Space probe is a spacecraft that is sent into space and travels here to gather scientific information. Space probes don’t have astronauts. They are unmanned spacecraft. The probes send back all the data necessary for scientists to work.
What Is the Role of the Space Probe?
When we want close-up photos and information about the planets, satellites, comets and asteroids in our Solar System, we send out space probes. Space probes can carry very specialized cameras and devices to the solar system. Some space probes study many planets and satellites and fly near them. Others orbit a planet or satellite for closer inspection.
The space agencies of Russia, the USA, the European Union, Japan, China and India have sent numerous space probes to many planets and moons of the Solar System, as well as a number of asteroids and comets. About 15 missions are currently actively underway in deep space.
Space probes can make a one-way trip or bring back the samples and data collected by traveling two-way back to Earth. Most probes transmit data from space using radio signals. Probes must be able to withstand harsh conditions for data collection. Devices carried by space probes may include radiometers, magnetometers, infrared, visible and ultraviolet light sensitive television cameras, micrometers, cosmic rays, gamma rays, and special detectors for the solar wind.
Mankind has been sending space probes into space since the 1950s. The new generation probes are tasked with examining samples taken from comets, asteroids and Mars.
What Do We Learn from Space Probes?
The data provided by the space probe may require months or even years of analysis. Invaluable information has been learned from the probes regarding the origins, composition and structures of various objects in the solar system. Scientists who try to understand the air of the earth by establishing theoretical models of global weather systems interpret the acquired knowledge about the atmospheres and meteorology of the planets. Because the conditions in other planets and celestial bodies are much different than the earth.
Why Do We Send Probes to Space?
We have said that the main reason is to learn. However, according to Stephen Hawking and other scientists, these data are also very valuable for discovering alternative places when there is a development that threatens the human species on Earth.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Space Probes
First of all, space probes require lower budgets than space shuttles. Since they do not carry people, a situation that will endanger human life does not arise. Considering that astronauts lost their lives in some space missions, sending a space probe is a more practical and safe method. With space probes, very distant points can be accessed to the most remote corners of space.
After all, because they are man-made devices, there is no possibility of repair during the mission. For example, when the Hubble telescope mission close to Earth failed on its first attempt, the lenses could be repaired in space by astronauts. This is not possible with space probes. Also, the disadvantage may be that there is no human being in it. Observations made by humans can only be made by machines. Scientists only make inferences from incoming photos or video images. Another disadvantage is the fact that the devices on it cannot be replaced with a higher model after it is sent to space. There are old technology cameras and sensors on the space probes floating in space.
Where Do Space Probes Get Their Energy?
If they go to planets like Mars where they can get sun, they can collect energy from special solar panels. In areas without the sun, they require more power and use small radioisotope thermoelectric generators that naturally generate electricity from the decay of radioactive material.
The Seebeck effect occurs when two different semiconductor metals are connected. When one end of the metal is heated, electrons move from the hot metal to the cooler one. This movement of electrons produces a small electric current that powers any electrically powered device connected in the middle.
The First Space Probes Sent to Space
The first probe sent to space was Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957, belonging to the Former Soviet Union. Later, on January 31, 1958, the United States sent Explorer 1. These probes had the first experience of space and studied the Earth from space. The dispatch of these two probes is also of historical importance in terms of being the beginning of the Space Race between the USA and the Soviet Union.
A different probe, called Mariner 4, is the first probe to take a picture of a planet. On July 14, 1965, Mariner 4 crossed Mars. The images of Mars have revealed a cold, cratered, moon-like surface before scientists.
In 1971, Mariner 9 approached the orbit of Mars and became the first probe to enter or orbit another planet. Mariner 9 has taken many photographs of Mars showing the largest volcano in the solar system.
One of the most famous space probes is Voyager 1. The furthest probe in space is Voyager 1. It was launched into space in 1977. Voyager 1 passed by Jupiter and Saturn and then turned towards the boundaries of our solar system. Voyager 1 continues on its way at a speed of 62140 km / h. It is currently about 20 billion kilometers from the sun and still continues to send data. Voyager 1 will continue to operate until 2025.
Author: Mr. Article
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