bedub1 wrote: x-raider wrote:
x-raider wrote:Did they even equip it with a turn-around button?
I just want to clarify here. You do
understand that they physically can't
turn it around now, right?
This entire thread is a troll.
That may have been initially true, but we are free to make of it whatever we wish. That's the beauty of spontaneous order.
Funkyterrance wrote: Dukasaur wrote:
Just to clarify, the light is indeed too dim where the Voyagers (1 and 2) are now for solar panels to have any effect. However, the Voyagers are powered by RTG nuclear reactors
and 4 of the 10 scientific instruments on board Voyager 1 and 5 of the 10 scientific instruments on board Voyager 2 are still functioning.
They are also still under their own propulsion and accelerating. Voyager 1 is expected to encounter another star system first: within 40,000 years. They are heading in different directions, although both are riding the bow of the Heliosheath and are expected to break out into open space within a decade.
That's awesome that not only are we creating space junk but space nuclear waste as well.
The Sun spits out about 80 tonnes of radioactive waste every second. 80. Tonnes. Every. Second.
And the Sun is not a particularly energetic star.
Fear not, our contribution won't upset the apple cart...
whitestazn88 wrote:Disregard the second part, I wanted to leave it up so some people have information about the solar system, but Voyager 1 is located ~130AU from the center of the solar system at this point based on my reading of the wiki page on the Heliosphere, so my question is null.
Yeah, pretty much. The heliosheath is the thinnest layer of the heliosphere. Voyager 1 is currently at 122 AU and Voyager 2 is at 100 AU. (Although they were both launched in '77, they had very different paths in their planetary mission to Saturn and beyond, so Voyager 2 stayed in the classic solar system much longer.)http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/science/planetary.html
The Voyager mission was designed to take advantage of a rare geometric arrangement of the outer planets in the late 1970s and the 1980s which allowed for a four-planet tour for a minimum of propellant and trip time. This layout of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, which occurs about every 175 years, allows a spacecraft on a particular flight path to swing from one planet to the next without the need for large onboard propulsion systems. The flyby of each planet bends the spacecraft's flight path and increases its velocity enough to deliver it to the next destination. Using this "gravity assist" technique, first demonstrated with NASA's Mariner 10 Venus/Mercury mission in 1973-74, the flight time to Neptune was reduced from 30 years to 12.
While the four-planet mission was known to be possible, it was deemed to be too expensive to build a spacecraft that could go the distance, carry the instruments needed and last long enough to accomplish such a long mission. Thus, the Voyagers were funded to conduct intensive flyby studies of Jupiter and Saturn only. More than 10,000 trajectories were studied before choosing the two that would allow close flybys of Jupiter and its large moon Io, and Saturn and its large moon Titan; the chosen flight path for Voyager 2 also preserved the option to continue on to Uranus and Neptune.
From the NASA Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, Voyager 2 was launched first, on August 20, 1977; Voyager 1 was launched on a faster, shorter trajectory on September 5, 1977. Both spacecraft were delivered to space aboard Titan-Centaur expendable rockets.
The prime Voyager mission to Jupiter and Saturn brought Voyager 1 to Jupiter on March 5, 1979, and Saturn on November 12, 1980, followed by Voyager 2 to Jupiter on July 9, 1979, and Saturn on August 25, 1981.
Voyager 1's trajectory, designed to send the spacecraft closely past the large moon Titan and behind Saturn's rings, bent the spacecraft's path inexorably northward out of the ecliptic plane -- the plane in which most of the planets orbit the Sun. Voyager 2 was aimed to fly by Saturn at a point that would automatically send the spacecraft in the direction of Uranus.
After Voyager 2's successful Saturn encounter, it was shown that Voyager 2 would likely be able to fly on to Uranus with all instruments operating. NASA provided additional funding to continue operating the two spacecraft and authorized JPL to conduct a Uranus flyby. Subsequently, NASA also authorized the Neptune leg of the mission, which was renamed the Voyager Neptune Interstellar Mission.
Voyager 2 encountered Uranus on January 24, 1986, returning detailed photos and other data on the planet, its moons, magnetic field and dark rings. Voyager 1, meanwhile, continues to press outward, conducting studies of interplanetary space. Eventually, its instruments may be the first of any spacecraft to sense the heliopause -- the boundary between the end of the Sun's magnetic influence and the beginning of interstellar space.
Following Voyager 2's closest approach to Neptune on August 25, 1989, the spacecraft flew southward, below the ecliptic plane and onto a course that will take it, too, to interstellar space. Reflecting the Voyagers' new transplanetary destinations, the project is now known as the Voyager Interstellar Mission.
Voyager 1 has crossed into the heliosheath and is leaving the solar system, rising above the ecliptic plane at an angle of about 35 degrees at a rate of about 520 million kilometers (about 320 million miles) a year. Voyager 2 is also headed out of the solar system, diving below the ecliptic plane at an angle of about 48 degrees and a rate of about 470 million kilometers (about 290 million miles) a year.
Both spacecraft will continue to study ultraviolet sources among the stars, and the fields and particles instruments aboard the Voyagers will continue to explore the boundary between the Sun's influence and interstellar space. The Voyagers are expected to return valuable data for at least another decade. Communications will be maintained until the Voyagers' power sources can no longer supply enough electrical energy to power critical subsystems.
NoSurvivors wrote:Newton's first law of motion in simplified words: Things want to keep doing what theyre doing.
If they are really worried its going to run out of fuel, then why not turn it off and let it DRIFT through space, since there is no gravity to act upon it to slow it down. Accelerate, then drift along in space till it reaches something, then turn it on, lol. Just a thought.
Nobody's "worried" that it will run out of fuel. It will, as a normal matter of course. There is, unfortunately, no way to switch them on and off like you suggest, because the plutonium in the reactor won't stop decaying on command.
The Voyagers were designed for a lifespan of 5 years. The fact that they've already lived to be 35, will probably live to be 45 and might even make 50 is a wonderful bonus.
The probable paths of the Voyagers are known (follow either of the links I've posted to JPL's Voyager section and then browse from there to other stuff.) Both will continue their trajectories long after their deaths and pass near various other star system. There are gold-etched phonographic records on board so hypothetical aliens that find them can learn about humans.