Trivia

Hard

The First Satellite To Orbit The Sun Did So When It Missed What Target?

Mars
Low-Earth Orbit
Venus
The Moon
Russia's Luna 1 satellite, the first man-made object to escape the grip of Earth's gravity.
NASA/JPL

Answer: The Moon

The Soviet Union managed to accomplish three space exploration firsts with a single spacecraft: Luna 1. The small spacecraft was intended to be a lunar impactor, destined to slam into the surface of the Moon and report data back to Earth, but thanks to an error along the way, it was destined for a much longer trip.

During the launch sequence, an incorrectly timed upper stage burn caused Luna 1 to miss the Moon. In the process, it became the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon (but, unfortunately, not land on it as intended). In missing the Moon, it also became the first spacecraft to leave geocentric orbit and eventually came to enter a heliocentric orbit (becoming the first man-made object to do so). Renamed Mechta (or Russian for “Dream”), it now orbits the Sun in an orbit between that of Earth and Mars.

Despite missing its intended target, Luna 1 proved quite useful and was able to report back data about the Moon as it passed by, obtain data about the Van Allen radiation belt, take direct measurements of the solar wind, release sodium gas for observing the behavior of gas in space (as well as helping track the satellite), and also marked the first instance of radio communication at a distance of a half-million kilometers.

Trivia

Hard

In British Culture, An “Agony Aunt” Dispenses?

Trivia

Hard

The Phenomenon Wherein Trying To Hide Information Makes It More Public Is Known As?

Trivia

Easy

Pagers Were First Developed To Assist Which Professionals?

Trivia

Hard

Modern Cattle Are Descended From Which Of These Extinct Creatures?

Trivia

Easy

The Most Common Source Of “Hay Fever” Is?

Trivia

Hard

The First And Only Human Deaths In Space Were The Crew Of The?

Trivia

Hard

Denim Fabric Derives Its Name From A?

Trivia

Hard

Which Mammal Has The Most Teeth?

Trivia

Hard

The Phrase “Always A Bridesmaid But Never A Bride” Was Coined By A Company Selling?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Popular Candy Mixes Was Created By Accident?