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

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.

3 Replies to “Updated! Zoomable Poster Now Shows Off 54 Years Of Space Exploration”

  1. Beautifully done, though one annoying inaccuracy: Mariner 10 (and MESSENGER) used Venus to slow down, not speed up, in order to bleed off enough kinetic energy to get to Mercury going a reasonable speed.

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