What was the most important Space Mission?


Staff member
Oct 10, 2019
I know the moon landing often gets hailed as the most important mission, but is it really? Are there other game changers out there? Were the safety tests even more important then the mission itself?
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Jun 13, 2020
In my humble opinion, the moon landing was an important mission and amazing achievement especially for the United States during a very tumultuous time.

Sward, for me personally... I'm a HUGE fan of the launch of The Hubble space telescope. When I consider all the images and overall understanding of the universe that we have gotten from that amazing, amazing telescope, I can't help but be in awe at the end product of all that work.

I'm just not sure if that would be considered a "mission"... What I AM sure of, is that there are also a lot of missions I am unaware of.. So my counter question would be:

What would be yours, or, anyone else's most important mission of choice?
Jun 13, 2020
Speaking of Hubble, I had a picture come across my desk that I believe taken by Hubble. and found it very beautiful and fascinating. All it said was "Heartbeat of the crab nebula". Has anyone else seen this photo and have we figured out what that energy wave-" heart beat" actually is?
Jun 26, 2020
Ah but perhaps our most important journeys are also the ones that failed. Think of the Mars mission where feet got turned into meters.


Oct 22, 2019
sward et al. My opinion, it was in the movie October Skies. 1957 Russian Sputnik orbit. That *panicked* the USA into action and shortly after, Mercury program with John Glenn. I grew up watching X-15, Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs so I am a bit older now :)
Aug 29, 2020
ALL the LandSATs from LandSAT 1 launched from Vandenburgh AFB in 1972 over 48yrs ago to upcoming launch of LandSAT 9, they've ALL contributed to managing a MULTITUTDE of scientific endeavors FREE to anyone on planet Earth to enable us to TAKE CARE of our ONLY HOME, Earth itself> All else paies w/respect to this endeavor, stare at the stars, but we ALL live on SpaceShip Earth> PS I designed the MSS as a kinematic truss JITTER PROOF but B4 that I designed an IMPULSE Load Cell to CALIBRATE THRUSTERs on APOLLO moon lander OR NO ONE was going to the Moon or come back
Jun 1, 2020
I know the moon landing often gets hailed as the most important mission, but is it really?
We are goal-oriented, so the landing is the best fit for importance, IMO. Apollo 1 made it even that much more significant, not to mention the pressure to beat the other guys, which would have indeed had some geopolitical repercussions, no doubt, had we not taken those extra risks. It's amazing that the Saturn had such an impeccable track record.

It's perhaps like deciding which sailing mission was the most important. But which ever one it may be, I expect it would be the one that actually found a new world, not that they would have called it a "New World", of course. ;)
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Sep 8, 2020
How about Voyager 1 and 2, our first objects to leave the solar system, in a poetic quest to find intelligent life? And Apollo 8, the first mission to leave the Earth's gravitational hold and reach the moon, with so many technological "firsts"? Each of these missions also gave us a mind-boggling new perspective on our home planet, with Apollo 8's "Earthrise" photo and Voyager 1's "Pale Blue Dot"image of the Earth as a “tiny speck in the cosmos” (NASA Science). The missions explored new frontiers and at the same time made us look back at the Earth in a way that may help us save our home planet from ourselves.
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Feb 18, 2020
"What was the most important Space Mission?"

All depends on what you mean by important? To whom? All humanity?

All missions are important to homo sapiens but not necessarily important to the "best interests" of fellow "sapiens" if there are any.

If not, then it does not matter what sapiens destroys in its ever increasing lust to modify this solar neighbourhood. Mine (dig) away my friends and upgrade our neighbourhood for personal profit. That is our nature.

Aug 29, 2020
Designed MSS in 1970 in same SBRC office I shared w/Jim Kodak who designed camera for 1st S/C to leave Solar System (Voyager?)