Space Exploration - First planetary explorations

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First planetary explorations

The first artificial object to reach another celestial body was Luna 2 in 1959.The first automatic landing on another celestial body was performed by Luna 9 in 1966. Luna 10 became the first artificial satellite of the Moon.


The first manned landing on another celestial body was performed by Apollo 11 in its lunar landing on 20 July 1969.


The first successful interplanetary flyby was the 1962 Mariner 2 flyby of Venus (closest approach 34,773 kilometers). Flybys for the other planets were first achieved in 1965 for Mars by Mariner 4, 1973 for Jupiter by Pioneer 10, 1974 for Mercury by Mariner 10, 1979 for Saturn by Pioneer 11, 1986 for Uranus by Voyager 2, and 1989 for Neptune by Voyager 2.



The first interplanetary surface mission to return at least limited surface data from another planet was the 1970 landing of Venera 7 on Venus which returned data to earth for 23 minutes. In 1971 the Mars 3 mission achieved the first soft landing on Mars returning data for almost 20 seconds. Later much longer duration surface missions were achieved, including over 6 years of Mars surface operation by Viking 1 from 1975 to 1982 and over 2 hours of transmission from the surface of Venus by Venera 13 in 1982, the longest ever Soviet planetary surface mission.