The Legendary Voyager Project: Journey of the Traveling Twins Across the Solar System

2024-01-13 10:30:05

The beginning of the Voyager project Traveling twins who conquered the edges of the solar system

On the morning of August 20, 1977, a Titan rocket lifted off from launch pad 41, Cape Canaveral. State of Florida into the vast skies, taking the probeVoyager 2 (Voyager 2) Crossing the Carman Line into deep space Starting its long journey. two weeks later Another Titan rocket launches the ship.Voyager 1 (Voyager 1) The twins of Voyager 2 go into space together.

Titan 3E rocket delivers Voyager 1 into space – NASA/KSC

The Voyager twin missions were the most important space exploration missions of that decade. Due to the perfect opportunity, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto (still considered planets at that time) were aligned in the same plane that only happens once every 175 years, giving humans the opportunity to Send a spaceship to explore all 4 planets of the outer solar system at once. This important occasion is called “Grand Tour” or “Big Journey”

But until this great journey can actually happen Until both Voyagers touch the edge of space It was not an easy matter as scientists in the industry fought hard to make this project a reality.

The dream of such an expedition began in 1969 as a twin mission (four spacecraft) to explore all the outer planets. One pair was launched in 1977 to explore Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto, while the other was launched in 1979 to explore Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune. In space operations at that time, it was popular to send probes in pairs to serve as backup vehicles in case the other vehicle failed or was damaged.

But in December 1971, with the emergence of another important project in space exploration, the Shuttle Program, and pressure from the political sector, This caused the plan to be eventually folded.

Photographs of Neptune and its moon Triton from Voyager 2 – NASA/KSC

But the scientists didn’t give up. They drew up a new project plan that reduced the project’s goals and budget to just two rovers. and request approval of the budget under the name of the Mariner Project Jupiter-Saturn (Mariner Jupiter-Saturn) budgeted only for missions to explore Jupiter and Saturn. To reduce the estimated cost of the entire project. Leaving the mission of exploring the next star to be a future problem. When the initial project was successfully completed This plan was passed in the budget in 1972.

March 1977, just a few months before the probe’s launch. NASA held a contest to name the twin spacecraft. The name that won that time was Voyager

Voyager 1 flew over the Jupiter system. and the Saturn system with its moon Titan. in March 1979 and November 1980, respectively. In planning the travel route, The mission team had to choose between exploring the moon Triton and Pluto, which according to information at the time, Triton was considered a more attractive target. However, That choice forever foreclosed Voyager’s exploration of Pluto. While Voyager 2 flew over the Jupiter system, Saturn system, Uranus system and the Neptune system in April 1979, June 1981, November 1985, and June 1989, respectively. All surveys were completed as planned.

Voyager’s journey – NASA

The Voyager mission, led by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), is a milestone in space exploration. which has provided a lot of valuable information to the astronomy world Pioneering the path for many subsequent missions to explore outer planets. and inspired countless people until it became a legendary space mission until today.

Listen to Tle – Natthanon Duangsungnoen and Namwan – Phiramon Kamnerdmanee tell their experiences of visiting JPL in California. From the spacecraft assembly room All the way to the Rover test yard. In a state simulating the surface of Mars in Starstuff, Tales from the Stars, Episode 91, “Visit JPL, the starting point of the legendary space program.”

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