National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
News & Events
Voyager Mission Status
Voyager Mission Status
1 Feb 1999
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011

Both Voyager spacecraft are healthy and are continuing to explore the environment at the very edge of the solar system, sending back particles, waves and fields data from the far outer heliosphere, the outermost region of the Sun's influence.

Voyager 2 continues to operate normally after ground controllers regained contact with it in early November 1998. The flight team continues to use the spacecraft's alternate transmitter, which was enabled by safing software on board the craft when communications were briefly lost in November. Onboard software was modified late last year to ensure that the spacecraft would automatically attempt to reestablish radio communications with Earth if a similar problem were to occur.

A sequence to turn off Voyager 2's scan platform was also completed on schedule in November. Voyager 1's scan platform will be turned off in mid-2000. Shut-down of the scan platforms is one of several planned actions to conserve electrical power as the plutonium naturally decays inside the Voyagers' onboard radioisotope thermoelectric generators. These actions to conserve electricity will extend the Voyagers' lifetimes through 2020.

Five of Voyager 2's 11 science experiments - the cosmic ray instrument, low-energy charged particle instrument, plasma science instrument, plasma wave instrument and magnetometer - continue to gather and return data. The spacecraft, which is now 8.6 billion kilometers (5.3 billion miles) from Earth, is departing the solar system at an angle 48 degrees to the south of the ecliptic plane at a speed of 15.9 kilometers per second (35,000 miles per hour). Round-trip light time from Earth to Voyager 2 - the time it takes for a radio signal to reach the spacecraft and for confirmation to be returned to Earth - is currently about 16 hours.

Voyager 1, the most distant human-made object in space, continues to operate normally. The spacecraft, which is currently 10.9 billion kilometers (6.8 billion miles) from Earth, is departing Earth's neighborhood at 35 degrees north of the ecliptic plane at a speed of about 17.3 kilometers per second (38,752 miles per hour). Round-trip light time from Earth to Voyager 1 is about 20 hours.

News Archive Search  Go!
Show  results per page
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writers: Courtney O'Connor and Bill Dunford
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 5 Jun 2001