50 Years, 200 Missions: Flybys, Gravity Assists, Asteroid Touchdowns Mapped Out

space exploration

If all this talk of moon bombing has you curious about space exploration, you’re in luck: National Geographic recently produced this astonishingly elegant map of every space exploration in the last 50 years. Every. Single. One. (If you’re annoyed by that zoomable map, you can view a large version here or here)

The trick lies in the graphing system itself: What looks like arbitrary squiggles from afar is actually a record of the path traced by various missions. In turn, these become a handy chart of the places we’ve visited most frequently–our moon leads at 73 missions, followed by Venus at 43 and Mars at 40.


Too bad it’s not available as a poster. But in the meantime, enjoy.

[Via i09]