The Solar System One Probe at a Time

In honour of Dawn’s successful orbit of Ceres and New Horizons’ flyby of the Pluto-Charon system in July, I thought I’d take you all on a tour of the solar system one probe at a time.

What does this mean?  I’m going to go all the way back to the first lunar probe, Luna 1 in 1959, and talk about each probe that was launched from Earth in chronological order.  I’ll look at what they achieved, what they saw, and what happened if they failed.  I’ll even include the ones that never made it out of the atmosphere and crashed back into the ocean.

I will not look at any spacecraft that were only intended to orbit the Earth.  I’ll look at every probe that went to the moon, the planets, asteroids, comets, and even the sun.  Just anywhere but Earth.

I will provide some pictures when available of the probe, as well as some things they took photos of.  I may even embed the launch videos if I can find them.

I hope you’ll enjoy this look back through the history of solar system exploration.

What Is Singapore?

Moving on to the 8th top country to visit this blog, we have the city-state of Singapore.  It may be small, but it had a big share of the visitors here.  With 114 views in 2014, it makes it about 0.6% of the total views.  So, if you are Singaporean, live in Singapore, or have lived in or visited Singapore, I’d like to hear your opinions.


The smallest country so far, Singapore has an area of 718.3 square kilometres, which is 190th in the world.  It has a population of 5,469,700, which makes it 114th in the world.  The capital and only city is Singapore, which also has a population of 5,469,700. The official languages are English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil, making this a very multilingual and multicultural country.  Singapore achieved independence from the United Kingdom on August 31, 1963, but subsequently joined with Malaysia.  However, it achieved full independence from Malaysia on August 9, 1965.  The head of state is the President (currently Tony Tan), though the head of government is the Prime Minister (currently Lee Hsien Loong).  The government type is unitary parliamentary constitutional republic.

Being an island nation and city-state, it’s quite small and doesn’t have much in the way of natural beauty, though about 10% of the country is nature reserve.  It’s a rich country with many millionaires, a very busy port, and an incredibly clean environment.  It’s known for its cleanliness and very strict laws about garbage. You can’t even have chewing gum.  Singapore is also one of the most religiously diverse countries in the world. I’d like to ask for your help. If you live in Singapore, have lived in or visited Singapore, or are from Singapore, please answer the following questions.

  1. What places would you say are the best to visit?
  2. What would you say is the truly Singaporean food?
  3. What is a truly Singaporean activity, sport, or pastime?
  4. For the readers out there, who is/was the greatest (or your favourite) Singaporean author?

Thank you very much! Please share this post so we can get as many answers as possible.  I appreciate it very much.