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Going Back To Those Faraway Places . . .
RECENT INTERPLANETARY PROBES Our Star:
The Inner Planets:
Terra Aqua Aura
Mars Recon Orbiter
Mars Global Surveyor
others Outer Planets:
New Horizons Other Bodies:
Deep Space 1
Robot Insect Explorers »»
Mankind has resumed regular visits to those mysterious faraway places we call planets. Earth is a planet, one of the nine known to exist in our Solar System – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
There also are chunks of naturally-occuring space debris known as moons, asteroids and comets moving around in our Solar System.
Late in the few million years we've been here, we've sent out robots to visit all of the other eight planets, except Pluto. Our atuomated explorers have taken close-up looks at asteroids and comets. Today we're at Saturn and Mars, and on the way to Mercury by way of Venus. We have plans to head on out to Pluto, the most distant of the nine known planets.
Robotic emissaries from Earth are and will carry out some very exciting expeditions. In these opening years of the 20th century, human planetary exploration is bringing an explosion of knowledge. One writer has called it a "21st century renaissance."
Sending robot scouts out for a looksee billions of miles from home may seem like science fiction, but they're real. NASA actually is planning to send soon its first mission to arrive at far-distant Pluto about 2015.
Meanwhile, NASA's Mars Expeditions Team has suggested that by that same year, 2015, or shortly thereafter, we could see people from Earth preparing to live on the surface of Mars for as long as two of our Earth years. How about reading today's weather forecasts from Mars right here on the World Wide Web? Pretty cool future!
[ mars weather »» ]
Learn more about NASA space science missions:
- List and links to past, present and puture space science missions
- Past space science missions
- Space science missions in operation
- Space science missions in development
- Space science missions under study
Star: The Sun Inner Planets: Mercury Venus Earth Mars Outer Planets: Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto Other Bodies: Moons Asteroids Comets The Voyagers
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