor 6 - 7 November 1967 - Lunar Lander
    • Zond 1967B - 22 November 1967 - Attempted Lunar Test Flight (Launch Failure)
  • 1968
    • Surveyor 7 - 7 January 1968 - Lunar Lander
    • Luna 1968A - 7 February 1968 - Attempted Lunar Orbiter (Launch Failure)
    • Zond 4 - 2 March 1968 - Test Flight
    • Luna 14 - 7 April 1968 - Lunar Orbiter
    • Zond 1968A - 23 April 1968 - Attempted Lunar Test Flight? (Launch Failure)
    • Zond 5 - 15 September 1968 - 1st Lunar Flyby and Return to Earth
    • Zond 6 - 10 November 1968 - Lunar Flyby and Return to Earth
    • Apollo 8 - 21 December 1968 - 1st Manned Lunar Orbiter
  • 1969
    • Venera 5 - 5 January 1969 - Venus Probe
    • Venera 6 - 10 January 1969 - Venus Probe
    • Zond 1969A - 20 January 1969 - Attempted Lunar Flyby and Return (Launch Failure)
    • Luna 1969A - 19 February 1969 - Attempted Lunar Rover? (Launch Failure)
    • Zond L1S-1 - 21 February 1969 - Attempted Lunar Orbiter (Launch Failure)
    • Mariner 6 - 25 February 1969 - Mars Flyby
    • Mariner 7 - 27 March 1969 - Mars Flyby
    • Mars 1969A - 27 March 1969 - Attempted Mars Orbiter (Launch Failure)
    • Mars 1969B - 2 April 1969 - Attempted Mars Orbiter (Launch Failure)
    • Luna 1969B - 15 April 1969 - Attempted Lunar Sample Return? (Launch Failure)
    • Apollo 10 - 18 May 1969 - Manned Lunar Orbiter
    • Luna 1969C - 14 June 1969 - Attempted Lunar Sample Return? (Launch Failure)
    • Zond L1S-2 - 3 July 1969 - Attempted Lunar Orbiter (Launch Failure)
    • Luna 15 - 13 July 1969 - Lunar Orbiter (Attempted Lunar Lander?)
    • Apollo 11 - 16 July 1969 - 1st Manned Lunar Landing
    • Zond 7 - 7 August 1969 - Lunar Flyby and Return to Earth
    • Cosmos 300 - 23 September 1969 - Attempted Lunar Sample Return?
    • Cosmos 305 - 22 October 1969 - Attempted Lunar Sample Return?
    • Apollo 12 - 14 November 1969 - Manned Lunar Landing
  • 1970
    • Luna 1970A - 6 February 1970 - Attempted Lunar Sample Return? (Launch Failure)
    • Luna 1970B - 19 February 1970 - Attempted Lunar Orbiter? (Launch Failure)
    • Apollo 13 - 11 April 1970 - Manned Lunar Mission (Landing Aborted)
    • Venera 7 - 17 August 1970 - 1st Venus Lander
    • Cosmos 359 - 22 August 1970 - Attempted Venus Probe
    • Luna 16 - 12 September 1970 - 1st Unmanned Lunar Sample Return
    • Zond 8 - 20 October 1970 - Lunar Flyby and Return to Earth
    • Luna 17/Lunokhod 1 - 10 November 1970 - 1st Lunar Rover
  • 1971
    • Apollo 14 - 31 January 1971 - Manned Lunar Landing
    • Mariner 8 - 8 May 1971 - Attempted Mars Flyby (Launch Failure)
    • Cosmos 419 - 10 May 1971 - Attempted Mars Orbiter/Lander
    • Mars 2 - 19 May 1971 - 1st Mars Orbiter/Attempted Lander/1st Mars Impact
    • Mars 3 - 28 May 1971 - Mars Orbiter/1st Mars Lander and 1st Mars Atmospheric Probe
    • Mariner 9 - 30 May 1971 - Mars Orbiter
    • Apollo 15 - 26 July 1971 - Manned Lunar Landing
    • Luna 18 - 2 September 1971 - Attempted Lunar Sample Return
    • Luna 19 - 28 September 1971 - Lunar Orbiter
  • 1972
    • Luna 20 - 14 February 1972 - Lunar Sample Return
    • Pioneer 10 - 3 March 1972 - 1st Jupiter Flyby and 1st to leave solar system
    • Venera 8 - 27 March 1972 - Venus Probe
    • Cosmos 482 - 31 March 1972 - Attempted Venus Probe
    • Apollo 16 - 16 April 1972 - Manned Lunar Landing
    • Soyuz L3 - 23 November 1972 - Attempted Lunar Orbiter (Launch Failure)
    • Apollo 17 - 7 December 1972 - Manned Lunar Landing
  • 1973
    • Luna 21/Lunokhod 2 - 8 January 1973 - Lunar Rover
    • Pioneer 11 - 5 April 1973 - Jupiter/1st Saturn Flyby
    • Skylab - 14 May 1973 - Manned Earth Orbiter
    • Explorer 49 (RAE-B) - 10 June 1973 - Lunar Orbiter/Radio Astronomy
    • Mars 4 - 21 July 1973 - Mars Flyby (Attempted Mars Orbiter)
    • Mars 5 - 25 July 1973 - Mars Orbiter
    • Mars 6 - 5 August 1973 - Mars Lander (Contact Lost)
    • Mars 7 - 9 August 1973 - Mars Flyby (Attempted Mars Lander)
    • Mariner 10 - 4 November 1973 - Venus Flyby/1st Mercury Flyby
  • 1974
    • Luna 22 - 2 June 1974 - Lunar Orbiter
    • Luna 23 - 28 October 1974 - Attempted Lunar Sample Return
  • 1975
    • Venera 9 - 8 June 1975 - 1st Venus Orbiter and Lander
    • Venera 10 - 14 June 1975 - Venus Orbiter and Lander
    • Viking 1 - 20 August 1975 - Mars Orbiter and Lander
    • Viking 2 - 9 September 1975 - Mars Orbiter and Lander
    • Luna 1975A - 16 October 1975 - Attempted Lunar Sample Return?
  • 1976
    • Helios 2 - 15 January 1976 - Closest Solar Approach
    • Luna 24 - 9 August 1976 - Lunar Sample Return
  • 1977
  • 1978
    • Pioneer Venus 1 - 20 May 1978 - Venus Orbiter
    • Pioneer Venus 2 - 8 August 1978 - Venus Probes
    • ISEE-3/ICE - 12 August 1978 - Comet Giacobini-Zinner and Comet Halley Flybys - 1st Comet flyby
    • Venera 11 - 9 September 1978 - Venus Orbiter and Lander
    • Venera 12 - 14 September 1978 - Venus Orbiter and Lander
  • 1981
    • Venera 13 - 30 October 1981 - Venus Orbiter and Lander
    • Venera 14 - 4 November 1981 - Venus Orbiter and Lander
  • 1983
  • 1984
    • Vega 1 - 15 December 1984 - Venus Lander and Balloon/Comet Halley Flyby
    • Vega 2 - 21 December 1984 - Venus Lander and Balloon/Comet Halley Flyby
  • 1985
    • Sakigake - 7 January 1985 - Comet Halley Flyby
    • Giotto - 2 July 1985 - Comet Halley Flyby
    • Suisei (Planet-A) - 18 August 1985 - Comet Halley Flyby
  • 1988
    • Phobos 1 - 7 July 1988 - Attempted Mars Orbiter/Phobos Landers
    • Phobos 2 - 12 July 1988 - Mars Orbiter/Attempted Phobos Landers
  • 1989
    • Magellan - 4 May 1989 - Venus Orbiter
    • Galileo - 18 October 1989 - 1st Jupiter Orbiter and 1st Jupiter Atmospheric Probe
  • 1990
    • Hiten - 24 January 1990 - Lunar Flyby and Orbiter
    • Hubble Space Telescope - 25 April 1990 - Earth Orbiting Observatory
    • Ulysses - 06 October 1990 - Jupiter Flyby and Solar Polar Orbiter
  • 1992
    • Mars Observer - 25 September 1992 - Attempted Mars Orbiter (Contact Lost)
  • 1994
    • Clementine - 25 January 1994 - Lunar Orbiter/Attempted Asteroid Flyby
  • 1996
    • NEAR - 17 February 1996 -1st Asteroid Flyby, 1st Asteroid Orbit and 1st Asteroid Landing - Eros Orbiter
    • Mars Global Surveyor - 07 November 1996 - Mars Orbiter
    • Mars 96 - 16 November 1996 - Attempted Mars Orbiter/Landers
    • Mars Pathfinder - 04 December 1996 - Mars Lander and 1st Mars Rover
  • 1997
    • Cassini - 15 October 1997 - Saturn Orbiter
    • Huygens - 15 October 1997 - Titan Probe and Lander
    • AsiaSat 3/HGS-1 - 24 December 1997 - Lunar Flyby
  • 1998
    • Lunar Prospector - 7 January 1998 - Lunar Orbiter
    • Nozomi (Planet-B) - 3 July 1998 - Attempted Mars Orbiter (failed to enter Mars orbit)
    • Deep Space 1 (DS1) - 24 October 1998 - Asteroid and Comet Flyby
    • Mars Climate Orbiter - 11 December 1998 - Attempted Mars Orbiter
  • 1999
    • Mars Polar Lander - 3 January 1999 - Attempted Mars Lander
    • Deep Space 2 (DS2) - 3 January 1999 - Attempted Mars Penetrators
    • Stardust - 7 February 1999 - Comet Coma Sample Return
  • 2001
    • 2001 Mars Odyssey - 7 April 2001 - Mars Orbiter
    • Genesis - 8 August 2001 - Solar Wind Sample Return
  • 2002
    • CONTOUR - 3 July 2002 - Attempted Fly-by of three Comet Nuclei
    • Muses-C - Nov/Dec 2002 - Asteroid Lander and Sample Return
  • 2003
    • Rosetta - 12 January 2003 - Comet Orbiter and Lander (delayed)
    • Champollion/DS4 - 19 April 2003 - Comet Orbiter and Lander (Cancelled)
    • Mars Exploration Rover Mission - 10 June/7 July 2003 - Two Mars Rovers
    • Mars Express - 1 June 2003 - Mars Orbiter/Attempted Lander
    • Lunar-A - 2003 - Lunar Orbiter and Penetrators (delayed)
    • SMART 1 - 27 September 2003 - Lunar Orbiter
  • 2004
    • Deep Impact - 2 January 2004 - Comet Rendezvous and Impact
    • MESSENGER - 23 March 2004 - Mercury Orbiter
    • NEAP - 2004 - Asteroid Nereus Rendezvous
  • 2005
    • Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter - July 2005 - Mars Orbiter
    • Selene - 2005 - Lunar Orbiter
  • 2006
    • New Horizons - 9 January 2006 - Pluto/Charon and Kuiper Belt Flyby
    • Dawn - 27 May 2006 - Asteroid Ceres and Vesta Orbiter
    • Kepler - October 2006 - Extrasolar Terrestrial Planet Detection Mission
    • Europa Orbiter - 2006 - Proposed Europa Orbiter
  • 2007
    • Planet-C - February 2007 - ISAS Venus Orbiter
    • Mars 2007 - Late 2007 - Mobile Scientific Laboratory, Small Scout Missions
    • Netlanders - Late 2007 - Mars Netlanders
    • Phobos-Grunt - 2007 - Phobos Sample Return
  • 2009
    • BepiColombo - August 2009 - ESA Mercury Orbiters
    • Mercury Orbiter - August 2009 - ISAS Mercury Orbiter
    • Mars 2009 - Late 2009 - Possible Communications Satellite, Small Net-Landers



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