The Sciences

50 trippy years of space trips

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitOct 12, 2009 4:02 PM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

In October of 1957, the Soviet Union started the Space Age with the launch of Sputnik. Since then, a lot of spacecraft have wended their way through the solar system and beyond. Trying to visualize all those trips can be mind-bending, so what better way to do so then to make a mind-bending graphic? The good folks at National Geographic have done just that. Check this out:

This clever image displays all the space missions to various bodies. If an object (like the Moon) has a thicker spiral wound around it, then that means it's been visited more times. Here's some detail:

This shows a stylized view of the 73 missions that went to the Moon in the past 5 decades, and has some info on each. The original map is zoomable and pannable, so you can spend some time fooling around there. Take a look at the bottom, too, and you'll find a scaled view of the solar system with spacecraft positions. Look how far away Voyager 1 is! There's also a static version of the image online, but I'm not sure how legal that copy is. The original artwork is by Sean McNaughton on the National Geographic staff and Samuel Velasco of 5W Infographics. And may I add, holy cow! 73 missions to the Moon! And more to come. We're a cool species.

Tip o' the spacesuit visor to Fark.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!

Subscribe

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2022 Kalmbach Media Co.