Voyager 2 Completes 35 Years in Space
Voyager 2 spacecraft launched in 1997 completed its 35th birthday, indicating a proud achievement for NASA as it is the longest operating spacecraft of all time. Currently, it is located at a distance of 15 billion kilometres from the earth.
Launched from the Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral in Florida aboard a Titan Centaur rocket, till date it has been exploring outer layer of the heliosphere.
Voyager 2 became the longest operating spacecraft August 13 when it surpassed Pioneer 6. Launched in December 1965 Pioneer 6 transmitted its last signal on December 8, 2000.
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Huffington Post quoted Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, "Even 35 years on, our rugged Voyager spacecraft are poised to make new discoveries as we eagerly await the signs that we've entered interstellar space. Voyager results turned Jupiter and Saturn into full, tumultuous worlds, their moons from faint dots into distinctive places, and gave us our first glimpses of Uranus and Neptune up-close. We can't wait for Voyager to turn our models of the space beyond our sun into the first observations from interstellar space."
Voyager 1 is 11 billion miles from the sun and is travelling towards the north as it makes its way out of the solar system.
Suzanne Dodd, Voyager project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif was quoted in CBSNews saying, "We continue to listen to Voyager 1 and 2 nearly every day. The two spacecraft are in great shape for having flown through Jupiter's dangerous radiation environment and having to endure the chill of being so far away from our sun."