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PaulAA

Voyager I & II

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Both Voyager I and Voyager II have now left the Heliosphere and are truly in deep space, some 11,000,000,000 miles from home.  It really is remarkable on so many levels, that they are both still sending messages home 40 years after launch, that there is cogent and ground-breaking information coming back, that their batteries still work, that they've survived the journey through some pretty hostile territory, etc.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/voyager-2-illuminates-boundary-of-interstellar-space

It's the fact they they still have power that caught my imagination.  40 year-old technology catapulted that far from earth and it still works.  My 2 year-old laptop battery died last week, supposedly based on technology far more advanced.  Our solar-powered calculator packed up after about six years.  Yet the Voyagers are still pushing a signal from beyond the solar system, that is detectable and informative.

The Voyagers launched in 1977... how many TR7s of similar vintage are still running on their original kit... and battery?

Paul

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I think they are powered by peltier cells with a plutonium heat source.....

They are incredible machines.

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1 hour ago, Nick Jones said:

I think they are powered by peltier cells with a plutonium heat source.....

They are incredible machines.

The Voyagers or TR7s..?

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Yes plutonium. I recall concerns about a launch failure contaminating the atmosphere.

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I too remember the launch - Voyager caught the imagination of my physics master at the time and he devoted an extra-curriculum lesson to it.

My abiding memory is thinking what a daft idea it was to attach the 'golden plate', telling potentially hostile aliens where to find us....

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1 hour ago, PaulAA said:

 

My abiding memory is thinking what a daft idea it was to attach the 'golden plate', telling potentially hostile aliens where to find us....

Paul,  They found us long ago.

In practical clases for first-month biology/medical students I presented them with a preserved human brain ( asking them to calculate the number of neurones), Holding it on high I would announce "This is the most complex structure in the universe" then the caveat " that we are aware of".  Now, 60 ufo books later, I know I was wrong, on both counts.

Peter

 

 

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19 hours ago, PeterC said:

..............................lure contaminating the atmosphere .............................and blackening the skies

Hedge Hoppers anonymous   1965   #5 in the charts.

 

Roger

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