Poll Results and Posters #2 and #3 Announced!
The poll is complete and the most popular robotic spacecraft in history have been selected. Thanks to the efforts by The Planetary Society, I do believe this marks the first time anyone has ever polled the public on such a question.
The Voyager Program
As we expected (and honestly were praying) the Voyager Program came into the top spot with 507 votes (18.5%). As many of you already know… Voyager 2 holds the record for most celestial bodies observed in a single mission having flown by four planetary systems — two of which were previously, never seen before by human eyes. Then of course Voyager 1 also became the first man-made interstellar object with Voyager 2 expected to do the same in 2016.
Cassini / Huygens
Cassini takes poster #2 with 432 votes (15.7%), effectively eclipsing it’s sister probe Galileo which explored the Jupiter system 1996-2003. This mission has been staggeringly successful at Saturn having been inserted into orbit in 2004 and still actively doing science 10 years later. This mission was also a two-in-one as it carried and deployed the Huygens Probe in 2005, becoming the first ever surface landing in the outer solar system when it touched down upon the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan.
Mars Science Lab (aka Curiosity)
The newest member of the robotic Martian community of surface rovers, Curiosity arrived in 2012 and has stolen the thunder of the previous Mars Exploration Rovers with 340 votes (12.4%). Considerably larger than it’s cousins Opportunity and Spirit, MSL packs a larger diversity of tools to conduct it’s search for past and present life on the Martian surface. Making the Curiosity rover more of a mobile laboratory than merely an explorer.
As for the rest of the list, here is how things all panned out:
- The Mars Exploration Rovers 189 (6.9%)
- Sputnik 169 (6.2%)
- The Viking Program (Mars) 146 (5.3%)
- New Horizons (Pluto) 136 (5.0%)
- Rosetta (comet) 123 (4.5%)
- Galileo (Jupiter) 121 (4.4%)
- Venera (Venus) 67 (2.4%)
- Pioneers 10 & 11 (Jupiter & Saturn) 66 (2.4%)
- The Mariner Program (Mercury, Venus & Mars) 47 (1.7%)
- Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter 40 (1.5%)
- Hayabusa (asteroid) 39 (1.4%)
- Mars Express 39 (1.4%)
- Deep Impact / Epoxi (comet) 36 (1.3%)
- Stardust (comet) 26 (0.9%)
- Messenger (Mercury) 25 (0.9%)
- Maven (Mars) 22 (0.8%)
- Dawn (Vesta & Ceres) 22 (0.8%)
Should we reach our stretch goals, this would also make poster #4’s theme the Opportunity & Spirit rovers and poster #5’s surprising but historically honorable theme going to Sputnik.
Thanks everyone for voting and now you know what all three posters will be. We should have the design for Cassini available as early as the next few days (we already started).