Space probe

Abandoned 1974 probe, Pioneer H, on display in the National Air and Space Museum
Diagram of extant Solar System missions

A space probe is a robotic spacecraft that does not orbit Earth, but instead, explores further into outer space.[1] A space probe may approach the Moon; travel through interplanetary space; flyby, orbit, or land on other planetary bodies; or enter interstellar space.

The space agencies of the USSR (now Russia and Ukraine), the United States, the European Union, Japan, China, and India have collectively launched probes to several planets and moons of the Solar System, as well as to a number of asteroids and comets. Approximately 15 missions are currently operational.[2]

Interplanetary trajectories

Once a probe has left the vicinity of Earth, its trajectory will likely take it along an orbit around the Sun similar to the Earth's orbit. To reach another planet, the simplest practical method is a Hohmann transfer orbit. More complex techniques, such as gravitational slingshots, can be more fuel-efficient, though they may require the probe to spend more time in transit. Some high Delta-V missions (such as those with high inclination changes) can only be performed, within the limits of modern propulsion, using gravitational slingshots. A technique using very little propulsion, but requiring a considerable amount of time, is to follow a trajectory on the Interplanetary Transport Network.[3]

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Raumsonde
العربية: مسبار فضائي
asturianu: Sonda espacial
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Аўтаматычная міжплянэтная станцыя
čeština: Kosmická sonda
dansk: Rumsonde
Deutsch: Raumsonde
español: Sonda espacial
Esperanto: Kosmosondilo
euskara: Espazio zunda
français: Sonde spatiale
한국어: 우주 탐사선
Bahasa Indonesia: Kuar luar angkasa
íslenska: Könnunarfar
italiano: Sonda spaziale
עברית: גשושית
Kiswahili: Kipimaanga
Kreyòl ayisyen: Sonn espasyal
Lëtzebuergesch: Raumsond
lietuvių: Kosminis zondas
magyar: Űrszonda
Bahasa Melayu: Kuar angkasa lepas
Nederlands: Ruimtesonde
日本語: 宇宙探査機
Nordfriisk: Rümsonde
norsk: Romsonde
norsk nynorsk: Romsonde
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਪੁਲਾੜ ਟਟੋਲ
Plattdüütsch: Ruumsond
português: Sonda espacial
Simple English: Space probe
slovenčina: Kozmická sonda
slovenščina: Vesoljska sonda
српски / srpski: Свемирска сонда
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Svemirska sonda
svenska: Rymdsond
Türkçe: Uzay sondası
Tiếng Việt: Thăm dò không gian