Mankind's Robotic Explorers!

Shortly after the beginning of the Space Age, humans started sending robotic space probes into space. First they were sent to the Moon then shortly after on interplanetary missions to explore the fascinating worlds in the Solar System, Galaxy and Universe beyond! You can learn Exciting Fun Facts about Current Space Missions and also read about all the Cool Future Missions that are planned to launch soon.

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Space Probes Dispatched To Explore The Solar System & Beyond!!

To study a body in the Solar System or Universe beyond, a space probe (also referred to as a spacecraft) maybe launched by a powerful rocket and sent on any one of a number of different trajectories to either;

  • Orbit the Sun or orbit one of Earth’s nearby Lagrange points
  • Perform a flyby encounter of its target
  • Place the probe into orbit around astronomical object
  • Land on the moon, comet, asteroid or even another planet!
  • Continue on into interstellar space

Below you’ll find lists of the Best Space Probe Missions that were sent to either study the planets, land on the surfaces of various bodies, visit smaller moons, asteroids or comets and the space probes launched to be space observatories and telescopes to study Earth and/or the Universe! Remember to checkout the Current Space Missions and read about the Cool Future Missions that will launch soon!

Of course when we send these space probes out to explore, they are often sent on oneway journeys, so we need to communicate with them to receive their amazing data and images! To achieve this, NASA setup the Deep Space Network (DSN); a network of really big satellite dishes which can receive and transmit messages from our deep space explorers!

Space probes also need a rocket engine and a source of electricity while in space to get around and power all their sensors and instruments. There are a number of different ways that space probes achieve this which you can learn about on The Power and Rocket Propulsion page.

 
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Ulysses at Jupiter - An artist's impression of Ulysses spacecraft at Jupiter which used the planets gravity to hurl it out of the Plane of the Ecliptic (where most planets and satellites orbit) so it could study the polar regions of the Sun.
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