NASA celebrates the 40th anniversary of the mission Voyager

© NASA / JPLЗонд Voyager in flight in the representation of the artistNASA celebrates the 40th anniversary of the mission Voyager© NASA / JPL

The probe «Voyager-1 and Voyager-2» will celebrate in August and in September 40 years of work in space and will study the Universe outside the bubble of the Solar system for decades, despite their venerable age, according to NASA.

«Launching «the Voyager 40 years ago, none of us knew that they would work through so dogoe time and continue to reveal the secrets of the cosmos. The most interesting thing they can open in the next five years is likely to be something the existence of which we did not know and could not predict,» — said ed stone (Ed Stone), the permanent head of the mission.

The mission of the «Voyager» probes the twin «Voyager-1 and Voyager-2» was launched into space in September 1977, and today the pair of these devices is the farthest from Earth and the long-lived spacecraft. Now, as observations show sensors «Voyager-2», they are at the boundaries of the Solar system, or have already left, or close to leave the heliosphere – the «bubble» of plasma of solar wind that surrounds our world.

The main goal of the program was the study of giant planets in the Solar system, «Voyager 1» explored Jupiter and Saturn, and «Voyager 2» was «focused» on Uranus and Neptune. The first probe has reached Jupiter, and received the first photos of him in January 1979, Saturn in August 1980, and «Voyager 2» was close to these planets and got their first high-quality pictures and photos of the moons in July 1979 and 25 August 1981. The mission of «Voyager-2» was officially completed in August 1989, when the probe got close and got the first pictures of Neptune and its satellite Triton.

Despite the fact that since the launch of the «Voyager» it’s been 40 years, both devices continue to work and study the most distant outskirts of the Solar system, revealing the secrets of chemical composition and physical properties of space outside the heliosphere. It is likely that «Voyager-2» will survive, «Cassini», his successor in the study of Saturn, which will be defeated by NASA on the upper atmosphere of the planet in September 2017.

At the moment, «Voyager 1» flew for approximately 13 billion miles, a record distance for any man-made object, and moves in the direction of galactic «North». Now he’s watching interstellar magnetic fields, the first data on the behavior which may point to their unusual nature.

Its «twin» was a little less distance, about 11 billion kilometers, moving in the opposite direction, and he has not yet left the heliosphere. As noted by stone, scientists look forward to this event in order to compare the data that get tools «Voyagers» and understand there is arranged the interstellar medium is the same on different outskirts of the Solar system.

As noted by stone, the probes will live about 10 years, and their latest scientific instruments will have to shut down in 2030 when radioisotope generators of heat and electricity is almost completely exhausted their resource. They will continue their journey through the Galaxy and return to the Solar system, as show calculations of experts from NASA, about 225 million years.