Missions to other planets has been busy over the last fifty years laying the groundwork for efficient space travel to other planets both in and out of the local star system. With a 19.5 billion dollar directive to get humans to or on Mars by the early 2030s; we should not forget the enormous strides in understanding the Solar system we have taken. American space probes have visited each of the planets in the system; some more than others (Jupiter), others only once (Neptune).
Here is a list of probes sent by the people of Earth to investigate the outer planets of the Sol system. We have included launch dates, purpose, and where they are now.
Voyager 1: Mission to study the weather, the magnetic fields, and the rings of both Jupiter and Saturn before continuing out of the Sol system
Voyager 2; Took a longer trajectory to reach Jupiter(1979) and Saturn(1981), as well as flybys of Uranus(1986)and
Pioneer 10(March, 1972) Built to study the cosmic rays and solar winds, it visited Jupiter and is now headed out of the system. In 2003, it lost power for the radio transmitter at a range of 12 billion kilometers from Earth; well past the orbit of the Pluto Kuiper Belt Object.
Pioneer 11: Had the same mission goals as Pioneer 10 except that it’s flight path included a visit to Saturn as well. It also is dead for the stars and its last transmissions were received in late 1995.
Cassini-Huygens: Launched from Cape Kennedy, Cassini carried the Huygens lander to Saturn where it would land on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons
Galileo: The first of our probes not launched, but carried into orbit by the Space Shuttle Atlantis. Its goal included the study of Jupiter and its moons.
Ulysses: To examine the ‘north’ and ‘south’ poles of the sun. It would first have to travel to Jupiter and then to the star in an orbit that required almost six years between passes on the sun’s poles.
New Horizons: Would do a fly-by on the Pluto object and other Kuiper Belt Objects.
Juno: Entered the polar orbit of Jupiter in July 2016 and will study the winds and atmosphere until it’s planned deceleration and destruction in 2021.