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Doug Millard

Doug was the senior curator for the 'Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age' exhibition (2015) and editor of the associated publication. He has written a history of the British Black Arrow rocket and his book 'Satellite: Innovation in Orbit' was published by Reaktion Books early 2017. He is currently researching new space exhibitions for the Museum.

Recent visitors to the Science Museum may have spied the updated ‘Planet Science’ display in our Exploring Space gallery. Space Curator Doug Millard explores the story behind ‘Planet Science’ below. It’s hard to believe that we didn’t know what the surface of Mars looked like until 1964. That was the year NASA’s Mariner 4 spacecraft flew past the planet and returned the first images. And for many it was a big disappointment; no rivers or oceans; no vegetation; no indications […]

It’s tricky getting to Mars. The voyage takes months, your spacecraft has to perform some delicate manoeuvres along the way and then – there is Mars itself! It has not been a welcoming world. Almost 50 missions have been launched to the red planet by a host of different nations and space agencies. Some 30 of these have failed or enjoyed only very limited success.

On this day (3 November) in 1957, just one month after the launch of Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite, a dog called Laika was sent into space, become the first living thing to orbit our planet.

This photograph, the first taken from the surface of another planet, was taken by the camera on board the Venera 9 descent module shortly after it landed on Venus on 25th October, 1975. The foreground is littered with flattened rocks and the horizon is just visible at the tops of the top corners. Credit: NSSDC Photo Library

On the anniversary of Venera 7’s launch – the first spacecraft to successfully land on Venus – curator Doug Millard reflects on the challenge of exploring other worlds.

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