Updated! Zoomable Poster Now Shows Off 54 Years Of Space Exploration

by Elizabeth Howell on May 20, 2014

Cosmic Journey by Sean McNaughton, Samuel Velasco, 5W Infographics, Matthew Twombly and Jane Vessels, NGM staff, Amanda Hobbs.

Cosmic Journey by Sean McNaughton, Samuel Velasco, 5W Infographics, Matthew Twombly and Jane Vessels, NGM staff, Amanda Hobbs.

We humans are busy creatures when it comes to exploring the solar system. This new graphic (which updates one from four years ago) showcases all the planets we have visited in the past half-century. Both successful missions and failures are included on this updated list, although sadly you won’t find much about the various visits to comets and asteroids.

“The only downside to this spectacular map is the absence of orbits around minor bodies,” wrote Franck Marchis, a researcher at the Carl Sagan Center of the SETI Institute, in a blog post describing the graphic — which he often uses in public talks.

“Samuel Velasco, one of its creators, told me me that missions to asteroids and comets were not included because the graphic was getting too difficult to read. Tough choices had to be made.”

Other features of the graphic worth noting are the growing number of moon and Mars missions and the current locations of spacecraft in the outer solar system (or in Voyager 1’s case, beyond the solar system).

Explore the full resolution version by clicking on the lead image or here.

About 

Elizabeth Howell is the senior writer at Universe Today. She also works for Space.com, Space Exploration Network, the NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Astrobiology Magazine and LiveScience, among others. Career highlights include watching three shuttle launches, and going on a two-week simulated Mars expedition in rural Utah. You can follow her on Twitter @howellspace or contact her at her website.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: