Skip to comments.5 NASA spacecraft that are leaving our solar system for good
Posted on 09/30/2020 2:14:16 PM PDT by MtnClimber
Most of these interstellar spacecraft carry messages intended to introduce ourselves to any aliens that find them along the way.
In 1972, NASA hadn't even finished sending Apollo astronauts to the Moon yet when it started launching the first missions that would ultimately wind up in interstellar space. That wasn't the end goal though. Pioneer 10 and 11 were primarily intended to do humanity's first major reconnaisance of other planets in our solar system.
Pioneer 10 achieved the first flyby of Mars, the first trip through the asteroid belt, and the first flyby of Jupiter. And the secret to its success was nuclear power. No NASA spacecraft had ever launched with a nuclear-powered electrical source before. So, after Pioneer 10 passed Jupiter in 1973, it still had ample power to keep going. In fact, the mission continued to communicate with Earth for a total of 30 years, rather than the 21 months NASA initially planned for.
Pioneer 11 saw similar success. It made a flyby of Jupiter in 1974 before becoming the first mission to ever encounter Saturn in 1979. Pioneer 11 revealed what the ringed planet is made of, as well as identified new moons and a new ring around the gas giant.
Voyager 1 and Voyager 2
Half a century ago, NASA built its two identical Voyager spacecraft to capitalize on a rare alignment of the outermost planets that only happens once every 175 years. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune were perfectly placed, allowing scientists to chart a course that would send the spacecraft by each of these gas giants. That path also meant that, after theyd completed their tour of our solar system, both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 would continue into interstellar space.
(Excerpt) Read more at astronomy.com ...
Voyager 2, looking back.
Pioneer 10 flies past Jupiter as the first mission to the giant planet.
The Pioneer plaque is a gold-anodized aluminum plate with these images engraved onto it.
The Voyager golden record (left) is a 12-inch gold-plated copper disc. Its covered with aluminum and electroplated with an ultra-pure sample of uranium-238.
For good? Must be nice...
Even THEY have had enough of 2020.
Pinging the APOD list to a non-NASA Article because it is a good article.
“For good” sounds so permanent. OTOH, I would be a little concerned if it turned around and came back.
My dad made parts for some of those during his career at Texas Instruments.
“SEND MORE CHUCK BERRY!”
It says Uranus was perfectly placed.
My uncle was born in America.
But he was one of the lucky ones. He managed to escape in a balloon during the Jimmy Carter presidency.
Naked selfies, a mix tape, and directions back to our place...
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