This is the third article in the Voyager series. In this article, we will cover the launch trajectories and the future of both probes.
So, let’s cut down the text and directly see the trajectories via animated GIFs.
The trajectories that enabled the Voyager spacecraft to visit the outer planets and achieve velocity to escape the Solar System
Future of the probes
Voyager 2 is not headed toward any particular star, although in roughly 42,000 years it will pass 1.7 light-years from the star Ross 248. And if undisturbed for 296,000 years, Voyager 2 should pass by the star Sirius at a distance of 4.3 light-years. Voyager 2 is expected to keep transmitting weak radio messages until at least the mid-2020s, more than 48 years after it was launched.
As the power from the RTG (radioisotope thermoelectric generators) slowly reduces, various items of equipment have been turned off. The first science equipment turned off on Voyager 2 was the PPS in 1991, which saved 1.2 watts.
Voyager 1 is expected to reach the theorized Oort cloud in about 300 years and take about 30,000 years to pass through it. Though it is not heading towards any particular star, in about 40,000 years, it will pass within 1.6 light-years of the star Gliese 445, which is at present in the constellation Camelopardalis. That star is generally moving towards the Solar System at about 119 km/s (430,000 km/h; 270,000 mph). NASA says that “The Voyagers are destined—perhaps eternally—to wander the Milky Way.”
In 300,000 years it will pass within less than 1 light-year of the M3V star TYC 3135-52-1.