Space Probes | Exploring The Solar System! 🛰
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.
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 objects
- 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 check out 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 one-way journeys, so we need to communicate with them to receive their amazing data and images! To achieve this, NASA set up 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.
Space Probes Sent To Explore The Planets!
- A ‘2001 Space Odyssey’ To Map Mars
- The Incredible Cassini-Huygens Probe Unmasks Saturn & Its Moons
- Galileo – The First To Orbit And Study Jupiter
- Juno Spacecraft Returns To Jupiter To Study Its Polar Regions
- Magellan’s Mission To Peer Through The Haze & Map Venus
- Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter | Imaging Mars From Above
- MARVEN | The Martian Atmosphere Probe
- MESSENGER Mission To Study Mercury
- New Horizons Spacecraft – To The Dwarf Planet Pluto & Beyond
- Pioneer 10 & 11 | The Pioneering Interplanetary Missions
- The Mariner Program NASA’s First Interplanetary Missions!
- Voyager I – To Jupiter, Saturn & Beyond
- Voyager II – To The Gas Giants & Beyond
Rovers And Landers That Landed On The Surface!
- Curiosity Rover – The Cool Car Sized Rover Exploring Mars
- Huygens Landing Probe – The First To Explore Titan!
- Mars’ Phoenix Lander – The Polar Explorer
- Opportunity Rover – The Record Breaking Mars Explorer
- Philae | Rosetta Deploys The First Comet Lander!
- Search For Martians! The NASA Mars 2020 Rover
- Sojourner Rover (Pathfinder) – Mars’ First Little Rover
- Spirit Rover – The Extraordinary Explorer Who Got Stuck
- Surveyor Program | Preparing For Manned Landings
- Probing Mar’s Interior With The InSight Martian Lander
- The Russian Venera Series Of Landers To Venus
- Viking 1 & 2 – NASA’s Early Missions To Land On Mars
- NASA’s Futuristic Dragonfly Drone Mission To Saturn’s Moon Titan
Space Probes Sent To Smaller Bodies Like Asteroids & Comets!
- Checkout The OSIRIS-Rex Asteroid Sample Return Mission
- Dawn – The First Probe to Visit Two Targets (Vesta & Ceres)!
- Deep Impact – Colliding With A Comet!
- Europa Clipper’s Journey To A Frozen Ocean World
- Learn About ESA’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE)
- Lucy Spacecraft – Deep Space Traveller To Jupiter’s Trojan Asteroids
- Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter | Mapping The Moon
- NEAR Shoemaker & The First Landing On An Asteroid!
- Psyche Probe – Journey To Orbit A Metal World
- Rosetta Mission – First To Orbit & Land On A Comet!
- Stardust – The First Comet Coma Sample Return Mission!
Space based Telescopes/Observatories!
- Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) Spacecraft
- Interesting Facts About The Herschel Space Observatory
- Kepler Space Telescope | The Exoplanet Hunter
- Learn About NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope!
- Planck Spacecraft Maps The Universe’s Oldest Light
- Quick Facts About The Sun Studying SOHO Spacecraft
- Read About The Milky Way Mapping Gaia Spacecraft
- Spitzer Space Telescope | Observing In Infrared
- The Sun Studying Ulysses Spacecraft
- A Journey To Touch The Sun With The Parker Solar Probe