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Voyager 45th Anniversary headlines Galaxy Forum at Cosmosphere

HUTCHINSON – The little spacecraft that could—Voyagers 1 & 2 (launched in 1977 with 470 watts of power to investigate Jupiter and Saturn)—still can.

They are long past flybys of all four gas giants where they studied weather, magnetic fields and rings of Jupiter and Saturn, discovering new moons with geysers and volcanos and transforming our knowledge of the outer solar system. Now, in 2022 these intrepid spacecraft are still sending back science data, only this time from interstellar space.  On this, their 45th anniversary, they are 12 and 14.5 billion miles from Earth–marking them as “Humanity’s Most Distant Explorers.”

The history attached to these two marvels comes to the 2022 Galaxy Forum to be held at the Cosmosphere on August 27 from 1-3 p.m. Todd Barber, NASA JPL senior propulsion engineer, will inform us.  The native Kansan, from Wichita, besides being on the Voyager support team, has worked on Cassini, the Mars2020, Deep Impact, and Dawn ion propulsion missions among others.

Following Voyager, this free event will fast forward to today. Looking at where we are now, other topics will be “DART—A Targeted Mission” NASA’s  attempt to redirect an asteroid, given by physicist Dr. Paul Adams of Fort Hays State University;  “Summer Around the Moon” focusing on three moon orbiters being launched as R&D for the 2024 return to the moon by Steve Durst, science journalist; a “Mars Update”, by KU PhD candidate Sarah Lamm and an “Interstellar Seminar” opportunity information by Dr. Mark Schneegurt, WSU.

This event is free and open to the public, The Cosmosphere is at 1100 N. Plum, Hutchinson. The event is from 1-3 p.m. Geared for middle school on up. To reserve a seat, email [email protected]

This event is sponsored by the Ad Astra Kansas Foundation, a 501c3 organization which focuses on promoting space science and STEM education in Kansas. This is Galaxy Forum number 14.