Space Age Images of the Solar System
In this chapter, we will examine the components of the solar system based on knowledge gained since the dawn of the Space Age, beginning with the launch of the first satellite, Sputnik, by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957. In the intervening years, advances in telescope design and observations made by space probes that have visited the planets have allowed us to learn about our solar system up close and personal. Although important space probes and their discoveries will be reviewed, a complete description of all successful and failed space vehicles would go beyond the scope of this chapter. For this, the reader is referred to more specialized books.