Space, the Ultimate Visual Frontier: 70+ Amazing Infographics

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Since my last guest post here, there were a lot of events filled with infographics that could be the focus of this month’s mega-selection. The terrible earthquake in Japan and the nuclear threat that followed, the escalation of the military operations in Libya, Apple’s anniversary, the new chapters of the Browser Wars, and that’s just to mention a few.

However, despite so many possible subjects, I decided to dedicate today’s roundup to mankind’s ultimate frontier: Space. After all, it’s been already 50 years since the beginning of manned space exploration, so, it’s only fair we join the celebration with a selection of awesome visualizations and infographics, collected from all over the world!

Hope you enjoy!

Space Exploration

A look back at half-century of achievements, and some thoughts on what the future looks like to NASA, facing some budget cuts for the past years. And nobody doubts that the future of space exploration goes trough NASA

Humans in space: results of the past 50 years | Via

50th Anniversary of the First Human Spaceflight | Via

The Final Frontier | Via

50 Years In Space: Was It Worth It? | Via

50 Years of Space Exploration | Via

50 years of Space Exploration [Interactive] | Via

50 Years of Manned Spaceflight | Via

From Kennedy to Obama | Via

The Future of NASA | Via

The State of NASA Budgets and Manned Space Travel | Via

NASA’s budget timeline | Via

The first Hero

Yuri Gagarin was chosen with 19 other pilots for the Soviet space program, but he never thought that he’d become such an iconic figure in History. Some of the graphics made about him:

50 years ago: Gagarin in the space, a graphic on the frontpage | Via

How the First Human Spaceflight Worked | Via

50 Years of Yuri Gagarin | Via

The biography of Yury Gagarin, the first man in space | Via

Gagarin, the first man in Space | Via

What it takes to be an astronaut

“When Igrow up, I wanna be an Astronaut”. This is a common phrase amongst kids, that gives away the tremendous fascination with the possibilities of space traveling.

Space for Begginers | Via

The effects of zero gravity on cosmonauts | Via

Dangers of Spaceflight | Via

Cosmonaut selection criteria in Russia | Via

How Do You Insure an Astronaut? | Via

The Spacecrafts

A round up of rockets, probes and spacecrafts that marked the history of space exploration – and the junk we’re leaving behind!

Variety of spacecraft | Via

Rockets of the World | Via

Saturn V | Via

The Soyuz TMA-M, a new version of the legendary spacecraft | Via

The USSR secret Spaceship | Via

Falcon 9 and Dragon | Via

The Constellation Space Transportation | Via

End-of-life disposal of spacecraft | Via

How many Countries have stuck Satellites up into Space | Via

Waste in Space | Via

Space Junk | Via

The Space Shuttle

What can we say that hasn’t been said already, about the Space Shuttle. A true symbol of the ability to push technological boundaries to its limits, and also of the risks involved with space traveling.

First Space Shuttle Ever | Via

Space Shuttle Cronology | Via

NASA Space Shuttle Launch | Via

Fun Facts about Space Shuttle Orbit | Via

15.000 Hits and Counting | Via

Discovery’s Last Ride | Via

Space shuttle Challenger: design, history, disaster | Via

Columbia Disaster: Chronology of Events | Via


For some, the beginning of Space colonization started with the International Space Station. Here are some infographics about this joint project between the five participant space agencies:

ISS Timeline [Interactive] | Via

ISS configuration | Via

Journey to the International Space Station | Via

How Big Is the International Space Station? | Via

Spacewalk [Interactive] | Via

The Missions

The early era of space exploration was driven by a “Space Race” between the Soviet Union and the United States; the launch of the first man-made object to orbit the Earth, the USSR’s Sputnik 1, on October 4, 1957, and the first Moon landing by the American Apollo 11 craft on July 20, 1969 are often taken as the boundaries for this initial period. But there were many others, worth remembering:

NASA’s Missions | Via

Solar System Missions | Via

Fantastic Voyage | Via

Voyager’s deep trip | Via

Voyagers: 33 years of space flight | Via

Messenger approaches Mercury orbit | Via

NASA’s Messenger Mission to Mercury | Via

Incredible Comet Voyage of NASA’s Stardust Probe | Via

Glory Satellite | Via

Cassini arrival at Saturn | Via

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Hubble Telescope [Interactive] | Via

Hubble’s New View | Via

Space Colonies | Via

NASA Solar Observatory | Via

Reaching for the Moon

“Here Men From The Planet Earth First Set Foot Upon the Moon, July 1969 A.D. We Came in Peace For All Mankind.” This is what the inscription left on the Moon, by the Apollo 11 crew, says. Some infographics about that astonishing mission:

Apollo 11 Anniversary | Via

Man on the Moon | Via

To the Moon and Beyond | Via

Lunar Landings Map | Via

Moon Landings Timeline | Via

Lunar Command Module Cutaway | Via

The Moon Walk | Via

Conquering the Moon | Via

To the Moon and Beyond | Via

Next Stop: Mars

After the Moon, Mar was always on the top of the priorities for manned missions. Let’s take a look at some of the milestones of the road to conquer the Red Planet.

A Visual Guide to Every Mars Mission | Via

Mars Probes Missions 1961-2007 | Via

Mars Exploration Rover [Interactive] | Via

MARS 500:The Big Brother from Space [Interactive]
| Via

A History of Mars Exploration | Via

Like I said, there are literally hundreds of other resources available, and we will bring some more infographics about our solar system and the Universe soon, so fill free to leave your comments with further suggestions.

Tiago Veloso is the founder of Visual Loop, a collaborative digital environment for everything related to information design and data visualization. He lives in Brazil, and you can connect with him online on Twitter and LinkedIn.