Top 5 spacecraft - "long-livers"

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Top 5 spacecraft - "long-livers"
Top 5 spacecraft - "long-livers"
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The US space agency decided to recall several of its missions, in which spacecraft were launched into space, "long-lived". All of them went on "reconnaissance" more than 5 years ago and have already managed to provide us with a huge amount of useful information.

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Space travel across the solar system is not for the impatient. In most cases, it can take a spacecraft many years to reach its destination. However, interplanetary robots are not people, and for them these wanderings do not seem so tiring (especially since their level of endurance exceeds all expectations). If not today, then in a couple of years they will be ready to supply the Earth with valuable information from various points of the Universe.

The US space agency decided to recall several of its missions, in which spacecraft were launched into space, "long-lived". All of them went on "reconnaissance" more than 5 years ago and have already managed to provide us with a huge amount of useful information.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO, Lunar Orbiter). Launched June 18, 2009

NASA's LRO automated interplanetary station has become an artificial satellite of the Moon. She has been taking crystal-clear images of lunar landscapes on a daily basis for many years. Thanks to her, we today have photographs of almost the entire surface of the moon.

In addition, among the main tasks of LRO are the study of the lunar global topography, the measurement of radiation in the orbit of the Moon, the study of the lunar polar regions and the compilation of accurate maps.

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Dawn. Launched September 27, 2007

A year ago, the automatic interplanetary station Dawn entered orbit the dwarf planet Ceres. However, before "docking" to the "dwarf", the probe managed to study Vesta - one of the largest asteroids in the main asteroid belt.

The device spent 14 months in the orbit of the asteroid and collected data about it. The resulting information helped astronomers compile the first atlas of the asteroid and produce its global geological and tectonic mapping. Now, thanks to Dawn, we have valuable information about another astronomical object - Ceres.

Over the past few months, the spacecraft has managed to take several unique images of the dwarf planet. By the way, scientists discovered mysterious white spots on one of them, which were later identified as salt deposits.

After a successful "rendezvous" with Ceres, the Dawn probe became the first device in history to not only enter the orbit of this dwarf planet, but also orbital flight around two objects in the solar system.

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New Horizons. Launched January 19, 2006

Many have heard about the automatic interplanetary station "New Horizons". Since it flew close to Pluto last July, its name has been on the front pages of scientific publications.

During the approach to the largest known dwarf planet in the solar system, the device managed to take many pictures of it. Thanks to this cosmic rendezvous, we can now enjoy incredible views of the "dwarf".

However, the mission of the apparatus did not end there. New Horizons' new target is asteroid 2014 MU69 in the Kuiper belt. Scientists predict that the station will reach its destination in January 2019. It is currently located at a distance of 5 billion km from the Earth. The planned end of the mission is scheduled for 2026.

In addition to scientific equipment, a capsule with part of the ashes of astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, the discoverer of Pluto, as well as a CD with the names of 434,738 people who participated in NASA's "Send your name to Pluto" action, two coins, two US flags, a fragment is installed on board the spacecraft. the first inhabited private spacecraft, SpaceShipOne, a CD with photographs of the spacecraft and its developers, and a 1990 US postage stamp Pluto: Not Yet Explored.

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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Launched August 12, 2005

The multifunctional automatic interplanetary station for the study of the Red Planet has been in its orbit since March 2006. Thanks to the data of the device, today we have not only a number of images of the Martian expanses, but also a lot of useful data. It was thanks to the MRO that NASA scientists were able to establish the presence of liquid water with a high salt content on Mars.

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Cassini ("Cassini"). Launched October 15, 1997

Automatic spacecraft "Cassini" - the development of not only American, but also European scientists (they participated in the construction of the Huygens descent probe). The device was built to explore Saturn, its rings and moons. In 2004, Cassini entered the orbit of the "ringed" planet and became its first artificial satellite.

Currently, the spacecraft and the Earth are separated by 1.57 billion km. The mission, which has been going on for about 19 years, may very soon come to an end. It has already been extended twice - in 2008 and 2010. In 2017, the US and Europe will decide on the next extension of the mission. Several options are proposed: from the end of the program in the form of a collision with Jupiter or Mercury to a flight to the outskirts of our planetary system to study Uranus and Neptune.

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