National Geographic’s history of the Voyager missions

Check out the National Geographic’s elaborate and beautifully illustrated history of the two Voyager spacecraft, which toured the outer planets and then headed out towards interstellar space. It’s all on a single web page and as you scroll down you go through the various phases of their missions and different audio clips play for each.


Like the ancient mariners, they would navigate a vast ocean, the solar system …

It was 1977. Jimmy Carter was president, Elvis Presley gave his last performance, and Saturday Night Fever blasted into theaters. Above the Earth, twin spacecraft called Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 sailed into space on a trailblazing expedition to go where no man had gone before.

They would reveal that the moons orbiting Jupiter were worlds in their own right, that Saturn’s fabled rings boasted intricate weaves, and that Earth was but a pale blue dot set in the vastness of space. No other spacecraft have divulged the secrets of so many worlds, roamed so far, or so profoundly reshaped our view of our home in the cosmos.

Their journey was an idea centuries in the making and their success far from predetermined. It was a risk but a serendipitous one. As Captain Kirk said, “Sometimes a feeling is all we humans have to go on.”