Encyclopedia Astronautica
Voyager



voyager.jpg
Voyager
Credit: NASA
American outer planets probe. 2 launches, 1977.08.20 (Voyager 2) and 1977.09.05 (Voyager 1). The twin Voyager spacecraft were designed to perform close-up observations of the atmospheres, magnetospheres, rings, and satellites of Jupiter and Saturn.

The mission was originally designed to make a "Grand Tour" of all five outer planets, but was descoped due to funding limitations. However, following its planned encounter with Saturn, Voyager 2's planetary mission was extended, and it was placed on a trajectory to allow flybys of Uranus and Neptune. Additional planetary flybys for Voyager 1 were sacrificed to permit better science observations at Saturn.

Between them, Voyager 1 and 2 made numerous discoveries, including the discovery of new moons about several of the planets, Uranus' unique magnetic field, and the presence of volcanic activity on Io. Following their final planetary encounters, the vehicles began the Voyager Interstellar Mission (VIM), which would measure interstellar fields, particles, and waves to the outer limits of the Sun's sphere of influence, and possibly beyond. Both spacecraft would eventually depart our solar system and would travel towards other star systems. Each vehicle carried a gold phonograph record called "Sounds of Earth", bearing messages, sounds, and pictures from our planet as greetings to any species who recovered the spacecraft. The cost of the Voyager 1 and 2 missions, including the spacecraft development, launch, and mission operations through the Neptune encounter, was $865 million. An additional $30 million was provided to fund the VIM for two years following the Neptune encounter.

Payloads included:

  • Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) - two cameras for visible wavelength imaging. "Wide angle camera" had 200 mm focal length, 60 mm aperture; "Narrow angle camera" had 1500 mm focal length with 176 mm aperture. Both cameras equipped with 8 filters.
  • Photopolarimeter Subsystem (PPS) - used to measure surface textures and compositions by detecting how light changes when reflected off of a surface.
  • Infrared Interferometer Spectrometer and Radiometer (IRIS) - used to measure surface temperatures, elemental composition of atmospheres and solid bodies, and the IR, visible, and UV energy reflected from solid bodies.
  • Ultraviolet Spectrometer (UVS) - used to measure atmospheric elemental compositions and identify the presence of certain physical processes.
  • Radio Science Subsystem (RSS) - used the spacecraft telemetry system to measure atmospheric densities, temperatures, and pressures, as well as to estimate the width, shape, and thickness of planetary rings.
  • Planetary Radio Astronomy (PRA) - measured RF signals emitted by the Sun and planetary systems.
  • Plasma Wave Subsystem (PWS) - similar to the PRA, but worked at different frequencies.
  • Magnetometer (MAG) - measured solar and planetary magnetic fields.
  • Plasma Subsystem (PLS), Low Energy Charged Particle (LECP), Cosmic Ray Subsystem (CRS) (PPS) - three independent instruments that were used to detect charged particles in different energy ranges.

Gross mass: 800 kg (1,760 lb).
Span: 13.00 m (42.00 ft).
First Launch: 1977.08.20.
Last Launch: 1977.09.05.
Number: 2 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Titan The Titan launch vehicle family was developed by the United States Air Force to meet its medium lift requirements in the 1960's. The designs finally put into production were derived from the Titan II ICBM. Titan outlived the competing NASA Saturn I launch vehicle and the Space Shuttle for military launches. It was finally replaced by the USAF's EELV boosters, the Atlas V and Delta IV. Although conceived as a low-cost, quick-reaction system, Titan was not successful as a commercial launch vehicle. Air Force requirements growth over the years drove its costs up - the Ariane using similar technology provided lower-cost access to space. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Titan American orbital launch vehicle. The Titan launch vehicle family was developed by the United States Air Force to meet its medium lift requirements in the 1960's. The designs finally put into production were derived from the Titan II ICBM. Titan outlived the competing NASA Saturn I launch vehicle and the Space Shuttle for military launches. It was finally replaced by the USAF's EELV boosters, the Atlas V and Delta IV. Although conceived as a low-cost, quick-reaction system, Titan was not successful as a commercial launch vehicle. Air Force requirements growth over the years drove its costs up - the Ariane using similar technology provided lower-cost access to space. More...
  • Titan 3E American orbital launch vehicle. Titan 3D with Centaur D-1T upper stage. Used by NASA for deep space missions in 1970's. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • JPL American agency;manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, USA. More...
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Voyager Mission to the Outer Planets, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Flight and mission operations support for Voyager spacecraft launching and Viking-Mars mission, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, The Voyager Interstellar Mission, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Voyager: The grandest tour. The mission to the outer planets, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, The Voyager Neptune travel guide, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Voyager 1 and 2 atlas of six Saturnian satellites, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Voyager to Jupiter, volume 1, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Voyager to Jupiter, volume 2, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Voyager to Jupiter, volume 3, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Voyager to Saturn, volume 4, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Voyager to Saturn, volume 5, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Voyages to Saturn, Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC41 Titan, Atlas V launch complex. Complexes 40 and 41 were constructed as part of the Integrate-Transfer-Launch (ITL) Titan launch facility at the north end of Cape Canaveral in the early 1960s. Over the next three decades, the complexes supported a wide variety of military space missions involving Titan IIIC, Titan 34D and Titan IV. Complex 41 was deactivated at the end of 1977, then upgraded for the Titan IV program in the 1986-88 period. In October 1999, Complex 41 was demolished with high explosives in order for a new pad for launch of the Atlas 5 rocket to be erected. By then it had been the starting point for 27 Titan flights. More...

Voyager Chronology


1977 August 20 - . 14:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC41. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 3E. LV Configuration: Titan IIIE 23E-7 / Centaur D-1T E-7.
  • Voyager 2 - . Payload: Voyager 2 [Star-37E]. Mass: 800 kg (1,760 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: JPL. Class: Outer planets. Type: Outer planets probe. Spacecraft: Voyager. USAF Sat Cat: 10271 . COSPAR: 1977-076A. Summary: Jupiter flyby 7/9/79, Saturn flyby 8/26/81, Uranus flyby 1/24/86, Neptune flyby 8/25/89. Solar system escape trajectory. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..

1977 September 5 - . 12:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC41. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 3E. LV Configuration: Titan IIIE 23E-6 / Centaur D-1T E-6.
  • Voyager 1 - . Payload: Voyager 1 [Star-37E]. Mass: 800 kg (1,760 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: JPL. Class: Outer planets. Type: Outer planets probe. Spacecraft: Voyager. USAF Sat Cat: 10321 . COSPAR: 1977-084A. Summary: Jupiter flyby 3/5/79, Saturn flyby 11/12/80. Solar system escape trajectory. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..

1979 March 5 - .
  • Voyager 1, Jupiter Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Voyager.

1979 July 9 - .
  • Voyager 2, Jupiter Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Voyager.

1980 January 19 - .
  • Voyager 1's Discovery of Saturn Moon Janus - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Voyager.

1980 January 26 - .
  • Voyager 1's Discovery of Saturn Moon Epimetheus - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Voyager.

1980 April 8 - .
  • Voyager 1's Discovery of Saturn Moon Telesto - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Voyager.

1980 November 12 - .
  • Voyager 1, Saturn Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Voyager.

1981 August 26 - .
  • Voyager 2, Saturn Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Voyager.

1986 January 24 - .
  • Voyager 2, Uranus Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Voyager.

1989 August 25 - .
  • Voyager 2 Neptune Flyby - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Voyager.

1990 February 14 - .
  • Voyager 1, Family Portrait Images - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Voyager.

2003 November 5 - .
  • Voyager 1 Reaches 90 AU From Sun - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Voyager.

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