Voyager 1 – To Jupiter, Saturn & Interstellar Space!
Ground Breaking Explorer
The Voyager 1 space probe was one of two probes launched as part of the Voyager Program in 1977 tasked with exploring the gas giants in the outer solar system. After visiting Jupiter, Saturn & Titan the Voyager 1 spacecraft passed through the heliopause in 2012 making it the first man-made object to reach interstellar space!
Fast Summary Facts About Voyager 1!
- Type: Flyby & Deep Space Explorer
- Destination: Jupiter, Saturn, Titan & Interstellar Space
- Status: Operational until 2025!
- Launch Weight: 826 kgs (1820 lbs)
- Launch Location: Cape Canaveral, Florida
- Launch Date: September 5th 1977
- Flyby Of Titan: November 12th 1980
Interesting Fun Facts About The Voyager 1 Mission!
- Voyager 1 was one of two spacecraft as part of the Voyager Program to explore the outer gas giant planets.
- Voyager 1’s objective was to flyby Jupiter, Saturn and its moon Titan to image their moons and send back scientific information.
- To probe communicates with Earth via radio waves which are received and sent via NASA’s Deep Space Network stations.
- Despite launching 16 days after the Voyager 2 spacecraft it reached Jupiter and Saturn first as it followed a shorter trajectory!
- The spacecraft made many new discoveries about the planets and moons during its close approaches.
- Following the spacecraft's flyby of Saturn on November 20, 1980, it became the third man-made spacecraft (after Pioneer 10 & 11) to achieve a speed high enough to leave the solar system forever!
- On August 25, 2012, Voyager 1 became the first spacecraft to cross the heliopause (a point where the Sun’s solar winds stop) and enter interstellar space!
- Voyager 1 is currently over 23 billion kilometres from Earth (3 times the distance to Pluto), making it the most distant man-made object! On account of its speed of 17 km/s (61,150 kph), it will likely continue to be for hundreds of years.
- Check out this cool NASA / JPL web page of the current mission status and statistics of both Voyager probes!
- It is expected that in the year 2025, the power source for Voyager 1’s instruments and a radio transmitter (the nuclear-powered generator) will be depleted to a point it will no longer be able to communicate with scientists on Earth.
- The Voyager 1 spacecraft is expected to reach the Oort cloud in about 300 years. In about 40,000 years the probe will pass by the star Gliese 445 as it continues to wander around the Milky Way Galaxy for billions of years!
- Both Voyager spacecraft carry a gold-plated audio-visual disc, should the space probe ever be found by intelligent life in the future. The disc carries photos of Earth, its life forms, a range of scientific information, spoken greetings and common sounds.