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Héctor Guerrero Padrón

The robotic exploration of the Solar System URL: http://www.march.es/conferencias/anteriores/voz.aspx?p1=22812&l=2

The space era has meant a giant leap in the future of human exploration. Once the barrier of terrestrial gravity is surpassed, there seems to be no limits to disseminate across the Solar System. But this is far from truth , because the technology needed and the high cost still keep us away from this goal. Effectively, although it has already 5 decades of life and more than a hundred robotic missions have been done, the exploration of the Solar System is still at is most early infancy. There have been expeditions towards the most diverse destination. Planets and moons, asteroids and comets, and even the vicinity of the Sun are visited by singular emissaries. These space ships are a source of exceptional information that not even the most powerful telescopes in Earth, nor the systems in orbit, could ever substitute. These small robotic explorers, thanks to advances scientific instrumentation, transmit data that are key for the comprehension of the Solar System and of our own planet.

In the conference we will present the first steps of space exploration, the advantages of robotic missions in comparison to manned missions, and the special case of the lunar exploration. Also, we will review the current knowledge that the ships beyond the Earth-Moon system have provided, including those that have reached the limits of the Solar System. Finally, we will address in detail the peculiar exploration of Mars. Half a hundred missions attempting to anticipate the next big milestone of the history of Humanity: our arrival to the Red Planet.

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