NASA's Voyager Spacecraft: A Fact Sheet
Publication Date: September 2005
Publisher(s): Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service
Voyager 1 and 2 were launched in 1977 with the mission of returning data from Jupiter and Saturn and other planets as they flew past them. Their current mission is to extend NASA's exploration of the outermost edge of the solar system and the region where the sun's influence ends. In the 28th year after their 1977 launches, they each are much farther away from Earth and the sun than Pluto. These unmanned vehicles have garnered broad congressional and public interest.
In light of funding constraints, the issue has arisen as to whether the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will opt to shut down the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft or any of several other spacecraft. NASA will decide which missions to continue operating based on the level of funding available and NASA's Senior Management Review ranking of the science value provided by each of these spacecraft. This ranking is expected later this year or early next year. This report is updated regularly.