PLANETARY SPACECRAFT


NAMELAUNCH
DATE
BOOSTERWEIGHT
lb (kg)
MISSION
Pioneer 5 (USA) 11-Mar-60Thor-Able95 (43) First deep-space probe, returned data from a distance of 22.7 million miles (36.5 million km).
Mars (USSR) 10-Oct-60SL-6/A-2-e1,410 (640) Mars probe, failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Mars (USSR) 14-Oct-60SL-6/A-2-e1,410 (640) Mars probe, failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Sputnik 7 (USSR) 4-Feb-61SL-6/A-2-e1,410 (640) Venus probe, failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Venera 1 (USSR) 12-Feb-61SL-6/A-2-e1,419 (644) Passed within 62,000 miles (100,000 km) of Venus but failed before encounter.
Mariner 1 (USA) 22-Jul-62Atlas-Agena445 (202) Venus probe, failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Venera (USSR) 25-Aug-62SL-6/A-2-e1,960 (890) Venus probe, failed to leave Earth orbit.
Mariner 2 (USA) 27-Aug-62Atlas-Agena447 (203) First successful fly-by of Venus. Found heavy atmosphere and hot surface, no magnetic field.
Venera (USSR) 1-Sep-62SL-6/A-2-e1,960 (890) Venus probe, failed to leave Earth orbit.
Venera (USSR) 12-Sep-62SL-6/A-2-e1,960 (890) Venus probe, failed to leave Earth orbit.
Mars (USSR) 24-Oct-62SL-6/A-2-e1,960 (890) Mars probe, failed to leave Earth orbit.
Mars 1 (USSR) 1-Nov-62SL-6/A-2-e1,970 (893) Mars probe, passed within 120,000 miles (193,000 km) of Mars but failed before encounter and before mid-course correction.
Mars (USSR) 4-Nov-62SL-6/A-2-e1,960 (890) Mars probe, failed to leave Earth orbit.
Cosmos 21 (USSR) 11-Nov-63SL-6/A-2-e1,960 (890) Venus probe, failed to leave Earth orbit.
Venera (USSR) 19-Feb-64SL-6/A-2-e1,960 (890) Venus probe, failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Cosmos 27 (USSR) 27-Mar-64SL-6/A-2-e1,960 (890) Venus probe, failed to leave Earth orbit.
Zond 1 (USSR) 2-Apr-64SL-6/A-2-e1,960 (890) Venus probe, passed within 62,000 miles (100,000 km) of Venus but failed before encounter.
Mariner 3 (USA) 5-Nov-64Atlas-Agena575 (261) Mars probe, failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Mariner 4 (USA) 28-Nov-64Atlas-Agena575 (261) First successful fly-by of Mars. 21 pictures returned. Found cratered surface, no canals or flowing water. Mostly carbon dioxide atmosphere, 1 per cent of Earth's sea-level pressure.
Zond 2 (USSR) 30-Nov-64SL-6/A-2-e1,960 (890) Mars probe, passed within 930 miles (1,500 km) of Mars but failed before encounter.
Venera 2 (USSR) 12-Nov-65SL-6/A-2-e2,123 (963) Venus fly-by, probe failed at encounter.
Venera 3 (USSR) 16-Nov-65SL-6/A-2-e2,120 (960) First Venus atmosphere entry, failed to return data.
Cosmos 96 (USSR) 23-Nov-65SL-6/A-2-e2,120 (960) Venus probe, failed to leave Earth orbit.
Pioneer 6 (USA) 16-Dec-65Delta135 (61) Solar probe, orbiting Sun inside Earth's orbit.
Pioneer 7 (USA) 17-Aug-66Delta135 (61) Solar probe, orbiting Sun outside Earth's orbit.
Venera 4 (USSR) 12-Jun-67SL-6/A-2-e2,439 (1,106) First successful Venus atmosphere entry. Returned data to within 15.5 miles (25 km) of surface. Entry probe 845 lb (383 kg).
Mariner 5 (USA) 14-Jun-67Atlas-Agena540 (245) Venus probe fly-by, 2,500 miles (4,000 km) from planet.
Cosmos 167 (USSR) 17-Jun-67SL-6/A-2-e2,425 (1,100) Venus probe, failed to leave Earth orbit.
Pioneer 8 (USA) 13-Dec-67Delta145 (66) Solar probe, orbiting Sun outside Earth's orbit.
Pioneer 9 (USA) 8-Nov-68Delta148 (67) Solar probe, orbiting Sun inside Earth's orbit.
Venera 5 (USSR) 5-Jan-69SL-6/A-2-e2,490 (1,130) Venus atmosphere probe, 893 lb (405 kg). Crushed during descent.
Venera 6 (USSR) 10-Jan-69SL-6/A-2-e2,490 (1,130) Venus atmosphere probe, 893 lb (405 kg). Crushed during descent.
Mariner 6 (USA) 24-Feb-69Atlas-Centaur911 (413) Mars fly-by probe, returned data and 75 pictures.
Mariner 7 (USA) 27-Mar-69Atlas-Centaur911 (413) Mars fly-by probe, returned data and 126 pictures.
Mars (USSR) 27-Mar-69SL-12/D-1-e7,035 (3,190) Mars probe, failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Mars (USSR) 2-Apr-69SL-12/D-1-e7,035 (3,190) Mars probe, failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Pioneer E (USA) 27-Aug-69Delta148 (67) Solar probe, failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Venera 7 (USSR) 17-Aug-70SL-6/A-2-e2,600 (1,180) Venus atmosphere entry probe, 1,091 lb (495 kg). First successful to survive to surface.
Cosmos 359 (USSR) 22-Aug-70SL-6/A-2-e2,600 (1,180) Venus probe, failed to leave Earth orbit.
Mariner 8 (USA) 8-May-71Atlas-Centaur2,273 (1,031) Mars probe, failed to achieve Earth orbit.
Cosmos 419 (USSR) 10-May-71SL-12/D-1-e10,250 (4,650) Mars probe, failed to leave Earth orbit.
Mars 2 (USSR) 19-May-71SL-12/D-1-e10,253 (4,650) Mars probe. Returned data from orbit but lander failed to return any data.
Mars 3 (USSR) 28-May-71SL-12/D-1-e10,253 (4,650) Mars probe. Returned data from orbit but lander failed after reaching surface. Entry probe 1,400 lb (635 kg); surface payload 992 lb (450 kg).
Mariner 9 (USA) 30-May-71Atlas-Centaur2,270 (1,030) First successful Mars orbiter. Returned over 7,000 pictures of surface and moons.
Pioneer 10 (USA) 3-Mar-72Atlas-Centaur570 (258) First successful fly-by of Jupiter.
Venera 8 (USSR) 27-Mar-72SL-6/A-2-e2,602 (1,180) Venus atmosphere entry probe, 1,090 lb (495 kg). Returned air and surface data from day side.
Cosmos 482 (USSR) 31-Mar-72SL-6/A-2-e2,600 (1,180) Venus probe, failed to leave Earth orbit.
Pioneer 11 (USA) 6-Apr-73Atlas-Centaur571 (259) Jupiter probe. First successful fly-by of Saturn providing detailed view of ring structure.
Mars 4 (USSR) 21-Jul-73SL-12/D-1-e8,710 (3,950) Mars probe, failed to achieve orbit. Returned fly-by data.
Mars 5 (USSR) 25-Jul-73SL-12/D-1-e8,710 (3,950) Returned data from Mars orbit.
Mars 6 (USSR) 5-Aug-73SL-12/D-1-e8,710 (3,950) Mars fly-by. Lander returned 150 sec of data during descent.
Mars 7 (USSR) 9-Aug-73SL-12/D-1-e8,710 (3,950) Mars fly-by. Lander probe failed to enter Mars atmosphere.
Mariner 10 (USA) 3-Nov-73Atlas-Centaur1,109 (503) First TV pictures of Venus fly-by. Three fly-by encounters with Mercury.
Hellos 1 (US/FRG) 10-Dec-74Titan-Centaur816 (370) Solar probe orbiting within 0.3 AU of Sun.
Venera 9 (USSR) 8-Jun-75SL-12/D-1-e10,884 (4,936) Venus lander. Returned data and first TV pictures from surface. Orbiter returned data. Entry sphere 3,440 lb (1,560 kg); surface payload 1,455 lb (660 kg).
Venera 10 (USSR) 14-Jun-75SL-12/D-1-e11,098 (5,033) Venus lander returned data and pictures from surface. Orbiter returned data. Entry sphere 3,440 lb (1,560 kg); surface payload 1,455 lb (660 kg).
Viking 1 (USA) 20-Aug-75Titan-Centaur7,497 (3,400) Mars orbiter returned pictures and data. First successful Mars landing. Returned pictures and data. Orbiter 5,125 lb (2,224 kg); lander surface weight 1,270 lb (576 kg).
Viking 2 (USA) 9-Sep-75Titan-Centaur7,497 (3,490) Mars orbiter returned pictures and data. Mars lander returned pictures and data. Orbiter 5,125 lb (2,224 kg); lander surface weight 1,270 lb (576 kg).
Hellos 2 (US/FRG) 15-Jan-76Titan-Centaur830 (376) Solar probe orbiting within 0.29 AU of Sun.
Voyager 2 (USA) 20-Aug-77Titan-Centaur1,797 (815) Fly-by probe of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Returned pictures and data.
Voyager 1 (USA) 5-Sep-77Titan-Centaur1,797 (815) Fly-by probe of Jupiter and Saturn. Returned pictures and data. Discovered volcanoes on Io, Jupiter ring, new Saturn moons and ring structure.
Pioneer-Venus 1 (USA) 20-May-78Atlas-Centaur1,283 (582) Venus orbiter, returned pictures and data.
Pioneer-Venus 2 (USA) 8-Aug-78Atlas-Centaur1,993 (904) Venus bus, released four entry probes before encounter. Returned data from surface.
ICE (USA)12-Aug-78 Delta478 (217) Originally launched as International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3). Transfer to escape trajectory and renamed International Comet Explorer. First ever comet fly-by on 2-Sep-85 of Giacobini-Zinner Comet.
Venera 11 (USSR) 9-Sep-78SL-12/D-1-e9,812 (4,450) Venus fly-by probe, returned data. Lander returned atmosphere and surface data, descent payload 3,528 lb (1,600 kg).
Venera 12 (USSR) 14-Sep-78SL-12/D-1-e9,837 (4,461) Venus fly-by probe, returned data. Lander returned atmosphere and surface data, descent payload 3,554 lb (1,612 kg).
Venera 13 (USSR) 30-Oct-81SL-12/D-1-e9,620 (4,363) Venus fly-by probe, first color pictures of surface. Conducted first soil analysis at landing site, descent payload 3,627 lb (1,645 kg).
Venera 14 (USSR) 4-Nov-81SL-12/D-1-e9,620 (4,363) Venus fly-by probe, returned color pictures of landing site and conducted analysis of soil, descent payload 3,627 lb (1,645 kg).
Venera 15 (USSR) 2-Jun-83SL-12/D-1-e11,574 (5,250) Venus orbiter. radar surface mapper.
Venera 16 (USSR) 7-Jun-83SL-12/D-1-e11,819 (5,360) Venus orbiter. radar surface mapper.
Vega 1 (USSR)15-Dec-84 SL-12/D-1-e10,850 (4,920) Venus lander and French atmosphere balloon probe. Halley's Comet fly-by 6-Mar-86.
Vega 2 (USSR)21-Dec-84 SL-12/D-1-e10,850 (4,920) Venus lander and French atmosphere balloon probe. Halley's Comet fly-by 9-Mar-86.
Sakigake (Japan) 7-Jan-85Mu-3SII305 (138) First Japanese deep space probe. Distant Halley's Comet fly-by 11-Mar-86.
Giotto (ESA)2-Jul-85 Ariane 11,265 (574) First close encounter with a comet. Halley's Comet fly-by 14-Mar-86.
Suisei (Japan) 18-Aug-85Mu-3SII308 (140) Japanese deep space probe. Distant Halley's Comet fly-by 11-Mar-86.
Phobos 1 (USSR) 7-Jul-88SL-12/D-1-e13,715 (6,220) Mars probe failed due to telemetry message error.
Phobos 2 (USSR) 12-Jul-88SL-12/D-1-e13,715 (6,220) Mars orbiter, contact lost before planned fly-by of the moon Phobos.
Magellan (USA) 4-May-89Shuttle/IUS7,662 (3,475) Venus orbiter, radar surface and gravity field mapper; arrived at Venus 10-Aug-90. First spacecraft to lower its orbit by using planet's atmosphere (aerobraking).
Galileo (USA)18-Oct-89 Shuttle/IUS5,985 (2,715) Jupiter orbiter, atmosphere probe. First fly-by of an asteroid, 951 Gaspra Oct-91 and 243 Ida Aug-93. First Jupiter atmosphere entry, returned 58 min of data. Arrived at Jupiter 7-Dec-95; disintegrated in Jupiter atmosphere 21-Sep-03. Orbiter 2,846 lb (1,291 kg); entry probe 739 lb (335 kg).
Ulysses (ESA/US) 6-Oct-90Shuttle/IUS818 (371) Jupiter gravity assist International Solar Polar Mission (ISPM).
Mars Observer (USA) 25-Sep-92Titan III/TOS4,630 (2,100) Mars orbiter, contact lost before entering orbit.
Wind (USA)1-Nov-94 Delta II2,635 (1,195) Solar probe, orbiting Sun inside Earth's orbit.
NEAR (USA)17-Feb-96 Delta II2,480 (1,125) Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous, placed in orbit around 433 Eros 14-Feb-00; first Eros orbit attempt failed Dec-99; asteroid Mathilde flyby Jun-97. Landed on Eros 12-Feb-01.
Mars Global Surveyor (USA) 7-Nov-96Delta II2,341 (1,062) Mars orbiter. Arrived 12-Sep-97 for mapping through Jan-00. Mass at Mars arrival 1,691 lb (767 kg). Contact lost 2-Nov-06.
Mars 96 (Russia) 16-Nov-96SL-12/D-1-e15,045 (6,825) Mars probe, failed to leave earth orbit.
Mars Pathfinder (USA) 4-Dec-96Delta II1,962 (890) Mars lander, first planetary rover (Sojourner). Lander mass 794 lb (360 kg); microrover 35 lb (16 kg). Landed 4-Jul-97.
Cassini-Huygens (USA, ESA, Italy) 15-Oct-97Titan-Centaur12,421 (5,634) Saturn orbiter (Cassini) and Titan probe (Huygens). Orbiter arrived at Saturn 30-Jun-2004 for start of 4-year mission. Probe successfully landed on Titan 14-Jan-2005 returning data and images. Orbiter mass 4,740 lb (2,150 kg); probe 770 lb (350 kg).
Nozomi (Japan) 3-Jul-98M-V-31,190 (540) Mars orbiter. Planned arrival was 11-Oct-99, but malfunctions delayed arrival to Dec-03. Mission abandoned Dec-03.
Mars Climate Orbiter (USA) 11-Dec-98Delta II1,387 (629) Mars orbiter. Lost during attempted orbit insertion 23-Sep-99 due to navigation error.
Mars Polar Lander (USA) 3-Jan-99Delta II1,270 (576) Mars lander, including Deep Space 2 microprobes. Communication lost during attempted landing 3-Dec-99. Cause of failure likely premature engine shutdown.
Stardust (USA) 7-Feb-99Delta II838 (380) Comet flyby and sample return. Encountered Comet Wild 2 on 2-Jan-04; sample cannister successfully returned to Earth 15-Jan-06.
2001 Mars Odyssey (USA) 7-Apr-01Delta II1,598 (725) Mars orbiter. Arrived 24-Oct-01 for mapping and global observations through Aug-04. On-orbit dry mass 830 lb (376 kg).
Hayabusa (Japan) 9-May-03M-V-51,168 (530) Asteroid orbiter and sample return. Arrived at asteroid Itokawa Sep-05; reentry capsule was returned to Earth on 13-Jun-10. Originally named MUSES-C.
Mars Express (ESA) 2-Jun-03Soyuz/Fregat2,469 (1,120) Mars orbiter & lander (Beagle 2). Orbiter arrived 25-Dec-03. Communication with lander failed, cause unknown. Orbiter mass 249 lb (113 kg); lander 132 lb (60 kg).
Mars Exploration Rover A (USA) 10-Jun-03Delta II2,343 (1,063) Mars lander & rover (Spirit). Landed 3-Jan-04 for start of 90-day mission; last communication with Earth was sent 22-Mar-10. Lander mass 767 lb (348 kg); rover 408 lb (185 kg).
Mars Exploration Rover B (USA) 7-Jul-03Delta II2,343 (1,063) Mars lander & rover (Opportunity). Landed 24-Jan-04 for start of 90-day mission; still operating in 2012. Lander mass 767 lb (348 kg); rover 408 lb (185 kg).
Rosetta (ESA) 2-Mar-04Ariane 5 G+6,600 (3,000) Coment orbiter and lander (Philae). Scheduled arrival at Comet 67 P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is May-2014 for start of 1.5-year science mission. Two asteroid flybys planned. Orbiter mass 2,640 lb (1,200 kg); Lander mass 220 lb (100 kg).
MESSENGER (USA) 3-Aug-04Delta II2,400 (1,100) Mercury orbiter. Flybys of Mercury in Jan-08, Oct-08 and Sep-09; orbit insertion achieved 18-Mar-11 for start of planned 1-year mapping and science mission.
Deep Impact (USA) 12-Jan-05Delta II2,249 (1,020) Flyby spacecraft and impactor to study interior of Comet Tempel 1; impact successfully occured 4-Jul-05. Flyby spacecraft mass 1,433 lb (650 kg); impactor 816 lb (370 kg).
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (USA) 12-Aug-05Atlas V4,806 (2,180) Mars orbiter. Arrived 10-Mar-06 for low-altitude science observation, site investigation for future landings, and telecommunication & navigation relay for follow-on missions.
Venus Express (ESA) 9-Nov-05Soyuz/Fregat2,734 (1,240) Venus orbiter. Arrived 11-Apr-06 for start of mission to study the planet's atmosphere.
New Horizons (USA) 19-Jan-06Atlas V1,054 (478) Pluto-Charon fly-by probe. Scheduled arrival is mid-2015 for 5-month geological study and mapping mission.
Phoenix (USA) 3-Aug-07Delta II1,477 (670) Mars lander. Landed 25-May-08 to begin 90-day mission to study the history of water and search for organic molecules in the martian arctic soil. Lander mass 772 lb (350 kg).
Dawn (USA) 27-Sep-07Delta II2,685 (1,218) Asteroid orbiter to study protoplanets with goal of characterizing the conditions and processes of the early solar system; entered orbit around Vesta 16-Jul-11, scheduled to arrive at Ceres Feb-2015.
Mars Science Laboratory (USA) 26-Nov-11Atlas V 5418,580 (3,893) Mars rover with integrated instrument package (Curiosity). Landed 6-Aug-12 for start of 687-day (one Martian year) mission to investigate Mars' habitability, study its climate and geology, and collect data for a manned mission to Mars. Rover mass 1,980 lb (899 kg).

Compiled and edited by Robert A. Braeunig, 1996-2012.
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