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
Diagram of the Voyager
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
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
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.