Visiting Saturn: 40 Years Since Pioneer 11's Mission to Giant Ringed Planet

Pioneer 11 became the first robotic visitor to Saturn, passing the ringed world in September 1979. Photo Credit: NASA

Spectacular Saturn—the Solar System’s second-largest planet—has been known to humanity for millennia, although only in the last few centuries since the invention of the telescope has its nature and its glorious system of rings entered […]

One Day to Pluto: Looking Back at Humanity's First-Time Successful Encounters With the Sun's Planets

Tomorrow’s historic flyby of the dwarf planet Pluto and its binary companion, Charon, will mark the completion of humanity’s first-time exploration of each of the Solar System’s nine traditional planets. Photo Credit: NASA

Tomorrow, the United States will become the first nation to have conducted a close-range reconnaissance of all nine “traditional” planets […]

NASA Preparing for Juno's Historic Arrival at Jupiter, One Year Out

Artist’s concept of the Juno spacecraft approaching Jupiter in 2016. Image Credit: NASA / JPL

“Jupiter’s welcome to more from his Juno if he can get it.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

While NASA and space enthusiasts the world over are waiting for New Horizons’ unprecedented Pluto flyby, the space agency […]

Reaching for the Stars Part 1: First Steps

The trajectories of the twin Voyagers and Pioneers shown together with the more direct route to the edge of the solar system, which would be followed by a purpose-built interstellar probe. Image Credit: NASA

Will we ever be able to send spacecraft to the stars in a reasonable amount of time? The big […]