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Voyager Facts

Categories: Science
Added: Tue Jun 13 05:51:04 +0000 2006Views: 9,137
Rating: 1.00 (1 vote)
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LaunchVoyager 2 launched on August 20, 1977, from Cape Canaveral, Florida aboard a Titan-Centaur rocket. On September 5, Voyager 1 launched, also from Cape Canaveral aboard a Titan-Centaur rocket.h3. Planetary TourBetween them, Voyager 1 and 2 explored all the giant planets of our outer solar system, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune; 48 of their moons; and the unique system of rings and magnetic fields those planets possess.Closest approach to Jupiter occurred on March 5, 1979 for Voyager 1; July 9, 1979 for Voyager 2.Closest approach to Saturn occurred on November 12, 1980 for Voyager 1; August 25, 1981 for Voyager 2.Closest approach to Uranus occurred on January 24, 1986 by Voyager 2.Closest approach to Neptune occurred on August 25, 1989 by Voyager 2.h3. Most Distant SpacecraftThe Voyager spacecraft will be the third and fourth human spacecraft to fly beyond all the planets in our solar system. Pioneers 10 and 11 preceded Voyager in outstripping the gravitational attraction of the Sun but on February 17, 1998, Voyager 1 passed Pioneer 10 to become the most distant human-made object in space.h3. The Golden RecordBoth Voyager spacecrafts carry a greeting to any form of life, should that be encountered. The message is carried by a phonograph record – -a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth. The contents of the record were selected for NASA by a committee chaired by Carl Sagan of Cornell University. Dr. Sagan and his associates assembled 115 images and a variety of natural sounds. To this they added musical selections from different cultures and eras, and spoken greetings from Earth-people in fifty-five languages.h3. Present StatusVoyager 1 is escaping the solar system at a speed of about 3.6 AU per year.Voyager 2 is escaping the solar system at a speed of about 3.3 Au per year.There are currently five science investigation teams participating in the Interstellar Mission. They are: * Magnetic field investigation * Low energy charged particle investigation * Ultraviolet Spectrometer Investigation * Cosmic ray investigation * Plasma wave investigationFive instruments onboard the Voyagers directly support the five science investigations. The five instruments are: * MAG Magnetic field investigation * LECP Low energy charged particle investigation * UVS Ultraviolet Spectrometer * CRS Cosmic ray investigation * PWS Plasma wave investigationTwo other instruments are collecting data but do not have official science investigations associated with them. They are:-PRA Planetary radio astronomy subsystem-UVS Ultraviolet spectrometer subsystem on Voyager 1 onlyh3. Termination ShockVoyager 1 crossed the termination shock and entered the heliosheath in December 2004, at 94 AU. It is expected that Voyager 1 will reach the heliopause in about 2015.Voyager 2 could cross the termination shock between 2008 and 2010 and reach the heliopause about 10 years later.


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