In 1969 the first small step was taken. The American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the Moon when he stepped out of the Eagle onto the Moon's virgin soil and said the immortal phrase "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind".
After America's National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) closed down the Scandinavians along with the Dutch, British and Irish joined together for space programmes. They landed a Swedish woman as the first woman on the moon although her phrase "One small step for woman, one giant leap for womankind" was not very well received.
The second small step didn't take place until over a century after the first small step when Joanna Surf became the first person to walk on Mars with an equally immortal phrase "Since the dawn of our race, humans have sought to reach beyond their physical limitations. This one step is just a small part in the history of human endeavour".
On the same mission with Joanna Surf was Andrew Badger who followed her onto the Martian surface and became the first man on Mars.
The next four steps could not be on the planets since they were gas giants and anyone reaching the surface would die on the way. So when people reached the planets the next step was counted when the first moon in the planet's luna system was walked on. This was always the largest moon for the planet and so for each planet it is a follows.
The next planet was planned to be Pluto but it was not in a convenient position for a few years and so Mercury followed Neptune's landing with a landing on the night side. A landing on Pluto has recently taken place when Pluto was at it nearest point to us.
Although Venus has always been the nearest planet to the Earth it will become the last step. It was even thought once that it may not even be landed on. However the ninth small step is planned to take place this year and will be important since all the planets in the Solar System will finally have been reached.
The tenth small step will not probably be for a long time and will just as probably be as important as the first and second since unless any other planets are found in our Solar System it will be on an extra-solar planet.
Return to Mars and outer planets trading post.Go to top.