Bon Voyage, Voyager!


The Beginning of Voyager 2's Grand Tour and Flight to the Stars


I managed to see the launch of Voyager 2 from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on August 20, 1977. I had a good view of it from Jetty Park as it left Earth forever. For the next 12 years, I fretted over Voyager 2 as though it was my own child, as it braved the perils of the unknown. The mission was a triumph of space exploration that will be hard to duplicate - one spacecraft used three gravity assists to swing past Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune thanks to a planetary alignment that only ocurrs once every 175 years. Thanks to that lucky break, Voyager 2 was able to become the first to visit both Uranus and Neptune. It then continued flying out of the solar system at 38,000 mph and will continue forever, presumably.

The local newspaper reported the next day that only 300 people were at Jetty Park to see the launch. That's not very many considering that a Grand Tour like that would occur only once in history. The experience of watching Voyager 2 rise up off the Earth heading for infinity was one of the greatest moments of my life.

Greetings from Earth! The Voyager Record will outlast the human race. See and hear what is on the record, now 7 billion miles away and heading for the stars.



 Voyager 2 is one of the greatest explorers in history



Voyager preparations at JPL



 Dr. Ed Stone, Voyager Project Scientist and Director of NASA JPL, 1991-2001


July, 2002: That's me and Dr. Stone, a former Director of JPL in addition to his continuing work as Voyager Project Scientist. It's now been 36 years with still no end in sight for the mission!


Voyager Image Gallery

The Voyager Interstellar Mission

 "Something hidden, go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges--Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and waiting for you. GO!!"- Rudyard Kipling

 Next flyby: Voyager 2 will encounter Barnard's Star in 8569 AD, in the Eighth Millennium.

Next flyby:Voyager 1 will reach the star known as AC+793888 in the year 40,272 AD, in the Fortieth Millennium.

Then they'll just keep going . . . . . forever.



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