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Voyager 2
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Voyager 2
Voyager 2 Mission to Jupiter Voyager 2 Mission to Saturn Voyager 2 Mission to Uranus Voyager 2 Mission to Neptune Voyager 2 Mission to Our Solar System Voyager 2 Mission to Beyond Our Solar System

Goals: Voyager 1 and 2 were designed to take advantage of a rare planetary alignment to explore the outer solar system. Voyager 2 targeted Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Like it's sister spacecraft, Voyager 2 also was designed to study the edge of our solar system beyond the planets.

Accomplishments: Voyager 2 is the only human-made object to have flown by Neptune. In the closest approach of its entire tour, the spacecraft passed less than 5,000 km above the planet's cloud tops. It discovered five moons, four rings, and a "Great Dark Spot" that vanished by the time the Hubble Space Telescope imaged Neptune five years later. Neptune's largest moon, Triton, was found to be the coldest known planetary body in the solar system, with a nitrogen ice "volcano" on its surface. A gravity assist at Neptune shot Voyager 2 below the plane in which the planets orbit the sun, on a course which will ultimately take the spacecraft out of our solar system.

   

Key Dates
20 Aug 1977:  Launch
9 Jul 1979:  Jupiter Flyby (Closest Approach)
26 Aug 1981:  Saturn Flyby (Closest Approach)
24 Jan 1986:  Uranus Flyby (Closest Approach)
25 Aug 1989:  Neptune Flyby (Closest Approach)
Status: Extended Mission in Progress
Fast Facts
Voyager 2 Facts Both Voyager spacecraft carry a greeting to any form of life. The message is on a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk (right) containing sounds and images that portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth.

One of the musical selections on the Voyager gold record is Chuck Berry's 1950s hit Johnny B. Goode.

Voyager 2 is escaping the solar system at a speed of about 3.3 A.U. (495,000,000 km) per year.

Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to visit Uranus and Neptune.

A 30-cm gold-plated copper disc, together with a needle and playing instructions, is mounted on the body casing. On it are recorded natural Earth sounds, 90 min of music, 115 pictures, and greetings in 60 languages.

It is departing our solar system in a different direction than Voyager 1.
Science & Technology Features
People Spotlight
Steve Squyres Steve Squyres
Steve is best known as principal Investigator for the Mars Exploration Rovers, but he's contributed to many of the greatest robotic missions. Read More...
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Last Updated: 18 Apr 2012