A space probe is a vessel sent by man in space and to explore objects in our solar system: planet, Comet, asteroid, Star, etc. Many attempts remained fruitless as the American side than on the Russian side, but the Soviets were the first are able to get an object made by humans, from the fields of terrestrial attraction.
January 2, 1959, the Lunik 1 space probe approach 6 000 km of the moon to then continue its journey in space after sending some data.
Two months later, the American Pioneer probe performs the same route. Since fifty years, these spacecraft are sent in our solar system, with a high failure rate but successful missions of its probes we are worth of beautiful comments that make dream, the general public and scientists.
A space probe may have different functions depending on the type of module it on-board. There is talk of Orbiter when it fits into orbit the target luminary, of Lander when it arises on a solid body, or probe of re-entry when it enters the atmosphere of a gaseous body. A probe's mission, make measurements in situ and transmit us its data. Equipped with cameras for comments, it shows us the target object, in an angle of view inaccessible from Earth and terrestrial atmospheric disturbances.
It is important to make a difference with artificial satellites, which they are intended to be launched into Earth orbit. However, some probes are also intended to be put in orbit around other planets, satellites of planets or even on small asteroids.
The United States largely dominate this area of the exploration of the solar system, by space probes. In 1964 a first space probe is sent to Mars, then towards Jupiter, in 1973 to Saturn and Jupiter, and another in 1972 to mercury, in 1977 to Uranus and Neptune and Jupiter and Saturn. In the 20th century, , in 2015 Pluto with the probe New Horizons.
The images coming us probes, often reflect our past but we also show our future.
Image: This image of 2011, shows the position of Voyager 1, launched in 1977, km 17.5 billion. Its signal is 16 hours to 117 times the distance Earth-Sun. Pioneer 10 is 15.4 billion km of the Sun, Voyager 2 to 14.2 billion km and Pioneer 11 to 12.4 billion km, well beyond the orbit of Pluto. Before the orbit of Pluton, the New Horizons probe is 3 billion km. All these spaceships used the effects of gravitational Slingshot to gain speed. Travel 1 is the fastest with a speed of 17 km/s. Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech
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