The close encounter with Pluto by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft gives scientists unprecedented images of the dwarf planet.
At 9 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, the spacecraft sent messages back to mission operations at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland, confirming it had completed its mission, ending nerve-wracking hours for the craft's operators on Earth.
In honor of the achievement, here is a gallery of historic first images spacecraft have taken of other objects in the solar system.
— By CNBC's Robert Ferris
Posted 15 July 2015
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin plants the U.S. flag on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969.
NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft took the first image of the the Great Dark Spot on the surface of Neptune in 1989. By 1994, the Hubble telescope showed that the spot shown here had disappeared, but a similar one surfaced elsewhere on Neptune.
Here's the first color photograph taken on the surface of Mars, by NASA's Viking 1 probe on July 21, 1976.
NASA's Mariner 10 photographed the surface of Mercury 1974.
The first closeup of Venus, the second closest planet to the sun, was taken by the Mariner 10 spacecraft in 1974.
One of the first ever pictures of the moon, taken by J. W. Draper of New York in 1840.
A view of earth taken from Apollo 17 in December 1972. This was the first photograph showing the south polar ice cap.
The planet Jupiter, the largest in the solar system, was photographed by one of the Voyager spacecraft in 1979.
This image was taken by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, on July 13, 2015, when the spacecraft was 476,000 miles (768,000 kilometers) from the surface
The earth appearing above the moon's horizon was photographed by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin during the Apollo 11 mission.