Space: Flying Rings Around Saturn

After a spectacular mission, a mysterious little glitch

It was a bit late—some 3.1 seconds behind schedule—and 41 miles off target.

Still, after four years of traveling across 1.24 billion miles of space, there was no faulting Voyager 2's marksmanship. Indeed, one golf-minded scientist likened it to sinking a 500-mile putt. Superlatives were certainly in order last week as the semiautonomous robot completed the second lap of its epic flight: a rendezvous with the giant ringed planet Saturn, the spectacular finale to two ambitious decades of planetary exploration by unmanned U.S. spacecraft.

There was,...

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