12.34 light hours…and counting

Spacecraft escaping the Solar System

Here’s a nifty little page with some stats on the two Pioneers and the two Voyagers that have left or are leaving our solar system.

And it’s not a misprint. Voyager 2 was launched before Voyager 1. Voyager 1 passed Voyager 2 on the way to Jupiter, and is quite a bit farther out. It slingshotted around Saturn and was flung like a cat at an angle “up” and away from the ecliptic, while Voyager 2 continued on toward the Uranus and Neptune.

IIRR, V2 was actually called V1 until V1 passed it, and then they swapped official names. I haven’t confirmed that, though. Just a recollection. Anyone?