Space exploration archive

In July 2005 the NASA spacecraft Deep Impact watched as a projectile made the first controlled collision with a comet.
Launched in January 2006, 'New Horizons' will explore Pluto and its three moons.
This archive of space missions is not currently being updated.
The first mission to Pluto, NASA's 'New Horizons' probe, was launched on 19 January 2006. 
Information on Ulysses, the joint ESA/NASA mission exploring space above the poles of the Sun.
Iridium was a telecommunications company which used small satellites to provide a mobile system which could work anywhere on the Earth’s...
The Russian space station Mir (meaning 'Peace') was launched in 1986 by the then Soviet Union.
In 1997 an ambitious voyage began with the launch of the joint NASA-ESA mission Cassini-Huygens.
In 2010, the GAIA spacecraft will begin to produce a three-dimensional map of the stars in the Milky Way.
Galileo was a NASA spacecraft mission to Jupiter, launched October 1989, operating until September 2003.
Launched in October 2002, Integral is ESA’s first gamma ray observatory.
International Space Station - 20 August 2001
November and December 1998 saw the launch of the first two modules of the International Space Station.
The satellite HIPPARCOS, developed by the European Space Agency was the first ever 'astrometric' satellite.
NASA's Genesis probe was the first attempt to collect samples of the solar wind and return them to Earth.
The Stardust probe was the first mission to collect dust and carbon-based samples from a comet and return them to Earth.
In 2008 NASA launched the Kepler mission, a space-based observatory to look for Earth-like planets.
DSP is a joint mission between ESA and CNSA to study the effects of the Sun on the Earth's magnetosphere.
The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is a spacecraft investigating the Sun.
Venus Express, Europe's first mission to our nearest planetary neighbour, reached its final orbit on 7 May 2006.
The MESSENGER Spacecraft
ESA launched the Rosetta probe in 2004, to study the surface of a comet at close range.
Mars Express
The European-built probe 'Mars Express' is in low-orbit around Mars.
In 2008 the European Space Agency (ESA) launched a probe to Mercury, scheduled to arrive in 2019.
The High-Energy Transient Explorer (HETE-2)
The High-Energy Transient Explorer (HETE-2) satellite was launched in October 2000.
Messenger is a NASA probe en route to Mercury. It should enter orbit around the planet in March 2011.
The British-made probe Beagle 2 was declared lost in January 2004. The probe was due to land on Mars on Christmas morning 2003.
Images from the Cassini probe show a previously unknown ring of icy material around Saturn.
In 2006 the Mars Express probe imaged the Cydonia region of Mars solving the mystery of the legendary ‘face’.
In 2006 the NASA probe Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter imaged the robotic rover Opportunity on the edge of the Victoria Crater on Mars.
The European Space Agency (ESA) spacecraft Mars Express has discovered a layer of water ice deep beneath the surface of Mars.
In 1999 'Galileo' gave clear views of Callisto, revealing a landscape of ice and dust on one of the oldest surfaces in the Solar system.
After several delays and a wait of over a year, the space shuttle Discovery took off on 4 July 2006.
The Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn found lakes near the north pole of the largest moon, Titan.
On 17 July 2006, the shuttle Discovery landed safely at the Kennedy Space Center after 13 days in space.
After a 2-year mission to the Moon, the SMART-1 probe crashed into the lunar surface at 0642 BST on 3 September 2006.