Voyager: Inside the world’s greatest space mission

Source: BBC News

By Richard Hollingham

 

In a beige-coloured cubicle, on the ground floor of a nondescript suburban office block in Pasadena, California, history is being made.

In fact, history is made here every day.

This is the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) mission control for Nasa’s Voyager spacecraft. You can tell that from the homemade cardboard sign beneath the computer monitors that reads: “Voyager Mission Critical Hardware PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH!”

This is the unlikely control centre for one of the most ambitious and audacious missions in human history.

Over the past 40 years, the two Voyager spacecraft have explored Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. They have sent back detailed views of these strange worlds, revealing moons encased in ice, covered in volcanoes and bathed in gasoline smog. The missions have changed our perspective on the Earth and, with golden gramophone records attached to their sides, are now taking human culture to the stars.

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