Radioisotope thermoelectric generator
This generator has no moving parts. RTGs have been used as sources in satellites, space probes. Safe use of RTGs requires containment of the radioisotopes long after the life of the unit. The RTG was invented in 1954 by Mound Laboratories scientists Ken Jordan and they were inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2013. RTGs were developed in the US during the late 1950s by Mound Laboratories in Miamisburg, the project was led by Dr. Bertram C. The first RTG launched into space by the United States was SNAP 3B in 1961 powered by 96 grams of plutonium-238 metal, one of the first terrestrial uses of RTGs was in 1966 by the US Navy at uninhabited Fairway Rock in Alaska. RTGs were used at that site until 1995, a common RTG application is spacecraft power supply. Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power units were used for probes that traveled far from the Sun rendering solar panels impractical. As such, they were used with Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, Voyager 1, Voyager 2, Ulysses, New Horizons and the Mars Science Laboratory.
RTGs were used to power the two Viking landers and for the scientific experiments left on the Moon by the crews of Apollo 12 through 17. Because the Apollo 13 moon landing was aborted, its RTG rests in the South Pacific Ocean, RTGs were used for the Nimbus, Transit and LES satellites. By comparison, only a few vehicles have been launched using full-fledged nuclear reactors, the Soviet RORSAT series. In addition to spacecraft, the Soviet Union constructed many unmanned lighthouses, powered by strontium-90, they are very reliable and provide a steady source of power. In one instance, the compartments were opened by a thief. In another case, three woodsmen in Tsalendzhikha Region, Georgia came across two ceramic RTG heat sources that had stripped of their shielding. Two of the three were hospitalized with severe radiation burns after carrying the sources on their backs. The units were eventually recovered and isolated, there are approximately 1,000 such RTGs in Russia. All of them have long exhausted their 10-year engineered life spans and they are likely no longer functional, and may be in need of dismantling
It was the first probe to encounter Saturn and the second to fly through the asteroid belt and by Jupiter. Due to power constraints and the vast distance to the probe, approved in February 1969, Pioneer 11 and its twin probe, Pioneer 10, were the first to be designed for exploring the outer Solar System. Subsequent planning for an encounter with Saturn added many more goals, Map the magnetic field of Saturn and determine its intensity, determine how many electrons and protons of various energies are distributed along the trajectory of the spacecraft through the Saturn system. Map the interaction of the Saturn system with the solar wind, measure the temperature of Saturns atmosphere and that of Titan, the largest satellite of Saturn. Determine the structure of the atmosphere of Saturn where molecules are expected to be electrically charged. Map the thermal structure of Saturns atmosphere by infrared observations coupled with radio occultation data, obtain spin-scan images of the Saturnian system in two colors during the encounter sequence and polarimetry measurements of the planet.
Probe the ring system and the atmosphere of Saturn with S-band radio occultation, determine more precisely the masses of Saturn and its larger satellites by accurate observations of the effects of their gravitational fields on the motion of the spacecraft. As a precursor to the Mariner Jupiter/Saturn mission, verify the environment of the plane to find out where it may be safely crossed by the Mariner spacecraft without serious damage. Pioneer 11 was built by TRW and managed as part of the Pioneer program by NASA Ames Research Center, a backup unit, Pioneer H, is currently on display in the Milestones of Flight exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D. C. Many elements of the proved to be critical in the planning of the Voyager Program. The Pioneer 11 bus measured 36 centimeters deep and with six 76-centimeter-long panels forming the hexagonal structure, the bus housed propellant to control the orientation of the probe and eight of the twelve scientific instruments. The spacecraft had a mass of 260 kilograms, information for the orientation was provided by performing conical scanning maneuvers to track Earth in its orbit, a star sensor able to reference Canopus, and two Sun sensors.
The space probe included a redundant system transceivers, one attached to the high-gain antenna, each transceiver was 8 watts and transmitted data across the S-band using 2110 MHz for the uplink from Earth and 2292 MHz for the downlink to Earth with the Deep Space Network tracking the signal. Prior to transmitting data, the probe used an encoder to allow correction of errors in the received data on Earth. Pioneer 11 used four SNAP-19 radioisotope thermoelectric generators and they were positioned on two three-rod trusses, each 3 meters in length and 120 degrees apart. This was expected to be a distance from the sensitive scientific experiments carried on board. Combined, the RTGs provided 155 watts at launch, and decayed to 140 W in transit to Jupiter, the spacecraft required 100 W to power all systems. The spacecraft included two command decoders and a distribution unit, a very limited form of processor, to direct operations on the spacecraft
Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter
The Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter was a proposed NASA spacecraft designed to explore the icy moons of Jupiter. The main target was Europa, where an ocean of water may harbor alien life. Ganymede and Callisto, which are now thought to have liquid, JIMO was to have a large number of revolutionary features. A Brayton power conversion system would convert reactor heat into electricity, the design called for the reactor to be positioned in the tip of the spacecraft behind a strong radiation shield protecting sensitive spacecraft equipment. The reactor would only be powered up once the probe was out of Earth orbit. This configuration is thought to be less risky than the RTGs used on missions to the outer Solar System. The Europa Lander Mission proposed to include on JIMO a small nuclear-powered Europa lander and it would travel with the orbiter, which would function as a communication relay to Earth. It would investigate Europas habitability and assess its potential by confirming the existence and determining the characteristics of water within.
Northrop Grumman was selected on September 20,2004 for a $400 million preliminary design contract, beating Lockheed Martin, the contract was to have run through to 2008. Separate contracts, covering construction and individual instruments, were to be awarded at a date.4 m long ×15.7 m wide Stowed size,19.7 m long ×4. The nuclear propulsion program was conducted from 2003 to 2005 by the Naval Reactors branch of the DOE, the proposed system design was a gas-cooled reactor and Brayton power conversion to generate a peak output of 200 kilowatts of power over the long life of the JIMO mission. Three launches were planned for May 2015 to LEO in order to assemble the two stages and the probe. Transfer stages were designed to launch the probe on its trajectory to Jupiter during the window extending from late October 2015 to mid-January 2016. During the first month of flight, the main structures would be deployed, the nuclear reactor activated. Interplanetary flight would have lasted until April 2021, once the probe was in the influence area of Jupiter, the navigation would become more complex and difficult.
The probe would have to use gravity assist maneuvers to enter orbit, the probe would have studied Callisto and Ganymede for three months each, and finally Europa for one month. At the end of the mission in September 2025, the vehicle would have been parked in an orbit around Europa. Due to a shift in priorities at NASA that favored manned space missions, among other issues, the proposed nuclear technology was deemed too ambitious, as was the multiple-launch and in-orbit assembly mission architecture
Europa Clipper is an interplanetary mission in development by NASA comprising an orbiter and a lander. Set for a launch in the 2020s, the spacecraft are being developed to study the Galilean moon Europa through a lander, until March 7,2017, the mission was developed under the name Europa Multiple Flyby Mission. The mission is a follow-up to studies made by the Galileo spacecraft during its eight years in Jupiter orbit, which indicated the existence of a subsurface ocean underneath Europa. Plans to send a spacecraft to Europa were initially conceived with such as Europa Orbiter and Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter. The mission has been referred to as the Europa Multiple Flyby Mission, the mission will be complemented by ESAs Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, which will fly-by Callisto multiple times before moving into orbit around Ganymede. Launching around the time as the Europa Multiple Flyby Mission. Europa has been identified as one of the locations in the Solar System that could possibly harbor microbial extraterrestrial life, the proposed Europa Clipper is still in its planning phase, but the approximate cost is estimated at $2 billion.
The mission is a joint project between the Johns Hopkins Universitys Applied Physics Laboratory, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In May 2014, a House bill substantially increased the Europa Multiple Flyby Mission funding budget for the 2014 fiscal year from $15 million to $100 million to be applied to pre-formulation work. Following the 2014 election cycle, bipartisan support was pledged to continue funding for the Europa Multiple Flyby Mission project, the executive branch has granted $30 million for preliminary studies. In April 2015, NASA offered to the European Space Agency to submit concepts for a probe to fly together with the Europa Clipper spacecraft. It could be a probe, an impactor or a lander. An internal assessment at ESA is underway to see if there is interest and funds available, in May 2015, NASA chose nine instruments that would fly on board the orbiter. They will cost about $110 million over the three years. In June 2015, NASA announced its approval of the concept, allowing the orbiter to move to its formulation stage.
In February 2017 the mission moved from Phase A to Phase B, Phase B is the preliminary design phase of the mission. The goals of Europa Clipper are to explore Europa, investigate its habitability, the objectives are to study, Ice shell and ocean, Confirm the existence, and characterize the nature, of water within or beneath the ice, and processes of surface-ice-ocean exchange. Composition and chemistry of key compounds and the links to ocean composition, geology and formation of surface features, including sites of recent or current activity
President Dwight D. Eisenhower established NASA in 1958 with a distinctly civilian orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29,1958, disestablishing NASAs predecessor, the new agency became operational on October 1,1958. Since that time, most US space exploration efforts have led by NASA, including the Apollo Moon landing missions, the Skylab space station. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, the agency is responsible for the Launch Services Program which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. NASA shares data with various national and international such as from the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite. Since 2011, NASA has been criticized for low cost efficiency, from 1946, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics had been experimenting with rocket planes such as the supersonic Bell X-1.
In the early 1950s, there was challenge to launch a satellite for the International Geophysical Year. An effort for this was the American Project Vanguard, after the Soviet launch of the worlds first artificial satellite on October 4,1957, the attention of the United States turned toward its own fledgling space efforts. This led to an agreement that a new federal agency based on NACA was needed to conduct all non-military activity in space. The Advanced Research Projects Agency was created in February 1958 to develop technology for military application. On July 29,1958, Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, a NASA seal was approved by President Eisenhower in 1959. Elements of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency and the United States Naval Research Laboratory were incorporated into NASA, earlier research efforts within the US Air Force and many of ARPAs early space programs were transferred to NASA. In December 1958, NASA gained control of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA has conducted many manned and unmanned spaceflight programs throughout its history.
Some missions include both manned and unmanned aspects, such as the Galileo probe, which was deployed by astronauts in Earth orbit before being sent unmanned to Jupiter, the experimental rocket-powered aircraft programs started by NACA were extended by NASA as support for manned spaceflight. This was followed by a space capsule program, and in turn by a two-man capsule program. This goal was met in 1969 by the Apollo program, reduction of the perceived threat and changing political priorities almost immediately caused the termination of most of these plans. NASA turned its attention to an Apollo-derived temporary space laboratory, to date, NASA has launched a total of 166 manned space missions on rockets, and thirteen X-15 rocket flights above the USAF definition of spaceflight altitude,260,000 feet. The X-15 was an NACA experimental rocket-powered hypersonic research aircraft, developed in conjunction with the US Air Force, the design featured a slender fuselage with fairings along the side containing fuel and early computerized control systems
Moons of Jupiter
There are 67 known moons of Jupiter. This gives Jupiter the largest number of moons with reasonably stable orbits of any planet in the Solar System. The Galilean moons are by far the largest and most massive objects to orbit Jupiter, with the remaining 63 moons, of Jupiters moons, eight are regular satellites with prograde and nearly circular orbits that are not greatly inclined with respect to Jupiters equatorial plane. The Galilean satellites are nearly spherical in shape due to their planetary mass, the other four regular satellites are much smaller and closer to Jupiter, these serve as sources of the dust that makes up Jupiters rings. The remainder of Jupiters moons are irregular satellites whose prograde and retrograde orbits are farther from Jupiter and have high inclinations. These moons were probably captured by Jupiter from solar orbits, sixteen irregular satellites have been discovered since 2003 and have not yet been named. The physical and orbital characteristics of the moons vary widely, all other Jovian moons are less than 250 kilometres in diameter, with most barely exceeding 5 kilometres.
Their orbital shapes range from perfectly circular to highly eccentric and inclined. Orbital periods range from seven hours, to three thousand times more. Jupiters regular satellites are believed to have formed from a circumplanetary disk and they may be the remnants of a score of Galilean-mass satellites that formed early in Jupiters history. Simulations suggest that, while the disk had a high mass at any given moment. However, only 2% the proto-disk mass of Jupiter is required to explain the existing satellites, thus there may have been several generations of Galilean-mass satellites in Jupiters early history. Each generation of moons might have spiraled into Jupiter, due to drag from the disk, by the time the present generation formed, the disk had thinned to the point that it no longer greatly interfered with the moons orbits. The current Galilean moons were still affected, falling into and being protected by an orbital resonance with each other, which still exists for Io, Europa. Ganymedes larger mass means that it would have migrated inward at a faster rate than Europa or Io, many broke up due to the mechanical stresses of capture, or afterward by collisions with other small bodies, producing the moons we see today.
The first claimed observation of one of Jupiters moons is that of Chinese astronomer Gan De around 364 BC, the first certain observations of Jupiters satellites were those of Galileo Galilei in 1609. By January 1610, he had sighted the four massive Galilean moons with his 30× magnification telescope, no additional satellites were discovered until E. E. Barnard observed Amalthea in 1892. With the aid of photography, further discoveries followed quickly over the course of the twentieth century
Galileo was an American unmanned spacecraft that studied the planet Jupiter and its moons, as well as several other Solar System bodies. Named after the astronomer Galileo Galilei, it consisted of an orbiter and it was launched on October 18,1989, carried by Space Shuttle Atlantis, on the STS-34 mission. Galileo arrived at Jupiter on December 7,1995, after gravitational assist flybys of Venus and Earth and it launched the first probe into Jupiter, directly measuring its atmosphere. Despite suffering major antenna problems, Galileo achieved the first asteroid flyby, of 951 Gaspra, in 1994, Galileo observed Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9s collision with Jupiter. Jupiters atmospheric composition and ammonia clouds were recorded, the clouds possibly created by outflows from the depths of the atmosphere. Ios volcanism and plasma interactions with Jupiters atmosphere were recorded, Ganymede was shown to possess a magnetic field and the spacecraft found new evidence for exospheres around Europa and Callisto.
Galileo discovered that Jupiters faint ring system consists of dust from impacts on the four inner moons. The extent and structure of Jupiters magnetosphere was mapped, Jupiter was rated as the number one priority in the Planetary Science Decadal Survey published in the summer of 1968. In the early 1970s the first flybys of Jupiter were achieved by Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11, work on the spacecraft began at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1977, while the Voyager 1 and 2 missions were still being prepared for launch. As the shuttle program got underway, Galileo was scheduled for launch in 1984, the mission was initially called the Jupiter Orbiter Probe, it was christened Galileo in 1978. Once the spacecraft was complete, its launch was scheduled for STS-61-G on-board Atlantis in 1986, the Inertial Upper Stage booster was going to be used at first, but this changed to the Centaur booster, back to IUS after Challenger. The Centaur-G liquid hydrogen-fueled booster stage allowed a direct trajectory to Jupiter, the mission was further delayed by the hiatus in launches that occurred after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.
New safety protocols introduced as a result of the disaster prohibited the use of the Centaur-G stage on the Shuttle and it was finally launched on October 18,1989, by Space Shuttle Atlantis on the STS-34 mission. Venus was flown by at 05,58,48 UTC on February 10,1990, at a range of 16,106 km. Galileo performed a flyby of Earth at 303.1 km at 15,09,25 UTC on December 8,1992. Galileo performed close observations of an asteroid,243 Ida, at 16,51,59 UTC on August 28,1993. The spacecraft discovered Ida has a moon, the first discovery of a satellite orbiting an asteroid. Galileos prime mission was a study of the Jovian system
A compass is a simple example of a magnetometer, one that measures the direction of an ambient magnetic field. Magnetometers are widely used for measuring the Earths magnetic field and in geophysical surveys to detect anomalies of various types. They are used in the military to detect submarines, some countries, such as the United States and Australia, classify the more sensitive magnetometers as military technology, and control their distribution. Magnetic fields are vector quantities characterized by strength and direction. The strength of a field is measured in units of tesla in the SI units. 10,000 gauss are equal to one tesla, measurements of the Earths magnetic field are often quoted in units of nanotesla, called a gamma. Gaussmeters and teslameters are magnetometers that measure in units of gauss or tesla, in some contexts, magnetometer is the term used for an instrument that measures fields of less than 1 millitesla and gaussmeter is used for those measuring greater than 1 mT. There are two types of magnetometer measurement.
Vector magnetometers measure the components of a magnetic field. Total field magnetometers or scalar magnetometers measure the magnitude of the magnetic field. Magnetometers used to study the Earths magnetic field may express the components of the field in terms of declination. Absolute magnetometers measure the magnitude or vector magnetic field, using an internal calibration or known physical constants of the magnetic sensor. Relative magnetometers measure magnitude or vector magnetic field relative to a fixed but uncalibrated baseline, called variometers, relative magnetometers are used to measure variations in magnetic field. Magnetometers may be classified by their situation or intended use, stationary magnetometers are installed to a fixed position and measurements are taken while the magnetometer is stationary. Portable or mobile magnetometers are meant to be used while in motion, laboratory magnetometers are used to measure the magnetic field of materials placed within them and are typically stationary.
The performance and capabilities of magnetometers are described through their technical specifications, major specifications include Sample rate is the amount of readings given per second. The inverse is the time in seconds per reading. Sample rate is important in mobile magnetometers, the sample rate, bandwidth or bandpass characterizes how well a magnetometer tracks rapid changes in magnetic field
Magnetosphere of Jupiter
The magnetosphere of Jupiter is the cavity created in the solar wind by the planets magnetic field. Wider and flatter than the Earths magnetosphere, Jupiters is stronger by an order of magnitude, the existence of Jupiters magnetic field was first inferred from observations of radio emissions at the end of the 1950s and was directly observed by the Pioneer 10 spacecraft in 1973. Jupiters internal magnetic field is generated by electrical currents in the outer core. Volcanic eruptions on Jupiters moon Io eject large amounts of sulfur dioxide gas into space, Jupiters magnetic field forces the torus to rotate with the same angular velocity and direction as the planet. The torus in turn loads the field with plasma, in the process stretching it into a pancake-like structure called a magnetodisk. In effect, Jupiters magnetosphere is shaped by Ios plasma and its own rotation, strong currents in the magnetosphere generate permanent aurorae around the planets poles and intense variable radio emissions, which means that Jupiter can be thought of as a very weak radio pulsar.
Jupiters aurorae have been observed in almost all parts of the spectrum, including infrared, ultraviolet. The action of the traps and accelerates particles, producing intense belts of radiation similar to Earths Van Allen belts. The interaction of particles with the surfaces of Jupiters largest moons markedly affects their chemical and physical properties. Those same particles affect and are affected by the motions of the particles within Jupiters tenuous planetary ring system, radiation belts present a significant hazard for spacecraft and potentially to human space travellers. Jupiters magnetosphere is a structure comprising a bow shock, magnetopause, magnetodisk. The magnetosphere is embedded within the plasma of the solar wind, the bulk of Jupiters magnetic field, like Earths, is generated by an internal dynamo supported by the circulation of a conducting fluid in its outer core. But whereas Earths core is made of iron and nickel. As with Earths, Jupiters magnetic field is mostly a dipole, Jupiters field has quadrupole and higher components, though they are less than one tenth as strong as the dipole component.
The dipole is tilted roughly 10° from Jupiters axis of rotation and its equatorial field strength is about 428 μT, which corresponds to a dipole magnetic moment of about 1.56 ×1020 T·m3. This makes Jupiters magnetic field 10 times stronger than Earths, Jupiters magnetic field rotates at the same speed as the region below its atmosphere, with a period of 9 h 55 m. No changes in its strength or structure have been observed since the first measurements were taken by the Pioneer spacecraft in the mid-1970s, the Jovian magnetosphere is so large that the Sun and its visible corona would fit inside it with room to spare. If one could see it from Earth, it would appear five times larger than the moon in the sky despite being nearly 1700 times farther away
The Voyager program is a continuing American scientific program that employs two robotic probes, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, to study the outer Solar System. They were launched in 1977 to take advantage of an alignment of Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune. Their mission has been extended three times, and both continue to collect and relay useful scientific data. Neither Uranus nor Neptune has been visited by any other than Voyager 2. On August 25,2012, data from Voyager 1 indicated that it had become the first human-made object to enter space, traveling further than anyone, or anything. As of 2013, Voyager 1 was moving with a velocity of 17 kilometers per second relative to the Sun and photographs collected by the Voyagers cameras and other instruments revealed previously unknown details about each of the giant planets and their moons. Close-up images from the spacecraft charted Jupiter’s complex cloud forms, saturn’s rings were found to have enigmatic braids and spokes and to be accompanied by myriad ringlets.
At Uranus Voyager 2 discovered a magnetic field around the planet and 10 additional moons. Its flyby of Neptune uncovered three complete rings and six hitherto unknown moons as well as a magnetic field and complex. Voyager 2 is still the only spacecraft to have visited the ice giants, the two Voyager space probes were originally conceived as part of the Mariner program, and they were thus initially named Mariner 11 and Mariner 12. The Voyager Program was similar to the Planetary Grand Tour planned during the late 1960s, the Grand Tour would take advantage of an alignment of the outer planets discovered by Gary Flandro, an aerospace engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This alignment, which occurs once every 175 years, would occur in the late 1970s and make it possible to use gravitational assists to explore Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto. The Planetary Grand Tour was to several pairs of probes to fly by all the outer planets along various trajectories, including Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto. Limited funding ended the Grand Tour program, but elements were incorporated into the Voyager Program, Voyager 2 was the first to launch.
Its trajectory was designed to allow flybys of Jupiter, Saturn and this encounter sent Voyager 1 out of the plane of the ecliptic, ending its planetary science mission. Had Voyager 1 been unable to perform the Titan flyby, the trajectory of Voyager 2 could have altered to explore Titan, forgoing any visit to Uranus. Voyager 1 was not launched on a trajectory that would have allowed it to continue to Uranus and Neptune, but could have continued from Saturn to Pluto without exploring Titan. The New Horizons probe, which had a higher velocity than Voyager 1, is traveling more slowly due to the extra speed Voyager 1 gained from its flybys of Jupiter
Voyager 2 is a space probe launched by NASA on August 20,1977, to study the outer planets. Part of the Voyager program, it was launched 16 days before its twin, Voyager 1, on a trajectory that took longer to reach Jupiter and Saturn but enabled further encounters with Uranus and it is the only spacecraft to have visited either of the ice giants. Voyager 2 is now in its mission to study the outer reaches of the Solar System and has been operating for 39 years,7 months and 17 days. It remains in contact through the Deep Space Network, at a distance of 114 AU from the Sun as of April 5th,2017, Voyager 2 is one of the most distant human-made objects, along with Voyager 1, New Horizons, Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11. The probe was moving at a velocity of 15.4 km/s relative to the Sun as of December 2014 and is traveling through the heliosheath, upon reaching interstellar space, Voyager 2 is expected to provide the first direct measurements of the density and temperature of the interstellar plasma. The spacecraft would be designed with redundant systems to ensure survival through the entire tour, by 1972 the mission was scaled back and replaced with two Mariner-derived spacecraft, the Mariner Jupiter-Saturn probes.
To keep apparent lifetime program costs low, the mission would include only flybys of Jupiter and Saturn, as the program progressed, the name was changed to Voyager. The primary mission of Voyager 1 was to explore Jupiter, Voyager 2 was to explore Jupiter and Saturn, but on a trajectory that would have option of continuing on to Uranus and Neptune, or being redirected to Titan as a backup for Voyager 1. Upon successful completion of Voyager 1s objectives, Voyager 2 would get an extension to send the probe on towards Uranus. Collectively these instruments are part of the Attitude and Articulation Control Subsystem along with redundant units of most instruments and 8 backup thrusters, the spacecraft included 11 scientific instruments to study celestial objects as it traveled through space. Built with the intent for eventual interstellar travel, Voyager 2 included a large,3.7 m parabolic, when the spacecraft is unable to communicate with Earth, the Digital Tape Recorder can record about 64 kilobytes of data for transmission at another time.
The spacecraft was built with 3 Multihundred-Watt radioisotope thermoelectric generators, each RTG includes 24 pressed plutonium oxide spheres and provides enough heat to generate approximately 157 watts of power at launch. Collectively, the RTGs supply the spacecraft with 470 watts at launch, for more details on the Voyager space probes identical instrument packages, see the separate article on the overall Voyager Program. The Voyager 2 probe was launched on August 20,1977, by NASA from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral, two weeks later, the twin Voyager 1 probe would be launched on September 5,1977. However, Voyager 1 would reach both Jupiter and Saturn sooner, as Voyager 2 had been launched into a longer, more circular trajectory, Voyager 2s closest approach to Jupiter occurred on July 9,1979. It came within 570,000 km of the cloud tops. It discovered a few rings around Jupiter, as well as volcanic activity on the moon Io, the Great Red Spot was revealed as a complex storm moving in a counterclockwise direction.
An array of other storms and eddies were found throughout the banded clouds