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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: During the Jupiter leg of its journey, Voyager 2 was to explore the giant planet, its magnetosphere and moons in greater detail than had the Pioneer spacecraft that preceded it. Voyager 2 was not only to study Jupiter, but to use it as a springboard to Saturn, using the gravity-assist technique.

Voyager 2 succeeded on all counts. It returned spectacular photos of the entire Jovian system, and time-lapse movies made from its images of Jupiter showed how the planet had changed since Voyager 1's visit. Its images of Io revealed changes in the moon's surface and the persistence of its volcanic eruptions. The spacecraft resolved the streaks Voyager 1 had shown on Europa into a collection of cracks in a thick and remarkably smooth icy crust. It also discovered a 14th moon and revealed a third component to the planet's rings.

   

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
Renu Malhotra Renu Malhotra
"I found that I loved working with the equations of orbital mechanics. This was a whole new world, and I felt like I belonged in it." Read More...
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Last Updated: 18 Apr 2012