Are there any planets or moons in the Outer Solar System, where a man-made object has landed and made photographs of its surface?

I can remember an article somewhere that said there's only one moon where anything has ever landed and sent pictures of the surface, but I can't remember which moon that was, and I'm also not sure that it was actually the only case.

  • $\begingroup$ That's strange. Even considering surface gravity there are 6 moons with at least half of our Moon's surface gravity which means that astronauts could walk there. There are more than 100 moons out there, and almost 200 known Centaur asteroids which cross tthe orbits of the outer planets. $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Apr 23, 2014 at 10:53
  • $\begingroup$ What exactly do you mean by the 'Outer Solar System'? Traditionally that means Jupiter and beyond, but if you're talking about Trans-Neptunian objects (e.g. Pluto), there's plenty of unknowns. $\endgroup$
    – john3103
    Apr 23, 2014 at 21:39
  • $\begingroup$ @john3103 Yes, but obviously there's only a few man-made objects that could ever go beyond Pluto, so I don't talk about that. $\endgroup$ Apr 23, 2014 at 22:32
  • $\begingroup$ "Ever" is a very long time. Given unpredictable advances in technology over the next few thousand years, I wouldn't bet against landing a probe on the surface of Alpha Centauri (yes, I mean the star). Do you want to update your question to limit the scope to current or currently planned technology? $\endgroup$ Apr 24, 2014 at 22:59
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    $\begingroup$ @Zoltán, I've edited the question in light of these comments. $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Apr 25, 2014 at 6:39

1 Answer 1


In 2005 the Huygens probe successfully landed on Titan, satellite of Saturn.

My guess is that any body with a solid/liquid surface could be a suitable target. Many jovian or saturnine moons like Enceladus, Phoebe or Hyperion feature solid surfaces.

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    $\begingroup$ I'd also suggest that if it's just a question of landing, not surviving, you could land on any planet or moon. Even the gas giant have solid cores. You'd be destroyed before you reach them, but the crushed remains of your satellite would eventually reach them assuming it had a reasonable re-entry system. $\endgroup$
    – ThePlanMan
    Apr 23, 2014 at 10:03
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    $\begingroup$ @FraserOfSmeg crushing into a far planet doesn't have any scienticfic values - even in Kerbal Space Program neither :) $\endgroup$ Apr 23, 2014 at 10:15
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know about that - I'm sure if you had some pretty hardy sensors and a RTG powered coms system you'd probably be able to transmit some information during your decent. If you could it would probably have scientific value. $\endgroup$
    – ThePlanMan
    Apr 23, 2014 at 10:17
  • $\begingroup$ In fact, Galileo probe were sent into Jupiter and transmitted useful data until it was destroyed $\endgroup$
    – orique
    Apr 23, 2014 at 10:26
  • $\begingroup$ @ZoltánSchmidt See related How many space craft have been intentionally crashed through 2014? $\endgroup$ Apr 23, 2014 at 10:36

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