Voyager 2
Voyager Tour Montage
Voyager 2

Voyager 2

Courtesy of NASA

Voyager 2 launched in 1977 on a flyby mission to gather data about four planets in the outer solar system. It was originally planned as a five-year mission, but on January 1, 1990, Voyager 2 and its twin, Voyager 1, began an extended mission to explore the boundaries of our solar system and travel into interstellar space. It is expected that there is enough fuel to last into 2020 and perhaps more.

August 20, 1977

January 24, 1986

End of Mission
Still operating as of 2017, expected to operate until 2025

Conduct close-up studies of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

Voyager 2 sent thousands of images and data on Uranus, its moons, rings, atmosphere, interior, and the magnetic environment. Images of the five largest moons showed complex surfaces due to geological events in the past. The spacecraft also detected 10 previously unseen moons. It studied Uranus’ previously known rings in fine detail and two newly detected rings.

Miranda, innermost of the five large moons, is one of the strangest bodies yet observed in the solar system. Its surface is heavily cratered with regions of ridges and valleys.

Eventually Voyager 2 explored all the gas giants in the outer Solar System, 48 of their moons, and the unique systems of rings and magnetic fields of these planets.

Voyager 2 continues to send back data, providing scientists with valuable observations of the solar system’s edge and interstellar space. On June 28, 2010, Voyager 2 completed 12,000 days of continuous operation.