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Thread: Voyager course correction

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Voyager course correction

    Voyager 1 Just Fired Up its Backup Thrusters for the 1st Time in 37 Years

    Voyager 1 hadn't used its four "trajectory correction maneuver" (TCM) thrusters since November 1980, during the spacecraft's last planetary flyby — an epic encounter with Saturn. But mission team members fired them up again Tuesday (Nov. 28), to see whether the TCM thrusters were still ready for primetime.
    [...]
    "The Voyager team got more excited each time with each milestone in the thruster test," Todd Barber, a propulsion engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, 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."
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    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

  2. #2
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    Whoa, impressive. I'd be ecstatic if some of the things I build today would still be operational in 37 years.
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

  3. #3
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    I get excited (and relieved) each morning when the car starts. I can't imagine what it would be like firing something up after 37 years in a deep space environment and having it perform flawlessly. Seriously, hats off!

  4. #4
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    Are there any KBO's along Voyagers course? If they could squeeze one more flyby out of her, now that would be impressive. I suppose that would be too much to expect. Do we know if the scan platform even works anymore?

  5. #5
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    It sounds like they are going to use the TCM thrusters to adjust attitude to maintain communication with Voyager 1. There are attitude-control thrusters but they have a limited life. Using the TCM thrusters will allow extend the lifetime of stable attitude and thus communication for 2 or 3 years.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superluminal View Post
    Are there any KBO's along Voyagers course? If they could squeeze one more flyby out of her, now that would be impressive. I suppose that would be too much to expect. Do we know if the scan platform even works anymore?
    I suspect there are no KBOs along either crafts' course (space is big) and there is no way to course correct enough to fly by one.

    The cameras and the spectrometers are no longer working, so it wouldn't be much of a flyby (working instruments and status).
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
    It sounds like they are going to use the TCM thrusters to adjust attitude to maintain communication with Voyager 1. There are attitude-control thrusters but they have a limited life. Using the TCM thrusters will allow extend the lifetime of stable attitude and thus communication for 2 or 3 years.
    That sounds correct.

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