The Voyager Mission

We watch a video in class entitled, "And Then There Was Voyager." It is the account of Voyager 1 and 2 as told by members of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory who designed, flew, and received and processed the images from the most amazing space probe to date. These men and women have become a sort of hero figures for me, and I have enjoyed the privelege of meeting some of the team members at Astronomy conferences I have attended. In fact, I have had some of them actually write their autographs on my video cover. Yes, I know that sounds sort of geeky, but so what. I think what they did was so amazing. Imagine sending a spacecraft with 1970's technology out to a distance of 4 billion kilometers ... and hitting the target within a kilometer. We receive signals from that spacecraft that is on the power level of a 20 watt light bulb ... from billions of kilometers away.

Just this week (it is Friday September 6,2002 as I am writing this page) I received my copy of "The Planetary Report," and the issue is dedicated to Voyager. I have added to my course since we cannot see movies over the internet yet. I hope you like this, since it is the closest thing I can do to watching a video as possible. After you have finished this part of the course, there are a few questions I would like to ask you about the Voyager mission. You will be directed to the Voyager Quiz and Commentary page.

Please take the time to go through this magazine article. It was such a wonderful mission and everyone in the entire world who watched the newscasts over the 11 years of the mission will never forget those first views of Jupiter, Io, Saturn, Miranda, and Neptune. I am rambling a bet here, but trying to convey to you some of the excitement I felt then, and still feel today about this space probe.

On to Voyager page 1, or back to Neptune, Introduction to the Gas Giants, Introduction to the Planets, of the Syllabus.


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