Captain James Cook set out on his first expedition to find the planet Venus, went about his second expedition to find the southern continent and went out on his third expedition to find a passage between North America and Asia. Although many of Cook's expeditions were thought to be failures, he and his team made many important discoveries.
During his first expedition, Cook set out to find and observe Venus to try to determine how far the Earth was from the sun. The second expedition began in 1772 and during this time, Cook wanted to either find a southern continent he heard about or prove it didn't exist. During his third expedition, he and his team searched the coast of Alaska for a passage to Asia, but came up empty-handed.