Space

State of the Game: Deep Space Exploration

State of the Game: Deep Space ...
In our second State of the Game video, we take a brief look at five space missions that will blow your mind
In our second State of the Game video, we take a brief look at five space missions that will blow your mind
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Voyager II's stunning photos were the first closeups ever taken of Neptune
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Voyager II's stunning photos were the first closeups ever taken of Neptune
Neptune and Triton, taken 3 days after Voyager II flyby
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Neptune and Triton, taken 3 days after Voyager II flyby
Triton from 25,000 miles away, taken by Voyager II
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Triton from 25,000 miles away, taken by Voyager II
Voyager II's post-flyby view of Neptune's south pole, backlit by the sun
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Voyager II's post-flyby view of Neptune's south pole, backlit by the sun
Triton's bright Southern Hemisphere, taken by Voyager II
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Triton's bright Southern Hemisphere, taken by Voyager II
Cloud system's in Neptune's methane atmosphere. Taken by Voyager II
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Cloud system's in Neptune's methane atmosphere. Taken by Voyager II
Rugged, grooved terrain of Uranus' moon Miranda. Taken by Voyager II
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Rugged, grooved terrain of Uranus' moon Miranda. Taken by Voyager II
False-colour image of Saturn's C-ring and B-ring, taken by Voyager in 1981
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False-colour image of Saturn's C-ring and B-ring, taken by Voyager in 1981
Saturn's rings with 'spoke' features. Taken by Voyager in 1981
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Saturn's rings with 'spoke' features. Taken by Voyager in 1981
Voyager 1 and 2 have now left the solar system, and are travelling a lonely path through the galaxy.
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Voyager 1 and 2 have now left the solar system, and are travelling a lonely path through the galaxy.
Voyager 1 prepares to leave Earth in the 1970s. It is now humanity's most distant ambassador, nearly 20 billion miles from home and speeding onward. Nothing made by man has ever travelled further.
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Voyager 1 prepares to leave Earth in the 1970s. It is now humanity's most distant ambassador, nearly 20 billion miles from home and speeding onward. Nothing made by man has ever travelled further.
Spectacular image of Neptune's moon Triton, taken by Voyager 2.
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Spectacular image of Neptune's moon Triton, taken by Voyager 2.
Saturn, taken by Voyager 2 on its flyby.
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Saturn, taken by Voyager 2 on its flyby.
Humanity's first clear look at Neptune, taken by Voyager 2
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Humanity's first clear look at Neptune, taken by Voyager 2
Uranus' moon Miranda - such an irregular surface that astronomers believe it may have been smashed to pieces in an ancient collision, then fallen back together under the power of its own gravity
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Uranus' moon Miranda - such an irregular surface that astronomers believe it may have been smashed to pieces in an ancient collision, then fallen back together under the power of its own gravity
New Horizons just used its LORRI camera to provide mankind with the best photo we've ever seen of the dwarf planet Pluto
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New Horizons just used its LORRI camera to provide mankind with the best photo we've ever seen of the dwarf planet Pluto
Closeup photo of Jupiter taken by New Horizons on its flyby - which also gave it a 14,000kmh gravity assisted speed boost on its way to Pluto
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Closeup photo of Jupiter taken by New Horizons on its flyby - which also gave it a 14,000kmh gravity assisted speed boost on its way to Pluto
New Horizons captured this stunning eruption on Jupiter's moon Io in 2007 - that molten spray at the top from the Tvashtar volcano is some 300 kilometers high
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New Horizons captured this stunning eruption on Jupiter's moon Io in 2007 - that molten spray at the top from the Tvashtar volcano is some 300 kilometers high
Photo montage of Jupiter with Io, assembled using photos from New Horizons
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Photo montage of Jupiter with Io, assembled using photos from New Horizons
Mars, from India's Mars Orbiter (Mangalyaan)
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Mars, from India's Mars Orbiter (Mangalyaan)
With the Mars Orbiter Mission, India not only managed to become the first country ever to achieve Mars orbit on the first attempt, it achieved this on a paltry US$74 million budget. That's about 25 million less that it cost to make the Hollywood film Gravity.
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With the Mars Orbiter Mission, India not only managed to become the first country ever to achieve Mars orbit on the first attempt, it achieved this on a paltry US$74 million budget. That's about 25 million less that it cost to make the Hollywood film Gravity.
Mars' moon Phobos, from the Mars Colour Camera aboard ISRO's Mangalyaan mission
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Mars' moon Phobos, from the Mars Colour Camera aboard ISRO's Mangalyaan mission
3D rendering of Mars' surface from Mars Orbiter images
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3D rendering of Mars' surface from Mars Orbiter images
3D view of a gigantic valley on Mars, assembled from Mars Colour Camera images
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3D view of a gigantic valley on Mars, assembled from Mars Colour Camera images
Close-up, high resolution images of the surface of Mars from the MArs Orbiter spacecraft
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Close-up, high resolution images of the surface of Mars from the MArs Orbiter spacecraft
Huge wind streaks on the surface of Mars tell a tale about what conditions must be like down on the surface
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Huge wind streaks on the surface of Mars tell a tale about what conditions must be like down on the surface
Mars surface photo from ISRO's Mars Orbiter Spacecraft
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Mars surface photo from ISRO's Mars Orbiter Spacecraft
#d rendering of Rosetta's Philae lander touching down on the surface of comet 67P - the actual landing was far less gentle, as we'll see!
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#d rendering of Rosetta's Philae lander touching down on the surface of comet 67P - the actual landing was far less gentle, as we'll see!
Rosetta pushes the unpowered Philae lander out to drift its way to the surface of a wildly spinning comet with a very rough surface
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Rosetta pushes the unpowered Philae lander out to drift its way to the surface of a wildly spinning comet with a very rough surface
3D rendering of Rosetta's approach to comet 67p - the first time humans have ever landed anything on a comet
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3D rendering of Rosetta's approach to comet 67p - the first time humans have ever landed anything on a comet
Rosetta took 3 different slingshots around earth and one lap around Mars to give it the perfect gravity assist to meet up with comet 67P C-G. It's a mind-bogglingly complex journey
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Rosetta took 3 different slingshots around earth and one lap around Mars to give it the perfect gravity assist to meet up with comet 67P C-G. It's a mind-bogglingly complex journey
Philae lander on its way to the surface of comet 67P
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Philae lander on its way to the surface of comet 67P
The Rosetta team were hoping for a smooth, spud-shaped comet to land on - but this is what they found. A highliy irregular shape, spinning crazily through the solar system. Photo from the Rosetta spacecraft.
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The Rosetta team were hoping for a smooth, spud-shaped comet to land on - but this is what they found. A highliy irregular shape, spinning crazily through the solar system. Photo from the Rosetta spacecraft.
Philae's landing on the surface of the comet was far from smooth - it bounced several times up to a height of 150 metres from the surface, and skidded more than a kilometre from the landing spot, ending up in a shadowy ditch where its solar panels took 7 months to get enough sun to power the lander up again.
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Philae's landing on the surface of the comet was far from smooth - it bounced several times up to a height of 150 metres from the surface, and skidded more than a kilometre from the landing spot, ending up in a shadowy ditch where its solar panels took 7 months to get enough sun to power the lander up again.
The orbit of comet 67P/Churyumov/Gerasimenko - at its closest point it dips into the space between the orbits of Earth and Mars, and at its furthest it's out past Jupter. But the main challenge comes from the fact that it's travelling at over 135,000kmh - huge gravity assists were needed to get Rosetta up to a speed that would allow it to engage with the comet.
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The orbit of comet 67P/Churyumov/Gerasimenko - at its closest point it dips into the space between the orbits of Earth and Mars, and at its furthest it's out past Jupter. But the main challenge comes from the fact that it's travelling at over 135,000kmh - huge gravity assists were needed to get Rosetta up to a speed that would allow it to engage with the comet.
In our second State of the Game video, we take a brief look at five space missions that will blow your mind
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In our second State of the Game video, we take a brief look at five space missions that will blow your mind

New Horizons is making headlines today with its historic flyby of Pluto – and if that's caught your imagination, welcome to the tip of the iceberg! Deep space exploration represents some of humanity's most astonishing achievements, so we've decided to feature five active space missions that absolutely blow our minds. Meet the Mars Orbiter, New Horizons, Rosetta and the intrepid Voyager spacecraft in our second State of the Game video presentation.

State of the Game Deep Space Exploration

Many thanks to NASA, ESA and ISRO for their assistance. Images and video used with permission.

For more interesting facts and images from all five of our featured missions, check out our photo gallery.

Triton's bright Southern Hemisphere, taken by Voyager II
Triton's bright Southern Hemisphere, taken by Voyager II

New Horizons just used its LORRI camera to provide mankind with the best photo we've ever seen of the dwarf planet Pluto
New Horizons just used its LORRI camera to provide mankind with the best photo we've ever seen of the dwarf planet Pluto

Voyager II's stunning photos were the first closeups ever taken of Neptune
Voyager II's stunning photos were the first closeups ever taken of Neptune

Custom video animations by Jake Turner.

1 comment
Kristianna Thomas
We as a human species have had fifty years of techno/astronautic advancement, and we have just surveyed the totality of the planets (dwarfs, gaseous and rocky) that constitute our solar system. What will the next fifty years bring humanity. We achieved many great things with the technologies that was available at the time, and proved the resilience of the technology in order to get the job done. The technology of today which is far greater than previous levels of technology, what would it allow us to accomplish in the near and far future? What has been so far is just the tip of the iceberg. May we live long and prosper.