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50 years of space exploration- The poster
October 11, 2009 1:26 PM   Subscribe

50 years of space exploration on on huge poster.
posted by pjern (44 comments total) 68 users marked this as a favorite

 
WANT.
posted by The Whelk at 1:37 PM on October 11, 2009


Gorgeous.
posted by brundlefly at 1:37 PM on October 11, 2009


Stolen from National Geographic, but much more usable outside the flash jail.
posted by b1tr0t at 1:38 PM on October 11, 2009


This framed is going on christmas list
posted by efalk at 1:38 PM on October 11, 2009


oh god yes
posted by kalimac at 1:44 PM on October 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Love it, my only beef is it would have been nice to show missions that landed on the surface of another body.
posted by furtive at 1:48 PM on October 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


That is a seriously awesome visualization. Thank you.
posted by Zinger at 2:17 PM on October 11, 2009


Man, Mercury gets no love.
posted by hattifattener at 2:22 PM on October 11, 2009


Can I ask, why has there been only 9 missions to the Sun? Is it difficult to get to or just not very interesting? I mean, I thought it was quite close (significantly closer than, say, Jupiter with the same number of missions), but I suppose we can tell a lot about it from this distance already?
posted by Sova at 2:24 PM on October 11, 2009


"only 9 missions to the Sun"
NASA hasn't told us about the sun landings because the helionauts have not checked in with Houston yet.
posted by Cranberry at 2:30 PM on October 11, 2009 [10 favorites]


I'll tell you what, if I were in charge of the US space program, there would be way more exploration of Uranus.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 2:32 PM on October 11, 2009


Very, very awesome.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:36 PM on October 11, 2009


Awesome.

So what is a good service to get this printed, and what size would clever MeFites recommend?
posted by LarryC at 2:41 PM on October 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


And do you have any background information? Who made this? I ask because I love it :)
posted by jtron at 2:48 PM on October 11, 2009


Any theories on what that label on the moon that says "two successful NASA missions" means?
posted by smackfu at 3:00 PM on October 11, 2009


Can I ask, why has there been only 9 missions to the Sun? Is it difficult to get to or just not very interesting? I mean, I thought it was quite close (significantly closer than, say, Jupiter with the same number of missions), but I suppose we can tell a lot about it from this distance already?

In fact, the real number is much lower (possibly zero, depending on how you define it) precisely because it is that difficult. The Earth, and by extension anything launched from it, has about 30 km/sec of relative velocity keeping it in a near-circular orbit. To get into a lower orbit that's closer to the sun, you have to lose most of that speed, and in space your only option for slowing down is pretty much just firing a big rocket in the opposite direction. And don't forget, thanks to the rocket equation your fuel consumption goes up exponentially with the required change in speed. It's actually cheaper and easier to send a probe out of the solar system entirely than to visit the surface of the Sun.

To my knowledge, only one solar observation mission (Helios) has even reached within the orbit of Venus. Most of them, like SOHO and Genesis, sit near the L1 Lagrangian point which is about 1% of the way to the Sun, distance-wise. Even the MESSENGER probe to Mercury was only made feasible by using about half a dozen precise slingshots around the inner planets
posted by teraflop at 3:25 PM on October 11, 2009 [14 favorites]


FAP FAP FAP FAP!

(hehe - sorry!)
posted by newfers at 3:31 PM on October 11, 2009


Wow, it's really surprising how many missions there have been.

Is there a key anywhere explaining the colours? It seems like the light and dark beige and red lines are successful and failed NASA and USSR missions respectively, but I can't tell what the other colours are.
posted by lucidium at 3:54 PM on October 11, 2009


This is amazing, thanks.

Stolen from National Geographic, but much more usable outside the flash jail.
It's not available in the National Geographic shop, but their other space maps are pretty cool.

Any theories on what that label on the moon that says "two successful NASA missions" means?
I think it's just highlighting that those two lines represent two successful NASA missions, as a not-very-well-explained key.

It seems like the light and dark beige and red lines are successful and failed NASA and USSR missions respectively, but I can't tell what the other colours are.
One of the purple lines is the Cassini probe, which is mostly a European Space Agency project. That tallies with the couple of lines to the moon and the single line to Mars, at least based on the ESA missions that I can remember.

I have no idea what the two shades of cyan (Galileo and New Horizons) and green dotted lines (Voyager, Pioneer) might represent - they're all NASA projects, I think. They might just be picked out in different colours so they match the symbols on the distance scale at the bottom.
posted by metaBugs at 5:38 PM on October 11, 2009


This is beautiful. Thanks for posting it.
posted by Monsters at 5:46 PM on October 11, 2009


This poster reminds me a lot of an item my grandfather currently owns and maintains, which is a big binder full of memorabilia (mostly photos and letters) that he has had signed by every astronaut who's agreed to his mailed requests for a signature. Most of them have.

My favorite item in there is a piece of gold foil from the outside of one of the lunar landers, which I think he got from Jim Irwin while he was a member of my grandfather's congregation in Texas.

This kind of stuff always makes me regret giving up my childhood ambitions of becoming an astronaut just a little bit.
posted by invitapriore at 6:12 PM on October 11, 2009


This kind of stuff always makes me regret giving up my childhood ambitions of becoming an astronaut just a little bit.

A medical student (well, now Doctor) friend of mine did one of here electives working on "space medicine". At NASA. So she got flown out to Houston, met and performed medical checks on a team of astronauts, and generally had an awesome time. I've seen photos of her in what looks like the main control room, standing next to a satellite (not in a special clean room, weirdly), with a team of astronauts leaning against the truck with "their" space shuttle on its back, watching the launch from within a restricted area, etc. And her laptop now has a "Critical Space Item!" sticker on it (which can't be bought, only stolen from NASA) signed by a bunch of astronauts and controllers. Words can't express how envious I am of her.

I'm pretty sure your dad's piece of foil from a landing craft blows even her out of the water, though. That's awesome.

When I loaded this page, it switched to the white background. Then when I hit preview just now, it switched back to the comforting blue. Weird.
posted by metaBugs at 6:23 PM on October 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Awesome stuff, thanks!
posted by smoothvirus at 6:29 PM on October 11, 2009


"And her laptop now has a "Critical Space Item!" sticker on it (which can't be bought. . . )"

Can too! Twenty bucks, unused!
posted by markkraft at 7:50 PM on October 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


Thats 10 billion miles of awsome.
posted by Sargas at 7:54 PM on October 11, 2009


Twenty bucks, unused!

Same as on Mars.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:11 PM on October 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


At 200 dpi this file would print roughly 9" by 20". It'll look pretty awesome but the text will also be incredibly small, sadly.
posted by ztdavis at 8:33 PM on October 11, 2009


This is proof that a single JPG can make a great FPP. Thank you.
posted by futureisunwritten at 8:39 PM on October 11, 2009


I'm pretty sure your dad's piece of foil from a landing craft blows even her out of the water, though. That's awesome.

Well, it doesn't really diminish my newly-found desire to have a bunch of "CRITICAL SPACE ITEM" stickers on hand for their comedic possibilities.
posted by invitapriore at 10:04 PM on October 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can I ask, why has there been only 9 missions to the Sun?

That's because they can only go at night, duh!


awesome poster indeed!
posted by DreamerFi at 10:24 PM on October 11, 2009


I am so happy that I am good friends with a signmaker.
posted by queensissy at 12:32 AM on October 12, 2009


Well, it's a pretty poster, to be sure, and I'd certainly love to have it on my wall. Having said that, it's also a bit of a basket-case, information-wise. There's really no telling what's really being displayed without some sort of key. The confusion, at least for me, is compounded by some odd call-outs. For instance...On the Moon, it states 73 missions. Then they have the odd callouts along the side...Eight failed NASA missions, Two successful NASA missions, etc. Without any sort of background on which specific missions the callouts are referring to, these stand out as nonsensical against commonly understood history.

I'm betting there's supposed to be a key laid over the map...probably down over on the lower right side...right where there are large gaps in the flight paths of Voyager 1 and 2, and Pioneer 10. I'm also guessing the callouts refer to items in an accompanying story.

I still want this on my wall!
posted by Thorzdad at 4:23 AM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Explain for a noob filter... Are the probes at the bottom of the screen really that far away from our planet now?
posted by Mastercheddaar at 6:45 AM on October 12, 2009


Can I ask, why has there been only 9 missions to the Sun?

Because the 10th mission went the wrong way around the star and is expected to land 400 years ago.
posted by bwg at 6:46 AM on October 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


No Cheddaar, they're farther than that (and getting farther every day!)
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:05 AM on October 12, 2009


Nthing Thorzdad; the original post should have provided some more context. What constitutes a "failed" moon mission, aside from Apollo 13, which still provided tons of useful info in terms of the astronauts' reactions under stress, improvising under extremely difficult circumstances, etc.? No info on the fact that, for some of those 73 missions, there were, you know, people on the moon?
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:35 AM on October 12, 2009


Wikipeida has a full list of robotic moon missions, including a bunch of failures. In the early days the missions failed for reasons like "rocket exploded on launch" or "missed the moon".

I particularly like how the ones that missed are listed on that page as "partial success – flyby".
posted by smackfu at 8:15 AM on October 12, 2009


I'm betting there's supposed to be a key laid over the map...probably down over on the lower right side

This was in a real issue, Oct 2008, if anyone has a NatGeo subscription and wants to check it out.
posted by smackfu at 8:22 AM on October 12, 2009


The confusion, at least for me, is compounded by some odd call-outs. For instance...On the Moon, it states 73 missions. Then they have the odd callouts along the side...Eight failed NASA missions, Two successful NASA missions, etc.

I think those callouts are supposed to be the key. They're saying "These two lines represent two successful NASA missions", "these eight lines represent eight failed NASA missions", etc. It's driving home the point that each line represents an individual mission (as opposed to, say, each line representing a single orbit) and indicating what each of the colours represents. So from the few lines they explicitly labelled, we can now understand the rest of the chart.

Well, we could if they had bothered to explain that purple = ESA and that green is just used to pick out the satellites also shown on the range chart at the bottom.
posted by metaBugs at 8:53 AM on October 12, 2009


Same image, zoomable and scrollable: http://seadragon.com/view/d0c. Click the lower-rightmost button to view full screen.
posted by blindcarboncopy at 10:11 AM on October 12, 2009


Sadly, "first craft to approach Uranus" evoked a juvenile chuckle.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 10:18 AM on October 12, 2009


so pretty!
posted by rmd1023 at 10:28 AM on October 12, 2009


Thought I'd throw this in late, a zoomable cached image of this: http://seadragon.com/view/d0c
posted by hanoixan at 12:56 PM on October 12, 2009


FFS, I didn't see blindcarboncopy's post. nevermind.
posted by hanoixan at 12:57 PM on October 12, 2009


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