What is your favorite Spacecraft/Satellite of all time?

I’m playing Kerbal Space Program and installing a mod that allows you to recreate Voyager and it really made me wax nostalgic for it (check out this beautiful video of the mod). So I thought this thread would be fun. List your top 3 favorite spacecraft/satellites - in order of loveitude. :)

  1. Cassini - It’s discoveries about Enceladus, and the moons of Saturn have been stunning.
  2. Voyager 2 - People often don’t realize just how much planetary science changed after Voyager 2 flew by Jupiter and Saturn and it’s moons. It was the start of realizing the moons of this solar system hold more potential than the planets themselves.
  3. Saturn V - big and went to the moon with people.

—OK can’t stop at 3—

  1. Hubble Space Telescope.
  2. Curiosity - because it’s a small car and it’s crazy awesome landing.
  3. Russian Venera lander - pictures of Venus while spacecraft is melting/imploding from high temp and pressure is awesome!

I already love this thread.

The Satellite of Love


But seriously:

It would have to be Rosetta. Chase a comet and catch it! Yeah.

Vostok-1. Obviously.

Opportunity, hands down. Built for a 90-sol mission, it just passed ten freakin’ years of function in an irradiated hellbath of drywall dust. That’s like driving your car into the ocean and putting 1,000,000 miles on the odometer.

The North American X-15.

18 years before the Space Shuttle it was the first winged aircraft to qualify its pilots as astronauts by exceeding 100 km in altitude.

One of the surviving aircraft hangs in the Milestones of Flight exhibit in the National Air & Space Museum on the Mall.

The Battleship Yamato, of course, from Starblazers.

I always loved that Space Battleship Yamato was painted red below the waterline, because, you know, that’s important in space.

Yeah yeah, that’s nice and all. What about Deep Impact? Chase a comet, catch it, and shoot a giant hole in it?

To be fair, it was built from the hull of an extant seafaring battleship. Rules are rules…

“Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”

The LEM is an ungainly and odd looking thing that managed to deliver a human being on to the surface of another world.

Favorite spacecraft: the Saturn V. Fuck you, gravity.

I remember watching the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. I watched it in my father’s office, a converted firehouse in Heidelberg, West Germany, where his MI detachment had their HQ. I saw it on a 12" B&W TV. It was…I don’t know if I can even describe it. I was a kid, but even then I knew I was watching something transcendent.

Every. Single. Thing. We’ve done since then in the space realm has been anticlimax.

Hahaha!!! oh man you made me laugh out loud as that is such a perfect quote. That should be your monikor:

Saturn V: Fuck you gravity.

Love the Andromeda!

(also my favorite ship). Have a couple unbuilt ones around.

Re the Apollo 11 landing: This is the best children’s book ever about the Apollo 11 mission.

Saturn V.

The launching of a Saturn V was hell unleashed, and it had drama, because gravity and the Saturn V’s fury wrestled and fought for supremacy. It gathered speed slowly, ponderously, and you had to jump off the couch and scream at it, “Go, go, go!” just to urge it on its way, to give it strength. Then the fireball ascended into the sky, sound rippling, and then just when you thought the show was over, second stage! Glorious.

Yeeeeeha! Fuck you, gravity! Indeed!

My second favorite was the IRAS launch, because it was a Vandenberg AFB launch here on the west coast, and instead of going polar and away from me (most launches from there do), it went west out over the Pacific and it was the first launch I could really see go all the way up, with the flame expanding to the sides as the air pressure decreased.

But other than that, all the JPL satellites - I loved sitting in a guy’s office in a sub-basement of the 300 (?) building at the lab and watching the direct feed come in off of Topex/Poseidon. Don’t know if the lab ever took me up on my suggestion that the Jason satellite (Topex/Poseidon’s replacement) should have eyes painted on it to see the way. If they did, then that’s my favorite.

Cassini. The world needs more orbital planetary probes.