Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

What's Up in the Solar System diagram by Olaf Frohn (updated for March 2017)

Filed under mission status, trajectory diagrams

Go Back

What's Up in the Solar System diagram by Olaf Frohn (updated for March 2017) A diagram, updated once a month, of active space missions traveling beyond Earth orbit. Contains links to past diagrams.

Olaf Frohn

Download past diagrams:

Original image data dated on or about February 27, 2017.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. For uses not allowed by that license, contact us to request publication permission from the copyright holder: Olaf Frohn


Other Related Images


Anonymous: 03/16/2014 01:46 CDT

I registered simply for saying thank you. This is a wonderful map.

Anonymous: 11/28/2014 06:35 CST

Spacecraft that are (currently) not working should be shown in a differnt color: ICE Stereo B Philae Chang'e 3 (probably dead, could be removed) Pioneer 10 (dead, should be removed) Pioneer 11 (dead, should be removed) The following near term EOM are not listed: Messenger EOM Spring 2015 Venus Express EOM ~2015 Rosetta EOM ~End 2015 Missing Spacecraft WIND @ L1

Anonymous: 11/28/2014 06:57 CST

As SDO is listed as a solar observing spacecraft in earth orbit also the following missions should be listed: IRIS Hinode

Anonymous: 11/29/2014 04:08 CST

Missing Spacecraft Chang'e 2 (probably still operating) Further earth orbiting solar observing satellites: Proba-2 RHESSI Could also be added: Earth magnetic field measurement satellites: Geotail Cluster-II FM-5/6/7/8 Swarm A/B/C MMS 1/2/3/4 set for launch Mar 2015 Astronomy Spacecraft that also (sometimes) observe solar system objects: HST (Earth orbit) NEOWISE (Earth orbit) HISAKI (Earth Orbit) Spacecraft (mostly) not observing the solar system but outside earth orbit: Spitzer (earth trailing orbit) Kepler (earth trailing orbit) GAIA (L2)

Olaf: 12/30/2014 04:12 CST

@anonymous, thanks for the extensive comments. My basic criteria for inclusion on the map are spacecraft that are traveling beyond Earth orbit and are watching or exploring solar system bodies, with a few exceptions. So that rules out astrophysics missions and space observatories in low Earth orbit. For those I have a separate graphic here: As for exceptions, SDO forms a constellation with SOHO and the STEREO probe(s), so I've included it, and also for it's importance. The Pioneers are not active any more, but they carry each a message plate "to whom it may concern", so they still have a mission. Or just call it nostalgia if you want to. About which missions to remove or color differently, thats a continuous issue that I decide case-by-case. ICE has been an active citizen-science mission as of a short while ago, but is out of contact now, so it will disappear soon. As you can see, in the latest issue I have colored STEREO B and Venus Express differently, as it is not known if they will be contacted again, but have not been officially declared dead yet. The same could be said for Philae, occurred to me just now, so OK, it'll go in next month. Chang'e 3 is still active, for Yutu I'm awaiting official confirmation. Chang'e 2 is out of communication range since July 2013 and may or may not be revived when China upgrades its deep space comms. EOMs I only include if they are definitive or real soon now. Rosetta e.g. may get a mission extension, VEX see above, MESSENGER is included in the latest version. And that leaves WIND. Yeah that has been missing since the beginning. I'll rectify that shortly momentarily.

Anonymous: 05/01/2015 01:57 CDT

Looks like Venus got bored of its orbit this month ;-)

sepiae : 05/08/2015 07:45 CDT

2017 seems a way off, but it isn't and the EOM of Cassini already breaks my heart... But thanks for the map :)

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!