| Share
 

INTERPLANETARY SPACECRAFT

Exploring the planets and other bodies in the Solar System are interplanetary spacecraft. They carry advanced cameras and other instruments to detect radiation, magnetism, and tiny particles of matter.

WHERE HAVE INTERPLANETARY SPACECRAFT BEEN?

The first spacecraft were sent to explore the Moon, then the closest planets, Venus and Mars. By now, all the planets except Pluto have been visited. Most spacecraft fly by their targets, but some release a PROBE to explore the surface. Interplanetary spacecraft have also explored comets and asteroids.

Table 13. KEY INTERPLANETARY MISSIONS

DATEMISSIONTARGET
1959Luna 2First to photograph far side of Moon
1965Mariner 4First close-up images of another planet (Mars)
1973Pioneer 10First close-up of Jupiter
1976Viking 1, 2First to land on Mars
1986Voyager 2First to explore Uranus
1986GiottoFirst close encounter with a comet (Halley’s)
2000NEARFirst to land on an asteroid (Eros)

PROBES

A probe is a part of a larger spacecraft that is released to drop into the atmosphere or to the surface of a planet or a moon.

WHAT IS THE HUYGENS PROBE?

The Cassini orbiter carries a probe called Huygens. In 2005 Huygens will parachute down through the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, sending back information as it falls to the surface.

FIND OUT MORE

Mars
Saturn
Solar System

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring