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Image Source: The Voyager Image Gallery (ffden-2.phys.uaf.edu)
Introduction to Voyager 1


Ever wonder how we get these amazing pictures of Jupiter or of the planets from "outside" of the solar system? Well, we owe all those pictures to a certain NASA space mission, Voyager 1. The Voyager 1 space mission was launched on September 5 back in 1977 at 12:56:01 UT. In this certain mission, no astronauts were involved because the whole purpose for the mission is to learn more about Jupiter and Saturn, well, more than it's ancestors, the Pioneers, learned at least. The reason that no astronauts were involved was because it would have been too dangerous and this journey would have definitely killed them. With Voyager 1 out there in the solar system, we are slowly learning more and more about where we are and what's out there in the emptiness of space.

Synopsis


Voyager 1 was launched to basically explore the outer planets of our solar system, mostly Jupiter and Saturn. Voyager 1 was launched right after Voyager 2 was launched, but since Voyager found a faster route, it exited the asteroid belt a lot faster than it's twin did. Though Voyager 1 was still able to travel on further to Neptune and Uranus, NASA didn't want to miss the chance to get a closer look at Saturn's moon Titan, so Neptune and Uranus weren't visited in this mission. Voyager 1 has a gold record 'greeting to the universe' attached to it which emits sounds and images that show Earth's diversity. Another thing that Voyager 1 carries is this slow-scan colour TV to take live images from planets and that jazz. From this mission, we attained valuable information about Saturn and Jupiter and more about the solar system in a way. NASA was able to learn that Jupiter has 3 new moons, rings around it, that the Great Red Spot rotates every six days and that it can survive for almost forever. A few things that they were able to learn about Saturn was that it had over 1000 ringlets, massive jet streams that rarely change and that it's magnetic poles lie exactly on it's true north and south poles.

Is This The End?


Although Voyager 1 has given us plenty of information about the outer planets, Saturn and Jupiter; nevertheless NASA never brought it back ho
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Image Source: The Building of Voyager 1 (voyager.jpl.nasa.gov)
me here on Earth. Instead, they kept it out there at the edge of the universe. After nine years of sleeping, Voyager 1 was finally woken up again to take a series of pictures. It's been said that Voyager 1 is the furthest manmade object from the sun and is still moving away from the sun at a stunning velocity of 3.50 A.U./year. After attaining pictures of Jupiter and Saturn, Voyager 1's job was to find the heliopause, the region where the Sun's influence wanes and the beginning of interstellar space can be sensed. So far, it has been said that NASA is keeping Voyager 1 out there to roam the Milky Way, possibly for all of eternity. Being at the edge of the universe, Voyager 1 was turned on yet again to take a family picture of the planets by taking many little pictures and them putting them together to form one huge picture, kind of like a mosaic. At the moment, NASA is not finished learning from Voyager 1, but rather just getting started. It's predicted that this mission would last until 2020 when Voyager 1 would run out of energy to run on. Of course, there's still its twin, Voyager 2 to study from, but thanks to Voyager 1, we've gained more information about our solar system than any other interstellar mission sent out.

A video on Voyager approaching interstellar space.