INTRODUCTION: After being launched four years ago, the American exploratory spacecraft voyager Two will make its closest encounter with the planet Saturn on 26 August.
Voyager rockets launch. (2 SHOTS)
Graphic shots of planet Jupiter (4 SHOTS)
Graphics of Io. (3 SHOTS)
Europa graphics and Ganymede and Calisto. (4 SHOTS)
Graphic of Voyager moving towards Saturn and rings. (4 SHOTS)
Graphics of the satellites of Saturn and Titan. (4 SHOTS)
Graphics of smaller moons. (4 SHOTS)
GV NASA scientists meeting. (3 SHOTS)
CU Dr. Ed Stone speaking.
Graphics Voyager departing Saturn for Uranus and Neptune. (4 SHOTS)
SPEECH ON CASSETTE (TRANSCRIPT)
DR. STONE: (SEQ. 9) "With our Voyager II fly-by, we're trying to, of course, follow up on some of the discoveries that Voyager I made at Saturn. For instance, we have an observation of a star as it emerges from behind Saturn, and we measure its brightness every one-one hundredth of a second. And that way we will be able to count every single ring, because we will see the star blink out behind every little ringlet -- these hundreds of ringlets which are there."
NOTE TO EDITORS: THIS STORY ALSO INCLUDES NASA COMMENTARY WHICH MAY BE USED IF PREFERRED.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: After being launched four years ago, the American exploratory spacecraft voyager Two will make its closest encounter with the planet Saturn on 26 August. It then will the out to even more distant planets, Uranus in 1986, Neptune in 1989 and eventually sail out of the solar system.
SYNOPSIS: It began in 1977. Two Voyager interplanetary spacecraft were launched form Cape Canaveral, Florida.
They arrived at the planet Jupiter in 1979 -- Voyager One in March -- Voyager Two in July. The spacecraft twins discovered that Jupiter's great red spot is a giant hurricane - like storm system with swirling counterclockwise winds of several hundred miles per hour.
A previously unknown ring around Jupiter was found.. The Voyagers discovered that Io -- the large moon nearest Jupiter -- is actually active planet.
Another planet - size moon, Europa, is remarkably smooth -- covered with a thin glacier of water ice -- while Ganymede and Calisto are half water ice.
When Voyager One made its closest encounter with Saturn on November 1980 it found a planet which was more diffuse in appearance, presumably because storms and clouds form much deeper in its cold atmosphere. Before Voyager there were six rings observed around Saturn. We now know there are literally hundreds of icy rings.
A different system of moons or satellites was discovered at Saturn. One of these, Titan, has its own very cold atmosphere, mainly nitrogen -- no oxygen, and a small amount of methane, or natural gas.
Other smaller moons are a new - size class, only a few hundred kilometres in radius and made of almost pure water ice. There is evidence that Dione continued to be an active geologic body for some time before it died and froze.
To find out what Voyager Two will be looking for, as it makes its closest encounter with Saturn on 26 August, here is the view of voyager project scientist Dr. Ed Stone.
After it leaves Saturn, Voyager Two will travel to Uranus, arriving in January 1986. Then, to neptune in August of 1989 -- and finally it will sail out of the solar system searching for the solar wing and interstellar space as it goes.