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Exploring the Planets is closed as part of the Museum’s renovation. Learn more about the project to transform the National Air and Space Museum.
The history and achievements of planetary explorations, both Earth-based and by spacecraft.
A single large spacecraft hangs in the center of this gallery: a full-scale replica of a Voyager, two of which blazed a trail of discovery through the outer solar system. Like other robotic spacefarers, the Voyagers served as extensions of our senses. The data and dazzling images of planets and moons they sent back to Earth revealed each of them to be a world as real and unique as our own.
Exploring the Planets takes you on a tour of this remarkable realm, as seen and sensed by the Voyagers and other robotic explorers. Initial sections present some historical highlights and show the various means we use to study other worlds. Sections devoted to each planet form the core of the gallery.