NASA Timeline
Timeline Description: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration began sending space shuttles into space more than sixty years ago. Their discoveries have been vast, and they continue making strides for mankind today.

Date Event
October 1, 1958 NASA begins operation

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration began operations in October 1958. Up until that time, aeronautics had been researched by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.
October 11, 1958 First shuttle launch

Other shuttles had been launched from American soil in the past, including Sputnik I. NASA launched their first shuttle called Pioneer I.
December 6, 1958 the Pioneer 3

NASA launched a satellite into space called the Pioneer 3. It was the highest-launched satellite of its day, reaching an altitude of 63,580 miles.
December 18, 1958 A Christmas message from space

Using a newly placed satellite in space, President Eisenhower broadcast his national Christmas message to the entire country. The satellite was nicknamed Project Score.
March 3, 1959 First lunar flyby

NASA officially launched America's first satellite to complete a lunar flyby. The Pioneer 4 went to the moon.
May 28, 1959 Monkeys to the moon

In a launch to Jupiter, NASA sent two monkeys, named Abe and Baker, into outer space. They successfully launched from a new location in Florida, and then recovered the space shuttle after it had landed in the Atlantic Ocean.
April 1, 1960 A satellite to predict the weather

America launched their first weather satellite which would observe Earth's weather. It was called TIROS 1.
May 5, 1961 Man in space

Astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. became the first man in outer space when he piloted the Freedom 7 into orbit. His flight lasted nearly 15 minutes, and he landed successfully in the Atlantic Ocean.
February 20, 1962 Orbiting Earth

In the first manned spacecraft to orbit Earth, John Glenn made three circles around the planet. His spacecraft was Friendship 7.
July 10, 1962 Phone and TV signals

Using Telstar l, NASA launched the first privately funded satellite. The satellite was the first to relay phone and television signals to earth, paving the way for the cable and cellular networks that we have today.
1964 Testing for a moon landing

President John F. Kennedy announced in 1961 that NASA would enact Project Apollo, with the mission of landing a man on the moon. Testing was done throughout 1964 to make this possible, including flight simulations, driving a lunar landing training vehicle on the moon, and other tests.
June 3, 1965 Spacewalking is achieved

The Gemini IV launched and stayed in space for four days in preparation for the upcoming Apollo mission. Astronaut Edward H. White II performed the first American spacewalk.
March 16, 1966 Space docking

Neil Armstrong and David Scott, two American astronauts for NASA, performed the first orbital docking of two space crafts while in space. It was a huge accomplishment for NASA, as they prepared for landing on the moon.
October 3, 1967 A record for speed

NASA pilots broke the record for speed while test piloting in the Mojave Desert in California. They went 4,534 miles per hour.
July 20, 1969 Landing on the moon

Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin became the first men on the moon when Apollo 11 landed on the lunar surface. Armstrong made his famous statement, "One small step for man-one giant leap for mankind."
November 13, 1971 Orbiting other planets

NASA launched Mariner 9. It was the first shuttle to orbit another planet; Mars. NASA would continue this important work over the years, by exploring each of the planets in our solar system.
January 29, 1998 The International Space Station

Major space programs around the world began working together over the years, including America, Russia, and China. The International Space Station is a joint effort to research and experiment in biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology, and more.