The Voyagers


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Profile Gordon LoweProject donor
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Message 1161553 - Posted: 12 Oct 2011, 17:12:54 UTC

It's fantastically cool that the two Voyagers are as far away as they are, and still communicating with us. I've read a little bit about how it's possible, and how long it takes for the signals to go back and forth. ~Just amazing.

I hope their fuel and our way of detecting their progress continues for a long time.




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Message 1161644 - Posted: 12 Oct 2011, 21:40:11 UTC - in response to Message 1161553.

IIRC they only have radioactive material onboard to keep systems warm enough to function. all the fuel has been spent long ago. They are just adrift.
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Message 1161673 - Posted: 12 Oct 2011, 22:33:07 UTC - in response to Message 1161644.

IIRC they only have radioactive material onboard to keep systems warm enough to function. all the fuel has been spent long ago. They are just adrift.

According to the last weekly report last April, they each had over 25 Kg of propellant left. It wouldn't be used for acceleration or deceleration, though, but to keep the spacecraft stabilized. Communication from that distance requires having the dish antenna pointed accurately. Their trip out of the solar system is simply because they already have more than escape velocity.
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Message 1165266 - Posted: 25 Oct 2011, 10:45:09 UTC

The voayger record maybe has a lifspam of one billion years...
And in nearly 100 Million years the voyager will reach a distance of 5000 lj. (Sagan, Drake Murmurs of Earth 1980)

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Message 1165357 - Posted: 25 Oct 2011, 21:56:59 UTC
Last modified: 25 Oct 2011, 22:00:11 UTC

I will tell you what i find interesting about the Voyager spacecraft.

We tossed them out into the depths of space and now they gone beyond Pluto. But ultimately, they will both end up being pulled back toward our Sun at some stage by Gravity. Hmmmmm.... Is that even correct i wonder? Does anyone know if the voyager spacecraft have enough velocity to actually exit out of our Sun's gravitational space and into the the gravitational pull of another star? Might take several thousand years to get to another star. I'm guessing they will eventually come back to us hundreds of years from now like a commet.

John.
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Message 1165360 - Posted: 25 Oct 2011, 22:40:58 UTC - in response to Message 1165357.
Last modified: 25 Oct 2011, 22:41:33 UTC

... We tossed them out into the depths of space and now they gone beyond Pluto. But ultimately, they will both end up being pulled back toward our Sun at some stage by Gravity. Hmmmmm.... Is that even correct i wonder? Does anyone know if the voyager spacecraft have enough velocity to actually exit out of our Sun's gravitational space and into the the gravitational pull of another star? Might take several thousand years to get to another star. ...

I believe that they are way beyond escape velocity for our solar system.

Even though they won't be coming back, it's a good few thousands of years a time before they drift past any other star systems.

A good question is whether the gold records attached to them might survive long enough to puzzle an ET discoverer...


Keep seaarchin',
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Message 1165364 - Posted: 25 Oct 2011, 22:57:15 UTC - in response to Message 1165360.

... We tossed them out into the depths of space and now they gone beyond Pluto. But ultimately, they will both end up being pulled back toward our Sun at some stage by Gravity. Hmmmmm.... Is that even correct i wonder? Does anyone know if the voyager spacecraft have enough velocity to actually exit out of our Sun's gravitational space and into the the gravitational pull of another star? Might take several thousand years to get to another star. ...

I believe that they are way beyond escape velocity for our solar system.

Even though they won't be coming back, it's a good few thousands of years a time before they drift past any other star systems.

A good question is whether the gold records attached to them might survive long enough to puzzle an ET discoverer...


Keep seaarchin',
Martin


They aren't ever coming back.

http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/faq.html
Question: What is the "direction" (constellation and/or star) both VOYAGER 1 & 2 and the Pioneers are "aimed" for, at present.



Answer: Pioneer 10 is headed towards the constellation of Taurus (The Bull). It will take Pioneer over 2 million years to pass by one of the stars in the constellation.

Pioneer 11 is headed toward the constellation of Aquila (The Eagle), Northwest of the constellation of Sagittarius. Pioneer 11 may pass near one of the stars in the constellation in about 4 million years.

Voyager 1 is escaping the solar system at a speed of about 3.5 AU per year, 35 degrees out of the ecliptic plane to the north, in the general direction of the Solar Apex (the direction of the Sun's motion relative to nearby stars). Voyager 1 will leave the solar system aiming toward the constellation Ophiuchus. In the year 40,272 AD, Voyager 1 will come within 1.7 light years of an obscure star in the constellation Ursa Minor (the Little Bear or Little Dipper) called AC+79 3888.

Voyager 2 is also escaping the solar system at a speed of about 3.1 AU per year, 48 degrees out of the ecliptic plane to the south toward the constellations of Sagitarrius and Pavo. In about 40,000 years, Voyager 2 will come within about 1.7 light years of a star called Ross 248, a small star in the constellation of Andromeda.

To view the constellations including their RA and DEC, go to http://www.heavens-above.com/constellations.asp and select from the list.

To get a graphical view and data on where the four spacecraft are and how fast they are traveling, go to http://www.heavens-above.com/solar-escape.asp


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Message 1165395 - Posted: 26 Oct 2011, 2:04:33 UTC
Last modified: 26 Oct 2011, 2:07:10 UTC

Gary,
Thanks for that info Gary! It is interesting to hear whats actually going to happen to them. So NASA do seem to think they have enough speed to escape our solar system and our Sun's gravity.

So 40,000 years from now, Voyager 1 will pass by its first star other than our Sun. I wonder will future generations here on earth ever know about the little spacecraft our generation launched out there? Will they know about our generation at all?

We "Think" we know a lot about past human history and past generations, but in reality, our knowledge of human history is very sketchy. I speculate that in 40,000 years, the future generations will know very little about us, and our little Voyager spacecraft we launched in the endless abyss of space. Will we be forgotten after the next big epidemic that hits humanity.

Thanks again Gary,
John.
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Message 1165462 - Posted: 26 Oct 2011, 9:44:06 UTC - in response to Message 1165360.



A good question is whether the gold records attached to them might survive long enough to puzzle an ET discoverer...



The voyager record will be unreadable when it takes a damages of 10 percent. They calculated 2 percent damage for the first lightyear.
After the first lightyear, the record only takes a damage of 0,02 percent every 50ly.
So when the voyager reaches a distance of 5000ly. There will be a damage of 2percent (plus the first 2%)= 4%
But this calculation refers only to the outside of the record. the inside of the record is better protected. the roughly estimated lifspam is nearyl 1 billion years. And the informations are stored on this side.

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Message 1169093 - Posted: 8 Nov 2011, 6:55:59 UTC - in response to Message 1165462.

Everyone,

NASA sent a command to its 34-year-old Voyager 2 spacecraft, which is poised on the very edge of the solar system, to switch to a backup set of thrusters to save energy.

The probe, along with its sister craft Voyager 1, has already passed beyond all the planets in our solar system and is now about 9 billion miles (14 billion kilometers) away in a region called the heliosheath, the outermost region of our solar system where the solar wind from the sun meets the interstellar medium.

http://www.space.com/13538-nasa-voyager-spacecraft-backup-thrusters.html
NASA's Faraway Voyager 2 Probe Switches to Backup Thrusters

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Message 1169132 - Posted: 8 Nov 2011, 12:52:18 UTC - in response to Message 1169093.

That was a fun read, thank you.

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Message 1169175 - Posted: 8 Nov 2011, 15:48:42 UTC

Lynn, Thanks for that snippet on the voyagers.
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Message 1169181 - Posted: 8 Nov 2011, 16:06:55 UTC - in response to Message 1169093.

... http://www.space.com/13538-nasa-voyager-spacecraft-backup-thrusters.html
NASA's Faraway Voyager 2 Probe Switches to Backup Thrusters


All to save just 12 Watts of power on the spacecraft... They must be running a frighteningly tight power budget!


Keep searchin',
Martin

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Message 1169187 - Posted: 8 Nov 2011, 16:10:35 UTC - in response to Message 1169181.

don't forget that the technology is over 30 years old so there really isn't that huge a draw from the onbaord computer.
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Message 1169334 - Posted: 9 Nov 2011, 5:02:09 UTC - in response to Message 1169187.

0zzF4|\| and Nick, your welcome.

Can't wait until Voyager, reaches interstellar space.

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Message 1169383 - Posted: 9 Nov 2011, 10:14:26 UTC - in response to Message 1169334.

We are there now. There's nothing there as far as SETI is concerned. How long to enter another star system. You will be long gone by then.

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Message 1170428 - Posted: 12 Nov 2011, 6:41:54 UTC - in response to Message 1169383.

We are there now. There's nothing there as far as SETI is concerned. How long to enter another star system. You will be long gone by then.



Darn, I was hoping to stay around for the end.

Good article from Time.

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2099245,00.html
After 34 Years in Space, the Voyager Spacecraft Fly On — and On and On

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Message 1170482 - Posted: 12 Nov 2011, 12:12:22 UTC

The fact that the Voyagers have enough juice left to make that crossing is a tribute to the radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) — otherwise known as teeny, tiny nuclear power plants — onboard. The RTGs are fueled by plutonium-238, which, at the time of launch, was predicted to be good enough to keep the ships going for 50 years. So far those projections are holding, with power expected to last until 2025.


Thanks for that link Lynn, we haven't heard the last of them yet!

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Message 1170512 - Posted: 12 Nov 2011, 15:24:47 UTC - in response to Message 1170428.

Another fun read, thanks!

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Message 1170568 - Posted: 12 Nov 2011, 19:09:49 UTC - in response to Message 1170512.

' you're welcome'.

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