Grand tour of Voyager 1 and 2

Grand tour of Voyager 1 and 2

Fig. 2.3 . The flights of the two Voyager spacecraft through the solar system. Both spacecraft were launched in 1977 and flew past Jupiter in 1979, transmitting remarkable details of the giant planet's weather and the surfaces of its four largest satellites. Voyager 1 and 2 used the gravity of Jupiter to accelerate them on toward Saturn, providing close-up images of its rings and satellites in 1980-81. Saturn provided another gravity assist to propel Voyager 2 on to Uranus, in 1986, and then on to Neptune in 1989. Voyager 1 was targeted differently at Saturn, sacrificing its grand tour for close views of the satellite Titan. Both spacecraft have now crossed the termination shock of the solar wind, marking its outer boundary.

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University