Space, the final frontier, well that phrase is to some, but it seems that the chaps over in the Google doodles department rather like the final frontier and anything that can be found to help celebrate the awesome landmarks that as mere men we've achieved.

Doodles are known as the decorative changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists and scientists.

Whether it is the beginning of spring - Albert Einstein's birthday - or the 50th anniversary of understanding DNA, the doodle team never fails to find artistic ways to celebrate these unique events, so says the company.

The doodle team has created over 300 doodles for in the United States and over 700 have been designed internationally with a whole team dedicated to creating new doodles when the opportunity arises.

Whether that's monkeys, celebrating the 50th anniversary of NASA or just praising the fact that we've made it to Mars, here are the best Space Google Doodles from the last 12 years.

The space inspired doodles start back in May 2000 although Google doesn't, in their doodle history, give a reason for the sudden appearance of a couple of aliens on the Google logo.

The aliens actually end up taking over the logo for 5 days stealing it and taking it home with them.

Space doesn't make a comeback for another 4 years, presumably because the aliens are happy with their logo find. Although how is this for spooky? When the space theme does reappear, it's with those aliens sitting on the logo and the Sprint rover on Mars.

Google's second "o" gets turned into Venus

Spaceship one wins the X Prize and a hallowed spot in Google's logo

It's already been Venus, why not the moon? That's the case for the anniversary of the lunar landing in this Google doodle from 2005.

On 12 April 1961, he became the first human in outer space and the first to orbit the Earth. 46 years later Yuri doesn't get a look in on the logo, but his spacecraft the Vostok 3KA-3 does, becoming, yep you guessed it, one of the Google "o"s

Keeping the Russian theme, Sputnik gets its own Google doodle in 2007 as well. This time the robotic spacecraft missions launched by the Soviet Union are celebrated 50 years after the first of these, Sputnik 1, launched the first human-made object to orbit the Earth.

The 50th anniversary of NASA shows a big rocket for the "l" in the Google logo, the Sprint rover on Mars, the moon lander and of course space. And yes the moon and Mars double as the "o"s.

Giovanni Schiaparelli's birthday some 174 years prior is the reason for this space inspired doodle. Schiaparelli, if you're wondering, was an Italian astronomer and science historian known for his studies of Mars.

The moon landing revisited 4 years after Google first doodled the historic event. This time the Google logo is made from craters in the moons surface.

A total eclipse of the sun. Google's "o" gets the eclipse treatment.

The Perseid Meteor Shower might look exciting in real life, but it doesn't fit that well into the logo. Still it captures the imagination of star gazers for a day in August 2009.

To celebrate the birthday of HG Wells Google ran three doodles on three consecutive weeks without telling anyone. Mass hysteria, panic and calls of the end of the world - just like the book War of the Worlds, and Google revealed its master plan. The world laughed and then moved on.

Moon viewing day is huge every year in Japan and this dedicated Moon Viewing Google doodle celebrated just that in 2009.

NASA finds water on the moon, Google celebrates with a water and moon inspired logo.

Travelling the vortex of space for 20 years earns you a Google doodle, and here the Hubble Space Telescope gets its 24 hours of fame.

Milutin Milankovic was a Serbian geophysicist and civil engineer, best known for his theory of ice ages, suggesting a relationship between Earth's long-term climate changes and periodic changes in its orbit, now known as Milankovic cycles, clearly someone in the Google doodle team is a fan.

Hayabusa was an unmanned spacecraft developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to return a sample of material from a small near-Earth asteroid, named 25143 Itokawa, to Earth for further analysis. As you might of gathered it returned to Earth on 13 June 2010.

Belka and Strelka spent a day in space aboard Korabl-Sputnik-2 (Sputnik 5) on August 19, 1960, before safely returning to Earth. And here their space helmets become the "o"'s of Google's logo.

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