The last half-century has been a golden age. Since Mariner 2’s successful flyby of Venus in 1962, NASA and other space agencies have launched spacecraft to every planet in the solar system and even a few to asteroids and comets. In honor of this 50th anniversary, NASA’s history office is hosting a special symposium Oct. 25 and 26 to look back at the important milestones accomplished in this era.
There is a definite imbalance in planetary exploration. Certain popular planets – *cough* Venus and Mars *cough* — have had many spacecraft launched at them. Other planets, not so much. The truth is that many mysteries remain on all the bodies in our solar system and we could always use more robust robotic exploration of other worlds.