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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Voyager 2 Completes 12,000 Days

On June 28, 2010, Voyager 2 completed 12,000 days of continuous operations since its launch on August 20, 1977.

In the summer of 1989, Voyager 2 became the first spacecraft to observe the planet Neptune, its final planetary target. Passing about 3,000 mile above Neptune's north pole, Voyager 2 made its closest approach to any planet since leaving Earth 12 years agao. Five hours later, Voyager 2 passed about 25,000 miles from Neptune's largest moon, Triton, the last solid body the spacecraft will have an opportunity to study.

For nearly 33 years, the venerable spacecraft has been returning unprecedented data about the giant outer planets,the properties of the solar wind between and beyond the
planets and the interaction of the solar wind with interstellar winds in the heliosheath.

Having traveled more than 21 billion kilometers on its winding path through the planets toward interstellar space, the spacecraft is now nearly 14 billion kilometers from the sun.

Traveling at the speed of light, a signal from the ground takes about 12.8 hours to reach the spacecraft.

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