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Voyager: A Retrospective

  • Bradford A. Smith (a1)

Abstract

Within the brief span of a decade, from 1979 to 1989, the Voyager spacecraft visited the four giant planets – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – along with their satellites and their rings. The science return from these two spacecraft forever changed our views of this remote region of our solar system. Often overlooked, however, is the incremental gain in knowledge from these encounters over that which had been known in the early 1970s when the Voyager project first came into being. From a post-Voyager perspective, it is astonishing how little was known about the outer planets just a mere two decades ago. Yet, with all of the knowledge that the space program has brought us, there remain a number of unanswered questions and a great many new ones that have been posed as a result of this wealth of new information. Discussed here is summary of the results of the Voyager imaging cameras together with some of the many new questions that subsequently have been raised.

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