We have been talking about space missions recently and because it is such an important job, we thought we would talk about some of the greatest space missions that has happened since NASA got its start in the 1960’s. Everyone has heard of the Apollo mission(s), some only because of the Tom Hanks movie but we want to shed light on some others.
The Pioneer 10 and 11, launched in the early 1970’s were the first spacecrafts to visit Jupiter and Saturn. They were the ones to take the first pictures of Jupiter and discovered a couple of moons orbiting around Saturn.
Voyager 1 and 2 followed in Pioneers’ tracks, making several discoveries about Jupiter and Saturn. The spacecrafts found that Jupiter has rings around it and discovered volcanism on Jupiter’s moon, Io. The Voyager also passed by Uranus where it was discovered that the planet has 10 moons, as well as Neptune where it was discovered that it weighs less than originally thought. Voyager 2 is still transmitting and is so far away that it is more than 100 times farther than the distance between the Earth and the sun.
The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) was launched in 2001 and it measures the radiation that is left over from the Big Bang. It has revealed a more precise estimate for the beginning of the universe which is said to be 13.7 billion years old.
If you would like to learn more about some of the greatest space missions of all time, keep an eye out for future blogs. Or you can call TSTI and get more information on our Designing Space Missions & Systems course.