Where My Probes At? Infographic Maps The Solar System's Active Space Probes
Ever since Sputnik launched into space in 1957, human space exploration has gradually stretched its fingers out across an increasingly large stretch of our solar system. Dozens upon dozens of space probes have been launched since Sputnik and while not all of them have completed their missions, many have helped us see our planetary neighbors in a completely new light.
At present, there are a remarkable number of active planetary and lunar space probes scattered across space. Some have reached their destinations and have been carrying out their studies for some time, others are just a fraction of the way into journeys that span hundreds of millions of miles. NASA, ESA, JAXA and ISRO all have active space probes hurtling through our solar system, and with all of the above planning new missions and the Chinese Space Agency also looking to send more, our exploration of space shows no signs of slowing down.
So, just where exactly are all of these space probes? We decided to make an infographic to find out, and by the time you've finished scrolling down this not-to-scale map, you'll hopefully have your mind firmly blown by just how far these man-made objects have travelled.
And that's not even half of it. While Mars is certainly the most scrutinized planet in our solar system, there are still plenty of active probes that have travelled or are en-route beyond our asteroid belt, and as you're about to find out, one spacecraft has even become the first man-made object ever to leave our solar system.