Detailed Cosmic Map Shows You Every Space Mission Ever Launched

Friday, 18 March 2016 - 11:18AM
Friday, 18 March 2016 - 11:18AM
Detailed Cosmic Map Shows You Every Space Mission Ever Launched
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With the Philae landing, the exploration of Pluto, and the discovery of water on Mars, space exploration is becoming more and more central to the public consciousness, which has led to NASA and other space agencies filling space with probes. In addition to the many probes in Earth's orbit, there are 19 probes exploring our Solar System right now, and several important missions-in-progress, like Voyager 2, which will leave our Solar System for the first time, and NASA's planned trip to Europa. But until then, here is a handy cosmic map to keep track of all the ongoing missions currently exploring outer space:

For an enlarged version, click here:

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The infographic was made by Pop Chart Lab, who wrote on their website:

Opening quote
"From the Luna 2 in 1959 to the DSCOVR in 2015, this colour-coded chart traces the trajectories of every orbiter, lander, rover, flyby, and impactor to ever slip the surly bonds of Earth's orbit and successfully complete its mission-a truly astronomical array of over 100 exploratory instruments in all.
Featuring hand-illustrated renderings of each spacecraft juxtaposed against the serried giants of our Solar System, this galactic survey is a testament to man's forays into the grand cosmic ballet."
Closing quote

As you can see, the vast majority of our space probes never leave Earth's orbit, which makes the area around Earth look like a tangled mess of orbiters. On the other extremes, either close to or far away from the Sun, the probes become scarce, and out by Pluto, there's only one: the New Horizons probe, which performed a historic flyby near our former ninth planet back in July

Via Science Alert