List of Solar System probes

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For a list of active probes only, see List of active Solar System probes. For a list of landers only, see Landings on other planets.

This is a list of all space probes that have left Earth orbit (or were launched with that intention but failed), organised by their planned destination. It includes planetary probes, solar probes, and probes to asteroids and comets, but excludes lunar probes (listed separately at List of lunar probes). Flybys (such as gravity assists) that were incidental to the main purpose of the mission are also included. Confirmed future probes are included, but missions that are still at the concept stage, or which never progressed beyond the concept stage, are not.

Key[edit]

Colour key:

     – Mission or flyby completed successfully (or partially successfully)         Failed or cancelled mission
     – Mission en route or in progress (including mission extensions)     Planned mission
  • means "tentatively identified", as classified by NASA.[1] These are Cold War-era Soviet missions, mostly failures, about which few or no details have been officially released. The information given may be speculative.
  • Date is the date of:
  • closest encounter (flybys)
  • impact (impactors)
  • orbital insertion to end of mission, whether planned or premature (orbiters)
  • landing to end of mission, whether planned or premature (landers)
  • launch (missions that never got underway due to failure at or soon after launch)
In cases which do not fit any of the above, the event to which the date refers is stated. Note that as a result of this scheme missions are not always listed in order of launch.
  • Some of the terms used under Type:
  • Flyby: The probe flies by a astronomical body, but does not orbit it
  • Orbiter: Part of a probe that orbits an astronomical body
  • Lander: Part of a probe that descend to the surface of an astronomical body
  • Rover: Part of a probe that acts as a vehicle to move on the solid-surface of an astronomical body
  • Penetrator: Part of a probe that impacts an astronomical body
  • Atmospheric probe or ballon: Part of a probe that descend through or floats in the atmosphere of an astronomical body
  • Sample return: Parts of the probe return back to Earth with physical samples
  • Under Status, in the case of flybys (such as gravity assists) that are incidental to the main mission, "success" indicates the successful completion of the flyby, not necessarily that of the main mission.

Solar probes[edit]

While the Sun is not physically explorable with current technology, the following solar observation probes have been designed and launched to operate in heliocentric orbit or at one of the Earth–Sun Lagrangian points – additional solar observatories were placed in Earth-orbiting and are not included in this list:

Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
Pioneer 5 United States NASA/
No image.svg DOD
March–April 1960 orbiter success measured magnetic field phenomena, solar flare particles, and ionization in the interplanetary region Pioneer-5.jpg [2]
Pioneer 6 United States NASA December 1965 – still contactable in 2000 orbiter success network of solar-orbiting "space weather" monitors, observing solar wind, cosmic rays, and magnetic fields Pioneer-6-9.jpg [3]
Pioneer 7 United States NASA August 1966 – still contactable in 1995 orbiter success [4]
Pioneer 8 United States NASA December 1967 – still contactable in 2001 orbiter success [5]
Pioneer 9 United States NASA November 1968 – May 1983 orbiter success [6]
Pioneer-E United States NASA 27 August 1969 orbiter failure intended as part of the Pioneer 6–9 network; failed to reach orbit Pioneer-6-9.jpg [7]
Helios A United States NASA/
West Germany BWF
November 1974 – 1982 orbiter success observations of solar wind, magnetic and electric fields, cosmic rays and cosmic dust between Earth and Sun Helios spacecraft.jpg [8]
Helios B United States NASA/
West Germany BWF
January 1976 – 1985? orbiter success [9]
ISEE-3 United States NASA 1978–1982 orbiter success observed solar phenomena in conjunction with earth-orbiting ISEE-1 and ISEE-2; later renamed International Cometary Explorer (ICE) and directed to Comet Giacobini-Zinner ISEE3-ICE.jpg [10]
Ulysses
(first pass)
Not the esa logo.png ESA/
United States NASA
1994 orbiter success south polar observations Ulysses spacecraft.jpg [11]
1995 north polar observations
WIND United States NASA November 1994 — still returning data (as of December 2013)[12] orbiter success solar wind measurements Wind probe.jpg [13]
SOHO Not the esa logo.png ESA/
United States NASA
May 1996 – mission extended until 31 December 2016[14] orbiter success investigation of Sun's core, corona, and solar wind; comet discoveries [15]
ACE United States NASA August 1997 – still returning data (as of December 2013)[16] orbiter success solar wind observations Advanced Composition Explorer.jpg [17]
Ulysses
(second pass)
Not the esa logo.png ESA/
United States NASA
2000 orbiter success south polar observations Ulysses spacecraft.jpg [11]
2001 north polar observations
Genesis United States NASA 2001–2004 orbiter/
sample return
success solar wind sample return; crash landed on return to Earth, much data salvaged Genesis in collection mode.jpg [18]
STEREO A United States NASA December 2006 – still returning data (as of December 2013)[19][20] orbiter success stereoscopic imaging of coronal mass ejections and other solar phenomena STEREO spacecraft.gif [21]
STEREO B United States NASA December 2006 – still returning data (as of December 2013)[19][20] orbiter success [22]
Ulysses
(third pass)
Not the esa logo.png ESA/
United States NASA
2007 orbiter success south polar observations Ulysses spacecraft.jpg [11]
2008 partial success north polar observations; some data returned despite failing power and reduced transmission capacity
Solar Sentinels United States NASA 2015 multi-probe orbiter planned six probes watching the sun [23]
Solar Probe Plus United States NASA 2015 orbiter under study close-range coronal observations [24]
Intergelio-Zond Russia RKA 2019 orbiter planned close-range solar observations [25]
Aditya India ISRO 2017-2018 orbiter planned to study Solar Corona [26]

Mercury probes[edit]

Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
Mariner 10 United States NASA 29 March 1974 flyby success minimum distance 704 km Mariner10.gif [27]
21 September 1974 48,069 km
16 March 1975 327 km
MESSENGER United States NASA 14 January 2008 flyby success minimum distance 200 km Messenger.jpg [28]
6 October 2008 minimum distance 200 km
29 September 2009 minimum distance 200 km
18 March 2011 –
March 2013
orbiter success
BepiColombo Not the esa logo.png ESA/
Japan JAXA
July 2016 [29]
   Mercury
Planetary Orbiter
Not the esa logo.png ESA orbiter under construction
Mercury Magnetospheric
Orbiter
Japan JAXA orbiter under construction

Venus probes[edit]

Main article: Exploration of Venus

1961–1965[edit]

Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
Sputnik 7 Soviet Union (USSR) 4 February 1961 lander failure failed to escape from Earth orbit [30]
Venera 1 Soviet Union (USSR) 19 May 1961 –
20 May 1961
flyby failure contact lost 7 days after launch; first spacecraft to fly by another planet [31]
Mariner 1 United States NASA 22 July 1962 flyby failure guidance failure shortly after launch [32]
Sputnik 19 Soviet Union (USSR) 25 August 1962 lander failure failed to escape Earth orbit [33]
Sputnik 20 Soviet Union (USSR) 1 September 1962 lander failure failed to escape Earth orbit [34]
Sputnik 21 Soviet Union (USSR) 12 September 1962 flyby failure third stage exploded [35]
Mariner 2 United States NASA 14 December 1962 flyby success first successful Venus flyby; minimum distance 34,773 km Mariner 2 in space.jpg [36]
Cosmos 21 Soviet Union (USSR) 11 November 1963 flyby? failure failed to escape Earth orbit [37]
Venera 1964A Soviet Union (USSR) 19 February 1964 flyby failure failed to reach Earth orbit [38]
Venera 1964B Soviet Union (USSR) 1 March 1964 flyby failure failed to reach Earth orbit [38]
Cosmos 27 Soviet Union (USSR) 27 March 1964 flyby failure failed to escape Earth orbit [39]
Zond 1 Soviet Union (USSR) 1964 flyby and possible lander failure contact lost en route [40]
Cosmos 96 Soviet Union (USSR) 23 November 1965 lander failure exploded? [41]
Venera 1965A Soviet Union (USSR) 26 November 1965 flyby failure launch vehicle failure? [38]

1966–1970[edit]

Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
Venera 2 Soviet Union (USSR) 27 February 1966 flyby failure ceased to operate en route [42]
Venera 3 Soviet Union (USSR) 1 March 1966 lander failure contact lost before arrival; first spacecraft to impact on the surface of another planet [43]
Kosmos 167 Soviet Union (USSR) 17 June 1967 lander failure failed to escape Earth orbit [44]
Venera 4 Soviet Union (USSR) 18 October 1967 atmospheric probe success continued to transmit to an altitude of 25 km [45]
Mariner 5 United States NASA 19 October 1967 flyby success minimum distance 5,000 km Mariner05.gif [46]
Venera 5 Soviet Union (USSR) 16 May 1969 atmospheric probe success transmitted atmospheric data for 53 minutes, to an altitude of about 26 km [47]
Venera 6 Soviet Union (USSR) 17 May 1969 atmospheric probe success transmitted atmospheric data for 51 minutes, to an altitude of perhaps 10–12 km [48]
Cosmos 359 Soviet Union (USSR) 22 August 1970 lander? failure failed to escape Earth orbit [49]
Venera 7 Soviet Union (USSR) 15 December 1970 lander success first successful landing on another planet; signals returned from surface for 23 minutes [50]

1971–1975[edit]

Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
Cosmos 482 Soviet Union (USSR) 31 March 1972 lander? failure failed to escape Earth orbit [51]
Venera 8 Soviet Union (USSR) 22 July 1972 lander success signals returned from surface for 50 minutes Venera 8.jpg [52]
Mariner 10 United States NASA 5 February 1974 flyby success minimum distance 5768 km, en route to Mercury; first use of gravity assist by an interplanetary spacecraft Mariner10.gif [27]
Venera 9 Soviet Union (USSR) 1975 orbiter success first spacecraft to orbit Venus; communications relay for lander; atmospheric and magnetic studies Venera 9 orbiter.jpg [53]
22 October 1975 lander success first images from the surface; operated on surface for 53 minutes Venera 9 lander.jpg [54]
Venera 10 Soviet Union (USSR) 1975 orbiter success communications relay for lander; atmospheric and magnetic studies Venera 10 orbiter.jpg [55]
23 October 1975 lander success transmitted from surface for 65 minutes [56]

1978[edit]

Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
Pioneer Venus Orbiter United States NASA 4 December 1978 –
1992
orbiter success atmospheric and magnetic studies Pioneer Venus orbiter.jpg [57]
Pioneer Venus Multiprobe United States NASA 9 December 1978 Pioneer Venus 2 inspection.jpg
bus probe transporter success deployed four atmospheric probes, then burnt up in Venusian atmosphere, continuing to transmit to 110 km altitude [58]
large probe atmospheric probe success Largevenusprobe.gif [59]
north probe atmospheric probe success Smallvenusprobe.gif [60]
day probe atmospheric probe success survived impact and continued to transmit from surface for over an hour [61]
night probe atmospheric probe success [62]
Venera 12 Soviet Union SAS
flight platform 21 December 1978 flyby success minimum distance 34,000 km; deployed lander and then acted as communications relay [63]
descent craft 21 December 1978 lander partial success soft landing; transmissions returned for 110 minutes; failure of some instruments [64]
Venera 11 Soviet Union SAS identical to Venera 12
   flight platform 25 December 1978 flyby success minimum distance 34,000 km; deployed lander and then acted as communications relay [65]
descent craft 25 December 1978 lander partial success soft landing; transmissions returned for 95 minutes; failure of some instruments [66]

1982–1994[edit]

Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
Venera 13 Soviet Union SAS
   bus 1 March 1982 flyby success deployed lander and then acted as communications relay Venera 13 orbiter.gif [67]
descent craft 1 March 1982 lander success survived on surface for 127 minutes Venera 13 lander.gif [68]
Venera 14 Soviet Union SAS identical to Venera 13
bus 5 March 1982 flyby success deployed lander and then acted as communications relay Venera 13 orbiter.gif [69]
descent craft 5 March 1982 lander success survived on surface for 57 minutes Venera 13 lander.gif [70]
Venera 15 Soviet Union SAS 1983–1984 orbiter success radar mapping Venera 15.gif [71]
Venera 16 Soviet Union SAS 1983–1984 orbiter success radar mapping; identical to Venera 15 Venera 15.gif [72]
Vega 1 Soviet Union SAS 11 June 1985 flyby success went on to fly by Halley's comet [73]
lander failure instruments deployed prematurely [74]
atmospheric balloon success floated at an altitude of about 54 km and transmitted for around 46 hours [75]
Vega 2 Soviet Union SAS 15 June 1985 flyby success went on to fly by Halley's comet [76]
lander success transmitted from surface for 56 minutes [77]
atmospheric balloon success floated at an altitude of about 54 km and transmitted for around 46 hours [78]
Galileo United States NASA 10 February 1990 flyby success gravity assist en route to Jupiter; minimum distance 16,000 km Galileo Preparations - GPN-2000-000672.jpg [79]
Magellan United States NASA 10 August 1990 –
12 October 1994
orbiter success global radar mapping Magellan at Kennedy Space Center.jpg [80]

1998–present[edit]

Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
Cassini United States NASA/
Not the esa logo.png ESA/
Italy ASI
26 April 1998 flyby success gravity assist en route to Saturn Cassini assembly.jpg [81]
24 June 1999
Venus Express Not the esa logo.png ESA 11 April 2006 – mission extended until at least December 2014[82] orbiter success atmospheric studies; planetary imaging; magnetic observations Venus Express in orbit.jpg [83]
MESSENGER United States NASA 24 October 2006 flyby success gravity assist only; minimum distance 2990 km Messenger.jpg [28]
6 June 2007 success minimum distance 300 km; en route to Mercury
Akatsuki
(PLANET-C)
Japan JAXA 7 December 2010 orbiter failure failed to attain Venus orbit. [84]
IKAROS Japan JAXA 8 December 2010[85] flyby[86] success solar sail technology development / interplanetary space exploration IKAROS solar sail.jpg [87]
Shin'en
(UNITEC-1)
Japan UNISEC December 2010? flyby[88] failure contact lost shortly after launch[89] [90]
Akatsuki
(PLANET-C)
Japan JAXA Dec 2016 or Jan 2017 orbiter en route planned second attempt at orbit insertion when craft next approaches Venus [84]

Future[edit]

Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
Venus In-Situ Explorer United States NASA 2013 in-situ explorer planned Venus In-Situ Explorer.png [91]
Venus Surface Explorer United States NASA 2020 in-situ explorer planned [92]
Venera-D Russia RKA 2024 orbiter planned [93][94]

Earth flybys[edit]

Main article: List of Earth flybys

These are probes that incidentally performed Earth flybys during missions to other bodies, often as part of gravity-assist orbital manoeuvres. Earth-orbiting craft are not listed.

Lunar probes[edit]

See List of lunar probes

Mars probes[edit]

1960s[edit]

Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
Mars 1960A Soviet Union USSR 10 October 1960 flyby failure failed to reach Earth orbit [95]
Mars 1960B Soviet Union USSR 14 October 1960 flyby failure failed to reach Earth orbit [96]
Mars 1962A Soviet Union USSR 24 October 1962 flyby failure exploded in or en route to Earth orbit [97]
Mars 1962B Soviet Union USSR 11 November 1962 (launch) lander failure broke up during transfer to Mars trajectory [98]
Mars 1 Soviet Union USSR 19 June 1963 flyby failure contact lost en route; flew within approximately 193,000 km of Mars [99]
Mariner 3 United States NASA 5 November 1964 flyby failure protective shield failed to eject, preventing craft from attaining correct trajectory Mariner 3 and 4.jpg [100]
Zond 2 Soviet Union USSR 6 August 1965 flyby failure contact lost en route; flew within 1,500 km of Mars [101]
Mariner 4 United States NASA 15 July 1965 flyby success first close-up images of Mars Mariner 3 and 4.jpg [102]
Mariner 6 United States NASA 31 July 1969 flyby success Mariner 6and7.gif [103]
Mariner 7 United States NASA 5 August 1969 flyby success Mariner 6and7.gif [104]
Mars 1969A Soviet Union USSR 27 March 1969 orbiter failure launch failure [105]
Mars 1969B Soviet Union USSR 2 April 1969 orbiter failure launch failure [106]

1970s and 1980s[edit]

Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
Mariner 8 United States NASA 9 May 1971 orbiter failure launch vehicle failure Mariner09.jpg [107]
Mariner 9 United States NASA 14 November 1971 orbiter success first spacecraft to orbit another planet Mariner09.jpg [108]
Mars 2 Soviet Union USSR November 1971 –
August 1972
orbiter success first Russian spacecraft to orbit another planet [109]
   Mars 2 Lander Soviet Union USSR 27 November 1971 lander and short range rover failure crashed; first manmade object to reach surface of Mars [110]
Mars 3 Soviet Union USSR December 1971 –
August 1972
orbiter partial success attained a different orbit than intended due to insufficient fuel [111]
Mars 3 Lander Soviet Union USSR 2 December 1971 lander and short range rover failure contact lost 110 sec after soft landing [112]
Cosmos 419 Soviet Union USSR 10 May 1971 orbiter failure failed to escape Earth orbit [113]
Mars 4 Soviet Union USSR 10 February 1974 orbiter failure orbit insertion failed, became flyby [114]
Mars 5 Soviet Union USSR February 1974 orbiter success [115]
Mars 6 Soviet Union USSR 12 March 1974 flyby success [116]
Mars 6 Lander Soviet Union USSR 12 March 1974 lander failure contact lost 148 sec after parachute deployment (returned 224 seconds of atmospheric data)
Mars 7 Soviet Union USSR 9 March 1974 flyby success [117]
Mars 7 Lander Soviet Union USSR 9 March 1974 lander failure missed Mars
Viking 1 Orbiter United States NASA June 1976 –
August 1980
orbiter success [118]
Viking 1 Lander United States NASA 20 July 1976 –
13 November 1982
lander success first images from surface Viking lander model.jpg [119]
Viking 2 Orbiter United States NASA August 1976 –
July 1978
orbiter success [120]
Viking 2 Lander United States NASA 3 September 1976 –
11 April 1980
lander success Viking lander model.jpg [121]
Phobos 1 Soviet Union USSR 7 July 1988 (launch) orbiter failure contact lost en route to Mars Phobos Marte.jpg [122]
Phobos 2 Soviet Union USSR 29 January 1989 –
27 March 1989
orbiter partial success Mars orbit acquired, but contact lost shortly before Phobos approach phase and deployment of Phobos landers Phobos Marte.jpg [123]

1990s[edit]

Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
Mars Observer United States NASA 25 September 1992 (launch) orbiter failure contact lost shortly before Mars orbit insertion [124]
Mars 96 Russia RKA 16 November 1996 (launch) orbiter failure failed to escape Earth orbit [125]
lander Mars96 surface station.jpg [126]
lander [127]
penetrator Mars96 penetrator.gif [128]
penetrator [129]
Mars Pathfinder United States NASA 4 July 1997 –
27 September 1997
lander success [130]
    Sojourner United States NASA 6 July 1997 –
27 September 1997
rover success first Mars rover Sojourner on Mars PIA01122.jpg [131]
Mars Global Surveyor United States NASA 12 September 1997 –
2 November 2006
orbiter success Mars global surveyor.jpg [132]
Mars Climate Orbiter United States NASA 23 September 1999 orbiter failure Mars orbit insertion failed due to navigation error Mars Climate Orbiter during tests.jpg [133]
Mars Polar Lander United States NASA 3 December 1999 lander failure contact lost just prior to entering Martian atmosphere Mars polar lander.jpg [134]
Deep Space 2 "Amundsen" United States NASA 3 December 1999 penetrator DS-2 Components.jpg [135]
Deep Space 2 "Scott" United States NASA 3 December 1999 penetrator

2000 – present[edit]

Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
2001 Mars Odyssey United States NASA 24 October 2001 – orbiter success studying climate and geology; communications relay for Spirit and Opportunity rovers 2001 mars odyssey wizja.jpg [136]
Nozomi Japan ISAS 14 December 2003 orbiter failure failed to attain Mars orbit, became flyby [137]
Mars Express Not the esa logo.png ESA 25 December 2003 – orbiter success surface imaging and mapping; first European probe in Martian orbit Mars-express-volcanoes-sm.jpg [138]
   Beagle 2 25 December 2003 lander failure contact never established after attempted landing Beagle 2 replica.jpg [139]
MER-A "Spirit" United States NASA 4 January 2004 – 22 March 2010 rover success became stuck in May 2009; then operating as a static science station until contact lost in March 2010 NASA Mars Rover.jpg [140]
MER-B "Opportunity" United States NASA 25 January 2004 – rover success NASA Mars Rover.jpg [141]
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter United States NASA 10 March 2006 – orbiter success surface imaging and surveying Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.jpg [142]
Rosetta Not the esa logo.png ESA 25 February 2007 flyby success gravity assist en route to asteroid and comet encounters Rosetta.jpg [143]
Phoenix United States NASA 25 May 2008 –
10 November 2008
lander success collection of soil samples near the northern pole to search for water and investigate Mars' geological history and biological potential Phoenix Lander small.jpg [144]
Dawn United States NASA 17 February 2009 flyby success gravity assist en route to Vesta and Ceres Dawn Flight Configuration 2.jpg [145]
Yinghuo-1 China CNSA 8 November 2011 (launch) orbiter failure failed to escape Earth orbit; launched with Fobos-Grunt Phobos lander
MSL Curiosity United States NASA 6 August 2012 – rover in operation investigation of past and present habitability, climate and geology MSL concept February 2007 - PIA09201.jpg [146]
Mars Orbiter Mission India ISRO 24 September 2014 – orbiter in operation technology development; will study atmosphere & conduct mineralogical mapping. Mars Orbiter Mission - India - ArtistsConcept.jpg [147][148]
MAVEN United States NASA 25 September 2014 – orbiter in operation will study Martian atmosphere Maven spacecraft full.jpg [149]

Future[edit]

Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
InSight United States NASA 2016 lander planned Artist's Concept of the InSight Lander.jpg [150]
ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter Not the esa logo.png ESA/
Russia RKA
2016 orbiter, lander planned ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter.jpg [151]
ExoMars rover Not the esa logo.png ESA/
Russia RKA
2018 rover planned Exomars.jpg [152]
Mars Sample Return Mission United States NASA/
Not the esa logo.png ESA
2024? orbiter, lander, rover, and sample return under study MSR-Artist Concept.jpg [153][154]

Phobos probes[edit]

Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
Phobos 1 Soviet Union USSR 7 July 1988 (launch) flyby failure contact lost en route to Mars Phobos Marte.jpg [122]
   DAS Soviet Union USSR 2 September 1988 fixed lander failure never deployed
Phobos 2 Soviet Union USSR 27 March 1989 (contact lost) flyby failure attained Mars orbit; contact lost prior to deployment of lander Phobos Marte.jpg [123]
   DAS Soviet Union USSR 27 March 1989 fixed lander failure never deployed
   "Frog" Soviet Union USSR 27 March 1989 mobile lander failure never deployed
Fobos-Grunt Russia RKA 8 November 2011 (launch) sample return failure failed to escape Earth orbit; launched with Yinghuo-1 Mars orbiter [155]

Ceres probes[edit]

Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
Dawn United States NASA 2015 orbiter en route previously visited Vesta Dawn Flight Configuration 2.jpg [145]

Asteroid probes[edit]

Target Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
951 Gaspra Galileo United States NASA 29 October 1991 flyby success en route to Jupiter; minimum distance 1900 km Galileo Preparations - GPN-2000-000672.jpg [79]
243 Ida Galileo United States NASA 28 August 1993 flyby success en route to Jupiter; minimum distance 2400 km; discovery of the first asteroid satellite Dactyl Galileo Preparations - GPN-2000-000672.jpg [79]
1620 Geographos Clementine United States BMDO/
No image.svg NASA
1994 flyby failure flyby cancelled due to equipment malfunction Clementine Deployed.png [156]
253 Mathilde NEAR
Shoemaker
United States NASA 27 June 1997 flyby success flew within 1200 km of 253 Mathilde en route to 433 Eros NEARCraft.jpg [157]
433 Eros NEAR
Shoemaker
United States NASA January 1999 orbiter failure became flyby due to software and communications problems (later attempt at orbit insertion succeeded; see below) NEARCraft.jpg [157]
9969 Braille Deep Space 1 United States NASA 29 July 1999 flyby partial success no close-up images due to camera pointing error; went on to visit comet 19P/Borrelly Deep Space 1 using its ion engine.jpg [158]
2685 Masursky Cassini United States NASA/
Not the esa logo.png ESA/
Italy ASI
23 January 2000 distant flyby success en route to Saturn Cassini assembly.jpg [159]
433 Eros NEAR
Shoemaker
United States NASA February 2000 –
February 2001
orbiter, became lander success improvised landing by orbiter at end of mission NEARCraft.jpg [157]
5535 Annefrank Stardust United States NASA November 2, 2002 distant flyby success went on to visit comet 81P/Wild Stardust - Concepcao artistica.jpg [160]
25143 Itokawa Hayabusa Japan ISAS 2005–07 sample return success landed on Itokawa in 2005 and returned to Earth in 2010 Hayabusa(Muses-C) sampling.jpg [161]
    MINERVA Japan ISAS 12 November 2005 hopper failure missed target
132524 APL New Horizons United States NASA June 2006 distant flyby success en route to Pluto [162]
2867 Šteins Rosetta Not the esa logo.png ESA 5 September 2008 flyby success en route to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Rosetta.jpg [143]
21 Lutetia Rosetta Not the esa logo.png ESA 11 July 2010 flyby success en route to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Rosetta.jpg [143]
4 Vesta Dawn United States NASA 16 July 2011 – 5 September 2012 orbiter success now en route to Ceres Dawn Flight Configuration 2.jpg [145]
4179 Toutatis Chang'e 2 China CNSA 13 December 2012 flyby success [163]

Jupiter probes[edit]

Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
Pioneer 10 United States NASA 3 December 1973 flyby success first probe to cross the asteroid belt; first Jupiter probe; first man-made object on an interstellar trajectory; now in the outer regions of the Solar System but no longer contactable Pioneer 10 at Jupiter.gif [164]
Pioneer 11 United States NASA 4 December 1974 flyby success went on to visit Saturn Pioneer 11 at Saturn.gif [165]
Voyager 1 United States NASA 5 March 1979 flyby success went on to visit Saturn Voyager.jpg [166]
Voyager 2 United States NASA 9 July 1979 flyby success went on to visit Saturn, Uranus and Neptune Voyager.jpg [167]
Ulysses
(first pass)
Not the esa logo.png ESA/
United States NASA
February 1992 flyby success gravity assist en route to inclined heliocentric orbit for solar polar observations Ulysses spacecraft.jpg [168]
Galileo Orbiter United States NASA/
Germany DLR
7 December 1995 –
21 September 2003
orbiter success also flew by various of Jupiter's moons; intentionally flown into Jupiter at end of mission; first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter; first spacecraft to flyby an asteroid Galileo Preparations - GPN-2000-000672.jpg [169]
   Galileo Probe United States NASA/
Germany DLR
7 December 1995 atmospheric probe success first probe to enter Jupiter's atmosphere Galileo Probe.jpeg [170]
Cassini United States NASA/
Not the esa logo.png ESA/
Italy ASI
December 2000 flyby success gravity assist en route to Saturn Cassini assembly.jpg [159]
Ulysses
(second pass)
Not the esa logo.png ESA/
United States NASA
2003–04 distant flyby success Ulysses spacecraft.jpg [168]
New Horizons United States NASA 28 February 2007 flyby success gravity assist en route to Pluto [162]
Juno United States NASA 5 August 2011 (launch) orbiter en route Juno in front of Jupiter.jpg [171]
JUICE Not the esa logo.png ESA 2022 (launch) orbiter planned planned to eventually enter orbit around Ganymede to become the first probe to orbit a natural satellite of another planet
Europa Clipper United States NASA 2020s orbiter under study planned to orbit Jupiter and fly by Europa multiple times [172]

Saturn probes[edit]

Main article: Exploration of Saturn
Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
Pioneer 11 United States NASA 1 September 1979 flyby success previously visited Jupiter Pioneer 11 at Saturn.gif [165]
Voyager 1 United States NASA 12 November 1980 flyby success previously visited Jupiter Voyager.jpg [166]
Voyager 2 United States NASA 5 August 1981 flyby success previously visited Jupiter, went on to visit Uranus and Neptune Voyager.jpg [167]
Cassini United States NASA/
Not the esa logo.png ESA/
Italy ASI
1 July 2004 – orbiter success also performed flybys of a number of Saturn's moons, and deployed the Huygens Titan lander; first spacecraft to orbit Saturn Cassini assembly.jpg [159]

Titan probes[edit]

Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
Huygens Not the esa logo.png ESA 14 January 2005 atmospheric probe, lander success deployed by Cassini; first probe to land on a satellite of another planet [173]
Titan Saturn System Mission Not the esa logo.png ESA/
United States NASA
October 2029 orbiter, montgolfière, lander under study

Uranus probes[edit]

Main article: Exploration of Uranus
Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
Voyager 2 United States NASA 24 January 1986 flyby success previously visited Jupiter and Saturn; went on to visit Neptune Voyager.jpg [167]

Neptune probes[edit]

Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
Voyager 2 United States NASA 25 August 1989 flyby success previously visited Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus Voyager.jpg [167]

Pluto probes[edit]

Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
New Horizons United States NASA 2015 flyby en route flybys of other Kuiper Belt objects may follow (targets yet to be decided) [162]

Comet probes[edit]

Target Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
21P/Giacobini-Zinner ICE (formerly ISEE3) United States NASA 11 September 1985 flyby success previously solar monitor ISEE3; went on to observe Halley's Comet ISEE3-ICE.jpg [174]
1P/Halley Vega 1 Soviet Union SAS 6 March 1986 flyby success minimum distance 8,890 km; previously visited Venus [73]
1P/Halley Suisei Japan ISAS 8 March 1986 flyby success 151,000 km Suisei.gif [175]
1P/Halley Vega 2 Soviet Union SAS 9 March 1986 flyby success minimum distance 8,890 km; previously visited Venus [76]
1P/Halley Sakigake Japan ISAS March 1986 distant flyby partial success minimum distance 6.99 million km Sakigake.gif [176]
1P/Halley Giotto Not the esa logo.png ESA 14 March 1986 flyby success minimum distance 596 km; went on to visit comet 26P/Grigg-Skjellerup Giotto spacecraft.jpg [177]
1P/Halley ICE (formerly ISEE3) United States NASA 28 March 1986 distant obser-
vations
success minimum distance 32 million km; previously visited comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner ISEE3-ICE.jpg [174]
26P/Grigg-Skjellerup Giotto Not the esa logo.png ESA 10 July 1992 flyby success previously visited Halley's Comet Giotto spacecraft.jpg [177]
45P/
Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova
Sakigake Japan ISAS 1996 flyby failure contact lost; previously visited Halley's Comet Sakigake.gif [178]
21P/Giacobini-Zinner Sakigake Japan ISAS 1998 flyby failure
55P/Tempel-Tuttle Suisei Japan ISAS 1998 flyby failure abandoned due to lack of fuel; previously visited Halley's Comet Suisei.gif [179]
21P/Giacobini-Zinner Suisei Japan ISAS 1998 flyby failure
19P/Borrelly Deep Space 1 United States NASA 22 September 2001 flyby success previously visited asteroid 9969 Braille Deep Space 1 using its ion engine.jpg [158]
2P/Encke CONTOUR United States NASA 2003 flyby failure contact lost shortly after launch CONTOUR pre-launch.jpg [180]
81P/Wild Stardust United States NASA 2 January 2004 flyby, sample return success sample returned January 2006; also visited asteroid 5535 Annefrank Stardust - Concepcao artistica.jpg [160]
9P/Tempel Deep Impact United States NASA July 2005 flyby success Deep Impact.jpg [181]
    Impactor United States NASA 4 July 2005 impactor success
73P/
Schwassmann-Wachmann
CONTOUR United States NASA 2006 flyby failure contact lost shortly after launch CONTOUR pre-launch.jpg [180]
6P/d'Arrest CONTOUR United States NASA 2008 flyby failure contact lost shortly after launch CONTOUR pre-launch.jpg [180]
103P/Hartley Deep Impact (redesignated EPOXI) United States NASA 4 November 2010 flyby success mission extension (target changed from comet Boethin) Deep Impact.jpg [182]
9P/Tempel Stardust (redesignated NExT) United States NASA 14 February 2011 flyby success mission extension Stardust - Concepcao artistica.jpg [160]
67P/Churyumov-
Gerasimenko
Rosetta Not the esa logo.png ESA 2014–15 orbiter in operation. flybys of asteroids 2867 Šteins and 21 Lutetia also scheduled Rosetta.jpg [143]
    Philae Not the esa logo.png ESA 2014 lander success [183]

Probes leaving the Solar System[edit]

Spacecraft Organization Notes Image Ref
Pioneer 10 United States NASA Left Jupiter in December 1973. Mission ended March 1997. Last contact January 23, 2003. Craft now presumed dead; no further contact attempts planned. Pioneer 10 at Jupiter.gif [184]
Pioneer 11 United States NASA Left Saturn in September 1979. Last contact September 1995. The craft's antenna cannot be manoeuvred to point to Earth, and it is not known if it is still transmitting. No further contact attempts are planned. Pioneer 11 at Saturn.gif [165]
Voyager 1 United States NASA Left Saturn in November 1980. Still in regular contact and transmitting scientific data (as of September 2012). Contact hoped to be maintained until at least 2020. Voyager.jpg [166]
Voyager 2 United States NASA Left Neptune in August 1989. Still in regular contact and transmitting scientific data (as of September 2012). Contact hoped to be maintained until at least 2020. Voyager.jpg [167]
New Horizons United States NASA Currently en route to outer Solar System. Expected to reach Pluto in July 2015. [162]

Other probes to leave Earth orbit[edit]

For completeness, this section lists probes that have left (or will leave) Earth orbit, but are not targeted at any of the above bodies.

Spacecraft Organization Date Location Status Notes Image Ref
WMAP United States NASA 30 June 2001 (launch) – to October 2010 (end)[185] Sun-Earth L2 point success cosmic background radiation observations; sent to graveyard orbit after 9 years of use.[185] WMAP2.jpg [186]
Spitzer Space Telescope United States NASA 25 August 2003 (launch) – still active (as of December 2010) Earth-trailing heliocentric orbit success infrared astronomy [187]
Chang'e 2 China CNSA 25 August 2011(arrive) to 15 April 2012(end) Sun-Earth L2 point success Left the point on 15 April 2012, then flew by asteroid 4179 Toutatis.[188] [189]
Kepler United States NASA 6 March 2009 (launch) Earth-trailing heliocentric orbit operational search for extrasolar planets Kepler Space Telescope.png [190]
Herschel Space Observatory Not the esa logo.png ESA 14 May 2009 (launch) Lissajous orbit around Sun-Earth L2 point operational study of formation and evolution of galaxies and stars Herschel Space Observatory.jpg [191]
Planck Not the esa logo.png ESA 14 May 2009 (launch) Lissajous orbit around Sun-Earth L2 point operational cosmic microwave background observations [192]
IKAROS Japan JAXA 20 May 2010 (launch) Earth-Venus transfer heliocentric orbit operational solar sail technology development / interplanetary space exploration IKAROS solar sail.jpg [87]
Shin'en
(UNITEC-1)
Japan UNISEC failure technology development; contact lost shortly after launch[89] [90]
Gaia Not the esa logo.png ESA 19 December 2013 (launch) Lissajous orbit around Sun-Earth L2 point en route astrometry mission to measure the position and motion of 1 billion stars [193]
LISA Pathfinder Not the esa logo.png ESA 2014 (launch)[194] Halo orbit around Sun-Earth L1 point planned test mission for proposed LISA gravitational wave observatory [195]
James Webb Space Telescope United States NASA
Not the esa logo.png ESA
Canada CSA
2018 (launch) Sun-Earth L2 point planned infrared astronomy JWST.jpg [196]
Euclid Not the esa logo.png ESA 2019 (launch) Halo orbit around Sun-Earth L2 point planned measure the rate of expansion of the Universe through time to better understand dark energy and dark matter [197]

Cancelled probes and missions[edit]

Target Spacecraft Organization Date Type Status Notes Image Ref
Mercury BepiColombo Mercury Surface Element Not the esa logo.png ESA lander cancelled
Moon LUNAR-A Japan JAXA orbiter, penetrators cancelled originally scheduled for 2004, cancelled 2007 [198]
Mars Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander United States NASA 2001 lander cancelled Slander med.jpg [199]
Mars Beagle 2: Evolution 2004 lander cancelled
Mars NetLander France CNES/
Not the esa logo.png ESA
lander cancelled [200]
Mars Mars Telecommunications Orbiter United States NASA 2010 orbiter cancelled PIA07500.jpg [201]
Phobos Aladdin United States NASA sample return not selected [202]
Europa Europa Orbiter United States NASA orbiter cancelled [203]
Europa Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter United States NASA orbiter cancelled Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter 2.jpg [204]
Ganymede Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter United States NASA orbiter cancelled Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter 2.jpg [204]
Callisto Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter United States NASA orbiter cancelled Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter 2.jpg [204]
Pluto Pluto Fast Flyby United States NASA 2010 flyby cancelled Now known as New Horizons
Pluto Pluto Kuiper
Express
United States NASA 2012 flyby cancelled Now known as New Horizons Pluto express.jpg [205]
4660 Nereus Hayabusa Japan ISAS sample return cancelled rerouted to 25143 Itokawa Hayabusa(Muses-C) sampling.jpg [206]
3840 Mimistrobell Rosetta Not the esa logo.png ESA 2006 flyby cancelled rerouted Rosetta.jpg [143]
4979 Otawara Rosetta Not the esa logo.png ESA 2006 flyby cancelled rerouted Rosetta.jpg [143]
4660 Nereus Near Earth Asteroid Prospector SpaceDev sample return cancelled [207]
46P/Wirtanen Rosetta Not the esa logo.png ESA 2011 orbiter cancelled rerouted to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Rosetta.jpg [143]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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