Voyager 2 Leaves the Solar System

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Voyager 2 Leaves the Solar System

Jason Majoros, Staff Writer

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Voyager 2 is now the second man-made spacecraft to leave the solar system.

 

The spacecraft was originally launched in 1977, sixteen days after the first of the Voyager Project, Voyager 1, was launched. Voyager 1 left the solar system six years before Voyager 2. This is because Voyager 1 was much quicker and sleeker than the later model. Voyager 2 left the solar system on November 5th, 2018. Currently, Voyager 2 is 18 billion kilometers away from the Earth and is moving at 54,000 km/h, while Voyager 1 is 22 billion km away, moving at 61,000 km/h.

 

Originally, the Voyagers were intended to study Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus, which the spacecrafts accomplished in 1989. However, the crafts never came back to home base, and just kept on travelling throughout the solar system. But, the instruments won’t stay travelling aimlessly forever. In fact, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has predicted that the Voyager 2’s plutonium power source will eventually deplete, and with no power source, the crafts will begin to fall apart. Also, the inner instruments and transmitters are expected to become damaged or die after the extreme levels of stress that is put on them.

 

Voyager project manager from NASA, Suzanne Dodd, told BBC News that she would like to see the Voyagers stay up and running until 2027, and that “It would be super-exciting to see a 50-year mission still operating.”  

 

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