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BEYOND EARTH

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Timeline 

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04/25/1990

The Hubble Space Telescope was released into Earth's Orbit by the Space Shuttle Discovery.

10/29/1991

As the U.S. Galileo spacecraft is on its way to Jupiter. It encountered Gaspra, an asteroid, that the Galileo triumphantly gathered data and images from.

4/23/1992

The U.S. Cosmic Background Explorer spacecraft sought out the structure of the galaxy.

12/2/1993

Endeavour was launched on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.

2/7/1994

The first Milstar Secure Communications satellite launched.  These Geosynchronous satellites are used by battlefield commanders for strategic communications.

3/15/1995

Aerospace giants Lockheed Corporation and Martin Marietta Corporation merged.

7/13/1995

Galileo released its space probe, which  was bound for Jupiter and its moons.

8/7/1996

NASA and Stanford University researchers announced a paper contending a 4 billion year old Martine meteorite was found in Antarctica in 1984. The meteorite contained fossilized traces of carbonate materials that suggested primitive life may have once existed on Mars.

7/4/1997

The Mars Pathfinder landed alongside the Sojourner Rover.  

8/1/1997

The Boeing Company and the McDonnell Douglas Corporation merged, keeping Boeing's name.

2/14/1998

Globalstar, a satellite mobile telephone company, launched its first four satellites on a Delta 2 Rocket.

7/23/1999

The Chandra X-ray Observatory, NASA's flagship base for X-ray astronomy, launched aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia.

3/23/2001

After being mothballed in 1999, Mir descended into Earth's atmosphere and breaks over the Pacific Ocean.

2/1/2003

The Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere, killing the crew.  Damage from insulation hitting the orbiter's leading wing on liftoff was later cited as the cause of the accident.

8/25/2003

NASA launched the Spitzer Space Telescope aboard a Delta rocket.

1/4/2004

The first Mars Exploration Rover, Spirit, landed on Mars.  Its twin, Opportunity, landed January 25th.

1/14/2004

President George W. Bush advocated space exploration missions to the moon and Mars for NASA in his Vision for Space Exploration speech.

1/19/2006

New Horizons, NASA's first-ever mission to the dwarf planet Pluto and its moons, launched atop an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. New Horizons flew past Jupiter one year later, which was considered to be NASA's fastest mission to date.

7/4/2006

Discovery began a successful space station-bound mission, returning the U.S. orbiter fleet to flight status.

9/9/2006

NASA resumed construction of the International Space Station with the launch of the shuttle Atlantis.  Atlantis' launch occurred after nearly four years without a station construction flight.

1/11/2007

China downed one of its weather satellites, Fengyun-1C, with a ground launched missile.  In doing so, China joined Russia and the United States. These were the only nations to have successfully tested anti-satelite weapons.  

8/8/2007

NASA's Space Shuttle, Endeavour, launched toward the International Space Station on the STS-118 construction mission. The shuttle crew included teacher-astronaut Barbara Morgan, NASA's first educator spaceflyer. 

9/27/2007

Dawn, the first ion-powered probe to visit two celestial bodies in one attempt, launched on an eight-year mission to the asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres, the two largest space rocks in the solar system.

10/1/2007

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, the first female commander of the International Space Station, prepared for a  launch on October 10th with her Expedition 16 crew mate Yuri Malenchenko. They were commanding a jointed space station construction mission.

Brian Dunbar. “About the Hubble Space Telescope”. NASA, Rob Garner, March 23, 2017, https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/story/index.html.


Brian Dunbar. “Countdown Begins August 24 for Space Shuttle Atlantis Launch”. NASA, Jim Wilson, November 25, 2007, https://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2006/aug/HQ_06132_115_launch_milestones.html.


Brian Dunbar. “Mars Pathfinder and Sojourner”. NASA, Rob Garner, August 10, 2012, https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mars-pathfinder/.


Brian Dunbar. “Mission Archives”. NASA, Jeanne Ryba, November 23, 2007, https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/archives/sts-118.html.


Brian Dunbar. “NASA’s Great Observatories”. NASA, Shelley Canright, April 13, 2009, https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/postsecondary/features/F_NASA_Great_Observatories_PS.html.


Brian Dunbar. “Peggy A. Whitson (P.H.D.) NASA Astronaut”. NASA, Jason Roberts, November 29, 2016, https://www.nasa.gov/astronauts/biographies/peggy-a-whitson/biography.


Brian Dunbar. “Space Shuttle Overview: Discovery (OV-103)”. NASA, Jeanne Ryba, April 12, 2013, https://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/shuttleoperations/orbiters/discovery-info.html.


“Building a New Boeing”. The Economist, August 10, 2000, http://www.economist.com/node/343468.


“China Confirms Satellite Downed”. BBC News, January 23, 2007, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6289519.stm.


Creative Commons, Affinity Bridge, https://creativecommons.org.


David M. Harland. “Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE)”. Encyclopedia Britannica, April 8, 2010, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Cosmic-Background-Explorer.


Denise Chow. “Saving Hubble: Astronauts Recall First Space Telescope Repair Mission 20 Years Ago”. Space.com, December 2, 2013, http://www.space.com/23640-hubble-space-telescope-repair-anniversary.html.


Donald L. Savage, James Hartsfield, David Salisbury. “Meteorite Yields Evidence of Primitive Life on Early Mars”. August 7, 1996, http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/snc/nasa1.html.

Elizabeth Howell. “Columbia Disaster: What Happened, What NASA Learned”. Space.com, February 1, 2013, http://www.space.com/19436-columbia-disaster.html.


Elizabeth Howell. “New Horizons: NASA’s Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt”. Space.com, February 25, 2016, http://www.space.com/19436-columbia-disaster.html.


Elizabeth Howell. “Spacecraft Galileo: To Jupiter and Its Moons”. Space.com, November 26, 2012, http://www.space.com/18632-galileo-spacecraft.html.


Jeff Cole. “Merger of Lockheed, Martin Marietta Would Create Giant Aerospace Firm”. The Wall Street Journal, August 30, 1994, https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB980786648156606188.


Jonathan O’Callaghan. “The Probe That Survived for 78 Minutes Inside Jupiter”. Space Answers, Imagine Publishing Ltd., June 18, 2012, https://www.spaceanswers.com/space-exploration/the-probe-that-survived-for-78-minutes-inside-jupiter/.


“Mars Exploration Rovers Summary”. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, https://mars.nasa.gov/mer/overview/.


“Milstar”. Encyclopedia Astronautica, 1997-2016, http://www.astronautix.com/m/milstar.html.


“Mir”. Wikipedia, Wikipedia Foundation, Inc., March 26, 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mir.


“President Bush Announces New Vision for Space Exploration Program”. The White House, January 14, 2004, https://history.nasa.gov/Bush%20SEP.htm.


Tariq Malik. “Dawn Spacecraft Begins Trek to Asteroid Belt”. Space.com, September 27, 2007, http://www.space.com/4403-dawn-spacecraft-begins-trek-asteroid-belt.html.


“Timeline: 50 Years of Spaceflight”. Space.com, September 28, 2012, http://www.space.com/4422-timeline-50-years-spaceflight.html

“About Chandra”. NASA, http://chandra.harvard.edu/about/.