Saturday, 16 December 2017

Voyager 1: NASA 40-Year-Old Satellite Responded To Signal 13 Billion Miles Into Outer Space (Interstellar Space).

Voyager 1: NASA 40-Year-Old Satellite Responded To Signal 13 Billion Miles Into Outer Space (Interstellar Space).
Voyager 1: NASA 40-Year-Old Satellite Responded To Signal 13 Billion Miles Into Outer Space (Interstellar Space).
The Voyager 1, which was the only spacecraft sent into interstellar space, was first launched on September 5, in the year 1977 and it is indeed now the farthest man-made object from the planet Earth. However, just because the Voyager 1 is 40 years old and it is over 13 billion miles away from earth, does not mean it is not contactable. That is right, NASA was able to send a signal that far to reach the Voyager 1 and it responded.



As we all know, a spacecraft of that age is going to develop some technical issues and Voyager 1 is no exception this we know. The Voyager 1 altitude control thrusters had been wearing down gradually and these are what the vessel uses to point its antenna toward the planet Earth. This is indeed a bit of a problem because if the Voyager 1’s antenna is not facing us here on earth, then there is absolutely no way of contacting it at all.


Voyager 1: NASA 40-Year-Old Satellite In Space
Voyager 1: NASA 40-Year-Old Satellite In Space 



So NASA is becoming exceptionally good at squeezing every last bit of life out of the Voyager 1 hardware and in an effort to prolong the usage out of the Voyager 1, scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) discovered they were able to use another set of thrusters on the vessel to do this. If successful, The Voyager 1 could still be useful beyond the year 2020.


Voyager 1: NASA 40-Year-Old Satellite In Space Close To Saturn
Voyager 1: NASA 40-Year-Old Satellite In Space Close To Saturn



Furthermore, on Tuesday, November 28, NASA fired up the thrusters again, however, they had to wait for a total time of about 19 hours and 35 minutes for confirmation that their mission was a success, as that is how long it took for Voyager 1 to send the results over to Earth, a staggering 13 billion miles back to Earth. That confirmation arrived the following day to great jubilation from everyone involved in the operation.


Voyager 1: Some Mechanical Part Of Voyager 1 NASA 40-Year-Old Satellite In Space
Voyager 1: Some Mechanical Part Of Voyager 1 NASA 40-Year-Old Satellite In Space 



So as we have it “The Voyager 1 team got more excited each time with each milestone in the thruster test,” Todd Barber from Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said in a statement. “The mood was one of relief, joy, and incredulity after witnessing these well-rested thrusters pick up the baton as if no time had passed at all.”


Voyager 1: Infographics of the Voyager 1.
Voyager 1: Infographics of the Voyager 1.



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