Voyager Missions

Post 1900

Voyager 1 and 2

The Voyager 1 and 2 are twin spacecraft that were designed to explore the outer Solar System. They are both still in space today, 36 years after their launch.

The Voyagers are the only spacecraft to study all four of the solar systems giant planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) at close range.

The Voyagers made some of the greatest discoveries in space history, that include

  • The rings around Jupiter
  • Volcanoes on Jupiters moon, Lo
  • The moons of Saturn that shepard its rings
  • New moons around Uranus and Neptune
  • Geysers of liquid nitrogen on Neptunes moon, Triton

images taken from the Voyager


At their launch each Voyager weighed about 815kgs. Voyager 1 now weighs 755kgs and Voyager 2 weighs 735kgs.

Without its booms, each Voyager could fit into a 4 metre cube.


High Gain Antenna: 3.7 metres across

Magnometer Boom: 13 metres long

Planetary Radio Astronomy and Plasma Wave Antenna: 10 metres long

Radiostope Thermoelectric Generator Boom: 3.7 metres long

Science Instrument Boom: 3 metres long

Bus Housing Electronics Boom: 1.8 mteres long

Diagram of the Voyager

Key dates

Voyager 1

Launch: 5 September 1977 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA

5 March 1979: Jupiter Flyby

12 November 1980: Saturn Flyby

17 February 1998: Became the most distant human made object

Voyager 2

Launch: 20 August 1977 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA

9 Jul 1979: Jupiter Flyby (closest Approach)

26 Aug 1981: Saturn Flyby (closest Approach)

24 Jun 1986: Uranus Flyby (closest Approach)

25 Aug 1989: Neptune Flyby (closest Approach)

The launch of the Voyager 2 on 20 August 1977


Each voyager contains a disk with a greeting to any form of life they may find. The disk contains sounds and pictures that show life on Earth.

The Voyager 2 leaves the solar system in a different direction them the Voyager 1.

The Voyagers have three different kinds of computers on board and there are two of each kind.The computers are a Computer Command System, a Flight Data System and Attitude and Articulation Control System.

The Greeting disk found on each Voyager

The Voyager