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Voyager 1 Fires Up Thrusters After 37 Years

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posted on Dec, 2 2017 @ 04:29 PM
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The normal attitude control thrusters the Voyager spacecrafts use to keep the antenna pointed at Earth are degrading and do not work as efficiently as they used to. NASA engineers found a new way to correctly orient the Voyagers, and that is by using four "Thrust Correctiuon Manauever", or TCM, thrusters. So far, they have used these TCM thrusters on Voyager 1.

Voyager 1's TCM thrusters have not been used since 1980, but they apparently are still working after an amazing 37 years of sitting idle.

The use of these thrusters can help extend the Voyager missions. Use of these thrusters do require battery power, so there is a trade-off in using them. NASA Engineers plan to go back to using the normal attitude control thrusters before power consumption by the TCM thrusters leads to them not being able to power the heaters.


Story:
www.jpl.nasa.gov...




posted on Dec, 2 2017 @ 04:38 PM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

Strange they would take a chance like that on something that iconic.
They could have blown it up



posted on Dec, 2 2017 @ 04:39 PM
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Voyager 1 and 2 are such amazing specimens of engineering.

I hope to one day build something as profound and long lasting as Voyager.



posted on Dec, 2 2017 @ 04:46 PM
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originally posted by: projectvxn
Voyager 1 and 2 are such amazing specimens of engineering.

I hope to one day build something as profound and long lasting as Voyager.


How bout they just use the old blueprints, spice it up with new tech..
Build around 1000.. and fling them off in all directions



posted on Dec, 2 2017 @ 05:07 PM
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a reply to: Spacespider

I think we've moved on to other designs and are exploring other options like Breakthrough Starshot.

What the Voyager mission set has done is set an enormous milestone for human kind. Its contribution being far more profound than the sum of its parts.



posted on Dec, 2 2017 @ 05:15 PM
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a reply to: projectvxn

To bad the Breakthrough Starshot have gone silent, and there are new progress being made, goals or deadlines.
Not what I could find... I would love that thing to be up and running next year.
They say they could reach Mars in 1 hour with that tech, going 20% speed of light.



posted on Dec, 2 2017 @ 07:48 PM
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a reply to: Spacespider

At which point we would be an alien civilization replicating a virus for infection of nearby worlds.
That which you fear your become.




-ThoughtIsMadness



posted on Dec, 2 2017 @ 08:42 PM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

I wanna know if scientists are able to see what Voyager sees now that it has left the solar system..?



posted on Dec, 3 2017 @ 12:29 AM
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originally posted by: lostbook
a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

I wanna know if scientists are able to see what Voyager sees now that it has left the solar system..?

Voyager hasn't left the Solar System. Although it's far beyond the Kuiper Belt, it hasn't reached even half the furthest distance Sedna gets from the Sun, let alone reaching the Oort cloud. To all intents and purposes, the Voyager is still in the Solar System, and will be for the next 30,000 years. en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Dec, 3 2017 @ 06:09 AM
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originally posted by: wildespace

originally posted by: lostbook
a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

I wanna know if scientists are able to see what Voyager sees now that it has left the solar system..?

Voyager hasn't left the Solar System. Although it's far beyond the Kuiper Belt, it hasn't reached even half the furthest distance Sedna gets from the Sun, let alone reaching the Oort cloud. To all intents and purposes, the Voyager is still in the Solar System, and will be for the next 30,000 years. en.wikipedia.org...


Unless it gets captured and revamped. V'Ger !



posted on Dec, 3 2017 @ 06:14 AM
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originally posted by: wildespace

originally posted by: lostbook
a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

I wanna know if scientists are able to see what Voyager sees now that it has left the solar system..?

Voyager hasn't left the Solar System. Although it's far beyond the Kuiper Belt, it hasn't reached even half the furthest distance Sedna gets from the Sun, let alone reaching the Oort cloud. To all intents and purposes, the Voyager is still in the Solar System, and will be for the next 30,000 years. en.wikipedia.org...


I bet we'll be able to retrieve it and put it in a museum before those 30k years are up.



posted on Dec, 3 2017 @ 06:39 AM
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originally posted by: wildespace

originally posted by: lostbook
a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

I wanna know if scientists are able to see what Voyager sees now that it has left the solar system..?

Voyager hasn't left the Solar System. Although it's far beyond the Kuiper Belt, it hasn't reached even half the furthest distance Sedna gets from the Sun, let alone reaching the Oort cloud. To all intents and purposes, the Voyager is still in the Solar System, and will be for the next 30,000 years. en.wikipedia.org...

Voyager 1 hit technical interstellar space in 2012. It's like saying it's still in city limits when it's way out in the unincorporated BFE ultra-rural boondocks of town. It's basically not in town anymore, for all intents & purposes. Call it the "Interstellar Grey Area", I suppose.



posted on Dec, 3 2017 @ 08:22 AM
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originally posted by: Nyiah

originally posted by: wildespace

originally posted by: lostbook
a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

I wanna know if scientists are able to see what Voyager sees now that it has left the solar system..?

Voyager hasn't left the Solar System. Although it's far beyond the Kuiper Belt, it hasn't reached even half the furthest distance Sedna gets from the Sun, let alone reaching the Oort cloud. To all intents and purposes, the Voyager is still in the Solar System, and will be for the next 30,000 years. en.wikipedia.org...

Voyager 1 hit technical interstellar space in 2012. It's like saying it's still in city limits when it's way out in the unincorporated BFE ultra-rural boondocks of town. It's basically not in town anymore, for all intents & purposes. Call it the "Interstellar Grey Area", I suppose.

It seems that the compromise is to agree that there is interstellar space within the bounds of the Solar System (and those bounds are defined by bodies orbiting the Sun and gravitationally bound to it). So, one can reach the interstellar space but still be within the Solar System.

Whatever your perspective is, I think Sedna is the key here. It's very much a Solar System object, so until the Voyager has left its orbit well behind, it cannot be said to have left the Solar System, unless you'll also agree that Sedna leaves the Solar System on a regular basis.



posted on Dec, 3 2017 @ 04:11 PM
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originally posted by: Spacespider
a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

Strange they would take a chance like that on something that iconic.
They could have blown it up


Right? They plunge Cassini and the Jupiter probe into the planets hoping NOT to contaminate future potential extraterrestrial lifeform samples... But they didn't with voyager.



posted on Dec, 4 2017 @ 08:21 AM
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originally posted by: prevenge

originally posted by: Spacespider
a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

Strange they would take a chance like that on something that iconic.
They could have blown it up


Right? They plunge Cassini and the Jupiter probe into the planets hoping NOT to contaminate future potential extraterrestrial lifeform samples... But they didn't with voyager.


Considering that a fuel-depleted (thus uncontrollable) Cassinin probe would become part of the Saturn System, orbiting along with Saturn's Moons, there was a relatively good chance that Cassini could crash into Enceladus, Titan, or other Saturn Moon (not high odds, but not extremely low odds, either).

By the way, similar to Cassini/Saturn, they also deliberately crashed the Galileo probe into Jupiter in 1995 because of the potential for an uncontrollable Galileo to contaminate Europa, Ganymede, or other Jovian Moon.

However, there is very little chance of the Voyagers crashing into something (i.e., the odds are miniscule). The risk-to-reward would probably not support totally destroying the Voyagers.

Plus, how would they accomplish the total destruction of the Voyagers similar to the ways Galileo and Cassini were totally destroyed? It's not like they know of another gas giant out their past Neptune to go plunge into.



edit on 4/12/2017 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 4 2017 @ 11:27 AM
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excuse my ignorance of all things spacecraft but what types of engines do these probes use, how much fuel is carried and does the fuel not degrade over time?



posted on Dec, 4 2017 @ 12:10 PM
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originally posted by: TXRabbit
excuse my ignorance of all things spacecraft but what types of engines do these probes use, how much fuel is carried and does the fuel not degrade over time?


The 16 orientation control thrusters (some of which are the backup thrusters mentioned in the OP) use hydrazine as a propellant. Hydrazine is a common propellant used by spacecraft in space. A different fuel is used for launching, often liquid hydrogen with liquid oxygen oxidizer along with solid fuel boosters.

Electricity is provided by an RTG unit (radioisotope thermoelectric generator), which is a generator that uses radioactive material.

What Fuel Does Voyager 1 Use?


edit on 4/12/2017 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 4 2017 @ 12:48 PM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

Thanks Soy. I appreciate the info



posted on Dec, 4 2017 @ 12:52 PM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

Thats amazing. I wish we would design a repair and refueling mission for the voyagers. We could catch up and just add to the existing craft.

They should get a terminally ill astronaut to go fix it and stay with it until they cant.

S&F


edit on 12 4 2017 by tadaman because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2017 @ 07:44 AM
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Why the extension though? What additional scientific data can they get from it? I just want to see the justification the team would have had when speaking to head of NASA for extension.



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