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Waspie_Dwarf

Voyager 1 Reaches Interstellar Space

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NASA Spacecraft Embarks on Historic Journey Into Interstellar Space

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft officially is the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. The 36-year-old probe is about 12 billion miles (19 billion kilometers) from our sun.

New and unexpected data indicate Voyager 1 has been traveling for about one year through plasma, or ionized gas, present in the space between stars. Voyager is in a transitional region immediately outside the solar bubble, where some effects from our sun are still evident. A report on the analysis of this new data, an effort led by Don Gurnett and the plasma wave science team at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, is published in Thursday's edition of the journal Science.

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The little spacecraft that could :tu:

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Voyager Reaches Interstellar Space

After decades of exploration, Voyager 1 reaches a historic milestone for mankind, interstellar space.

Credit: NASA/JPL

Source: NASA/JPL - Videos

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I know Chuck Berry had a recording on the "golden record" but I don't believe Elvis did, which is too bad because you could've said, "Elvis has left the Solar System!"

Anyway, hope the data keeps coming in for as long as the power lasts.

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How Do We Know When Voyager Reaches Interstellar Space?

Whether and when NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft, humankind's most distant object, broke through to interstellar space, the space between stars, has been a thorny issue. For the last year, claims have surfaced every few months that Voyager 1 has "left our solar system." Why has the Voyager team held off from saying the craft reached interstellar space until now?

"We have been cautious because we're dealing with one of the most important milestones in the history of exploration,” said Voyager Project Scientist Ed Stone of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. “Only now do we have the data -- and the analysis -- we needed."

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Messages to Voyager: Welcome to Interstellar Space

Messages from earthlings to humankind's farthest spacecraft.

Credit: NASA/JPL

Source: NASA/JPL - Videos

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very nice, informative article. and only three hundred more years to reach the oort cloud, it says!

i can wait.

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Absolutely awesome!

I just watched this: http://youtu.be/8Ddt8xnnGGA NASA's Voyager 1 is in Interstellar Space by NASAtelevision and it's truly a very informative 57 min long conference video. Well worth the time to watch if you have yet to be touched by the awesome feat that Voyager 1 has done.

It also explains as to why it has taken this long ( one year ) to verify that Voyager 1 has indeed entered Interstellar space.

This is science, real and true science that is highly signficiant for all of humankind. That car size spacecraft of which represents us all is exploring for all of us, so let's wish it a good and prosperous journey into the Great Beyond!

...out of the dark, we, the children of Earth, say 'Greetings!'

:clap:

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This certainly speaks volumes about the time and distances involved in interstellar travel: 36 years and the craft is just now leaving the solar system. If, after its mission has been completed they managed to send it towards one of our nearest stellar neighbors, it might be hundreds of years before it arrived. But just imagine if it could send back photos of an exo-planetary system! I don't know how long the power of the spacecraft will hold out, but I suspect it has seen its last large object, which is a shame.

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This is pretty amazing.

36 years old and still going, if it had been made today it would have run out of broadband.

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This is pretty amazing.

36 years old and still going, if it had been made today it would have run out of broadband.

Whilst I suspect your comment was meant to be light hearted it is still unfair on the scientists and engineers at NASA. Let's not forget that the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is still operating on Mars after over 9½ years on the surface. Pretty impressive for a vehicle designed to last for 90 days.

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Whilst I suspect your comment was meant to be light hearted it is still unfair on the scientists and engineers at NASA. Let's not forget that the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is still operating on Mars after over 9½ years on the surface. Pretty impressive for a vehicle designed to last for 90 days.

I doubt the scientists and engineers at NASA would be put off by my comments Waspie, they have far more important things to deal with.

It is all pretty impressive. :tu:

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How exciting!! Voyager 1 and 2 have shown us our neighboring planets and they are still running after 36 years.. amazing.

We have been born in the Space Era...how lucky are we?

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It is mans little first step ! Hats Off to All that See the possibilities !

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I was born several years before the speed of sound was broken. In the time since I've seen science create devices that had previously existed only in science fiction and most believed would remain there. Now one of those devices has done what so many people not familiar with the project back when Voyager was launched considered impossible. It left the solar system and it's still "calling home." And, counter to an article I read somewhere in the late 70s or early 80s, it wasn't picked up by aliens. (I suspect that was driven by someone who saw ST: The Motion Picture and thought it was a documentary dressed up as SF. Or hoped it was.)

Sooo ... what will be the next "impossible" thing to happen?

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This certainly speaks volumes about the time and distances involved in interstellar travel: 36 years and the craft is just now leaving the solar system. If, after its mission has been completed they managed to send it towards one of our nearest stellar neighbors, it might be hundreds of years before it arrived. But just imagine if it could send back photos of an exo-planetary system! I don't know how long the power of the spacecraft will hold out, but I suspect it has seen its last large object, which is a shame.

Voyager 1 and its camera:

"Voyager 1 took its last image (the "Solar System Family Portrait" in 1990), the cameras were turned off to save power and memory for the instruments expected to detect the new charged particle environment of interstellar space. Mission managers removed the software from both spacecraft that controls the camera. The computers on the ground that understand the software and analyze the images do not exist anymore. The cameras and their heaters have also been exposed for years to the very cold conditions at the deep reaches of our solar system. Even if mission managers recreated the computers on the ground, reloaded the software onto the spacecraft and were able to turn the cameras back on, it is not clear that they would work." [http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/faq.html]

It is wonderous to image if Voyager's camera was still operational just what kind of pictures it would send back. Even if it was just a pale blue dot, just like ours - truly fascinating!

Now we let us all hope for the same success for Voyager 2 !

I'm only one year older than both Voyager's but I'll never live as long to see as much as they already have. God speed, Voyagers, God speed!

:clap:

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Am I the only one concerned? What if the solar system it enters don't take to kindly to Voyager and view it as debris? Voyager has info on it telling them not only who sent it but exactly where to find us!

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Regarding the Voyager 1 power source...

Electrical power is supplied by three MHW-RTG radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). They are powered by plutonium-238 (distinct from the Pu-239 isotope used in nuclear weapons) and provided approximately 470 W at 30 volts DC when the spacecraft was launched. Plutonium-238 decays with a half-life of 87.74 years,[20] so RTGs using Pu-238 will lose a factor of 1−0.5{1/87.74} = 0.79% of their power output per year.

In 2011, 34 years after launch, such an RTG would inherently produce 470 W × 2−(34/87.74) ≈ 359 W, about 76% of its initial power. Additionally, the thermocouples that convert heat into electricity also degrade, reducing available power below this calculated level.

By 7 October 2011 the power generated by Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 had dropped to 267.9 W and 269.2 W respectively, about 57% of the power at launch. The level of power output was better than pre-launch predictions based on a conservative thermocouple degradation model. As the electrical power decreases, spacecraft loads must be turned off, eliminating some capabilities.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_program

So hopefully, there is still some life left for this craft.

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Am I the only one concerned?

As it is a totally irrational concern I hope so.

What if the solar system it enters don't take to kindly to Voyager and view it as debris? Voyager has info on it telling them not only who sent it but exactly where to find us!

Given that it won't pass near to another star for 40,000 years (and even then it will pass 1.6 light years away, so won't enter the star's solar system) I suspect that who ever finds it will be just as worried about what we are capable of.

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Thanks Waspie D,I'll sleep alot better knowing that

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It is wonderful to still be kicking around with so many amazing things happening in space. Curiosity just blows me away and Voyager entering Interstellar space has always been, as weird as it may seem, a personal goal for me to live long enough to see. I am ear to ear grins right now and high-fiving the air (because most folks don't give a hoot but they should) because we have actually gone and done it, we left the solar system. Wow!

Edited by Merc14
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Remember when the 1st Star Trek movie was out in theaters and it had something to do with Voyager?

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well its not very likely it will return any time soon and when it does some how i dont think any one will remenber how to retirve the information from eather one of the probs......so it might just be stuck in sum junk pile some place,,sum space rednecks frount dirt pile

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Later Voyager. Write soon, dad.

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I seen that the voyager 1 was picking up sound's

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