Voyager 2

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The Voyager 2 spacecraft is a 722-kilogram (1,592 lb) robotic space probe launched by NASA on August 20, 1977 to study the outer Solar System and eventually interstellar space. Operating for 33 years, 4 months, and 13 days, the spacecraft receives routine commands and transmits data back to the Deep Space Network. Currently in extended mission, the spacecraft is tasked with locating and studying the boundaries of the Solar System, including the Kuiper belt, the heliosphere and interstellar space. The primary mission ended November 20, 1980 after encountering the Jovian system in 1979, Saturnian system in 1980, Uranian system in 1986, and the Neptunian system in 1989. It was the first probe to provide detailed images of the outer ice giants.

Contents

Mission background

History

Conceived in the 1960s, a Grand Tour proposal to study the outer planets, prompted NASA to begin work on a mission in the early 1970s. The development of the interplanetary probes coincided with an alignment of the planets, making possible a mission to the outer Solar System by taking advantage of, the then-new technique, gravity assist.

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