One of the longstanding dreams of humanity has been to explore our Solar System by space travel. In his 1865 novel De la terre à la lune,Jules Verne told the story of members of a “Baltimore Gun Club” building a huge cannon to shoot a projectile with three of the Club’s members on board, for a trip to and landing on the Moon. About one century later, the USA–Soviet space race of the 1960s turned this dream into reality by developing the necessary technology and providing the resources for such ambitious endeavors. After several failures, the US Mariner 2 mission succeeded in 1962 in the first flyby of Venus, followed by the 1964 Mariner 4 flyby of Mars. Between 1966 and 1967 the Soviet missions Luna 9–13 and Venera 4 pioneered the first lunar landing and investigation of Venus’s atmosphere, followed by the 1969 culmination of the Apollo 11 manned lunar landing.