Oh, The Places We’ll Go When You Consider The Places We’ve Been!

Though humans haven’t been much further than the Moon, our unmanned spacecraft certainly have. This visualization displays the paths most of our spacecraft have taken in amongst and outside of the planets and moons of the Solar System.

PatSpacecraft Infographichs range from the earliest vector data available, typically just following launch, to either the latest data available or December 15, 2013, whichever is earlier.

The spacecraft data and planet orbital data is derived from NASA/JPL Horizons ephemeris. The image was rendered using a modified version of my Orbit Viewer WebGL application and put into infographic form using Photoshop. Body and spacecraft positions are as of December 15, 2013.

Originally intended as an animation, my browser was not too amused with the quantity of data being thrown at it. In the new year, given sufficient demand, I may optimize the modeling and animation algorithms and either produce the animation or release it as a distinct WebGL visualization.

This infographic is free for public distribution, I just ask for attribution (CC-BY 4.0).

Sources:
NASA/JPL Horizons: http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/?horizons
      Orbit Viewer: http://orbits.wthr.us/