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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Highlights of Voyager Spacecraft

Voyager Spacecraft in Deep Space Exploration

National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA's) amazing spacecrafts Voyager-1 and Voyager-2 were making ground breaking records since 40 years of space exploration. Here a short list of major achievements of these spacecrafts..

Planetary Firsts Discovery:
  • First spacecraft (Voyager-2) to make flyby to all the four planet of outer solar system.
  • First mission to discover multiple moons of these four planets (Voyager-1 and Voyager-2)
    • Three New moons at Jupiter
    • Four new moons at Saturn
    • Eleven new moons at Uranus
    • Six new moons at Neptune
  • First spacecraft to visit planet Uranus and Neptune.
  • First Spacecraft to image the rings of Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune (Voyager-2)
  • First Spacecraft to discover active volcanoes other than Earth (Voyager-1 on Jupiter's Moon)
  • First spacecraft to discover lightning on other planet (Jupiter)
  • First spacecraft to find oceans beyond Earth (Jupiter's moon Europa)
  • First spacecraft to detect a Nitrogen rich atmosphere found beyond Earth

First in Helio-physics:

  • First spacecraft to leave the heliosphere and enter the interstellar space (Voyager-1)
  • First spacecraft to measure the full intensity of Cosmic Rays (Atoms accelerated the speed of light in interstellar space) (Voyager-1)
  • First spacecraft to measure magnetic field in interstellar space (Voyager-1)
  • First spacecraft to measure the density of interstellar medium - material released from ancient supernova.(Voyager-1)
  • First spacecraft to measure solar wind termination shock (Voyager-2)

Records in Engineering and Computing Firsts:
  • First spacecraft extensively protected against space radiation
  • First spacecraft to protect against external electrostatic discharges
  • First spacecraft with programmable computer-controlled attitude and articluation (pointing the spacecraft)
  • First spacecraft with autonomous fault protection - ability to detect its own problems and can correct itself.
  • First use of Reed-Solomon Code for spacecraft data - an algorithm to reduce errors in data transmission and storage, which are widely used today
  • First time engineers linked ground based communication antennas together in an array to be able to receive more data (For Voyager-2 Uranus Encounter)

Record in Longest and durable active spacecraft:
  • Longest continuously operating spacecraft Voyager-2 ( which break the record of Pioneer-6 on 13th August 2012)
  • Spacecraft which is high far distance from the sun Voyager-1 ( which passed Pioneer-10 distance on 17th February 1998) and is currently about 13 billion miles away from us.

Spacecraft Credit:
     The Voyager spacecraft were built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California which continues to operate both. The voyager missions are a part of the NASA Heliophysics System Observatory, sponsored by the Heliophysics Division of the Science mission directorate in Washington.

Tags: Voyager-1 | Voyager-2 | Highlights of Voyager Spacecrafts | Heliophysics | Jet Propulsion Laboratory | NASA


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