National Geographic : 1998 Feb
Robert Burke and William Wills in 1860-61 make the first south-to-north cross ing of Australia by white men but perish on their return. In 1872 H.M.S . Challenger begins the first large-scale oceanographic study of the world's seas. English writer Mary Kings ley travels through west ern and central Africa to study native religions in 1893-95 . U 1900-2000 Norwegian Roald Amund sen sails through the Northwest Passage from 1903-06 and in 1911 is first to reach the South Pole. Americans Robert E. Peary and Matthew A. Henson claim the North Pole in 1909. In 1910 oceanographers John Murray and Johan Hjort undertake the first deep-sea research expedi tion of the North Atlantic. English archaeologist Ger trude Bell makes desert treks through Arabia and other Middle Eastern lands, beginning in 1913. Americans Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett fly over the North Pole in 1926; Byrd flies over the South Pole in 1929. Swiss physicist Auguste Piccard ascends to a rec ord ten miles in his strato spheric balloon in 1931. New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Ten zing Norgay reach the summit of Everest in 1953. Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh descend 35,800 feet in 1960 in the bathyscaph Trieste to reach the floor of Mariana Trench, the ocean's deepest point. Submarine U.S .S . Triton circumnavigates the globe without surfacing in 1960. Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human in space in 1961, completing one orbit of Earth. His colleague Valen tina Tereshkova is the first woman in space in 1963. In 1969 Apollo 11 be comes the first manned mission to land on the moon; American Neil Armstrong takes the first steps there. First Pole-to-Pole circum navigation of the globe is led by British explorer Ranulph Fiennes, from 1979 to 1982. NASA's Pathfinder lands on Mars in 1997. The lander and its rover, Sojourner, send images of the planet's surface back to Earth.