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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/20/2014 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Your boss will just have to understand.

The science fiction and science fact enthusiast website, Outer Places has published an infographic that shows every active satellite mission beyond Earth orbit. From Voyager 1, currently the farthest operating satellite, to several that observe the Sun, the graphic provides a list of all the spacecraft in operation as well as their current distances.

A cool infographic shows the locations of every active deep space mission.

A cool infographic shows the locations of every active deep space mission.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/20/2014 (11 months ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: space travel, infogrpahic


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It's just for fun and basic education, but a cool infographic has been produced and published on Outer Places, a website that combines science with science fiction for the enjoyment of visitors. The infographic displays every satellite mission in the solar system (and arguably beyond).

The satellites in Earth orbit are not included because they are far more numerous, but every satellite currently operating away from Earth is included. This also counts three satellites on an active lunar exploration mission. An exception are the Mars rovers, which are not listed.

St. Dominic, patron saint of astronomers.

The infographic provides a visual reference for how intensively we are studying the solar system around us. Mercury has a mission, Venus has one and another possible joiner in 2015. The moon has three and Mars has no less than three missions in orbit and two more will arrive in September.

An asteroid and a comet have missions and the giant planets, Jupiter and Saturn also have one apiece. The Jupiter mission will begin with the arrival of the Juno probe in 2016.

By contrast, neither Uranus nor Neptune, which are also large gas planets, but smaller than Jupiter and Saturn, have any missions associated with them. Both planets have only been photographed close-up by fly-bys of the outbound Voyager spacecraft.

Pluto will see the New Horizons mission in 2015, an operation a decade in the making that will last for just about one day. After that, New Horizons will sail on possibly imaging and studying yet more distant objects, but none very closely.

Well beyond New Horizons and into interstellar space are the Voyager probes with Voyager I standing as the champion above all.

Voyager I is the first manmade object to exit the Solar System and it is also the fastest. Perhaps most astoundingly, it is still operating nearly 40 years after its launch. Using an old cassette tape to serve as memory for its primitive computer and featuring much less processing power than the modern cellphone, Voyager I is still reporting on the conditions in interstellar space.

Voyager I sails at a stately distance of 11.8 billion miles from Earth, according to the infographic.

Have a look at the graphic below and be amazed at what we have accomplished with just under 60 years of spaceflight. Imagine what the next 60 will hold for humanity. Outerplaces.com

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