On January 14, the Huygens probe enters the atmosphere of Titan and successfully reaches the surface some 147 minutes later. Huygens is the first spacecraft to land on a moon in the outer solar system.

On July 4, NASA's Deep Impact mission successfully encountered Comet Tempel 1.

NASA successfully launched the space shuttle Discovery on the STS-114 mission on July 26 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After docking with the International Space Station, the Discovery returned to Earth and landed at Edwards AFB, California, on August 9.

On August 12, NASA launched the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter from Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida.

On September 19, NASA announced plans for a new spacecraft designed to carry four astronauts to the Moon and to deliver crews and supplies to the International Space Station. NASA also introduced two new, shuttle-derived launch vehicles: a crew-carrying rocket and a cargo-carrying, heavy-lift rocket.

The Expedition 12 crew (Commander William McArthur and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev) arrived at the International Space Station on October 3 and replaced the Expedition 11 crew.

The People's Republic of China successfully launched its second human spaceflight mission, called Shenzhou 6, on October 12. Two tai-konauts, Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng, traveled in space for almost five days and made 76 orbits of Earth before returning safely to Earth, making a soft, parachute-assisted landing in northern Inner Mongolia

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