NASA voyager missons

Post 1900


The twin Voyager missions, inception 1972, were going to explore where noone had ever explored before.

Oddly Voyager 2 launched on August 20, 1977 but Voyager 1 didn't leave until September 5, 1977. Voyager 1 and 2 were heading for Jupiter and Saturn but using different trajectories.

Voyager 1 arrived at Jupiter in 1979 and Saturn in 1980, whilst Voyager 2 flew by Jupiter in 1979 and Saturn in 1981. NASA wanted close up studies of Jupiter, Saturn, Saturn's rings and the large moons of there planets.

Voyager 2 then managed to encounter Uranus in 1986, sending us detailed photos and information on its moons, magnetic field and dark rings. It came close to Neptune in 1989.

The mission was intended to extend NASA's exploration of the outer most planets and the outer limits of the Sun's sphere. Voyager 1 has now left the Solar System and moved towards interstellar space. The information that these two probes have provided has revolutionised the science of planetary astronomy.

The technology used includes television cameras, infrared and ultraviolet sensors, magnetometers, plasma detectors, and cosmic-ray and charged-particle sensors. The power sources used are called radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). The spacecraft are controlled and their data is returned through the Deep Space Network, which is a global spacecraft tracking system and we have an antenna near Canberra in Australia.