List of active Solar System probes

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Space probes operational as of July 2019

This is a list of active space probes which have escaped Earth orbit. It includes lunar space probes, but does not include space probes orbiting at the Sun–Earth Lagrangian points (for these, see List of objects at Lagrangian points). A craft is deemed "active" if it is still able to transmit usable data to Earth (whether or not it can receive commands).

The craft are further grouped by mission status – "en route", "mission in progress" or "mission complete" – based on their primary mission. For example, though Voyager 1 is still contactable enroute to the Oort Cloud and has exited the Solar System, it is listed as "mission complete" because its primary task of studying Jupiter and Saturn has been accomplished. Once a probe has reached its first primary target, it is no longer listed as "en route" whether or not further travel is involved.

Missions in progress[edit]


    • Mission: studying the effect of the solar wind on the Moon. Originally launched as Earth satellites, they were later repurposed and moved to lunar orbit.
    • Launched: February 17, 2007
    • Destination: Moon (in lunar orbit)
    • Arrival: July 2011
    • Institution: United States NASA
  • Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
    • Mission: Orbiter engaged in lunar mapping intended to identify safe landing sites, locate potential resources on the Moon, characterize the radiation environment, and demonstrate new technology.
    • Launched: 18 June 2009
    • Destination: Moon (in lunar orbit)
    • Arrival: 23 June 2009
    • Institution: United States NASA
  • Queqiao
    • Mission: Halo orbiter serving as communications satellite for Chang'e 4 lunar far-side mission; conducting joint China-Netherlands low frequency astronomy experiment.
    • Launched: 21:28 UT on 20 May 2018[1]
    • Destination: in halo orbit about Earth-Moon L2
    • Arrival: 14 June 2018
    • Institution: China CNSA
  • Lander, Rover: Chang'e 4
    • Mission: Lander engaging in low-frequency radio spectrometry experiment, neutron and dosimetry experiment, and biological experiment. Rover seeking to characterize lunar far-side environment (including possible lunar mantle material) using visible/near-infrared spectrometer, ground penetrating radar, cameras, and neutral particle analyzer.[2]
    • Launched: 18:23 UT on 8 December 2018
    • Destination: Lunar far side
    • Arrival: 02:26 UT on 3 January 2019
    • Institution: China CNSA
  • Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter
    • Mission: engaged in lunar topography and mineralogy, elemental abundance, the lunar exosphere, and signatures of hydroxyl and water.
    • Launched: 22 July 2019
    • Destination: Moon (in lunar orbit)
    • Arrival: 20 August 2019
    • Institution: India ISRO
    • Mission: Lunar orbiting CubeSat that will test and verify the calculated orbital stability planned for the Gateway space station.
    • Launched: 28 June 2022
    • Destination: Moon (in a Near-rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO))
    • Arrival: 14 November 2022
    • Institution: United States NASA
  • Danuri (Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter)
  • Chandrayaan-3 propulsion module
    • Mission: Study complex features of the Earth including life supporting characteristics from lunar orbit.
    • Launched: 14 July 2023
    • Destination: Moon (in lunar orbit)
    • Arrival: 5 August 2023
    • Institution:India ISRO
  • Vikram lander and Pragyan rover
    • Mission: First mission in the world to soft land on the Lunar South Pole, studying lunar seismic activity, conducting heat experiments on regolith, composition of soil, etc to form a solid base of data for future manned moon landings.
    • Launched: 14 July 2023
    • Destination: Moon (in lunar orbit)
    • Arrival: 5 August 2023
    • Destination: Moon (landing and rover deployment)
    • Arrival: 23 August 2023
    • Institution:India ISRO
  • SLIM lander
    • Mission: Will demonstrate pin-point precision, fuel efficient landing technology.
    • Launched: 7 September 2023
    • Destination: Moon (lunar flyby)
    • Arrival: September 2023
    • Destination: Moon (in lunar orbit)
    • Arrival: 2023 (planned)
    • Destination: Moon (landing)
    • Arrival: 2023 (planned)
    • Institution:Japan JAXA


  • BepiColombo
    • Mission: Spacecraft consists of the Mercury Transfer Module (MTM), Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO), and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO or Mio). MTM and MPO are built by ESA while the MMO is mostly built by JAXA. Once the MTM delivers the MPO and MMO to Mercury orbit, the two orbiters will have the following objectives: to study Mercury's form, interior structure, geology, composition, and craters; to study the origin, structure, and dynamics of its magnetic field; to characterize the composition and dynamics of Mercury's vestigial atmosphere; to test Einstein's theory of general relativity; to search for asteroids sunward of Earth; and to generally study the origin and evolution of a planet close to a parent star.[3]
    • Launched: 01:45:28 UT on 19 October 2018
    • Destination: Mercury
    • Arrival: En route (anticipated to enter Mercury polar orbit on 5 December 2025)
    • Institution: ESA Japan JAXA


  • Akatsuki
    • Mission: The first Japanese Venusian probe. Also known as Planet-C and Venus Climate Orbiter, Akatsuki failed to enter Venusian orbit in December 2010. It continued to function and entered Venus orbit in 2015.[4][5]
    • Launched: 20 May 2010
    • Destination: Venus
    • Arrival: 7 December 2015
    • Institution: Japan JAXA
    • Subprobes: IKAROS and Shin'en


The oldest active spacecraft for Mars is 2001 Mars Odyssey
  • Mars Express
    • Mission: Mars orbiter designed to study the planet's atmosphere and geology, search for sub-surface water, and deploy the Beagle 2 lander.[7] In 2017 the mission was extended until at least the end of 2020.[8]
    • Launched: 2 June 2003
    • Destination: Mars
    • Arrival: 25 December 2003
    • Institution: ESA
    • Lander: Beagle 2 (mission failed; contact lost at separation but found in 2015 on surface)
  • Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
    • Mission: the second NASA satellite orbiting Mars. It is specifically designed to analyze the landforms, stratigraphy, minerals, and ice of the red planet.
    • Launched: 12 August 2005
    • Destination: Mars
    • Arrival: 10 March 2006
    • Institution: United States NASA
  • Lander: Curiosity rover
    • Mission: searching for evidence of organic material on Mars, monitoring methane levels in the atmosphere, and engaging in exploration of the landing site at Gale Crater.
    • Launched: 26 November 2011
    • Destination: Mars
    • Arrival: 6 August 2012
    • Institution: United States NASA
  • MAVENMars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution.
    • Mission: study the Martian upper atmosphere and its gradual loss to space
    • Launched: 18 November 2013
    • Destination: Mars
    • Arrival: September 2014
    • Institution: United States NASA
  • Trace Gas Orbiter (ExoMars 2016)
    • Mission: study methane and other trace gases in the Martian atmosphere
    • Launched: 14 March 2016
    • Destination: Mars
    • Arrived: 19 October 2016 (Mars orbit insertion), 21 April 2018 (final orbit)
    • Institution: ESA
    • Lander: Schiaparelli (crashed upon landing attempt)
  • Tianwen-1 orbiter
    • Mission: find evidence for current and past life and produce Martian surface maps. Orbital studies of Martian surface morphology, soil, and atmosphere.
    • Launched: 23 July 2020
    • Destination: Mars
    • Arrival: 10 February 2021
    • Institution: China CNSA
  • Lander: Perseverance rover
    • Mission: searching for evidence of organic material on Mars, and engaging in exploration of the landing site at Jezero crater.
    • Launched: 30 July 2020
    • Destination: Jezero crater, Mars
    • Arrival: 18 February 2021
    • Institution: United States NASA
  • Rotorcraft: Ingenuity helicopter
    • Mission: experimental scout for Perseverance rover. Completed 1st flight on Mars
    • Launched: 30 July 2020
    • Destination: Jezero crater, Mars
    • Arrival: 18 February 2021
    • Deployment date: 4 April 2021
    • Institution: United States NASA

Asteroids and comets[edit]

Heliocentric orbit[edit]

  • Parker Solar Probe
    • Mission: observation of solar wind, magnetic fields, and coronal energy flow.
    • Launched: 12 August 2018
    • Destination: low solar orbit, perihelion 6.9 million km
    • Arrival: 19 January 2019[10][11]
    • Institution: United States NASA
  • Solar Orbiter
    • Mission: detailed measurements of the inner heliosphere and nascent solar wind, and close observations of the polar regions of the Sun.
    • Launched: 10 February 2020
    • Destination: High inclination solar orbit
    • Arrival: Operational orbit in 2023
    • Institution: ESA
  • Aditya-L1
    • Mission: Observation of the solar atmosphere, solar magnetic storms, and their impact on the environment around Earth.
    • Launched: 2 September 2023
    • Destination: Halo orbit around L1 Lagrange Point, 1.5 million km from Earth
    • Arrival: Around December 20 2023
    • Institution: India ISRO

Outer Solar System[edit]

Montage of planets and some moons that the two Voyager spacecraft have visited and studied, still active in the 2020s they are heading out into interstellar space returning data from newly explored distances
  • Juno
    • Mission: studying Jupiter from polar orbit. Originally intended to de-orbit into the Jovian atmosphere after 2021, now operating until 2025.
    • Launched: 5 August 2011
    • Destination: Jupiter
    • Arrival: 4 July 2016
    • Institution: United States NASA
    • Mission: mission to study Jupiter's three icy moons Callisto, Europa and Ganymede, eventually orbiting Ganymede as the first spacecraft to orbit a satellite of another planet.
    • Launched: 14 April 2023
    • Destination: Jupiter
    • Arrival: July 2031 (en route)
    • Destination: Ganymede
    • Arrival: December 2034 (en route)
    • Institution: European Union ESA
  • New Horizons
    • Mission: the first spacecraft to study Pluto up close, and ultimately the Kuiper Belt. It was the fastest spacecraft when leaving Earth and will be the fifth probe to leave the Solar System.
    • Launched: 19 January 2006
    • Destination: Pluto and Charon
    • Arrival: 14 July 2015
    • Left Charon: 14 July 2015
    • Institution: United States NASA
  • Voyager 1
    • Mission: investigating Jupiter and Saturn, and the moons of these planets. Its continuing data feed offered the first direct measurements of the heliosheath and the heliopause. It is currently the farthest man-made object from Earth, as well as the first object to leave the heliosphere and cross into interstellar space. As of November 2017 it has a distance from the Sun of about 140 astronomical units (AU)[12] (21 billion kilometers, or 0.002 light years), and it will not be overtaken by any other current craft. In August 2012, Voyager 1 became the first human-built spacecraft to enter interstellar space. Though declining, the onboard power source should keep some of the probe's instruments running until 2025.[13]
    • Launched: 5 September 1977
    • Destination: Jupiter and Saturn
    • Arrival: January 1979
    • Institution: United States NASA
    • Primary mission completion: November 1980
    • Current trajectory: entered interstellar space August 2012
  • Voyager 2
    • Mission: studying all four gas giants. This mission was one of NASA's most successful, yielding a wealth of new information. As of November 2017 it is some 116 AU from the Sun (17.34 billion kilometers),[12] and it is hoped the probe will continue to operate until at least 2020. It has left the heliosphere and crossed into interstellar space in December 2018. As with Voyager 1, scientists are now using Voyager 2 to learn what the Solar System is like beyond the heliosphere.
    • Launched: 20 August 1977
    • Destination: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
    • Arrival: 9 July 1979
    • Institution: United States NASA
    • Primary mission completion: August 1989
    • Current trajectory: entered interstellar space December 2018

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive, Mission ID: QUEQIAO". NASA. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  2. ^ "NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive, Mission ID: 2018-103A". NASA. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  3. ^ "NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive, Mission ID: BEPICLMBO". NASA. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Crippled space probe bound for second chance at Venus". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Venus Climate Orbiter "AKATSUKI" Inserted Into Venus' Orbit". Japan aerospace exploration agency. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  6. ^ "NASA's Mars Odyssey Shifting Orbit for Extended Mission | Mars Today …". Archived from the original on 7 September 2012.
  7. ^ "ESA Science & Technology: Mars Express". European Space Agency. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  8. ^ "ESA Science & Technology: Green light for continued operations of ESA science missions". European Space Agency. 7 December 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Frazier, Sarah (28 January 2019). "All Systems Go As Parker Solar Probe Begins Second Sun Orbit". NASA. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  11. ^ Lewin, Sarah (29 January 2019). "Once Around the Sun! NASA's Parker Solar Probe Aces 1st Trip Around Our Star". Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  12. ^ a b JPL.NASA.GOV. "Where are the Voyagers – NASA Voyager". Retrieved 2017-11-14.
  13. ^ "Voyager - The Spacecraft". JPL. 1989. Retrieved 2021-02-28.