There are a lot of hunks of human-made machinery zipping around in the near and far reaches of space. Last year, Quartz visualized every active satellite within Earth’s orbit. Now there’s a website that elegantly details every active probe that’s outside of our orbit, exploring our solar system and beyond.
Spaceprob.es was created by Ariel Waldman, the creator of Spacehack and an adviser to NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts program, and Lisa Ballard, a web apps developer at the SETI Institute. The site is beautifully designed, making it very easy to learn everything you want to know about the robots investigating the universe.
The probes are organized by distance from Earth. Voyager 1, launched in 1977, was the first probe to enter interstellar space, and is now a measly 20 billion kilometers away. It carries with it a record of humankind—115 images of life on Earth, music, sounds of nature and different languages—in case it ever makes contact with an extraterrestrial civilization.
ARTEMIS P1 and P2, a set of twin probes launched in 2007 that examine the effects of solar radiation on the moon, are just 360,000 kilometers from home base.
The site, which will be useful in classrooms as well as fascinating to anyone with a passing interest in space exploration, has an excellent writeup on each of the Mars rovers, the Rosetta probe (which landed on a comet), New Horizons (which is nearly at Pluto), and many other spacecrafts that have been in the news recently. Besides showing their launch dates and distances from Earth, the site outlines the scientific instruments on each one and which organization back home is controlling them.