Exploring the Universe: An Overview of the Three Types of Space Probes

Space exploration has come a long way since humans first set foot on the Moon. Learn about interplanetary probes, orbiters & landers & their benefits.

Exploring the Universe: An Overview of the Three Types of Space Probes

Since the first human set foot on the Moon, space exploration has come a long way. From satellites orbiting the Earth to machines sent to investigate objects in the Solar System, space probes have been launched to explore the universe. In this article, we will discuss the three types of space probes: interplanetary probes, orbiters and landers. The space race began with the launch of Sputnik in 1957, which caused panic among American politicians and scientists.

This spurred a decades-long effort to develop and execute space programs around the world. The technology and precision needed to put these satellites into orbit are the result of this research. In 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel to space, when he orbited the Earth in the Vostok 1 capsule. Since then, hundreds of satellites have been launched to orbit the Earth and hundreds of people have traveled to space in many different types of spaceships.

Interplanetary Probes

Interplanetary probes are unmanned spacecraft sent to explore objects in our Solar System. They are designed to travel long distances and collect data from planets, moons and other celestial bodies. Since 2000, there have been 10 unmanned expeditions to Mars, including placing spacecraft in orbit around Mars and landing machines called explorers to explore the surface.


Orbiters are spacecraft that are sent into orbit around a planet or moon.

They are used to observe and study a planet or moon from a distance. For example, NASA's Curiosity rover was sent to Mars to search for signs of life.


Landers are spacecraft that are designed to land on a planet or moon's surface. They are used to collect samples from the surface and study its composition.

The Apollo 11 mission was an example of a lander mission; Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the Moon.

Benefits of Space Exploration

Space exploration has led to many discoveries that have impacted human life; it is responsible for improvements in telecommunications, meteorology, navigation and many other things that today's society takes for granted. Space exploration can also be a unifying force for cultures around the world, as it can be considered the collective heritage of all humanity. In addition, many medical experiments conducted in space conditions have helped doctors to better understand the human body.

Astronauts are subject to microgravity and a relatively sedentary lifestyle, so space missions have led to advances in research into cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and bone disorders.


The desire to travel to space has existed for millennia, but it became a possibility in the 20th century with the launch of Sputnik. Since then, hundreds of satellites have been launched into orbit around Earth and many machines have been sent out into our Solar System for exploration. Through space exploration, we have made many discoveries that have impacted human life and can be considered a unifying force for cultures around the world.

Kara Counihan
Kara Counihan

Incurable internet expert. Infuriatingly humble bacon ninja. Devoted pop culture advocate. Proud food enthusiast. Certified burrito fanatic. Amateur food practitioner.