The Voyager missions opened up the worlds of the outer solar system to our scientific gaze. Courtesy NASA.
It has been 40 years since the Voyager missions left Earth on their way out to the realm of the gas and ice giant planets. At the time they left, I had just finished college (the first time) and beginning as a science writer. Those missions sparked my imagination. I remember sitting in someone’s living room watching the news conferences from JPL when Voyager 1 reached Jupiter. A couple of years later, I was at the press conference for the Voyager 2 at Saturn, covering it for the Denver Post. I managed to cover two more — at Uranus and Neptune. Ultimately those missions sent me back to school to study astronomy and space exploration. I was also inspired by watching Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series.
Voyager: A Lifetime of Exploration
In a sense, the Voyager missions have paralleled my career. For some people born about that time — and later — there’s never been a time without a Voyager spacecraft headed out of the solar system. I find that pretty darned amazing. Before they left, planetary science was the discipline of the ...