Voyagers has had many viewers since it was first screened in 1970. Many have grown up with the series and many more are still fans. A new movie in the series, Titan, opens May 4th. The movie is not quite as exciting as the previous movies in the series, but it does have some nice visual aspects. I enjoyed the movie, though I am not sure whether I will find the same fascination with future movies.
When the Voyagers, under the command of Captain James Pickaway (Anthony cavinton) make their historic voyage around our planet, they are investigating the strange phenomena all over the planet. One of the first men to be allowed onto the space probe, Will Marsden (adan boeree) soon becomes determined to find out what is going on. A team of explorers have discovered sudden flashes of cosmic rays all over the Voyagers. They report, after studying the data, that the flashes are caused by unexpected shock waves originating from massive solar flares explosions hundreds of light years away.
These explosions occur when solar winds collide with extremely dense gas clouds high in the atmosphere of our home galaxy. The Voyagers quickly discover that the explosions cause the gas to be pushed into the atmosclerosphere -- the "heavenly" part of our system where all stars and planets are situated. The solar wind is actually pushing this material into our own system at the present time. This "heliosphere" surrounds Jupiter and Saturn, as well as the other large planets in the outer solar system.
To investigate further, the explorers decide to launch another mission, this time to explore the largest moon of Jupiter. Unfortunately, this new mission gets caught in a rather vicious storm, which completely destroys the lander that was to be the eyes (and ears) of this mission. So, the first Voyagers didn't really get very far. But they did discover that Saturn's moons, as well as some of the comets, have a large amount of water locked up inside them. This water is the life source that makes the Jovian atmosphere so hospitable to alien life forms, including potentially habitable planets.
The Jovian moons are also interesting because, like Earth, they are extremely hot and very dry (as compared to the planet Earth). If there is water within one of these Jovian satellites, it would provide an environment very favorable for microbial life, namely the growth of alien life forms in extreme environments. In fact, this is perhaps even more relevant today than ever before. If there is enough water present to encourage the growth of microbes, then we may very well find that among the many planets and celestial bodies orbiting around our own solar system, some of them are quite suitable for supporting life in some way.
Although it may seem like an "out of the blue" idea for a mission to send people to the very first rock from Mars, the mission to send people to the first cave on the moon, may very well prove to be necessary if we do not find other habitable places to live. One only has to go back a few decades to remember just how much the public loathed the idea of sending people to the moon. The public was against the idea because (at the time) nobody knew if it would be worth it, and if it wouldn't be an absolute waste of resources. Now that NASA is pursuing this goal, hopefully they will get it right.