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Space Missions

Our Emissaries Across the Solar System

Since 1957, humanity has launched thousands of spacecraft. These robotic emissaries follow in the footsteps of their predecessors—testaments to our long-lived desire to understand our place in the Cosmos. 

There are currently spacecraft exploring Venus, Mars, and Saturn, as well as a comet and an asteroid. The Voyager spacecraft are hurtling out of our solar system, while New Horizons speeds out into the Kuiper Belt after its encounter with Pluto. Closer to home, we have probes in lunar orbit, a handful of solar physics missions, space telescopes, and a small army 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. 

Our space missions pages are your portal to news and facts about our ongoing exploration of the solar system. 

Recent Mission Status Updates

NASA Stays on Course for Asteroid Redirect Target

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/01/28 05:55 CST | 1 comment

NASA still plans to pluck a boulder off the surface of asteroid 2008 EV5, return it to lunar orbit and send a crew of astronauts for a visit in about ten years.

Read More »

China invites public on-board its robotic missions; and how to download Chang'e data

Posted by Quanzhi Ye on 2016/01/25 10:50 CST

China plans a busy future in robotic space exploration. Besides the scientific merit, what interests me most about the upcoming Chang'e 4 mission is their intention to get the public involved.

Read More »

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Space Mission Timelines

Missions to Venus and Mercury

A list of key dates and basic facts on all the missions that have explored Venus and Mercury.

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Missions to Mars

The missions, both successful and failed, that have flown by, orbited, or landed on the Red Planet and its moons

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Missions beyond Mars

The spacecraft that have traveled to asteroids, outer planets, comets, and beyond

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Missions to the Moon

A timeline of missions to the Moon

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Cassini’s Tour of the Saturn System

13 years, 250 orbits, and 127 gravity-assist flybys – explore the Saturn system with NASA's Cassini mission.

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Missions to study the Sun

Spacecraft that study our dynamic Sun and help us understand how it affects our planet.

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Election 2016

Space rarely makes a strong showing in national elections, despite the major state of transition NASA finds itself in today.

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