Voyager 2 and the Grand Tour

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In 1964 engineers at NASAs jet propulsion laboratory noted that a rare alignment of four planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, would occur in the late 1970s, allowing an unprecedented opportunity to have a single spacecraft visit several planets. NASA began supporting a project to send spacecraft to take advantage of this alignment, calling the idea “The Grand Tour.” That program would eventually become the Voyager program- two extraordinary spacecraft that gave we earthlings a better view of the outer planets of our solar system than ever before, and offered our first true glimpse of what is beyond that system.

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