Solar Explorer

Explore the solar system and learn about space with our 3D rendered, interactive, space-exploration application!

Created by Isaac Wengler, Ethan Loftis, Isaac Ernst, Kenny Fatoki

How to Explore

Once visiting Solar Explorer, you will be dropped in space overlooking our solar system. Normally this would be scary, but luckily you are in a rocket that can travel faster than light speed!

Select planets from the menu to enter hyperdrive and visit them. Once you are on a planet, click Land on Planet to explore the surface.

You can visit any planet on the main menu, and land on all of the rocky planets. Interesting facts are generated and rendered on the screen, relevant to what you are viewing.

Our Motivation

We have a passion for space and wanted to create a fun way to explore and learn new facts. With that, our team decided making a 3D environment, similar to a video game, would create the most immersive space scene, in addition to being a challenge!

The release of Solar Explorer is targeted for children. The site promotes learning by being fun-to-play, while popping up with compelling facts about everything in our solar system. We are fueling the future astronauts of the world!

How We Did It

To make Solar Explorer we used:

  • three.js
  • javascript
  • html
  • css
  • Google Cloud Compute Engine
  • domain name

Solar Explorer incorporates the three.js javascript library to render a 3D view of our solar system. This library allowed us to create a video game quality environment in the web browser!

None of our team had used three.js before this project, so this was a challenge for us. However, we were able to pick it up quickly and successfully complete Solar Explorer.

What We Learned

We learned how to incorporate three.js into javascript and rendered 3D worlds. We also had to perform mathematical calculations to get the right orbits of each planet and calculate the speed we were traveling, which helped us learn more about space!

What's Next

For the future of Solar Explorer, we want to add additional stars and objects in the galaxy. We can continue to broaden the scope of the project.

Additionally, we want to market this to children to help them learn more about space, so our site can make an impact.

Finally, we will work on converting our project into a virtual reality environment!


We couldn't have accomplished this without open source! Thanks to these free resources for helping us create Solar Explorer:

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