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Voyagers : the farthest flight in history
Comment Scientific.ru: From our point of view , the flight Voyagers 1 and 2 (which began in 1977 and , by the way , is still going on and brings data ) - the most successful company in the history of unmanned interplanetary missions : cleverly conceived, brilliantly implemented , radically changed our knowledge of the solar system.
Ships twin Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were launched in different months of the summer of 1977 from Cape Canaveral. As originally planned , the Voyagers were to explore Jupiter , Saturn, Saturn's rings and the larger moons of both planets .
To fulfill this mission, the ships were built with the expectation of 5 years . But in the course of the flight , when the planned objectives have been achieved , it appeared possible that span VLIZ two more distant giant planets - Uranus and Neptune - a prospect temptation which researchers and engineers from the Jet Propultion Laboratory could not resist .
While the ships were flying through the solar system , many of its functions have been reprogrammed so that the Voyager spacecraft were to have greater resources than those with which they started . The five-year life span stretched for 12 years or more. As a result of all the investigated giant planets solar system , 48 of their companions , the system of rings , their magnetic fields .
If the mission ended on Jupiter and Saturn - it still would have brought the material , forcing a rewrite astronomy textbooks .
Voyager flight was planned so as to use a rare arrangement of the outer planets in the late 70's and 80's, which allowed to tour all four giant planets with a minimum of fuel and time spent. This location is a once in 175 years. The span of each planet changes the trajectory and speed up the ship so that it is relatively quickly gets to the next planet . For the first time this technique has been demonstrated by the gravitational acceleration in the Mariner 10 mission to Venus and Mercury in 1973-74 , the method reduced the mission to Neptune from 30 to 12 years.
From the beginning, considered the possibility of flying to the four planets. However , it was deemed too expensive , as are increased requirements to the resources of the ship and equipment life. Thus the project has received funding for the study of systems of Jupiter and Saturn. Were enumerated more than 10,000 options to select the two paths , giving a close flyby of Jupiter and its moon Io and Saturn and its largest moon Titan. The chosen path for Voyager 2, all the same for the continued mission to Uranus and Neptune.
Voyager 2 was launched first , August 20, 1977 , Voyager 1 - September 5 , at a faster short trajectory. Voyager 1 reached Jupiter, 5 March 1979 (ie 1.5 years , Wed flight from Galileo , launched after 10 -plus years , which for the sake of saving flew to Jupiter six years - BS), and November 12, 1980 - Saturn. Voyager 2 flew by Jupiter 9 July 1979 and 25 August 1981 Saturn .
The trajectory of Voyager 1 passed close to Titan and Saturn's rings on the back side of the Sun . Saturn's gravity has sent its trajectory by 35 degrees away from the plane of the ecliptic ( the plane of the planets ) . Voyager 2 was sent to the gravitational field in the direction of Saturn to Uranus . It has been proven that the Voyager 2 was able to fly to Uranus with all the working tools. NASA has allocated additional funding for continued support of both devices and authorized JPL to implement it . Subsequently, NASA also gave the green light to continue the flight to Neptune .
Voyager 2 flew near Uranus January 24, 1986 , sent a photo of the planet, its unknown before the rings and satellites , measurements of the magnetic field and other data. The shortest distance to Neptune was completed August 25, 1989 The gravitational field of Neptune Voyager 2 was sent to the south of the ecliptic plane at an angle of 48 degrees.
Now both ships are leaving the solar system at a speed of about 15 km / s. Liaison with them until their nuclear sources ( based on the radioactive decay of plutonium ) give plenty of power .
Price , including its launch , flight control , and nuclear batteries, supplied by the Department Engergetiki - $ 865 million . An additional $ 30 million allocated for interstellar missions - the continuation of the flight of the solar system .
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