April 8, 2008
Have you ever wondered how scientists obtain information from outer space? Did you know that scientists invented space probes to record information in the exploration of outer space? The space probe, discovered in the year 1957, changed the course of mankind because it provided resources to information and details about various aspects of the Solar System. (Wood)
A space probe is an unmanned space mission in which a spacecraft leaves Earth’s orbit. These spacecraft have visited the Sun, the Moon, planets, comets, and asteroids. They usually carry cameras and other devices to gather information, which is sent back to Earth by radio. Many space missions are more suited to unmanned missions rather than manned missions, due to lower costs, and risk factors. Space probes were invented to generate this information in a variety of ways. These probes may fly by, orbit, or land to obtain desired information which is beamed back to Earth by radio. (Mitton)
The space probe has experienced many milestones in the last fifty years. The first successful space probe was the Soviet Luna 1 which studied the Moon in 1959. Although there were a few previous satellite launches by Russia in 1957, (Sputnik 1 and 2), and a satellite launch by the U.S. in 1958, Russia’s Luna 1, 2, and 3 were the first successful launches that discovered solar wind, and sent the first pictures of the Moon back to Russia. Over the years, Space agencies in the United States, Europe, and Japan have flown probes to each of the eight other planets in the solar system and several asteroids and comets. These explorations brought forth important information to help scientists learn more about the mysteries of space. For example, the Venera launched by Russia in 1970, landed on Venus. The Luna 16 also launched by Russia, returned samples of Moon dust to Earth. The Mariner 9 launched by the U.S. In 1971, returned detailed...
Cited: Frazier, Kendrick. Planet Earth Solar System. Alexandria, Virginia: Time-Life, 1985. 17 – 40.
Steele, Philip. Black Holes and Other Space Phenomena. New York: Scholastic, 1998. 22-30.
Mitton, Jacqueline and Mitton, Simon. The Scholastic Encyclopedia of Space. New York:
Scholastic, 1998. 70 – 75.
Wood, Leigh Hope. Exploring Space. Chicago, Illinois: Kidsbooks, 1996. 8 – 29.
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