NASA's 10 Greatest Achievements
By Raza Mehdi
July 28, 2022
Russia may have been the first to put a human in space beyond the Kármán line, but NASA was the first to put humans on the moon, winning the space race. July 20, 1969, was the first time humans walked on a planet other than Earth.
Apollo 11 - The Moon Landing
The Cassini mission was launched jointly by NASA, the ESA and the ASI to study Saturn in 1997 and ended in 2017. The space probe delivered some of the most breathtaking photos of the solar system and gave us a plethora of data about Saturn, its rings and moons.
The Cassini Mission
Known as a dwarf planet, Pluto has always been a mystery. The New Horizons probe spent 9 years in transit, finally intersecting with the planet's orbit in July 2015, providing us with a wealth of data that will keep researchers discovering more for years.
Hubble Space Telescope (a joint project between NASA, ESA and Space Telescope Science Institute) was a perfect gift for space researchers. Since 1990, Hubble has showered us with glorious, unprecedented images of the wonders of space.
The Hubble Space Telescope
It may have taken 9 years to reach Pluto, but the Voyager mission is even more ambitious, travelling beyond the solar system and collecting data as it goes. Voyager probes were launched in 1977, left the solar system and entered interstellar space, the first human-made objects to do so.
Kepler is a spacecraft launched in March 2009, orbiting the sun while scanning and searching for planets outside the solar system that could host life. During 9.6 years of orbit, Kepler led to the discovery of more than 2,600 planets by observing more than half a million stars.
The Kepler Mission
In 1972, NASA embarked on the Space Shuttle Program, which would go on to run until 2011. In the 30-year period between 1981 and 2011, it carried over 300 astronauts into low-Earth orbit.
The Space Shuttle Program
Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury and Pluto got probes but Mars got rovers. Mars rovers include the inactive - Sojourner, Spirit and Opportunity and the active Curiosity rover. Thanks to these rovers, we know so much more about Mars. The most recent addition was the Perseverance rover that touched down on Mars in February 2021.
The Mars Rover
The International Space Station is another joint project between five space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, the ESA and the CSA. Set in 2000 in low-Earth orbit, the station has allowed astronauts to spend time and conduct experiments in space.
The International Space Station
NASA launched its largest and most powerful space telescope on December 25, 2021. Webb will study every phase in the history of our universe, from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own solar system.
James Webb Space Telescope