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Voyager - Saturn V
Voyager - Saturn V -

Credit: NASA. 27,683 bytes. 338 x 379 pixels.

Class: Planetary. Type: Mars. Nation: USA.

The original Voyager was an instrumented space vehicle for use in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration program in conducting experiments on the surface of, and in orbit about, the planet Mars in 1973 and at subsequent opportunities in order to obtain information on the existence and nature of extraterrestrial life, the atmospheric, surface and body characteristics of the planet, and the planetary environment. Two first Voyager space vehicles were expected to be launched during the 1973 Mars opportunity. Each space vehicle would consist of an orbiting flight spacecraft carrying a capsule designed for landing on the Martian surface. The spacecraft would also provide the capsule with services such as power, timing and sequencing, telemetry, and command during the transit portion of the missions and serve as a communications relay. The capsule was designed for entry into the Martian atmosphere, descent to the surface, impact survival, and surface lifetimes of as much as six months and contained the power, guidance, control communications, and data handling systems necessary to complete its mission. The space vehicles were expected to be launched by vehicles of the Saturn class.

Prime Contractor was the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. In the event, the wind-down of the Apollo project led to the program being reduced in scope and the spacecraft being sized for launch by the most powerful available non-Saturn vehicle, a Titan 3E. Renamed Viking, the first landing did not occur until 1976. The Voyager name was reused by JPL in the 1980ís for its Grand Tour missions to the outer planets.


Voyager 1968 Chronology

18 November 1965 Saturn IB/Centaur Office named changed to Saturn Applications. Program: Skylab. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V, Saturn IB.

John H. Disher, Saturn/Apollo Applications Deputy Director, requested the Manned Space Flight Management Operations Director to officially change the designation of the Saturn IB/Centaur Office to Saturn Applications. This change, Disher said, reflected the change in status of the office and provided for necessary management of potential Saturn Applications such as the Saturn V/Voyager by the Office of Manned Space Flight. However, on the same day, Disher ordered E. F. O'Connor at MSFC to halt all Saturn IB/Centaur efforts (except those already underway that could not be recalled) and disapproved the request for an additional $1.1 million for the program. (Any funds required for definition of a Saturn V/Voyager mission, he said, would be authorized separately.)

26 July 1967 NASA Administrator Webb refuses to make choice between substantial cuts in either the Apollo Applications or Voyager programs. Program: Skylab.

NASA Administrator James E. Webb testified on the NASA FY 1968 authorization bill before the Senate Committee on Appropriations' Subcommittee on Independent Offices. Asked by Sen. Spessard Holland (D Fla.) to make a choice between a substantial cut in funding for the Apollo Applications Program and the Voyager program, Webb replied that both were vital to the U.S. space effort. Additional Details: NASA Administrator Webb refuses to make choice between substantial cuts in either the Apollo Applications or Voyager programs..

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Last update 12 March 2001.
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