Humans have been launching spacecraft beyond Earth orbit since 1959. These robotic emissaries follow in the footsteps of their predecessors, and are testaments to our long-lived desire to understand our place in the Cosmos.
There are currently spacecraft exploring or en route to Venus, Mars, asteroids, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Kuiper Belt, and even interstellar space. Closer to home, we have probes in lunar orbit, a handful of solar physics missions, space telescopes, and a fleet of Earth-observing satellites. In Earth orbit, the International Space Station continues to soar around the planet with a continually staffed crew of astronauts and cosmonauts.