Updates Voyager mission news

ky

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If my math is correct,Voyager 2 is either 90 or 100 AU's from the sun.
 
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PennyBlack

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I'm impressed that these craft are still functioning, why can't my computer perform the same way.!

It is amazing to think that they still send back new and exciteing information. Thanx for the updates Orb. :cheers:
 

GoForPDI

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I've just been listening to Carl Sagan's very detailed descriptions of Voyager's missions in The Pale Blue Dot.

A fantastic read (or listen)
 

Brycesv1

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wow! i had completely forgotten about the voyagers for years. I cant believe some of their new findings. Just goes to show how little we really know.
 

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NASASpaceflight: The Voyagers: An unprecedented on-going mission of exploration:
The Voyager spacecraft - NASA’s longest operational interplanetary probes – are about to enter their 34th year of operation, as they continue their sail out of the confines of our solar system toward the ever-present void of interstellar space. And as controllers on Earth manage the gradual and progressive power-down of the two spacecraft, the Voyagers continue to beam back invaluable and never-before collected data on the calm and turbulent outer-most edges of our sun’s immediate zone of influence in local space.

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NASASpaceflight: Thirty-four years after launch, Voyager 2 continues to explore:
On August 20, 1977, the intrepid spacecraft Voyager 2 launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL on what was supposed to be only a four year mission to Jupiter and Saturn. But exactly 34 years later, Voyager 2 has cemented itself into the upper echelons of unmanned space exploration, continuing to beam back data as it searches for the barrier between our solar system and interstellar space.

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NASASpaceflight: Voyager 1′s great escape: The search for interstellar space:
Like its sister probe Voyager 2, the Voyager 1 spacecraft has been an instrumental force in our continued push to gain a better understanding of our solar system. From its encounters with Jupiter and Saturn, to its ongoing mission to explore the outer boundaries of the solar system, Voyager 1 stands as the farthest man-made object in our solar system and will eventually gain the distinction of being the first man-made object to enter interstellar.

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Check out twitter updates from Voyager 1 and 2. They will occasionally let you know what some of the commands sent to the probes are, as well as how far away they are in light-time.
 

Keatah

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I always found it fascinating, though not surprising, that the Voyagers used a Vidicon imager. -- [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_camera_tube"]Video camera tube - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] --

Even more amazing is the gyros have been spinning since the mid-70's! Anyone have any info or datasheets or pictures of the gyroscopes they used?
 

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NASA / NASA JPL:
Voyager 2 to Switch to Backup Thruster Set

November 05, 2011

Voyager Mission Status Report

NASA's Deep Space Network personnel sent commands to the Voyager 2 spacecraft Nov. 4 to switch to the backup set of thrusters that controls the roll of the spacecraft. Confirmation was received today that the spacecraft accepted the commands. The change will allow the 34-year-old spacecraft to reduce the amount of power it requires to operate and use previously unused thrusters as it continues its journey toward interstellar space, beyond our solar system.

Launched in 1977, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are each equipped with six sets, or pairs, of thrusters to control their movement. These include three pairs of primary thrusters and three backup, or redundant, pairs. Voyager 2 is currently using the two pairs of backup thrusters that control the pitch and yaw motion of the spacecraft. Switching to the backup thruster pair that controls roll motion will allow engineers to turn off the heater that keeps the fuel line to the primary thruster warm. This will save about 12 watts of power. The spacecraft's power supply now provides about 270 watts of electricity. By reducing its power usage, the spacecraft can continue to operate for another decade even as its available power continues to decline.

The thrusters involved in this switch have fired more than 318,000 times. The backup pair has not been used in flight. Voyager 1 changed to the backup for this same component after 353,000 pulses in 2004 and is now using all three sets of its backup thrusters.

Voyager 2 will relay the results of the switch back to Earth on Nov. 13. The signal will arrive on Earth on Nov. 14. Voyager 2 is currently located about 9 billion miles (14 billion kilometers) from Earth in the "heliosheath" -- the outermost layer of the heliosphere where the solar wind, which streams out from the sun, is slowed by the pressure of interstellar gas.

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NASA / NASA JPL:
Voyager 2 Completes Switch to Backup Thruster Set

November 14, 2011

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Voyager 2 has successfully switched to the backup set of thrusters that controls the roll of the spacecraft. Deep Space Network personnel sent commands to the spacecraft to make the change on Nov. 4 and received confirmation today that the switch has been made.

Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are each equipped with six sets, or pairs, of thrusters to control the pitch, yaw and roll motions of the spacecraft. These include three pairs of primary thrusters and three backup, or redundant, pairs. Both spacecraft are now using all three sets of their backup thrusters.

Voyager 2 is currently located about 9 billion miles (14 billion kilometers) from Earth in the heliosheath -- the outermost layer of the heliosphere where the solar wind, which streams out from the sun, is slowed by the pressure of interstellar gas.

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Keatah

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Why'd they have to add the third backup? The other ones fail? Or degrade?
 

garyw

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I believe that they switch them around from time to time to give all sets of thrusters a workout.
 

RisingFury

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All I have to say is that I echo the amazement of everyone that these two probes still work after more than 3 decades!
 

MaverickSawyer

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Good ol' American know-how! They really don't make things like they used to, though...
 

N_Molson

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It also proves you can send commands and receive data from a spacecraft in a reliable fashion at huge distances :thumbup:

Even at the speed of light, it takes 12 hours 58 minutes 18.97 seconds to reach the spacecraft, so 1 day 2 hours for a signal to come back and forth.
 

RisingFury

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They really don't make things like they used to, though...


Actually, there are a lot of modern probes that have far exceeded their design life. Just some of them are STEREO, SOHO, Mars Rovers, Cassini-Huygens, Galileo,...

Galileo was deliberately crashed into Jupiter when its fuel run out and same will happen to Cassini. Voyagers were built to last because they knew they'd be out for years. Same with New Horizons ;)
 

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NewScientist: Voyager space probes show outsiders' view of Milky Way:
The twin Voyager probes are so far from the sun that they can see a kind of light from the Milky Way that we on Earth cannot. The observations could act as a Rosetta stone for understanding star formation in more distant and ancient galaxies.

The veteran Voyagers, which were launched in 1977 and are slowly approaching the outer limit of the solar system, have detected a particular wavelength of light called Lyman-alpha emission coming from our home galaxy for the first time.

The light is useful because it is a trace of star formation in other galaxies. Hot young stars blast their surroundings with high-energy photons, stripping electrons from hydrogen atoms. Those stripped atoms eventually find another electron and absorb it to become whole again. When they do, they can emit two kinds of photons: H-alpha and Lyman-alpha.

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SPACE.com: Milky Way Radiation Reveals Itself to Distant NASA Probes

Discovery News: Voyager Probes Give Us ET's View
 
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