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Solar System Explored: Today's Deep-Space Spacecraft (Gallery)

NASA's Wind Spacecraft

NASA

Artist's rendering of NASA's Wind probe, which launched in 1994 to investigate the solar wind.

NASA's Advanced Composition Explorer

NASA

An artist's concept of NASA's Advanced Composition Explorer spacecraft (ACE), which launched in 1997 to study space weather.

NASA and ESA's SOHO Spacecraft

NASA/ESA/Alex Lutkus

An artist's impression of the SOHO spacecraft (short for Solar and Heliospheric Observatory).

NASA's STEREO Spacecraft Observing Sun Storm

NASA

Artist's concept of the STEREO spacecraft observing a coronal mass ejection. When there's no CME to be found, STEREO still gathers images of the background stars.

MESSENGER in Orbit

NASA

An artist's conception shows NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft in orbit around Mercury.

Europe's Venus Express Probe

ESA.

An artist's interpretation of the European Space Agency's Venus Express spacecraft orbiting the second planet in our solar system.

Japan's Akatsuki Venus Probe

Akihiro Ikeshita/JAXA

Japan's Venus Climate Orbiter "Akatsuki" was designed to study both the atmosphere and surface of Venus.

NASA Gives Two Probes New Orders: To the Moon

NASA

An artist's concept of NASA's twin ARTEMIS spacecraft, which moved from Earth orbit to lunar orbit in 2011.

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

NASA/GSFC

Artist’s rendition of NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter over the lunar surface.

The Spitzer Space Telescope

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Artist's view of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope against the infrared sky.

Herschel Telescope Sees Cold, Early Universe

ESA – D. Ducros, 2009

Artist impression of the infrared Herschel spacecraft, which is helping scientists better understand the universe's early days.

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