Space & Astronomy
Voyager 1 and 2 still going strong 40 years on
By T.K. Randall
August 1, 2017 · 17 comments
Where no man-made object has gone before. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
This month marks four decades since NASA's two pioneering spacecraft headed off to visit the gas giants.
Launched in 1977, both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 have traveled further from the Earth than any other man-made object in history and remain fully operational despite 40 years of traveling through space.
Their original mission to visit the four gas giants was made possible by a rare planetary configuration that happens only once every 175 years - an opportunity that NASA couldn't afford to miss.
In addition to revealing these enormous worlds in more detail than anyone had ever seen before, the two probes returned a wealth of data, not just about the planets, but also about their moons.
"I believe that few missions can ever match the achievements of the Voyager spacecraft during their four decades of exploration," said Thomas Zurbuchen of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.
"They have educated us to the unknown wonders of the universe and truly inspired humanity to continue to explore our solar system and beyond."
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