I was wondering about some of the old spacecraft that has been launched over the years. Whatever happened to ol’ Sputnik, Voyager, and others? Well, I did a little research and found out…
Sputnik 1 launched by the USSR in October 1957, burned up in the atmosphere in January of 1958 when it fell from orbit after kicking off the Space Race that put the USA in second place as the king of technology and space exploration.
Voyager 1 was launched on Sept. 5, 1977 just months before I was born and hurtled on it’s way to tour Jupiter and Saturn in a flyby. It is “currently the farthest man-made object from earth” according to Wikipedia’s entry.
New Horizons, — on it’s way to Pluto
Voyager 1, — exploring the “boundaries of the Solar System”
Voyager 2, — slowly dying
Pioneer 10 — On it’s way out of the Solar System but not communicating
Pioneer 11 — Jupiter and Outer Solar System
You can check out the mission locations by visiting Heavens Above site which…
shows the current positions and other interesting data of the five spacecraft which are leaving the Solar System on escape trajectories – our first emissaries to the stars. The graphics and data table are generated dynamically and so always represent the latest positions. The New Horizons spacecraft on its way to Pluto has been added to the table, and now the charts too.