Solar System: Exploration

Humans have studied our solar system for thousands of years, but it was only in the last few centuries that scientists started to really figure out how things work. The era of robotic exploration—sending uncrewed spacecraft beyond Earth as our eyes and ears and senses—only started in the 1950s. A scientific fleet of robots is out there right now exploring destinations from our Sun to interstellar space.

This 3D simulation of our solar system is powered by real spacecraft data.

"The thing I love the most about our solar system is that it's an incredible natural laboratory," said Dr. Lori Glaze, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division. "We have so many different types of objects in the solar system, from planets and moons to asteroids and comets. We can study each one of those, and they all have something they can tell us about how the solar system formed or how Earth ended up in its special place."

Active and Future Missions

Graphic showing spacecraft for planetary science missions on a blue swirl image in space
The spacecraft of NASA's Planetary Science Division missions. (April 2023)
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