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NASA’s Venerable Voyager 2 was Launched 45 Years Ago Today

Posted by Guy Pirro 08/20/2022 04:04PM

NASA’s Venerable Voyager 2 was Launched 45 Years Ago Today

It was 45 years ago today, August 20, 1977, that NASA launched the Voyager 2 spacecraft on its historic mission to Jupiter and Saturn (and beyond). To double the chances of success, its twin spacecraft Voyager 1 was launched about a half month later on September 5, 1977. As originally designed, the Voyager twins were to conduct close-up studies of Jupiter and Saturn, Saturn's rings, and the larger moons of the two planets. But in the end, they accomplished much, much, more. In fact, the Voyagers are still exploring where nothing from Earth has flown before. To this day, the twin Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft continue on their 45 year journey. In August 2012, Voyager 1 made the historic entry into interstellar space, the region between stars that is filled with material ejected by the death of nearby stars millions of years ago. Voyager 2 entered interstellar space on November 5, 2018. Both spacecraft are still sending scientific information about their surroundings through the Deep Space Network (DSN). After making a string of discoveries on Jupiter and Saturn, their missions were extended. Voyager 2 went on to explore Uranus and Neptune, and is still the only spacecraft to have visited those outer planets. The two Voyagers, still active after all these years, will continue to explore the outermost edges of the Sun's domain and beyond until their power sources run out and NASA loses contact.


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