Voyager 2 – Space Probe Overview

History

In 1977, 20th August NASA launched Voyager 2 to probe the planets Jupiter and Saturn in addition to their moons and Saturn rings. NASA scientists had realized in the late 1960s that there would be an alignment of various planets in the late 1970.

This project culminated into a two groups of each with one visiting Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto and the other Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune. The rockets to be used were composed of inessential frameworks to guarantee their survival throughout the whole visit. The initial mission of Voyager 1 was to investigate Jupiter, Saturn, and Saturn’s moon known as Titan.

The spacecraft

The spacecraft was constructed by Jet Propulsion laboratory and includes Hydrazines thrusters, three-hub gyroscopes and referencing instruments used to maintaining an antenna pointing towards the Earth, Its communication system includes an extensive 3.7m (12ft) parabolic antenna used to transceive information by means of deep space network on Earth.

Its power is from a 3 multihundred-watt radiosotope thermoelectric generators. This supplies the rocket with 470 watts at launch and permits the rocket to continue operating till the year 2020.

The Journey

During it mission the Voyager 2 came closest to Jupiter at a distance of 570,000km in the planets clouds where it discovered rings around the Planet and volcanic activity on its moon. This was in July, 9th 1979. In August 26th 1981 Voyager 2 came close to Saturn and the data that it transmitted from there was that at the uppermost levels the temperature was -203 0C. In January 24th, 1986, Voyager 2 passed within 81,500 kilometers of Uranus planet’s cloud. It showed the moons surrounding the planet and the Uranian ring system. Voyager 2 lastly passed by Neptune on August 25th, 1989.

Mission

On completion of its journey Voyager 2 is now used to discover how life is like beyond the solar system. It is currently transmitting data from far beyond to the NASA centre.

It is expected to go into interstellar space in this year 2016 and is project to still be transmitting though weak signals up to in the year 2025.