UPSC Prelims 2020 Important topics: VOYAGER 2

Why in news?

Voyager 2 has now penetrated away from the solar system into interstellar space.

The mission

  • The Voyager mission was launched in the 1970s, and NASA’s probes were intended only to explore the outer planets.
  • Voyager 2 departed Earth on 5 September 1977, a few days after Voyager 1 and left our solar system in 2013.
  • The mission objective of the Voyager Interstellar Mission (VIM) is to extend the NASA exploration of the solar system beyond the neighbourhood of the outer planets to the outer limits of the Sun’s sphere of influence, and possibly beyond.
  • They are said to be the successors of Pioneer series.
  • Voyager 2 is the only probe ever to study Neptune and Uranus during planetary flybys.
  • It is the second man-made object to leave our planet after Voyager 1, which is 6 years ahead of it.
  • Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to have visited all four gas giant planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune — and discovered 16 moons.

What is interstellar space?

  • In astronomy, the interstellar medium is the matter and radiation that exists in the space between the star systems in a galaxy
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