Tuesday, October 27, 2009

50 years of space exploration map‏


Checkout this beautiful map illustrating where our probes have been so far in the solar system:


There's a zoomable version at:


Very nice. Checkout the scale at the bottom, you'll see Voyager 1 at 10 billion miles (16.5 billion Kms) way past Pluto's orbit heading into interstellar space and this is the first human made object to leave the solar system. It was launched in 1977 and is still transmitting! No batteries onboard, the probe is powered by Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs):


which should generate electricity for the probe till 2025, at this distance from the sun, solar panels don't work. I think if ET finds the onboard golden record they should have a box office sellout at the movies on their planet! ;-)

Attached photo: Suncat getting ready for the Manly fast ferry service.


  1. The future of human space exploration looks bleak. After making great leaps 50 years ago, stagnation has taken over. No human has left Earth orbit in 37 years, and NASA's current unambitious goals look to be further delayed or scaled back.


  2. Hi Canada Guy,

    The biggest hindrance to get large amount of hardware into orbit is the use of chemical rockets to escape Earth's gravity well. Until this is resolved, space exploration will be expensive, still moderately risky and given the lack of money these days there's a good chance space exploration will be scaled back.

    It's upto Propulsion Physicists to come up with a novel solution that does away with chemical rockets or a propulsion system that uses other Physics currently unknown to us.