Voyager 1 and 2 were originally a spin off of the Mariner program, originally called Mariner 11 and 12 but they decided to change the name. Voyager 1 and 2 were to look at our solar systems gas giants. They both were using a new technique called gravity assist to help maneuver. Voyager 1 and 2 are powered by radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG).
The mission plan for Voyager 1 and 2 was to look at all the gas giants in the solar system they called this plan the grand tour, the planets include were Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Voyager 1 was the first spacecraft ever to take detailed pictures of the moons of Saturn and Jupiter. Voyager 2 is a very special space craft due to the fact that it vistited all 4 gas giants via a very special geometric arragement of the planets in which only happens every 176 years, and has been considered by many the most productive space probe ever developed. Both the original missions have been long forgotten for the Voyager twins they are now researching about whats outside of our solar system including looking for the heliopause where the suns solar winds are not strong enough to push back the solar winds of other stars.
Both Voyager 1 and 2 used gravity assist to speed up the process to get to Jupiter and Saturn. Because Voyager 1 and 2 both used gravity assists they are now the fastest moving man made objects in space and are also the furthest away in space. A gravity assist kind of acts like a sling shot and propels a spacecraft forward giving it enough speed to get where it need to go.
The Voyager space probes used Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators to power the equipment on board. They use plutonium-238 to power the generators, which has allowed it to last for an extremely long time. As of 2006 the spacecrafts power is at 60%, which is far better than expected, and this is allowing the spacecraft to operate longer than expected all the way until 2020. But more and more features one the probe will...
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