Friday, August 31, 2012

Wait, Voyager traveled HOW far?!?!?

In 1977 NASA launched Voyager 1  and 2, two probes boldly going where no spacecraft had gone before!  After 35 years of zipping through space these ultimate inanimate explorers still work and are still communicating with us!  The Voyager program has been a vital source of information used by astronomers in understanding more about our own cosmic back yard.  Some of the most commonly used photos of our solar system have been snapped by Voyager 1 and 2 while they blast towards interstellar space!  The last planetary rendezvous was when Voyager 2 did a flyby of Neptune in 1989.  Since then the cosmic explorers have just been blasting on ahead and away from our sun.

These are unmanned spacecraft so they can travel at some pretty amazing speeds.  The speeds reached by these spacecraft allow them to travel huge distances, after all there's a LOT of space in space.  Voyager 1 is leaving our solar system and heading into the great-even-more-so-unknown of interstellar space at a whopping speed of 32,000 miles an hour!  This means this flying vessel can trek about 912,000 miles a day!! That's a pretty fast flight!

For more information on this program check out NASA's voyager page!

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