STILL PLAYING CATCHING?:
NASA's Messenger spacecraft launched in 2004,still orbits the Sun,studying it.In 2011,it will continue the work of NASA's Mariner 10(1973 to 1974),which only mapped half of Mercury's surface.Messenger will study more about this little known major planet.
RUSHING WITHOUT A BREAK!:
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft launched in 2006,is currently traveling at 52ooomph,will increase its speed by a few thousand mph after the gravity assist from Jupiter.It is the fastest recorded spacecraft in the history of space age.It will reach Pluto in 2015,studying it for almost 6 months.
THE FINAL FRONTIERS:
NASA's Pioneers 10,11 and Voyagers 1,2 are the only 4 spacecrafts out at our Solar System.Pioneer 10,the first spacecraft to cross the deadly Asteroid Belt and the first to visit Jupiter,is almost 100AU from the Sun right now,heads Northeast out of our Solar System to the star constellation Taurus,which will reach there an estimated 2 million years later.Pioneer 11,the first spacecraft to visit Saturn,is currently the slowest among the 4,heads Southeast of out of our Solar System to the star constellation Aquarius,reaching there an estimated 4 million years later.Voyager 1,the fastest of them all,and the first human artifact to leave our Solar System,is almost 110AU from our Sun,and heads West out of our Solar System to Alpha Centuri,the nearest star neighbour 4.2 light years away from the Sun.Initially,Voyager 2 was made to backup Voyager 1 in case it fails,but instead became the first spacecraft to visit Uranus and Neptune,and the first spacecraft to visit all four gas giants in its 'Grand Tour' Voyager 2 is catching up with Pioneer 10,and headed South out of our Solar System and it all goes well,2020 it will contact us to gather information of interstellar space.