Was that the NEAR Shoemaker probe or the Cassini probe flew by the thing, and took pictures of the thing? For those of us who can’t keep our interplanetary expeditions straight, National Geographic’s Fifty Years of Exploration map is sure to give us the answer.
The first attempts to reach Mars (1960) and Venus (1961) failed, yet triumph followed quickly. Of the nearly 200 solar, lunar, and interplanetary missions depicted on this map, most have been Earth’s closest neighbors. As rocketry, navigation, and imaging have become ever more capable and reliable, the planets and many of the moons have been examined in detail. The New Horizons mission to Pluto is under way, as is the MESSENGER mission to Mercury. Others not yet launched, perhaps not yet dreamed, await.
Tell me you wouldn’t like this beautiful map on your wall, accurate scale or no.