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Create Your Grand Tour of the Decade

Expert Knowledge Alan Willett

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In 1997 NASA launched the twin spacecraft Voyager 1 and Voyager 2.

The missions of these spacecraft took advantage of a once-every-175-year alignment of the outer planets for a grand tour of the solar system. These spacecraft used Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune as a gravity assist in sending them faster and faster onto their next destination. Voyager 1 has reached a speed of 38,610 miles per hour or in metric, 17 kilometers every second!

As you are well aware, the year 2020 is rapidly approaching. Instead of a New Year resolution, consider embarking on your own Grand Tour of the Decade. Remember that it is easy to over-estimate what we can do in a day. Conversely, it is easy to under-estimate what we can achieve in a decade. The following five tips will help you prepare your launch into a new decade.

Think big 

Expand your thinking to encompass the whole of the decade to enable your boldness. By 2030 what would you like to have accomplished? What will you have contributed by doing good in the world?

Create gravity assist milestones

Voyager had meaningful places to visit with each of the planets. And each of those planets provided gravity assistance to propel them faster to the next planets. What milestones can you create that build your momentum to the big visions?

Nurture your communications system

The spacecraft communicated continuously with ground control at NASA. To travel far and fast, do not travel alone. Collaborate with those that help build your momentum.

Enjoy the view

The grand tour of Voyager wasn’t just to go far; it was to see the sights along the way. Your journey of the upcoming decade will come with challenges. Do not let the obstacles distract you from the fantastic view of the planets you will be passing.


In other words, get started. The Voyager missions had to deal with the harsh reality of the laws of orbital physics. They needed a detailed plan from one milestone to the next. You just need a good plan for your first milestone. So, get started! Voyager 1 is currently 21,200,000,000 kilometers away from the earth and continues to return valuable science to us from beyond our solar system.

How far can you reach by 2030?

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