NASA’s Voyager Program – Voyager 1 & Voyager 2

The Voyager program is a robotic exploration program of NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) calibrated for interstellar travel. It launched two spacecraft, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 from Cape Canaveral, Florida in 1977 to study the outer Solar System.

These spacecraft were designed to study the four outer planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, and their moons, as well as the interplanetary medium.

Voyager 1 is the farthest human-made object from Earth. Voyager 1 entered interstellar space (the region between stars) in August 2012. Voyager 2 entered interstellar space on November 5, 2018.

What are the Goals of Voyagers (Voyager 1 and Voyager 2)?

Both Voyagers shared a common mission to unravel the mysteries of the outer solar system and beyond. They aimed to capture the first close-up images of these distant worlds, investigate their atmospheres, rings, and moons, and shed light on the vast expanse of space between them. Here’s a breakdown:

Exploration of Outer Planets:

The key goal of Voyagers was to explore the four outer planets of our solar system: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. This included studying their atmospheres, rings, moons, and magnetic fields.

Interstellar Medium Exploration:

Voyagers are investigating the characteristics of the interstellar medium. This is the space between planets filled with dust, gas, and charged particles. Understanding this environment is crucial for comprehending the formation and evolution of our solar system.

Space Exploration:

Voyagers are pushing the boundaries of space exploration. The Voyagers were designed for a long and ambitious journey, paving the way for future interstellar missions.

What are the Achievements of Voyagers (Voyager 1 and Voyager 2)?

Both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 unraveled the mysteries of the outer solar system and beyond our solar system. The Voyagers gifted us with breathtaking views of Jupiter’s swirling storms, Saturn’s majestic rings, Uranus’s turquoise atmosphere, and Neptune’s Great Dark Spot.

They discovered numerous moons, some volcanic like Io, others harboring vast oceans of liquid methane like Titan. The Voyagers revolutionized our understanding of planetary atmospheres, revealing complex weather patterns and unique compositions.

Record Holders:

Voyager 1 is the first human-made object to enter interstellar space (August 2012) and currently holds the record for the farthest human-made object from Earth.

Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to fly by all four outer gas giants and their major moons, providing a comprehensive perspective on this region of the solar system. It entered interstellar space on November 5, 2018.

Detailed Images of the Outer Solar System:

Voyagers captured the first detailed images of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. These images provided invaluable information about the atmospheres, colors, cloud formations, and features of these distant worlds.

Discovery of numerous Moons:

Voyagers discovered numerous moons of the outer planets. The Voyagers significantly expanded our knowledge of the moons orbiting the outer planets.

Provided details of Saturn’s Rings:

Voyagers studied the rings of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. They revealed the complexities and diversity of these ring systems, including the discovery of previously unknown rings.

Investigation of Atmospheres:

Voyagers investigated the atmospheres of the outer planets. The Voyagers analyzed the composition and dynamics of the atmospheres, revealing details about weather patterns, temperatures, and atmospheric circulation.

Provided data about Magnetic Fields:

Voyagers studied the magnetic fields of the outer planets. Understanding these magnetic fields is crucial for comprehending how the planets interact with the solar wind and charged particles.

Interplanetary Medium Exploration:

Voyagers gathered crucial information about the interplanetary medium. The Voyagers collected data on the composition, density, and temperature of the space between planets, providing insights into the formation of our solar system.

Golden Record for Aliens (Extraterrestrial Life):

Both Voyager (Voyager 1 & Voyager 2) spacecraft carry a Golden Record, a phonograph record that contains a collection of sounds, images, and greetings selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth.

The record is intended for any intelligent extraterrestrial life that may find it and will know about our planet Earth, the diverse life on Earth, and our cultures.

Difference between Voyager 1 and Voyager 2:

Voyager 1 Vs. Voyager 2

FeatureVoyager 1Voyager 2
Launch DateSeptember 5, 1977August 20, 1977
TrajectoryFaster, more direct routeSlower, more curved route
Planetary FlybysJupiter, SaturnJupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Unique DiscoveriesFirst to enter interstellar space (August 2012)Close-up images of Triton (Neptune’s moon), Discovery of Uranus’s faint ring system
Farthest DistanceHolds record for farthest human-made object from EarthNot as far as Voyager 1
Overall AchievementsCaptured first detailed images of Jupiter & Saturn, Discovered moons around Jupiter & Saturn, Studied atmospheres, rings & magnetic fieldsCaptured first detailed images of all four gas giants, Studied atmospheres, rings & magnetic fields of all four gas giants, Most comprehensive view of outer solar system
Golden RecordYesYes

What is the current Location of Voyager 1 and Voyager 2?

Current Location of Voyager 1:

Voyager 1 is currently estimated to be about 14.7 billion miles (23.7 billion kilometers) away from Earth.

Current Location of Voyager 2:

Voyager 2 is currently estimated to be about 12.6 billion miles (20.3 billion kilometers) away from Earth.


The Voyager missions are a testament to human ingenuity and our desire to explore the universe. They have shown us that it is possible to send spacecraft on long journeys of discovery, and they have given us a new appreciation for the wonders of the outer Solar System.

The Voyager missions continue to inspire generations of scientists and space enthusiasts. They stand as a beacon of human ingenuity and perseverance, demonstrating the power of collaboration and exploration. They serve as a constant reminder of the vastness of the universe and our place within it.

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