WATCH: 24 of the most famous space launches ever
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy test is just the latest.
On February 6, 2018, SpaceX successfully tested its Falcon Heavy rocket, the largest vessel to launch since the Saturn V, which carried Apollo astronauts to the moon. To celebrate the return of large rockets, here’s a video of the 24 most famous space launches ever. Watch the video, above, or continue on to read the list of the featured missions. And while we’ve got you here, why not subscribe to Popular Science on YouTube?
1. V-2 Rocket (October 24, 1946): The first photo of Earth ever taken from space.
2. Bumper 2 (July 1950): The first rocket launched at Cape Canaveral. Its second stage went 250 miles up—that’s higher than the orbit of the International Space Station.
3. Sputnik-1 (October 4, 1957): The world’s first artificial satellite. It was the size of a beach ball.
4. Sputnik-2 (November 3, 1957): Inside this rocket was Laika, a Soviet street dog that became the first animal to orbit Earth.
5. Vostok 1 (April 12, 1961): Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human in space.
6. Mariner 2 (August 27, 1962): The first successful planetary flyby (Venus).
7. Vostok 6 (June 16-19, 1963): Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman in space.
8. Voskhod 2 (March 18-19, 1965): Alexey Leonov becomes the first human to spacewalk.
9. Apollo 8 (December 21-27, 1968): Frank F. Borman II, James A. Lovell Jr., and William A. Andersirst become the first humans to leave Earth’s orbit and orbit another celestial body. They celebrate Christmas at the Moon.
10. Apollo 11 (July 16-24, 1969): Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. become the first humans to land and walk on the moon.
11. Apollo 13 (April 11-17, 1970): Due to an oxygen tank that exploded on the way to the moon, Apollo 13 never made a lunar landing. Instead it orbited around Earth’s only natural satellite and safely returned home.
12. Pioneer 10 (March 2, 1972): The first spacecraft to pass all of the planets in our solar system.
13. Apollo-Soyuz (Docking: July 17-19, 1975): The first joint mission between the U.S. and the USSR.
14. Viking 1 (July 20, 1976): The first successful lander on Mars.
15. STS-1 (April 12-14, 1981): The first reusable space vehicle.
16. STS-41B (February 3-11, 1984): Bruce McCandless II becomes the first human to perform an untethered spacewalk.
17. STS-31 (April 24-29, 1990): The Hubble Space Telescope launches.
18. Mars Pathfinder (December 4, 1996): The first rover to successfully land on Mars.
19. International Space Station (November 20, 1998): The first piece (Zarya) launched aboard a Russian Proton rocket.
20. New Horizons (January 19, 2006): The first Pluto flyby.
21. Juno (August 5, 2011): A scientific exploration of Jupiter.
22. Blue Origin New Shepard (November 23, 2015): The first reusable rocket landing.
23. SpaceX Falcon 9 (April 8, 2016): The first reusable rocket landing on an autonomous droneship.
24. SpaceX Falcon Heavy (February 6, 2018): The first simultaneous rocket landing.