Voyager I approaches Saturn



After its long and arduous passage, Voyager 1 will, like its predecessor Pioneer 11, begin observations of Saturn. The ‘encounter’ is actually a series of operational phases that begin almost 5 million miles away, culminating in a ‘close approach’ at a distance of about 200,000 miles which will occur on November 12,1980. Voyager 2, 9 months behind, will arrive August 26, 1981. Its trajectory will then take it on to an encounter with Uranus in January 1986. Voyager 1 instruments will be focused not only on Saturn itself but also its satellites, especially Titan (the others are Reha, Dione, Minas, and lapetus) and, of course, the rings. The magnetosphere is also a subject of the spacecraft's research.