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Old Sep 12, 2013, 03:02 PM   #1
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Voyager 1 has left the building.

Voyager 1 has crossed a new frontier, becoming the first spacecraft ever to leave the solar system, NASA said Thursday.

Thirty-six years after it was launched from Earth on a tour of the outer planets, the plutonium-powered probe is more than 11 1/2 billion miles from the sun, cruising through interstellar space — the vast, cold emptiness between the stars, the space agency said.

Voyager 1 actually made its exit more than a year ago, according to NASA. But it’s not as if there’s a dotted boundary line or a signpost out there, and it was not until recently that scientists with the space agency had enough evidence to say that the probe had finally plowed through the hot plasma bubble surrounding the planets and escaped the sun’s influence.

While some scientists remain unconvinced, NASA celebrated with a news conference featuring the theme from “Star Trek.”

“We got there,” said mission chief scientist Ed Stone of the California Institute of Technology, adding that the spacecraft was “setting sail in the cosmic seas between the stars.”

While Voyager 1 may have left the solar system as most people understand it, it still has hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years to go before bidding adieu to the last icy bodies that make up our neighborhood.

Voyager 1 will now study exotic particles and other phenomena in a never-before-explored part of the universe littered with ancient star explosions and radio the data back to Earth, where the Voyager team awaits the starship’s discoveries.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/busine...45a_story.html

And a good article from The Verge
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 03:06 PM   #2
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So Obama lost Voyager?
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 03:29 PM   #3
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Hopefully it won't alert some aliens to a protein source they didn't know about...
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 04:00 PM   #4
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They should have stuck some viral microbes on the sucker. Take down the aliens before they get us!
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 04:53 PM   #5
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Must be a massive delay on sending and receiving data now its that far out.
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 06:39 PM   #6
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I thought this happened back in March? old thread
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 06:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by obeygiant View Post
I thought this happened back in March? old thread
Nasa just officially announced it today, They think it officially left August 25. There was still some debate on when it officially left that they concluded today.
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 06:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by obeygiant View Post
I thought this happened back in March? old thread
Yes, a slight sense of deja vu seemed in order when I spotted the thread title, as I seem to recall the earlier thread (as this is the sort of topic that I find absolutely fascinating.)

Nevertheless, irrespective of how we choose to mark the the existence of what we think might be the boundary of the end of the Solar System, this is an extraordinarily impressive (and interesting) achievement.
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 06:49 PM   #9
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Hopefully, any aliens who cross paths with Voyager will be able to figure out the instruction manual...

Thumb resize.

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Last edited by localoid; Sep 12, 2013 at 07:12 PM.
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 11:00 PM   #10
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A very religious acquaintance of mine mentioned that this possible could not happen because the God did not make the universe that big.

Fun morning coffee, true story.
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Old Sep 12, 2013, 11:37 PM   #11
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I've often wondered why people usually think any alien life out there is superior in knowledge. They may have been around longer but they may have evolved in a different and/or slower way.

I guess voyager might let us know sometime in the future.
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Old Sep 13, 2013, 09:04 AM   #12
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Old Sep 13, 2013, 10:17 AM   #13
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Old Sep 13, 2013, 10:54 AM   #14
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I think it is pretty fracking amazing that we can still communicate with something that is almost 40 years old, is traveling at 38,000 miles per hour, and is 11.5 billion miles away!
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Old Sep 13, 2013, 11:23 AM   #15
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That's a seriously good battery!
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Old Sep 13, 2013, 11:34 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by ucfgrad93 View Post
I think it is pretty fracking amazing that we can still communicate with something that is almost 40 years old, is traveling at 38,000 miles per hour, and is 11.5 billion miles away!
Can you hear me now?

wait for it...

wait for it...

wait for it...

Good!

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Old Sep 13, 2013, 11:36 AM   #17
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I found this on reddit:

Quote:
To imagine what being the voyager probe would be like, consider the following:
Your life begins, conceived during the mid-60s golden years of the space program. The core concepts of your design are settled during the first years of that decade, and refined for fifteen years as different attempts are made to extend the reach of man's knowledge first to the skies, then to our nearest neighbors. The embryo of your idea forms in an era of slide-rules and pencils, as astronomical calculations reveal a particularly fortuitous alignment of the outer planets in the coming decade, one that will slingshot you to the outer reaches of the solar system, hopping from planet to planet....
Continues on the link above. Quite a nice personification if you ask me.
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Old Sep 13, 2013, 04:22 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by ElectronGuru View Post
That's a seriously good battery!
Battery only made with Plutonium-238.
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Old Sep 13, 2013, 05:18 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Kissaragi View Post
Must be a massive delay on sending and receiving data now its that far out.
It should take ~17 hrs one way given a distance of ~125 AU (~18,700,000,000 km) and a signal traveling at c.
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Old Sep 13, 2013, 05:19 PM   #20
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That's a seriously good battery!
But its mainly on standby and doesn't play candy crush all day so...
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Old Sep 13, 2013, 05:52 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by ezekielrage_99 View Post
A very religious acquaintance of mine mentioned that this possible could not happen because the God did not make the universe that big.

Fun morning coffee, true story.
Sigh. The sort of reply that seeks a perfervid escape from my head - while attempting to enlighten the sort of person who is imbued with the brand of religious belief which seems blissfully impervious to the extraordinary advances in human knowledge that the study of the natural sciences has bequeathed to us in recent centuries - might land this wonderful thread in in the less welcome outer reaches of PRSI territory. So, instead, I shall heroically resist such alluring intellectual temptation.........not without a struggle....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peace View Post
I've often wondered why people usually think any alien life out there is superior in knowledge. They may have been around longer but they may have evolved in a different and/or slower way.

I guess voyager might let us know sometime in the future.
Alien life could have evolved faster, or slower; it might be fearsomely and awesomely advanced, or, it might not.

Personally, I like the implied modesty behind the thought that we might not be the sharpest knife in the cutlery drawer, intellectually or developmentally, when viewed from the deep perspective of evolution (and extraordinary destruction) over an endless time of countless ages. Such a thought allows us to contemplate the possibility of alternatives, which can only be a refreshing change from the tedious days when we convinced ourselves that we had been crafted in the image of a divinity. Mere modesty is a far more appealing mindset than the appalling attitude of superiority our conviction of being the result of a thoughtful experiment in divinely inspired doodling on celestial drawing boards was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by obeygiant View Post
Ah, brilliant. Puts everything into perspective, don't you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ucfgrad93 View Post
I think it is pretty fracking amazing that we can still communicate with something that is almost 40 years old, is traveling at 38,000 miles per hour, and is 11.5 billion miles away!
Absolutely agreed; it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stridemat View Post
I found this on reddit:



Continues on the link above. Quite a nice personification if you ask me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobilehaathi View Post
It should take ~17 hrs one way given a distance of ~125 AU (~18,700,000,000 km) and a signal traveling at c.
Lovely quote, and thanks for taking the time to post it.
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Old Sep 14, 2013, 02:49 AM   #22
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But its mainly on standby and doesn't play candy crush all day so...
From what I understand, you can't really "conserve" power with an RTG. The radioactive material is going to decay whether you use the resulting electrical current or not.
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Old Sep 14, 2013, 10:29 AM   #23
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How long does the Voyager have before it dies?
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Old Sep 14, 2013, 10:47 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by jav6454 View Post
How long does the Voyager have before it dies?
The equipment will start to fail before the power dies.
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Old Sep 14, 2013, 10:51 AM   #25
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How long does the Voyager have before it dies?
According to NASA and the JPL, no earlier than 2025.
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