PDA

View Full Version : Discussion: Voyager is Nearing the Edge of ...



Fraser
2003-Nov-05, 07:31 PM
SUMMARY: NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has nearly reached the outer limits of the solar system to a region of space, called the heliosheath, where the solar wind blows against interstellar gas. In order to pass into this area; however, Voyager will first pass through a turbulent region called the termination shock. This is the first time scientists have ever gathered data about these distant areas of the solar system. Launched on September 5, 1977, Voyager 1 is now 13 billion km away from the Sun.


Comments or questions about this story? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Matthew
2003-Nov-05, 07:38 PM
Voyager wasn't made to investigate these areas, but I wonder what information Voyager will send back to Earth, if any.

And what is the 'termination shock'?

chris toole
2003-Nov-05, 08:40 PM
I think that this is wonderful. I would like to hear more on this project and many more like it

remcook
2003-Nov-05, 09:48 PM
it says in the article:

"The termination shock is where the solar wind, a thin stream of electrically charged gas blown constantly from the Sun, is slowed by pressure from gas between the stars. At the termination shock, the solar wind slows abruptly from its average speed of 300 - 700 km per second (700,000 - 1,500,000 mph). "

Haglund
2003-Nov-05, 10:31 PM
I would like to see more probes, this time built to go as far as possible as quickly as possible. Combination of strong rocket acceleration from Earth, slingshot maneuvers by the large planets and constant acceleration with ion engines, perhaps. Voyager has been zooming outwards almost exactly for as long as my lifetime, pretty cool to imagine that. I think that other faster and more specialized probes could be built and sent out really far in a shorter time.

traintaz
2003-Nov-05, 11:20 PM
My 1st impression would be the farther you get from the sun, the weaker the effect would be due to the suns emissions. How noticeable would the effect be on a human space traveler? Do these waves have an effect like a tsunami?

Josh
2003-Nov-06, 01:22 AM
This is amazing. I mean seriously amazing. A man made object is about to leave the solar system proper. If there weren't children present I'd use a few choice words to express how impressive this is. Voyager was launched a couple of months before I was born and it's still flying. What a lonely place it must be out there.

Perhaps the story line of the Star Trek movie about V-ger will come true. Well, wishfull thinking but we're certainly on the right track.

patdaly
2003-Nov-06, 02:51 AM
Only 26 years to go so far :rolleyes: Dick tracy watch was just a dream, it is your time to dream and lets see what i see at age 70, I just might just hang in there enjoy how far you all go pat :ph34r:

jnspeer
2003-Nov-06, 03:21 AM
anyone think that all these massive CMEs in recent days are being triggered somehow by this little spacecraft trying to blow a little hole in the Sun's "heliosheath" - wherever the hell that is ?!?

Maybe Ra is a little peeved and sending out some more energy in Voyager's direction to strengthen the solar wind so as to extend the solar system, preventing Voyager from interstellar space, which is a concept that just blows my mind altogether.

just a thought...

DippyHippy
2003-Nov-06, 03:54 AM
In no way is Voyager responsible for the CME's... for one thing, it's far far far too tiny... and for another, even if it did have some kind of effect, that effect would have a long way to travel before it hit the Sun.

I think it's a very impressive achievement... after all, when Voyager 2 was first launched there were few who believed it would last long enough to reach Uranus - now it's twin is racing out of the solar system. A fantastic achievement.

zephyr46
2003-Nov-06, 04:06 AM
jnspeer, I'm with you, Ra, Helios and Suraya have all got the ****s with this little creation of man about to drift where no creation of man has drifted before B)

favorite site (http://web.mit.edu/afs/athena/org/s/space/www/voyager/voyager_traj/traj3d/traj3d.html)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOSH :D

dano
2003-Nov-06, 05:24 AM
Originally posted by fraser@Nov 5 2003, 07:31 PM
SUMMARY: NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has nearly reached the outer limits of the solar system to a region of space, called the heliosheath, where the solar wind blows against interstellar gas. In order to pass into this area; however, Voyager will first pass through a turbulent region called the termination shock. This is the first time scientists have ever gathered data about these distant areas of the solar system. Launched on September 5, 1977, Voyager 1 is now 13 billion km away from the Sun.


Comments or questions about this story? Feel free to share your thoughts.
Well this might be the biggiest thing to happen. The moon, and maybe going to mars. But to get out of our solar system . Maybe people will now really see that we can travel and see space. That its more then a dream. :blink:

goddardrocketry
2003-Nov-06, 05:38 AM
This is one of the coolest things that has happened in the space program ever. Most washing machines don't last as long as this probe has. Most cars can't travel 300,000 miles in the nice and protected atmosphere here on earth. I hope it isn't damaged as it passes this barrier.

Athena
2003-Nov-06, 07:50 AM
I'm with you, Blake. It sounds pretty rough out there. That's too bad what the article says about the solar wind speed instrument being non-functional. They seem to be managing without it, which is good, but if something else goes there might be trouble, I'm sure. I guess these craft were appropriately named; they certainly are on an exciting voyage. I'll definitely be listening for more about them. How long before Voyager 2 reaches this point?

Planetwatcher
2003-Nov-06, 02:42 PM
Most impressive that Voyager 1 has made it so far and is still transmitting.
Even though it wasn't designed to for it's current observations, it is showing us what to expect, and teaching us how to handle the outer solar system if and when we get manned expiditions out that far.

My major concern is how much longer we will still be able to recieve Voyager's tranmisions. We've boosted receiption about the best we can, and Voyager's transmitter isn't getting any stronger. So no matter how well it performs, it is only a matter of time before we can no longer receive it's signal.

Perhaps we can launch some kind of relay probe to help with this in the future.

DippyHippy
2003-Nov-07, 12:44 AM
I agree with Planetwatcher... I can see the signals fading before anything actually goes wrong with Voyager that will stop it broadcasting. As for a relay probe... nice idea and maybe if it could be done v cheaply it might become a reality, but I'd be amazed if NASA got the funding for it.

I can see the questions now

"What's it for?"
"It's so we can keep in touch with Voyager as it leaves the solar system"
"How much will it cost?"
"Ummmmm... quite a few millions of dollars"
"Is Voyager still sending back photos?"
"No"
"Sorry, no. Next!"

Josh
2003-Nov-07, 02:09 AM
ahhhhh Voyager. That relay probe would be a really good idea.

Reading all this stuff I have an odd feeling in my stomach. I feel very close to Voyager (not in a perverse way either you morons ;) ). I wonder if anyone else is feeling that? That Voyager is more than just some machine out there? Or am I just weird?

DippyHippy
2003-Nov-07, 02:31 AM
Ummmm... do you want an honest answer??

I know what you mean though... I can remember seeing the images of Saturn from Voyager I on the news when it made it's closest approach... it was headline news around the world. The images were stunning. Although Pioneer had gotten there first, Voyager's photos were far superior.

I can't wait for next July when Cassini arrives... that'll blow the socks off Galileo's achievements LOL

Haglund
2003-Nov-07, 04:24 PM
But Voyager wont last forever anyway, so we can still "hear" it until it eventually shuts off. I want to see some interstellar probes specifically designed for such a mission, extremely high speed, powerful communications etc.

mr. spock
2003-Nov-08, 01:03 AM
hello parker,

I like that like that idea but I think deep space exploration doesn't make sense with today's propulsion systems...
it takes decades until a probe even leaves our solar system...
and we'll be extincted when it reaches the next star (maybe our sun too)...

if einstein is correct and flying faster than light is impossible, then we're trapped within our solar system... and all our technology...

if he's wrong the time-speed-relation still remains:
these probes will still be of no use for us because of the temporal problems that will occur at these speeds (time passes much slower onboard than on earth, so mankind, if still existent, will probably have forgotten the probe)

if that's also wrong (many experiments show that it's true, but however...):
then developping the warp drive is just a matter of time :rolleyes:

live long and prosper! ;)

Haglund
2003-Nov-08, 10:08 AM
For the time being it seems we're trapped on our own planet even, but yes I know what you mean. The technology of today means we are trapped in our own solar system, but not forever. If we can develop new kinds of propulsion, then we could very well undertake interstellar journeys, how sad it would be if we never did that!

Josh
2003-Nov-09, 01:58 AM
What's more Mr Spock is that we shouldn't be so short sighted. Assuming we don't have any major break throughs in the propulsion area we still need to explore the stars close to us. We shouldn't not do it because we may not live to see the fruits of our endeavours. The next generations though will definitely benefit from it ... and that's reason enough.

Betterment of society in knowledge and action ... not self. With any sort of luck you can do both at the same time.

zephyr46
2003-Nov-10, 01:15 AM
Reading all this stuff I have an odd feeling in my stomach. I feel very close to Voyager (not in a perverse way either you morons* ). I wonder if anyone else is feeling that? That Voyager is more than just some machine out there? Or am I just weird?

If you are weird Josh, so am I. I have had a deep empathetic moment with a very small and cold Pioneer 10. Sliced through like chedder cheese, in darkness speeding outward, falling, as Sol's gravity wanes. If you are weird Josh, I believe I am weirder than you.

Relay Probes, send em, It's never too late! could we reprogramme exisiting satelites, like we did to voyager? I think there is some mariners around mars, I still think resupplying exisiting missions is cheaper than new ones. Some sort of R2 D2 repair unit that can install new fuel, cameras etc.

Any Lobbists or mission designers out there who agree with me? Any private companies out there Interested ? Lets do somthing Longitudinal :huh:

Anyone read the Lunar Dish proposal at space dev? Newsletter (http://www.spacedev.com/newsite/templates/subpage_article.php?pid=431)

I wonder if this sort of thing would increase contact time?

Planetwatcher
2003-Nov-10, 07:59 AM
Another consideration is when our propulsion technology advances to the point that we can get manned ships to the helopause in months, or just a couple years, that we fly out to some of these probes we launched last century, and upgrade them.

Such missions would be a good precurser to actual intersteller journeys because it will give us intersteller space practice and something to actually do productive with
future extended space missions.

We can upgrade the systems, install very powerful transmitters, and even attach propulsion boosters, then direct them to points of interest.

imported_ROB
2003-Nov-10, 01:59 PM
HI
I think this is a monumental development in space exploration but for how long will the probe last or keep sending data back? any one know? whats its data signal range will it just one day go quiet?

Planetwatcher
2003-Nov-10, 06:36 PM
how long will the probe last or keep sending data back?
No one really knows, and therein lies the problem. The farther Voyager 1 gets from us, the thinner the data stream becomes.
Eventually it will become uninteligable.

The Voyagers have been running on borrowed time for the last 15 years as it is.
Every day it continues to transmit is a bonus, and a new record, and almost a miricle, because it wasn't designed to still be running over 30 years after it's launch.

Hopefully the Pluto-Kupier probe will be built with this possibility in mind, and was designed with a power source and transciever which will allow it to do something like this.