Spacecraft and Space Missions

We learn about space by going there — either in person or by sending spacecraft. During the Space Age humanity has launched dozens of missions, sending orbiters to Mars and wayfarers such as Voyager 1 and 2 and New Horizons on grand odysseys to the farthest reaches of the solar system. We also peer far beyond the Sun’s family of planets, using the Hubble Space Telescope and other high-tech space observatories to look at distant stars and galaxies, stretching our vision to span every wavelength band of light, from radio to gamma ray.

Here you’ll find the news about our endeavors in space. Whether it be the latest planetary mission, a new space telescope, or the future of space exploration, we’ll keep you up to speed on where our spacecraft are and what they’re doing.

New Horizons' scientific payload

Pluto: The Last Picture Show

In his second "insider blog" about the New Horizons mission, principle investigator Alan Stern offers a look at what we might find at Pluto. It sounds like science fiction, but it's not: NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is on final approach to the Pluto system! After 112 months in flight, the fastest spacecraft ever launched...

Alan Stern awaits New Horizons's launch

New Horizons: Navigating to Pluto

In the first of a series of installments written exclusively for Sky & Telescope, New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern offers his behind-the-scenes perspective on what it took to get the spacecraft to Pluto.