Voyager 1 Ethan Leyden

1977: The 1970s included many different technologies. For instance, Bill Gates founded Microsoft, the first video game was launched, and printers were developing. The Voyager 1 was launched just before major technologies came about; for example, the cell phone was created just two years after the launch occurred. Politically, the Vietnam War just ended and the Cold War was still in pursuit, however the launch occurred during a shift of major events in terms of the War. The draft era was ended for the Vietnam in 1977, so there was much less political tension.

Ink-Jet Printer (Left), End of Vietnam (Middle), Pong (Right)

Mission: The mission of Voyager 1 was to take advantage of the geometric arrangement of outer planets. This was a "gravity assist" that made it so that the flight did not require intense propulsion systems to observe the plants Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. This arrangement only occurs 175 years, meaning this was a great opportunity. The main objective was to conduct a closer study of Saturn and Jupiter, The rings of Saturn, and the larger moons of both planets. This mission, however, did not have any humans on board. This was due to the mission being observatory, long distance, and for an extended period of time. Lastly, this would continue/advance NASA's exploration since this was one of the first interstellar missions.

Needed For The Mission: The scientific instruments among the Voyager 1 include: Imaging science system, Radio science system, Infrared Interferometer Spectrometer-technology, Ultraviolet Spectrometer, Triaxial Flux-gate Magnetometer, along with many other instruments. The Voyager has 3 computer systems for recording and observing data. The power from the Voyager was supplied from the MHW-RTG radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). Communications were made through X-band and S-band microwave transmitters.

Technology Advancements after the mission: The unique feature of the Voyager 1 was its Golden Record. This was a phonograph that contained pictures and sounds from the Earth. Additionally, contained signals that stored data and records. Lastly, contained an interstellar message for anyone/thing that found the remains of the voyager if it had crashed. The next mission, the Voyager 2, also used the Golden Disk.

How Did Voyager 1 Change Our Understanding of Space Exploration? Outside collecting research from Saturn and Jupiter, the Voyager 1 has discovered layers of our universe unknown to scientists previously. They have named it the "magnetic highway" because charged particles flow outward from the inside of the heliosphere and particles from the galaxy outside to come in. The Voyager 1 may be the first man-made object to exit the solar system. The layers discovered were the outer parts of the heliosphere.


What Came Next? A few months after the Voyager 1 was launched, the Voyager 2 was launched. Voyager 2 was launched, while the previous Voyager was still in space. The Voyager 2 was to collect data on Uranus and Neptune and go beyond our solar system, as far as possible.

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Ethan Leyden

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