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Tugger
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Voyager Probes - Celebrating 40 years!!

Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:59 pm

The two Voyager probes are still going 40 years on, still sending data and still expanding the sphere of human exploration!

Voyager 2 launched first, on August 20, 1977 - Voyager 1 launched September 5 and crossed into into interstellar space in September 2012, the first (and only) craft to ever do so.

Voyager 1 is about 13B miles (20.5B km) from the sun
Voyager 2 is over 10.6B miles (17.2B km) from the sun

Voyager 1 is currently traveling at about 10.5 miles/sec (17 km/sec), it is expected to reach the Oort cloud in about 300 years (and take 30,000 years to cross it).
Voyager 2 is currently traveling at about 9.5 miles/sec (15.4 km/sec) and is expected to reach interstellar space in 2019 or early 2020 based on the Voyager 1 experience.

Between the two of them they provided humankind's first visits to and up close view of all the major outer planets of the solar system.

PBS had a special 'The Farthest – Voyager in Space' that looked into all that has occurred.

Decent article on the missions:
https://interestingengineering.com/nasa ... -discovery

Congratulations to these two scientific success stories!

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
LightningZ71
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Re: Voyager Probes - Celebrating 40 years!!

Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:28 pm

And, before anyone else wastes a second of their life checking, New Horizons will never catch up to either of the Voyagers. Due to having had multiple gravitational slingshots, both are moving significantly faster than New Horizons is at present.
 
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Francoflier
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Re: Voyager Probes - Celebrating 40 years!!

Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:44 pm

What a great achievement, especially the fact that the probes are still working...

LightningZ71 wrote:
And, before anyone else wastes a second of their life checking, New Horizons will never catch up to either of the Voyagers.


It brings a good point, however.

Will humanity ever be able to be technologically advanced enough to catch up with the Voyagers?
If yes, when?
It would be seriously cool for future generations to be able to see them in a museum.

Unless they grow sentient, evolve into massively powerful entities, call themselves V'ger and come back to destroy the Earth... but I digress.
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
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Spiderguy252
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Re: Voyager Probes - Celebrating 40 years!!

Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:00 am

Fantastic probes, both of them.

It also happened at the right time. I suspect none of these expeditions would receive funding support today.
Vahroone
 
TheSonntag
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Re: Voyager Probes - Celebrating 40 years!!

Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:41 am

What I find so awesome is the fact that they are still working. Obviously they did a lot of things right with those small tiny machines.

I wonder whether humanity - in case we survive so long - maybe will bring the probes home one day and put them into display.
 
ChrisKen
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Re: Voyager Probes - Celebrating 40 years!!

Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:57 am

TheSonntag wrote:
What I find so awesome is the fact that they are still working. Obviously they did a lot of things right with those small tiny machines.

Theoretically the power source can last for ~87 years. However, the couplings connecting the source to the circuitry are degrading faster than predicted so useful power is now seriously below the expected. They may have a decade left at best (current prediction 2025).
Tiny on the cosmic scale for sure, quite large in human terms. Main body would sit in a 4m³ box, the longest boom is 13 metres.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: Voyager Probes - Celebrating 40 years!!

Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:13 pm

The only way to go much faster than the two Voyager Probes is with the combination of a couple of gravity slingshots (takes convenient planetary alignment) combined with some sort of very efficient Ion type thruster providing a long duration boost. New Horizons is going 80% or so of the speed of the Voyager probes due to having a greater initial boost from its launch system and a gravity slingshot from Jupiter that wasn't as effective as the multiple slingshots that the Voyagers got. Electromagnetic thrusters like MPDT or Hall Effect thrusters (or even NASA's NeXT) are going to be needed to get probes to outer planet and Oort cloud bodies with reasonable transit times without having to rely on those slingshots. Nuclear Pulse Drives are more of a long term extra-solar voyage type drive as they require significant mass to just produce their lowest possible thrusts due to shielding and reaction mass requirements.

So, is it possible that we could build a probe fast enough to catch them in the short term (next decade)? Yes. But it would be quite expensive. There are proposed missions out to interesting objects in the Oort cloud that would have to travel fast enough to get there in a relevant amount of time and before the probe itself degrades too far to be useful that will require advanced propulsion systems, so, it possible that something might happen there someday in our lifetime.
 
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Tugger
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Re: Voyager Probes - Celebrating 40 years!!

Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:59 pm

I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
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Seabear
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Re: Voyager Probes - Celebrating 40 years!!

Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:15 pm

TheSonntag wrote:
What I find so awesome is the fact that they are still working. Obviously they did a lot of things right with those small tiny machines.

I wonder whether humanity - in case we survive so long - maybe will bring the probes home one day and put them into display.


Or will an alien race return the Voyagers to the point of origin...infested with Carbon Units.
 
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Stitch
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Re: Voyager Probes - Celebrating 40 years!!

Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:24 pm

Seabear wrote:
TheSonntag wrote:
What I find so awesome is the fact that they are still working. Obviously they did a lot of things right with those small tiny machines.

I wonder whether humanity - in case we survive so long - maybe will bring the probes home one day and put them into display.


Or will an alien race return the Voyagers to the point of origin...infested with Carbon Units.


Well that was Voyager 6, which has yet to launch. And the aliens who found Voyager 2 were friendly enough.
 
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Seabear
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Re: Voyager Probes - Celebrating 40 years!!

Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:49 pm

Stitch wrote:
Seabear wrote:
TheSonntag wrote:
What I find so awesome is the fact that they are still working. Obviously they did a lot of things right with those small tiny machines.

I wonder whether humanity - in case we survive so long - maybe will bring the probes home one day and put them into display.


Or will an alien race return the Voyagers to the point of origin...infested with Carbon Units.


Well that was Voyager 6, which has yet to launch. And the aliens who found Voyager 2 were friendly enough.


Faulty...must sterilize...imperfection...
 
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Tugger
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Re: Voyager Probes - Celebrating 40 years!!

Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:50 pm

Seabear wrote:
Faulty...must sterilize...imperfection...

Alright Nomad, you behave now....

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
mpgunner
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Re: Voyager Probes - Celebrating 40 years!!

Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:00 am

A great article on the people behind the probes.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/03/maga ... ml?mcubz=0
 
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Channex757
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Re: Voyager Probes - Celebrating 40 years!!

Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:44 am

TheSonntag wrote:
What I find so awesome is the fact that they are still working. Obviously they did a lot of things right with those small tiny machines.

I wonder whether humanity - in case we survive so long - maybe will bring the probes home one day and put them into display.

Doubtful, as the things must be seriously radioactive by now. Long term soaking in a bath of cosmic rays has probably rendered them pretty hot.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Voyager Probes - Celebrating 40 years!!

Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:37 am

Tugger wrote:
Voyager 1 launched September 5 and crossed into into interstellar space in September 2012, the first (and only) craft to ever do so.

Yes, that vehicle is far further away from the Earth than any other vehicle has ever been (other than Voyager 2).

My first thought when hearing that news was that I (jokingly) wished that my ex-wife was aboard! :D

She'd also have the same wish for me! :D
Inspiration, move me brightly! Light the song with sense and color.
Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.
Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last.
Some rise, some fall, some climb, to get to Terrapin!
 
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Revelation
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Re: Voyager Probes - Celebrating 40 years!!

Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:58 am

mpgunner wrote:
A great article on the people behind the probes.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/03/maga ... ml?mcubz=0


Fascinating!

One of the greatest obstacles to planetary science has always been the human life span: Typically, for instance, a direct flight to Neptune would take about 30 years. But in the spring of 1965, Gary Flandro, a doctoral student at Caltech, noticed that all four outer planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune — would align on the same side of the sun in the 1980s. If a spacecraft were launched in the mid- to late 1970s, it could use the gravity of the first body to slingshot to the second, and so on. Such a trajectory would add enough speed to shorten the total journey by almost two-thirds. What’s more, this orbital configuration would not appear again for 175 years.
Inspiration, move me brightly! Light the song with sense and color.
Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.
Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last.
Some rise, some fall, some climb, to get to Terrapin!
 
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KarelXWB
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Re: Voyager Probes - Celebrating 40 years!!

Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:52 pm

Stitch wrote:
Well that was Voyager 6, which has yet to launch.


Ah yes, now I remember: Star Trek The Motion Picture. Good old times.

Image
What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: Voyager Probes - Celebrating 40 years!!

Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:39 pm

Ugh! I'm a big sci-fi fan, but that was just an awful movie. It was cool seeing the cast back together, and the premise was quite unique, but, man, it was rough to watch.
 
smithbs
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Re: Voyager Probes - Celebrating 40 years!!

Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:17 pm

Francoflier wrote:
Will humanity ever be able to be technologically advanced enough to catch up with the Voyagers?


I doubt it, until space propulsion achieves some kind of post-Einstein technology whereby E=mc2 is side-stepped. I do wish this would happen, since I believe the propulsion component is our limiting factor. And I think one day it will - it's just hard to see that happening from our vantage point today. But then again, the belief that you could depart sailing west and later arrive from the east was incomprehensible. And so was circling the globe in a single day. Maybe one day they will laugh at when we thought we could never get a human to exceed the speed of light.

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