List of spaceflight records

Summary

Several records and firsts in spaceflight have been documented since the field's beginnings in the 20th century. Achievements in spaceflight are broadly divided into crewed and uncrewed categories. Records involving animal spaceflight have also been noted in earlier experimental flights, typically to establish the feasibility of sending humans to outer space.

The first space rendezvous was accomplished by Gemini 6A and Gemini 7 in 1965

The notion of "firsts" in spaceflight is closely tied to the Space Race. During the 1950s and 1960s, the Soviet Union and the United States competed with each other to be the first countries to accomplish various feats. In 1957 the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial orbital satellite. In 1961 Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to enter space aboard Vostok 1, and in 1969 American Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first person to set foot on the Moon. Following the conclusion of the Apollo program in 1972, no human has since traveled beyond low earth orbit. During the 1970s the Soviet Union directed its energies to human habitation of space stations for increasing periods of time. In the 1980s the United States began launching its Space Shuttles, craft which allowed for larger crew sizes and thus larger numbers of people in space at a given time. Following their first mission of détente on the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, the Soviet Union and the United States again collaborated with each other on the Shuttle-Mir initiative, efforts which led to the International Space Station (ISS) which has been continuously inhabited by humans for over 20 years.

Other firsts in spaceflight involve demographics, private enterprise, and distance. Dozens of countries have sent at least one traveler to space, and in 1963 Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman in space aboard Vostok 6. Throughout the 20th century spaceflight was the domain of government agencies, but this began to change in the early 21st century as private business engaged the field. In 2004 the sub-orbital spaceplane SpaceShipOne became the first privately funded craft to enter space; in 2020 SpaceX's Dragon 2 became the first privately developed orbital vehicle, ferrying a crew to the ISS. As of 2022 the uncrewed probe Voyager 1 is the most distant artificial object from the Earth, part of a small class of vehicles which are leaving the Solar System.

First independent suborbital and orbital human spaceflight by countryEdit

Country Mission Crew Spacecraft Launch vehicle Date Type
  USSR[1] Vostok 1[1] Yuri Gagarin[1] Vostok 3KA[1] Vostok-K[1] 12 April 1961[1] Orbital[1]
  USA[2] Mercury-Redstone 3 (Freedom 7)[2] Alan Shepard[2] Mercury Spacecraft No.7[2] Mercury-Redstone[2] 5 May 1961[2] Sub-orbital[2]
  USA[3] Mercury-Atlas 6 (Friendship 7)[3] John Glenn[3] Mercury Spacecraft No.13[3] Atlas LV-3B 20 February 1962[3] Orbital[3]
  USSR Soyuz 18A Vasily Lazarev, Oleg Makarov Soyuz 7K-T Soyuz 11A511 5 April 1975 Sub-orbital
  Russia Soyuz TM-14 Aleksandr Viktorenko, Aleksandr Kaleri, Klaus-Dietrich Flade Soyuz-TM Soyuz-U2 17 March 1992 Orbital
  China[4] Shenzhou 5[4] Yang Liwei[4] Shenzhou spacecraft[4] Long March 2F[4] 15 October 2003[4] Orbital[4]
  Russia Soyuz MS-10 Aleksey Ovchinin, Nick Hague Soyuz-MS Soyuz-FG 11 October 2018 Sub-orbital

Human spaceflight firstsEdit

Note: Some space records are disputed as a result of ambiguities surrounding the border of space. Most records follow the FAI definition of the space border which the FAI sets at an altitude of 100 km (62.14 mi). By contrast, the NASA-, USAF- and FAA-defined border of space is at 50 mi (80.47 km).

First Person(s) Mission Country Date
  • Person to reach space
  • Person in orbit
 
Yuri Gagarin
Vostok 1[5]   USSR 12 April 1961
  • Person to make suborbital flight
  • Person to land in a spacecraft after spaceflight (thus the first complete human spaceflight by then FAI definitions)[6]
  • Person to land in water (splashdown)
  • Person to pilot a craft in space[7]
Alan Shepard Freedom 7   USA 5 May 1961
  • Person in space for over 24 hours[8]
  • Multiple orbits during a spaceflight
Gherman Titov Vostok 2   USSR 6 August 1961 –
7 August 1961
Person to land in a spacecraft after orbital flight John Glenn Friendship 7   USA 20 February 1962
  • Group flight[9]
  • Adjacent orbits
  • Spacecraft-to-spacecraft communications
  USSR 12 August 1962 –
15 August 1962
  • Woman in space
  • Civilian in space
Valentina Tereshkova Vostok 6[10]   USSR 16 June 1963 –
19 June 1963
Spaceflight (suborbital) by winged spacecraft Joe Walker X-15 Flight 90   USA 19 July 1963
Person to enter space twice (suborbital flights above 100 kilometres (62 mi)) Joe Walker X-15 Flights 90 and 91   USA 22 August 1963
  • Three-person spaceflight in a single spacecraft
  • Persons to land in a spacecraft on hard ground
  • Human spaceflight without pressurized spacesuits
Voskhod 1[5]   USSR 12 October 1964 –
13 October 1964
Spacewalk
 
Alexei Leonov
Voskhod 2[5]   USSR 18 March 1965
Orbital maneuvers (change orbit) Gus Grissom, John W. Young Gemini 3[5]   USA 23 March 1965
Person to fly two orbital spaceflights Gordon Cooper   USA
  • 15 May 1963 –
    16 May 1963
  • 21 August 1965 –
    29 August 1965
Persons to spend one week in space Gemini 5   USA 21 August 1965 –
29 August 1965
  • Space rendezvous (orbital maneuver and station-keeping)
  • Four people in space at the same time
  USA 15 December 1965 –
16 December 1965
Space docking
 
Gemini 8 and Agena[5]   USA 16 March 1966
Multiple (dual) rendezvous (with Agena 10, then Agena 8)[11] Gemini 10   USA
  • 19 July 1966
  • 20 July 1966
Spaceflight fatality (during landing) Vladimir Komarov Soyuz 1   USSR 23 April 1967 –
24 April 1967
  • Person to complete three spaceflights
  • Person to fly three different types of spacecraft
Walter Schirra   USA 22 October 1968
  • Persons to leave low Earth orbit (LEO)
  • Persons to enter the gravitational influence of another celestial body
  • Persons to enter lunar orbit
 
Apollo 8   USA 24 December 1968 –
25 December 1968
  • Space docking of two crewed spacecraft
  • Dual spacewalk
  • Сrew transfer (Khrunov, Yeliseyev)[12]
  USSR 16 January 1969
Solo flight around the Moon John Young Apollo 10   USA 22 May 1969
  • Moon landing
  • Planetary surface EVA
 
Apollo 11   USA 20 July 1969
Five people in space at the same time   USSR 12 October 1969 –
13 October 1969
  • Triple spaceflight
  • Seven people in space at the same time
  USSR 13 October 1969 –
16 October 1969
Person to complete four spaceflights James A. Lovell   USA 17 April 1970
  • Person to fly two lunar flights
  • Person to complete two flights beyond low Earth orbit
James A. Lovell   USA 11 April 1970 –
17 April 1970
  USA 11 April 1970 –
17 April 1970
  • People to spend two weeks in space
  • Night launch
Soyuz 9   USSR 1 June 1970 –
19 June 1970
People to EVA out of sight of their spacecraft Apollo 14   USA 6 February 1971
  • Docking with space station (soft dock)
  • Night landing
  USSR 22 April 1971 –
24 April 1971
  • Crewed space station
  • In-space fatalities

 
  USSR 7 June 1971 –
29 June 1971
People to travel in a wheeled vehicle on a planetary body other than Earth
 
Apollo 15   USA 31 July 1971–
2 August 1971
Deep space EVA (trans-Earth trajectory) Al Worden Apollo 15   USA 5 August 1971
Person to be in lunar orbit twice (during separate lunar expeditions) John W. Young   USA 16 April 1972 –
27 April 1972
People in orbit for four weeks Skylab 2   USA 25 May 1973 –
22 June 1973
People in orbit for eight weeks Skylab 3   USA 28 July 1973 –
25 September 1973
People in orbit for 12 weeks Skylab 4   USA 16 November 1973 –
8 February 1974
  • Spaceflight aborted during liftoff (at 145 kilometers (90 mi) altitude)
  • Re-entry with 20g acceleration (emergency)
Vasily Lazarev, Oleg Makarov Soyuz 18a   USSR 5 April 1975
First international docking Thomas P. Stafford, Vance D. Brand, Donald K. SlaytonUSA

Alexei Leonov, Valeri KubasovUSSR

Apollo CSM, Soyuz 19  USA

 USSR

17 July 1975
Crew to visit occupied space station Vladimir Dzhanibekov, Oleg Makarov Soyuz 27 visits Salyut 6 EO-1 crew   USSR 10 January 1978 –
16 January 1978
People in orbit 19 weeks
(4 months)
Vladimir Kovalyonok, Aleksandr Ivanchenkov Salyut 6 EO-2, Soyuz 29-Soyuz 31   USSR 15 June 1978 –
2 November 1978
People in orbit 26 weeks
(6 months)
Leonid Popov, Valery Ryumin Salyut 6 EO-4, Soyuz 35-Soyuz 37   USSR 9 April 1980 –
11 October 1980
  • Spaceflight (orbital) by winged spacecraft
  • Reuseable spacecraft (partially expendable launch vehicle)
STS-1   USA 12 April 1981
Person to fly four different types of spacecraft John W. Young
  • Gemini
  • Apollo
  • Lunar Module
  • Space Shuttle
  USA 12 April 1981
Person to complete five spaceflights John W. Young   USA 14 April 1981
Four-person spaceflight in a single spacecraft STS-5   USA 11 November 1982 –
16 November 1982
Five-person spaceflight in a single spacecraft STS-7   USA 18 June 1983 –
24 June 1983
Six-person spaceflight in a single spacecraft STS-9
  •   USA
  •   West Germany
28 November 1983 –
8 December 1983
Person to complete six spaceflights John W. Young   USA 8 December 1983
Untethered spacewalk
 
Bruce McCandless II STS-41-B[13]   USA 7 February 1984
Eight people in space at the same time (no docking) Salyut 7 EO-3, Soyuz T-10, STS-41-B
8 February 1984 –
11 February 1984
11 people in space at the same time (no docking) STS-41-C, Salyut 7 EO-3, Soyuz T-10-Soyuz T-11
6 April 1984 –
11 April 1984
People to complete four spacewalks during the same mission Leonid Kizim, Vladimir Solovyov Salyut 7   USSR 26 April –
18 May 1984
Spacewalk by a woman Svetlana Savitskaya Soyuz T-12   USSR 25 July 1984
Welding in space Vladimir Dzhanibekov, Svetlana Savitskaya Salyut 7, Soyuz T-12   USSR 25 July 1984
People in orbit 33 weeks (7 months) Leonid Kizim, Vladimir Solovyov, Oleg Atkov Salyut 7 EO-3, Soyuz T-10-Soyuz T-11   USSR 8 February 1984 –
2 October 1984
Seven-person spaceflight in a single spacecraft
 
STS-41-G
5 October 1984 –
13 October 1984
Two women in space at the same time Kathryn D. Sullivan, Sally K. Ride STS-41-G   USA 5 October 1984 –
13 October 1984
Partial crew exchange at a space station Alexander Volkov, Vladimir Vasyutin replace Vladimir Dzhanibekov Soyuz T-14, Salyut 7   USSR 17 September 1985 –
26 September 1985
Eight-person spaceflight in a single spacecraft
 
STS-61-A
  •   USA
  •   West Germany
  •   Netherlands
30 October 1985 –
6 November 1985
Fatalities during launch STS-51-L   USA 28 January 1986
  • Space station-to-space station flight
  • Space station-to-space station return flight
  • Expedition on two space stations
Soyuz T-15 from Mir to Salyut 7 back to Mir[14]   USSR 15 March 1986 –
16 July 1986
Complete crew exchange at a space station Vladimir Titov, Musa Manarov replace Yuri Romanenko, Alexander Alexandrov Soyuz TM-4-Soyuz TM-2, Soyuz TM-3, at Mir   USSR 21 December 1987 –
29 December 1987
People in orbit 52 weeks (one year) Vladimir Titov, Musa Manarov Mir EO-3, Soyuz TM-4-Soyuz TM-6   USSR 21 December 1987 –
21 December 1988
12 people in space at the same time (no docking) STS-35, Mir EO-7, Soyuz TM-10Soyuz TM-11
2 December 1990 –
10 December 1990
First civilian to use a commercial space flight, and the first journalist to report on space from outer space. Toyohiro AkiyamaJapan Soyuz TM-10, Soyuz TM-11   Japan 2 December 1990 –
10 December 1990
Three women in space at the same time Millie Hughes-Fulford, Tamara E. Jernigan, M. Rhea Seddon STS-40   USA 5 June 1991 –
14 June 1991
Three-person spacewalk
 
STS-49   USA 13 May 1992
13 people in space at the same time (no docking) STS-67, Mir, Soyuz TM-20, Soyuz TM-21
14 March 1995 –
18 March 1995
Ten people in a single spacecraft (docking)
 
STS-71, Mir, Soyuz TM-21
29 June 1995 –
4 July 1995
Space tourist Dennis Tito Soyuz TM-32/31, ISS EP-1
April 28, 2001 –
May 6, 2001
Person to complete seven trips to space Jerry L. Ross   USA 19 April 2002
Privately funded human space flight (suborbital)
 
Mike Melvill SpaceShipOne flight 15P   USA 21 June 2004
13 people in a single spacecraft (docking)[15]
 
ISS, Soyuz TMA-14, Soyuz TMA-15, STS-127
17 July 2009
Four women in space at the same time
 
5 April 2010 –
20 April 2010
Six spacecraft docked to a space station
9 July 2018
  • All-woman spacewalk
  • Spacewalk by two women

18 October 2019
  • Astronauts launched into orbit on commercial spacecraft
  • Astronauts flying to a space station on commercial spacecraft
[16][17]
 
30 May 2020 –
31 May 2020
16 people in space (50 miles) at the same time (no docking)
11 July 2021
14 people in space (100 km) at the same time (no docking)
20 July 2021
  • Orbital spaceflight with an all private crew
  • Fully commercial orbital spaceflight

Inspiration4   USA 16 September 2021 –
18 September 2021

Inspiration4   USA 16 September 2021 –
18 September 2021
14 people in orbit at the same time (no docking)
16 September 2021 –
17 September 2021
19 people in space (100 km) at the same time (no docking)
11 December 2021
  • flight to a space station with an all private crew
  • Fully commercial flight to a space station

Axiom Mission 1 To ISS
8 April 2022 –
18 April 2022

Most spaceflightsEdit

Most orbital launches from EarthEdit

Most orbital launches overallEdit

  • 7 launches
    • John W. Young (USA[18]) launched from Earth 6 times (two Gemini, two Apollo Command Module, two Space Shuttle) and from the Moon once (Apollo Lunar Module Ascent Stage) (1965–1983)
    • Jerry L. Ross (USA[15]), Space Shuttle (1985–2002)
    • Franklin Chang Díaz (Costa Rica/USA*[15]), Space Shuttle (1986–2002)

Largest number of different spacecraft at launch (from Earth only)Edit

  • 3 spacecraft
    • Walter Schirra (USA) – launched aboard a Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo (1962–1968)
    • John W. Young (USA) – launched aboard a Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle (1965–1983)
    • Soichi Noguchi (Japan) – launched aboard a Space Shuttle, Soyuz, and SpaceX Crew Dragon (2005–2020)
    • Shane Kimbrough (USA) – launched aboard a Space Shuttle, Soyuz, and SpaceX Crew Dragon (2008–2021)
    • Akihiko Hoshide (Japan) – launched aboard a Space Shuttle, Soyuz, and SpaceX Crew Dragon (2008–2021)
    • Thomas Marshburn (USA) – launched aboard a Space Shuttle, Soyuz, and SpaceX Crew Dragon (2007–2021)
    • Michael López-Alegría (USA) – launched aboard a Space Shuttle, Soyuz, and SpaceX Crew Dragon (1995–2022)

Largest number of different launch vehicles (overall)Edit

  • 4 launch vehicles
    • John W. Young (USA) – launched from Earth aboard a Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle, and launched from the Moon aboard the Apollo Lunar Module Ascent Stage

Largest number of different launch sitesEdit

Note: SpaceShipTwo flights are suborbital. SpaceShipTwo flights surpass the U.S. definition of spaceflight (50 mi (80.47 km)), but fall short of the Kármán line (100 km (62.14 mi)), the FAI definition used for most space recordkeeping.

Duration recordsEdit

Total human spaceflight time by countryEdit

Total human spaceflight statistics by nation[19][20]
Nation Total people Total person flights Total in orbit (@ update)* Total person days*+ % of total person days
  Russia
  Soviet Union
130 286 3 30121.10
49.2
  United States 355 878 3 23875.58
39.0
   ESA 40 68 1 3569.89
5.8
  Japan 14 24 - 1745.40
2.9
  Germany 12 17 - 1032.82
1.7
  Italy 7 14 1 990.46
1.6
  China 13 20 - 989.07
1.6
  France 10 19 - 828.66
1.4
  Canada 11 19 - 726.85
1.2
  Netherlands 2 3 - 210.69
0.3
  Belgium 2 3 - 207.65
0.3
  United Kingdom 2 2 - 193.81
0.3
   Switzerland 1 4 - 42.50
0.1
  Israel 2 2 - 33.01
0.1
  Sweden 1 2 - 26.73
0.0
  Spain 1 2 - 18.78
0.0
  Ukraine 1 1 - 15.69
0.0
  Bulgaria 2 2 - 11.80
0.0
  South Korea 1 1 - 10.88
0.0
  Malaysia 1 1 - 10.88
0.0
  South Africa 1 1 - 9.89
0.0
  Brazil 1 1 - 9.89
0.0
  Denmark 1 1 - 9.84
0.0
  Kazakhstan 1 1 - 9.84
0.0
  Afghanistan 1 1 - 8.85
0.0
  Syria 1 1 - 7.96
0.0
  Czechoslovakia 1 1 - 7.93
0.0
  Austria 1 1 - 7.93
0.0
  Poland 1 1 - 7.92
0.0
  Slovakia 1 1 - 7.91
0.0
  India 1 1 - 7.90
0.0
  United Arab Emirates 1 1 - 7.88
0.0
  Hungary 1 1 - 7.86
0.0
  Cuba 1 1 - 7.86
0.0
  Mongolia 1 1 - 7.86
0.0
  Vietnam 1 1 - 7.86
0.0
  Romania 1 1 - 7.86
0.0
  Saudi Arabia 1 1 - 7.07
0.0
  Mexico 1 1 - 6.88
0.0
TOTAL 586 1318 7 61233.69
100.0
Astronauts currently in space:
  •   Kjell Norwood Lindgren
  •   Sergei Vladimirovich Korsakov
  •   Robert Thomas "Farmer", Jr. Hines
  •   Denis Vladimirovich Matveyev
  •   Jessica Andrea Watkins
  •   Samantha Cristoforetti
  •   Oleg Germanovich Artemyev
Crew vehicles currently in space:
  • SpaceX Crew-4
  • Soyuz MS-21
Table data accurate as of 2022-05-21 04:05 UTC
* includes those in orbit at time table was updated
+TOTAL person days in orbit will not match the sum of the totals for individual nations as some individuals are dual citizens


Most time in spaceEdit

Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, who has spent 878 days in space over five missions, became the record holder for the most time spent in space when he surpassed, on 28 June 2015, the record of cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, who spent 803 days, 9 hours and 39 minutes (about 2.2 years) in space over the span of six spaceflights on Soyuz, the Space Shuttle, Mir, and the International Space Station. Yuri Malenchenko is currently in second place, having spent 828 days in space on six spaceflights.[21][22][23]

As of 30 March 2022,[24] the following is a list of the 50 space travelers with the most total time in space, most of it acquired from spaceflight on long-duration missions.

Color key:

  •   Currently in space
  •   Active
  •   Retired
  •   Deceased
Rank Person Days Flights Status Nationality
1 Gennady Padalka 878.480 5 Retired   Russia
2 Yuri Malenchenko 827.389 6 Retired   Russia
3 Sergei Krikalev 803.371 6 Retired   Soviet Union /   Russia
4 Aleksandr Kaleri 769.276 5 Active   Russia
5 Sergei Avdeyev 747.593 3 Retired   Soviet Union /   Russia
6 Oleg Kononenko 736.780 4 Active   Russia /   Turkmenistan
7 Anton Shkaplerov 709.336 4 Active   Russia
8 Valeri Polyakov 678.690 2 Retired   Soviet Union /   Russia
9 Fyodor Yurchikhin 672.860 5 Retired   Russia
10 Peggy Whitson 665.932 3 Active   United States
11 Anatoly Solovyev 651.117 5 Retired   Soviet Union /   Russia
12 Viktor Afanasyev 555.772 4 Retired   Soviet Union /   Russia
13 Yury Usachov 552.773 4 Retired   Russia
14 Sergey Volkov 547.931 3 Retired   Russia
15 Pavel Vinogradov 546.939 3 Active   Russia
16 Aleksandr Skvortsov 545.964 3 Retired   Russia
17 Musa Manarov 541.021 2 Retired   Soviet Union (  Azerbaijan)
18 Oleg Skripochka 536.159 3 Retired   Russia
19 Jeffrey Williams 534.116 4 Retired   United States
20 Mikhail Tyurin 532.118 3 Retired   Russia
21 Oleg Novitsky 531.290 3 Active   Russia
22 Oleg Kotov 526.211 3 Retired   Russia
23 Mark T. Vande Hei 523.374 2 Active   United States
24 Scott Kelly 520.440 4 Retired[25]   United States
25 Mikhail Kornienko 516.417 2 Retired   Russia
26 Aleksandr Viktorenko 489.066 4 Retired   Soviet Union /   Russia
27 Anatoli Ivanishin 476.195 3 Retired   Russia
28 Nikolai Budarin 444.060 3 Retired   Russia
29 Yuri Romanenko 430.765 3 Retired   Soviet Union
30 Oleg Artemyev 429.656 3 Active   Russia
31 Thomas Pesquet 396.482 2 Active   France
32 Aleksandr Volkov 391.495 3 Retired   Soviet Union /   Russia
33 Yury Onufriyenko 389.282 2 Retired   Russia
34 Shane Kimbrough 388.728 3 Active   United States
35 Vladimir Titov 387.036 4 Retired   Soviet Union /   Russia
36 Vasily Tsibliyev 381.662 2 Retired   Russia
37 Valery Korzun 381.653 2 Retired   Russia
38 Michael Fincke 381.633 3 Active   United States
39 Christopher Cassidy 377.742 3 Retired   United States
40 Aleksey Ovchinin 374.813 2 Active   Russia
41 Leonid Kizim 374.749 3 Deceased   Soviet Union
42 Michael Foale 373.763 6 Retired   United States /   United Kingdom[26]
43 Aleksandr Serebrov 372.954 4 Deceased   Soviet Union /   Russia
44 Valery Ryumin 371.725 4 Retired   Soviet Union /   Russia
45 Donald Pettit 369.696 3 Active   United States
46 Luca Parmitano 366.959 2 Active   Italy
47 Alexander Gerst 362.076 2 Active   Germany
48 Vladimir Solovyov 361.952 2 Retired   Soviet Union
49 Sergey Ryzhikov 358.101 2 Active   Russia
50 Pyotr Dubrov 355.156 1 Active   Russia

Ten longest human spaceflightsEdit

# Time in space Crew Country Launch date (Launch craft) Landing date (Landing craft) Space station or mission type
1 437.7 days[27][28] Valeri Polyakov[27]   Russia 1994-01-08 (Soyuz TM-18) 1995-03-22 (Soyuz TM-20) Mir[27]
2 379.6 days[28] Sergei Avdeyev[28]   Russia 1998-08-13 (Soyuz TM-28) 1999-08-28 (Soyuz TM-29) Mir[28]
3 365.9 days[28]   Soviet Union 1987-12-21 (Soyuz TM-4) 1988-12-21 (Soyuz TM-6) Mir[28]
4 355.2 days[29] 2021-04-09 (Soyuz MS-18) 2022-03-30 (Soyuz MS-19) International Space Station
5 340.4 days 2015-03-27 (Soyuz TMA-16M) 2016-03-01 (Soyuz TMA-18M) International Space Station,
ISS year-long mission
6 328.6 days[30][31] Christina Koch[31]   United States 2019-03-15 (Soyuz MS-12) 2020-02-06 (Soyuz MS-13) International Space Station
7 326.5 days[32] Yuri Romanenko[32]   Soviet Union 1987-02-05 (Soyuz TM-2) 1987-12-29 (Soyuz TM-3) Mir[32]
8 311.8 days[33] Sergei Krikalev[33]   Soviet Union/  Russia 1991-05-18 (Soyuz TM-12) 1992-03-25 (Soyuz TM-13) Mir[33]
9 289.2 days[34] Peggy Whitson[34]   United States 2016-11-17 (Soyuz MS-03) 2017-09-03 (Soyuz MS-04) International Space Station[34]
10 271.5 days[35] Andrew R. Morgan   United States 2019-07-20 (Soyuz MS-13) 2020-04-17 (Soyuz MS-15) International Space Station

Longest single flight by a womanEdit

NASA astronaut Christina Koch holds the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman (328 days), returning on February 6, 2020.[31] She surpassed NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson's 289 days during Expedition 61 in 2019. In third place is American astronaut Anne McClain with 204 days.[36]

Longest continuous occupation of spaceEdit

An international partnership consisting of Russia, the United States, Canada, Japan and the member states of the European Space Agency have jointly maintained a continuous human presence in space since 31 October 2000, when Soyuz TM-31 was launched. Two days later it docked with the International Space Station.[15][37] Since then space has been continuously occupied for 21 years, 202 days.[15]

Longest continuous occupation of a spacecraftEdit

The International Space Station has been continuously occupied by a Russian and US crew member since 2 November 2000 (21 years, 200 days).[15][37] It broke the record of 9 years and 358 days of the Soviet/Russian Space Station Mir on 23 October 2010.[37]

Longest solo flightEdit

Valery Bykovsky flew solo for 4 days, 23 hours in Vostok 5 from 14 to 19 June 1963.[38] The flight set a space endurance record which was broken in 1965 by the (non-solo) Gemini 5 flight. The Apollo program included long solo spaceflight, and during the Apollo 16 mission, T. K. Mattingly orbited solo around the Moon for more than 3 days and 9 hours.

Longest time on the lunar surfaceEdit

Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt of the Apollo 17 mission stayed for 74 hours 59 minutes and 40 seconds (over 3 days) on the lunar surface after they landed on 11 December 1972.[39] They performed three EVAs (extra-vehicular activity) totaling 22 hours 3 minutes, 57 seconds (as commanders were always the first one out of the LM and the last to get back in, Cernan's EVA time was slightly longer).[39]

Longest time in lunar orbitEdit

Ronald Evans of Apollo 17 mission stayed in lunar orbit for 6 days and 4 hours (148 hours)[40] along with five mice; however, for the solo portion of a flight around the Moon, T. K. Mattingly on Apollo 16 spent 1 hour 38 minutes longer than Evans' solo duration.

Speed and altitude recordsEdit

Farthest humans from EarthEdit

The Apollo 13 crew (Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert), while passing over the far side of the Moon at an altitude of 254 km (158 mi) from the lunar surface, were 400,171 km (248,655 mi) from Earth.[41] This record-breaking distance was reached at 0:21 UTC on 15 April 1970.[41]

Highest altitude for crewed non-lunar missionEdit

Gemini 11 crew Charles Conrad, Jr. and Richard F. Gordon, Jr. fired their Agena Target Vehicle rocket engine on 14 September 1966, at 40 hours 30 minutes after liftoff and achieved a record apogee altitude of 739.2 nautical miles (1,369.0 km).[42]

FastestEdit

The Apollo 10 crew (Thomas Stafford, John W. Young and Eugene Cernan) achieved the highest speed relative to Earth ever attained by humans: 39,897 kilometers per hour (11.082 kilometers per second or 24,791 miles per hour, approximately 32 times the speed of sound and 0.0037% of the speed of light).[15] The record was set 26 May 1969.[15]

In 2021, the Parker Solar Probe at 587,000 km/h became the fastest moving spacecraft, at about 1/1850 (or 0.05%) the speed of light.

Age recordsEdit

 
Wally Funk 2012
 
William Shatner 2020

Earliest-born to reach spaceEdit

Suborbital flightEdit

Orbital spaceflightEdit

YoungestEdit

Suborbital flightEdit

Note: The Virgin Galactic Unity 22 flight surpassed the U.S. definition of spaceflight (50 mi (80.47 km)), but fell short of the Kármán line (100 km (62.14 mi)), the FAI definition used for most space recordkeeping.

Orbital spaceflightEdit

OldestEdit

Suborbital flightEdit

Orbital spaceflightEdit

  • Man – John Glenn (aged 77), on STS-95 on 29 October 1998 (approx. 9 days, 20 hours.)[15]
  • Woman – Peggy Whitson (aged 56), on Soyuz MS-03 on 17 November 2016 (approx. 289 days.) She turned 57 on 9 February 2017, while still in space.[44]

Spacewalk recordsEdit

Most spacewalks (number and duration)Edit

Both of these are the record for the largest total number of spacewalks by a male and a female, and the most cumulative time spent on spacewalks by a male and a female.

Most spacewalks during a single missionEdit

  • 7: Anatoly Solovyev, during the 24th Expedition on the Soviet/Russian space station Mir, in 1997–98. (Two were internal "spacewalks" inside a depressurized module.)
  • 7: Andrew Morgan, during his first spaceflight on board the ISS for Expedition 60/61/62 in 2019–2020. He spent 45 hours and 48 minutes outside the station.

Longest single spacewalkEdit

  • 8 hrs 56 min, by James Voss and Susan Helms, 11 March 2001 on an ISS assembly mission during Shuttle mission STS-102. The space walkers were delayed early in their excursion when a portable foot restraint attachment device became untethered, and Voss had to retrieve a spare from its storage location on the outside of the station's Unity module. After approximately six hours of work the pair reentered Space Shuttle Discovery’s airlock and waited for a docking port to be maneuvered to its new location, but remained at the ready to assist if needed.

Greatest distance from a spacecraft during a spacewalkEdit

  • All-time (and while on a planetary body[49]): 7.6 kilometers[50]: 1144  (4.7 miles, 25,029 feet[51]), Apollo 17, Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt, EVA-2, December 12, 1972. During their second of three moonwalks, Cernan and Schmitt rode the lunar rover to geological station 2, Nansen Crater, at the foot of the South Massif. As all spacewalks not occurring on a planetary body (the Moon) have involved short maximum distances from the spacecraft (see below), this remains the furthest distance that humans have traveled away from the safety of a pressurizable spacecraft, during an EVA of any type.
  • Orbital flight: approximately 100 meters (or 330 feet), Bruce McCandless, STS-41-B, February 7, 1984. With the exception of six Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) sorties in 1984 and a test of the Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER) in 1994, all other orbital spacewalks have involved a safety tether, anchoring the spacefarer to the spacecraft at a short distance. Among the former untethered spacewalks, Bruce McCandless' first test of the MMU established an orbital EVA distance record from a spacecraft which remained unbroken by later untethered EVAs.[52]

Animal recordsEdit

First animals in spaceEdit

The first animals to enter space were fruit flies launched by the United States in 1947 aboard a V-2 rocket to an altitude of 68 miles (109 km).[53] They were also the first animals to safely return from space.[53] Albert II, a rhesus monkey, became the first primate in space aboard a U.S. V-2 rocket on June 14, 1949, and died on reentry due to a parachute failure.

First animal in orbitEdit

Laika was a Soviet female canine launched on 3 November 1957 on Sputnik 2. The technology to de-orbit had not yet been developed, so there was no expectation for survival. She died several hours into flight. Belka and Strelka became the first canines to safely return to Earth from orbit on 19 August 1960.

First Hominidae in spaceEdit

On 31 January 1961, through NASA's Mercury-Redstone 2 mission the chimpanzee Ham became the first great ape or Hominidae in space.[54]

Longest canine single flightEdit

Soviet space dogs Veterok (Ветерок, "Light Wind") and Ugolyok (Уголёк, "Ember") were launched on 22 February 1966 on board Cosmos 110 and spent 22 days in orbit before landing on 16 March.

First animals beyond low Earth orbitEdit

An assortment of animals including a pair of Russian tortoises, as well as wine flies and mealworms launched with a number of other biological specimens including seeds and bacteria on a circumlunar mission aboard the Soviet Zond 5 spacecraft on 15 September 1968.[53] It was launched by a Proton-K rocket.[53] The capsule came within 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) of the Moon and later successfully returned to Earth, the first spacecraft in history to return safely to Earth from the Moon.[53]

Notable uncrewed or non-human spaceflightsEdit

In reference to: Spacecraft Event Origin Date
Earth MW 18014 (A-4(V-2)) First rocket to reach space (suborbital flight).   Germany 20 June 1944
Earth V-2 No. 20 First living organisms (fruit flies) in space (suborbital flight). Successfully recovered.   USA 20 February 1947
Earth R-1V[55] First mammals (dogs) in space (suborbital flight). Successfully recovered.   USSR 22 July 1951
Earth Sputnik 1 First satellite in orbit.[5]   USSR 4 October 1957
Earth Sputnik 2 First animal in orbit, Laika the dog.   USSR 3 November 1957
Earth Vanguard 1 Oldest satellite still in orbit, in addition to its upper launch stage. Expected to stay in orbit 240 years. Ceased transmission in May 1964.   USA 17 March 1958
Earth Pioneer 1 Failed to reach the Moon as intended, but reached a record–setting distance of 113,800 kilometres (70,700 mi) from Earth.   USA 11 October 1958
Earth Jupiter AM-13 First monkey in space, Gordo, a squirrel monkey.   USA 13 December 1958
Earth Luna 1 First spacecraft to achieve Earth's escape velocity.   USSR 4 January 1959
Moon Luna 1 First flyby. Distance of 5,995 kilometres (3,725 mi).   USSR 4 January 1959
Sun Luna 1 First spacecraft in heliocentric orbit.   USSR 4 January 1959
Moon Luna 2 First impact.[5]   USSR 14 September 1959
Moon Luna 3 First image of lunar far-side.[5]   USSR 7 October 1959
Earth Discoverer 13 First satellite recovered from orbit.[5]   USA 11 August 1960
Earth Korabl-Sputnik 2 First living beings recovered from orbit.[56]   USSR 19 August 1960
Earth Mercury-Redstone 2 First great ape or Hominidae in space, Ham the chimpanzee.[54]   USA 31 January 1961
Venus Venera 1 First flyby. Distance of 100,000 kilometres (62,000 mi) (lost communication contact before).[5]   USSR 19 May 1961
Moon Ranger 4 First spacecraft to impact the far side of the Moon.[57]   USA 26 April 1962
Earth Alouette 1 First satellite designed and constructed by a country other than the USA or USSR (the British satellite Ariel 1, launched five months earlier, was designed and constructed by the USA).[58]   Canada 29 September 1962
Venus Mariner 2 First planetary flyby. Distance of 34,762 kilometres (21,600 mi) (with communication contact).   USA 14 December 1962
Earth Lincoln Calibration Sphere 1 Oldest spacecraft still in use (50 years as of 2015).   USA 6 May 1965
Mars Mariner 4 First flyby and first planetary imaging. Distance of 9,846 kilometres (6,118 mi).   USA 14 July 1965
Earth Astérix First satellite launched independently by a nation other than the USA or USSR (other nations had previously flown satellites launched on American rockets).   France 26 November 1965
Moon Luna 9 First soft landing and first pictures from the lunar surface.[5]   USSR 3 February 1966
Earth Kosmos 110 First seeds to germinate in space.   USSR 22 February 1966
Venus Venera 3 First impact.[5]   USSR 1 March 1966
Moon Luna 10 First orbiter.[5]   USSR 3 April 1966
Docking Cosmos 186, Cosmos 188 First automated docking of uncrewed spacecraft.   USSR 30 October 1967
Moon Surveyor 6 First planned, controlled, powered flight from the surface of another body.   USA 17 November 1967
Moon Zond 5
  • First to circle the Moon and return to land on Earth.
  • First animals to circle the Moon.
  USSR 15 September 1968
Moon Luna 16 First automated sample return.   USSR 24 September 1970
Moon Luna 17 First robotic roving vehicle, Lunokhod 1.   USSR 17 November 1970
Venus Venera 7 First soft landing on another planet.   USSR 15 December 1970
Earth Salyut 1 First space station.   USSR 19 April 1971
Mars Mariner 9 First orbiter.   USA 14 November 1971
Mars Mars 2 First impact.   USSR 27 November 1971
Mars Mars 3 First soft landing. Maintained telemetry signal for 20 seconds before transmissions ceased.   USSR 2 December 1971
Sun Pioneer 10 First spacecraft to achieve the Sun's escape velocity.   USA 3 March 1972
Jupiter Pioneer 10 First flyby. Distance of 132,000 kilometres (82,000 mi).   USA 4 December 1973
Mercury Mariner 10 First flyby. Distance of 703 kilometres (437 mi).   USA 29 March 1974
Venus Venera 9
  • First orbiter.
  • First surface-level imaging of another planet.
  USSR 22 October 1975
Mars Viking 1 First surface-level imaging of Mars.   USA 20 July 1976
Saturn Pioneer 11 First flyby. Distance of 21,000 kilometres (13,000 mi).   USA 1 September 1979
Venus Venera 13 First sound recording made on another planet.   USSR 1 March 1982
Orbital Space Station Soyuz T-5, Salyut 7 First species of plant to flower in space.[59] Arabidopsis thaliana Valentin Lebedev.   USSR 1 July 1982
Trans-Neptunian region Pioneer 10 First to travel past the orbit of Neptune, the furthest major planet from the Sun.   USA 13 June 1983
Venus Vega 1 First helium balloon atmospheric probe. First flight (as opposed to atmospheric entry) in another planet's atmosphere.   USSR 11 June 1985
Comet Giacobini-Zinner International Cometary Explorer (ICE) First flyby through a comet tail (no pictures). Distance of 7,800 kilometres (4,800 mi).   USA 11 September 1985
Uranus Voyager 2 First flyby. Distance of 81,500 kilometres (50,600 mi).   USA 24 January 1986
Comet Halley Vega 1 First comet flyby (with pictures returned). Distance of 8,890 kilometres (5,520 mi).   USSR 6 March 1986
Earth Mir Core Module, Kvant-1 First modular space station.   USSR 9 April 1987
Orbital Spaceplane Buran First fully automated orbital flight of a spaceplane (with airstrip landing).   USSR 15 November 1988
Phobos Phobos 2 First flyby. Distance of 860 kilometres (530 mi).   USSR 21 February 1989
Neptune Voyager 2 First flyby. Distance of 40,000 kilometres (25,000 mi).   USA 25 August 1989
951 Gaspra Galileo First asteroid flyby. Distance of 1,600 kilometres (990 mi).   USA 29 October 1991
Jupiter Galileo probe First impact.   USA 7 December 1995
Jupiter Galileo First orbiter.   USA 8 December 1995
Mars Mars Pathfinder First automated roving vehicle, Sojourner.   USA 4 July 1997
433 Eros NEAR Shoemaker First asteroid orbiter.   USA 14 February 2000
433 Eros NEAR Shoemaker First asteroid soft landing.   USA 12 February 2001
Saturn Cassini orbiter First orbiter.
1 July 2004
Solar wind Genesis First sample return from farther than the Moon.   USA 8 September 2004
Titan Huygens probe First soft landing.
14 January 2005
Comet Tempel 1 Deep Impact First comet impact.   USA 4 July 2005
25143 Itokawa Hayabusa
  • First asteroid ascent.
  • First interplanetary escape without undercarriage cutoff.[clarification needed]
  Japan 19 November 2005
81P/Wild Stardust First sample return from comet.   USA 15 January 2006
Earth Voyager 1
  • Farthest distance from Earth (13,820,000,000 miles (2.224×1010 km; 148.7 AU)).
  • Farthest distance from the Sun (13,751,000,000 miles (2.2130×1010 km; 147.93 AU)).
  USA As of December 2019[60]
Longest time in operation Voyager 2 Longest continually operating space probe (since August 1977).   USA As of 2015
Earth to Venus trajectory IKAROS First interplanetary solar sail.   Japan Set sail on 10 June 2010
25143 Itokawa Hayabusa First sample return from an asteroid.   Japan 13 June 2010
Mercury MESSENGER First orbiter.   USA 17 March 2011
Earth–Sun L2 Lagrange point Chang'e 2 First object to reach the L2 Lagrangian point directly from lunar orbit.[61]   China 25 August 2011
International Space Station SpaceX Dragon First commercial spacecraft to berth with the International Space Station.   USA 25 May 2012
Interstellar medium Voyager 1 First spacecraft to cross the heliopause, thereby exiting the heliosphere and entering interstellar space.   USA 25 August 2012
4179 Toutatis Chang'e 2
  • First object to reach an asteroid directly from a Sun-Earth Langrangian point.
  • First probe to explore both the Moon and an asteroid.[62]
  China 13 December 2012
67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko Rosetta First comet orbiter.[63]   ESA 6 August 2014
67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko Philae First comet soft landing.[64]   ESA 12 November 2014
Ceres Dawn First dwarf planet orbiter.[65]   USA 6 March 2015
Mars Opportunity Longest distance traveled on surface of another world (26.219 miles (42.195 km), marathon-length).[66]   USA 23 March 2015
Mercury MESSENGER First impact.[67]   USA 30 April 2015
Pluto New Horizons
  USA 14 July 2015
All 9 planets in the pre-IAU redefinition version of the Solar System All United States spacecraft including New Horizons With the New Horizons flyby of Pluto, the United States is the first nation to have its space probes explore all nine planets in the pre-2006 IAU redefinition version of the Solar System.   USA 14 July 2015
Earth Falcon 9 First re-flight of orbital class rocket.[68]   USA 30 March 2017
Earth Shortest period between orbital launches (launched 72 seconds apart).[69]
23 December 2017
Moon Chang'e 4 First soft landing at the far side of the Moon.   China 3 January 2019
101955 Bennu OSIRIS-REx Smallest body to be orbited by spacecraft (492 m (1,600 ft) diameter) and closest ever orbit (680 m (2,230 ft) altitude).[70][71]   USA 12 June 2019
Moon Chang'e 5 First rendezvous and docking by a robotic spacecraft in lunar orbit.[72]   China 5 December 2020
Mars Ingenuity First controlled, powered flight by a rotary wing aircraft on another planet.[73]   USA 19 April 2021
Sun Highest velocity of a spacecraft relative to the Sun: 163 km/s (587,000 km/h; 365,000 mph).

Closest ever approach to the Sun: distance of 0.057 AU (8,500,000 kilometres; 5,300,000 mi).[74] Spacecraft will continue to lower its perihelion by multiple Venus gravity assists until its closest approach in 2024, which is expected to bring the probe within 9.86 solar radii (6,900,000 km; 4,300,000 mi) of the Sun's surface at a velocity of 191.7 km/s (690,000 km/h; 430,000 mph),[75] by which point it will have become the fastest object in the Solar System apart from comets (overtaking asteroid 2005 HC4).

21 November 2021

See alsoEdit

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External linksEdit

  • Russia's unmanned Moon missions