The Voyager program is a U.S program that launched two unmanned space missions, scientific probes Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. They were launched in 1977 to take advantage of a favourable planetary alignment of the late 1970s. Although officially designated to study just Jupiter and Saturn, the probes were able to continue their mission into the outer solar system, and are expected to push through the Heliosheath. These probes were built at JPL and were funded by NASA. Voyager 1 is the farthest human-made object from Earth. On 15 June 2012, NASA scientists reported that Voyager 1 may be very close to entering interstellar space and becoming the first human-made object to leave the Solar System.
Both missions have gathered large amounts of data about the gas giants of the solar system, of which little was previously known. In addition, the spacecraft trajectories have been used to place limits on the existence of a hypothetical trans-Neptunian planet.
The twin Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft continue exploring where nothing from Earth has flown before. In the 33rd year after their 1977 launches, they each are much farther away from Earth and the Sun than Pluto. Voyager 1 and 2 are now in the “Heliosheath” – the outermost layer of the heliosphere where the solar wind is slowed by the pressure of interstellar gas. Both spacecraft are still sending scientific information about their surroundings through the Deep Space Network (DSN).
The primary mission was the exploration of Jupiter and Saturn. After making a string of discoveries there — such as active volcanoes on Jupiter’s moon Io and intricacies of Saturn’s rings — the mission was extended. Voyager 2 went on to explore Uranus and Neptune, and is still the only spacecraft to have visited those outer planets. The adventurers’ current mission, the Voyager Interstellar Mission (VIM), will explore the outermost edge of the Sun’s domain.
Voyager Golden Record
Voyager 1 and 2 both carry with them a golden record that contains pictures and sounds of Earth, along with symbolic directions for playing the record and data detailing the location of Earth. The record is intended as a combination time capsule and interstellar message to any civilization, alien or far-future human, that may recover either of the Voyager craft.
The Voyager message is carried by a phonograph record-a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth.