Pasadena CA (JPL) Jun 29, 2010
NASA's plucky Voyager 2 spacecraft has hit a long-haul operations milestone - operating continuously for 12,000 days. For nearly 33 years, the venerable spacecraft has been returning data about the giant outer planets, and the characteristics and interaction of solar wind between and beyond the planets.
Among its many findings, Voyager 2 discovered Neptune's Great Dark Spot and its 450-meter-per-second (1,000-mph) winds.
The two Voyager spacecraft have been the longest continuously operating spacecraft in deep space. Voyager 2 launched on August 20, 1977, when Jimmy Carter was president. Voyager 1 launched about two weeks later on Sept. 5.
The two spacecraft are the most distant human-made objects, out at the edge of the heliosphere - the bubble the sun creates around the solar system. Mission managers expect Voyager 1 to leave our solar system and enter interstellar space in the next five years or so, with Voyager 2 on track to enter interstellar space shortly after that.
Having traveled more than 21 billion kilometers (13 billion miles) on its winding path through the planets toward interstellar space, the spacecraft is now nearly 14 billion kilometers (9 billion miles) from the sun. A signal from the ground, traveling at the speed of light, takes about 12.8 hours one-way to reach Voyager 2.
Voyager 1 will reach this 12,000-day milestone on July 13, 2010 after traveling more than 22 billion kilometers (14 billion miles). Voyager 1 is currently more than 17 billion kilometers (11 billion miles) from the sun.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News
NASA Fixes Bug On Voyager 2
Moscow, Russia (RIA Novosti) May 25, 2010
NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft has resumed sending science data from deep space after engineers fixed a bug that had garbled the information it was sending back to Earth, a leading project scientist said on Monday. "The science data format is working," Edward Stone told RIA Novosti. The science data coming from Voyager 2 had been unintelligible since April, but last week engineers at NA ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|