A milestone in space exploration
” The second space probe of the Voyager mission, Voyager 1, was successfully launched this morning from Cape Kennedy Space Center to Jupiter and Saturn. »
On September 5, 1977, the Newscast reports NASA’s Voyager 1 launch.
A few days earlier, it was her twin sister who left to explore the distant neighbors of the Earth.
Spinning at 32,481 miles per hour (51,500 kilometers), the probes’ primary objective is to unlock the secrets of Jupiter and Saturn.
” […] We knew that this mission would reserve discoveries for us and that despite all our preparation, we were going to be surprised throughout the mission. »
A report by journalist Michel Rochon and director Mariele Choquette, presented on September 15, 2002 on the program Discovery moderated by Charles Tisseyre, details what they detected.
The first encounter was with Jupiter.
The most startling discovery was the intense volcanic activity rocking Io, one of Jupiter’s moons.
The probes identify nine active volcanoes on Io (there are now more than 400), which makes this moon the most geologically dynamic object in the solar system.
The second appointment was made with Saturn.
The two probes then analyzed the structure of the planet’s famous rings.
Voyager 2 then headed for Uranus, which it reached in January 1986.
The probe revealed new moons to the gas giant as well as additional rings to the nine circles we already knew about.
The exploration continued with the encounter with Neptune in August 1989.
The mission revealed the dynamism of the atmosphere as well as the nine rings of Neptune and 10 additional moons.
Voyager 2 then headed towards the edges of our solar system.
A message for potential neighbors
On September 5, 2017, the Newspaper, hosted by Céline Galipeau, and journalist Frédéric Arnould, pay tribute to the Voyager mission on the occasion of the 40e anniversary of the launch of the two probes.
The journalist recalls the phenomenal distance that Voyager 2 has traveled since 1977: 20.8 billion kilometers.
Voyager 1 and 2 transmitted a huge amount of space data to scientists back on Earth.
This is a formidable feat for objects that weigh barely 800 kilos and are no bigger than a compact car.
The two probes also had another mission: to greet possible extraterrestrial neighbors.
To accomplish this mission, Voyager 1 and 2 were equipped with two golden discs.
These have been engraved to contain a wealth of information about the Earth and its inhabitants.
A word of welcome was recorded in about fifty different languages and dialects.
There is also information on the position of the Earth in the solar system as well as various elements that describe the environment and human civilization.
In 2017, NASA added two phrases recorded by Captain James Kirk of the USS Enterprise spacecraft, a.k.a comedian William Shatner.
We offer you our friendship across the stars. You are not alone.
So far, Captain Kirk and NASA have not received a response.