Voyager 2 performed the first Neptune flyby on August 25, 1989

On August 25, 1989, Voyager 2 performed a close Neptune flyby, giving humanity its first close-up of the eighth (and the outermost) planet of our solar system. Neptune was the spacecraft’s final planetary target. That first Neptune flyby was also the last: No other spacecraft has visited Neptune since.

ESA’s Giotto became the first spacecraft to use Earth for a gravity assist on July 2, 1990

On July 2, 1990, European Space Agency’s (ESA) Giotto spacecraft performed the first-ever earth gravity-assisted maneuver to be retargeted for its destination, Comet P/Grigg-Skjellerup.

Tunguska meteorite impacted on June 30, 1908

On June 30, 1908, at about 7:14 A.M., around the Tunguska River, a gigantic fireball devastated hundreds of square kilometers of uninhabited Siberian forest. It was about a ~12 megaton explosion, which means the blast was around 800 times more powerful than the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

Guide for an ultimate stargazing experience: eclipses, meteor showers, and the Milky Way

Busy days don’t leave much time to stare at the sky in awe. But once in a while, in the midst of looking forward, it may be time to look around – or up – at your surroundings and appreciate the view. Beyond a seemingly inky nightscape with only the occasional cloud, aircraft, or spattering …

Pioneer 10 became the first spacecraft to pass beyond the orbit of Neptune on June 13, 1983

On June 13, 1983, Pioneer 10 became the first spacecraft to pass beyond the orbit of Neptune. So, it is the first spacecraft to pass beyond all the solar system planets.

Venera 4 was launched on June 12, 1967

On June 12, 1967, the Soviet Union launched Venera 4, which means “Venus 4” in English, a probe in the Soviet Venera program for the exploration of the planet Venus. It became the first successful probe to perform in-place analysis of the environment of another planet.