Two space probes called Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were launched in 1977. They went to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. They were launched in the United States from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It took two years to reach the first planet they were researching, Jupiter.
Voyagers 1 and 2 took around 100,000 pictures of the outer planets. They took pictures of Jupiter’s “swirling red atmosphere”, images of volcanoes on Jupiter’s moon, Io, erupting 200 miles into space, and awesome pictures of Saturn’s rings. Voyager 1 took a different path to make a close flyby of Saturn’s moon, Titan, and then it left our solar system. Voyager 2 discovered ten new moons of Uranus and an earth-sized hurricane on Neptune. Both Voyagers went past Pluto, but never close enough to take pictures.
The Voyagers sent back information through radio signals caught by 38 different antennas on four different continents.
The space probes could travel at 22,000 miles per hour and up to 62,000 miles per hour when pulled by the gravity of Jupiter.
Voyager 2 had problems soon after takeoff. The rockets didn’t fire properly, and they used too much fuel. In order to get the right flight path toward Jupiter, they needed to fire the rockets again. There were only three and a half minutes of fuel left; if they ran out of fuel the mission would have failed. Later in its mission, Voyager 2 had more problems. Its main radio had failed, a computer froze, and a gearbox jammed so it couldn’t turn its instruments as well.
The Voyagers are still sending signals from 4 billion miles away, reporting to Pathfinder on Mars. Voyager 1 will start heading to the constellation, Hercules, and Voyager 2 will go toward the center of the Milky Way. They will continue to send back information until 2020, possibly 2030, when power will run out.
There are going to be no more Voyager missions, but as long as people are curious, we will continue to explore our solar system and universe....
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