5 Facts About NASA's Far-Flung Voyager Spacecraft

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_xL8EhVW6qHk/TQoJiIyO-iI/AAAAAAAAAlQ/s-s8gVZD0C8/s1600/voyager.jpgTwin Voyagerprobes were launched NASA in late 1970 to explore the outer planets of our solar system. But now, almost 34 years later, the two ships are on their way out of our cosmic neighborhood, knocking on the door of interstellar space. The ship, called Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, which still works well. Here are five facts about the two Voyager spacecraft, the longest continuously operating spacecraft in deep space:

1. They are marathon runners

Voyager 2, launchedon August 20, 1977, and Voyager 1 was launched about two weeks later, on 5 September. Since then, the spacecraft has been traveling along different flight paths at different speeds.

Now about 10800000000 miles (17.4 million kilometers) from the sun and full speed into interstellar space, Voyager 1 is the farthest object made by humans from Earth. Voyager 2 is 8. 8000000000 miles (14.2 million kilometers) from the sun. [10 missions NASA's Greatest Science]

2. It takes a while to contact them

Both spacecraft are still sending scientific information about their surroundings through the Deep Space Network for NASA. A sign of the earth, traveling at the speed of light, takes about 13 hours one way to reach Voyager 2, and 16 hours to reach Voyager 1.

3. Began a tour of major global

The primary mission of five years of the Voyager includes the foreground, the exploration of Jupiter and Saturn, Saturn's rings and moons larger of the two planets. The mission was extended after a succession of discoveries. [The Solar System Explanation: From the Inside Out]

Among them, the two spacecraft have explored all the giant outer planets of the solar system - Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune - as well as the moons of 49, and ring systems and magnetic fields of planets possess.

The current mission, the Voyager Interstellar Mission, was planned to explore the outer edge of our solar system and eventually out of our sphere of influence of the sun to enter interstellar space - the space between the stars.

4. Are carrying messages to aliens

Both Voyager spacecraft have recorded messages from Earth in the recordings of gold - 12-inch discs, gold-plated copper. A committee chaired by the late astronomer Carl Sagan selected content NASA records.

The phone numbers are cultural time capsules that Voyager carry with them to other star systems. Containing images and sounds of nature, spoken greetings in 55 languages ​​and musical selections from different cultures and eras.

5. The Voyagers are breaking new ground

Voyager 1 has reached a distant point on the edge of our solar system, where the outward movement of solar wind ceases. The event is the latest milestone in the Voyager 1 is the passage through the heliopause, the outer layer of the sun's sphere of influence, before entering interstellar space. Interstellar space begins at the heliopause, and scientists estimate the Voyager 1 crossed the border over the next five years.