Voyagers Soldier On
1 Nov 2002
(Source: California Institute of Technology)
Caltech News Release
For Immediate Release
PASADENA, Calif. - When the two Voyager spacecraft were launched in 1977, their mission was to explore the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and beyond. They revealed dozens of distinctive worlds, with jet streams and giant storms in the planets' atmospheres, volcanoes on the moon Io, and rings that appear to be debris from shattered moons.
Twenty-five years later the Voyagers soldier on. On Wednesday, November 6, Edward Stone, the David Morrisroe Professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology, will discuss what's next for these two remarkable spacecraft in "The Voyager Journeys to Interstellar Space," one of the ongoing Earnest C. Watson Lecture Series that takes place on the Caltech campus.
Stone is the project scientist for the Voyager mission, and the former director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Voyager 1 is now the most distant human-made object in the universe, with Voyager 2 right behind. Both are well beyond all the planets and racing outward in search of the heliopause, the boundary marking the outermost limit to the flow of matter from the Sun and the beginning of interstellar space. The Voyagers still have enough electrical power and thruster fuel to operate at least until 2020. By that time, Voyager 1 will be 13.8 billion miles from the Sun, Voyager 2--11.4 billion miles.
Caltech has offered the Watson Lecture Series for almost 80 years, since it was conceived by the late Caltech physicist Earnest Watson as a way to explain science to the local community. The lecture will take place at 8 p.m. in Beckman Auditorium, which is located near Michigan Avenue south of Del Mar Boulevard, on Caltech's campus in Pasadena. Seating is available on a free, no-ticket-required, first-come, first-served basis, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Parking is available in the lots south of Del Mar Boulevard between Wilson and Chester Avenues, and in the parking structures at 341 and 405 South Wilson and 370 South Holliston Avenue.
For more information, call 1(888) 2CALTECH (1-888-222-5832) or (626) 395-4652. Persons with disabilities: 626-395-4688 (voice) or 626-395-3700 (TDD).
Media Contact: Mark Wheeler