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Problem Detected with Voyager 2 Spacecraft at Edge of Solar System
Space.com ^ | 5/6/2010 | Tariq Malik

Posted on 05/08/2010 6:33:55 AM PDT by Dallas59



NASA has commanded the famed Voyager 2 probe to send only information on its health and status after spotting a puzzling change in the spacecraft's pattern of communication from the edge of the solar system.




The 33-year-old Voyager 2 spacecraft, which is currently 8.6 billion miles (13.8 billion km) from Earth, is apparently still in good health, according to the latest engineering data received on May 1. But Voyager 2's flight data system, which formats information before beaming it back to Earth, has experienced a hiccup that altered the pattern in which it sends updates home.

Because of that pattern change, mission managers can no longer decode the science data beamed to Earth from Voyager 2. The space probe and its twin Voyager 1 are flying through the bubble-like heliosphere, created by the sun, which surrounds our solar system.

The first hint of a problem came on April 22, when engineers first spotted the data pattern change. Since then, they've been working to fix the glitch and began sending commands back to Voyager 2 on April 30.

Because Voyager 2 is so far from Earth, it takes 13 hours for a message to reach the spacecraft and another 13 hours for responses to come back to NASA's Deep Space Network of listening antennas around the world.
"Voyager 2's initial mission was a four-year journey to Saturn, but it is still returning data 33 years later," said Voyager project scientist Ed Stone of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. "It has already given us remarkable views of Uranus and Neptune, planets we had never seen close-up before. We will know soon what it will take for it to continue its epic journey of discovery."

Voyager 2 took a so-called "grand tour" of the solar system when it visited the gas giant planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in the 1980s by taking advantage of a rare planetary alignment that occurs once every 176 years.
The two space probes were built primarily to study Jupiter and Saturn, but Voyager 2 also swing by Uranus in 1986 and Neptune in 1989 during its extended mission.
NASA launched Voyager 2 on Aug. 20,1977, just two weeks before Voyager 1. Together, the two spacecraft are the most distant human-built objects in space. Voyager 1 is about 10.5 billion miles (16.9 billion km) away from Earth and in perfect health, mission managers said.


TOPICS: History; Science
KEYWORDS: pioneeranomaly; spacecraft; voyager2
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1 posted on 05/08/2010 6:33:55 AM PDT by Dallas59
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To: Dallas59

Now that’s a return on your investment.


2 posted on 05/08/2010 6:36:33 AM PDT by Mmogamer (<This space for lease>)
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To: Mmogamer

When NASA does good it beats all odds....


3 posted on 05/08/2010 6:37:43 AM PDT by Dallas59 (President Robert Gibbs 2009-2013)
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To: Dallas59

Amazing!!! Well, that’s one time we got our money’s worth out of a government project.


4 posted on 05/08/2010 6:40:36 AM PDT by MsLady (If you died tonight, where would you go? Salvation, don't leave earth without it!)
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To: MsLady

lol


5 posted on 05/08/2010 6:40:59 AM PDT by ConservativeMan55
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To: Dallas59

The Voyager missions, I would categorise, as the creme de la creme of NASA. That they got so much done with so less, speaks for itself.

Fascinating stuff, from beginning to now.

I guess you need the Germans to run the place, to get that level of achievement, LOL!


6 posted on 05/08/2010 6:41:57 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: Dallas59

Maybe it’s still under warranty?


7 posted on 05/08/2010 6:43:40 AM PDT by poindexter
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To: Dallas59

25 years old NASA. NASA now cannot hardly launch a kids rocket.


8 posted on 05/08/2010 6:44:07 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (If you can read this you are the resistance.)
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To: Dallas59

25 years old NASA. NASA now cannot hardly launch a kids rocket.


9 posted on 05/08/2010 6:44:07 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (If you can read this you are the resistance.)
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To: Dallas59
VGER
10 posted on 05/08/2010 6:44:28 AM PDT by traderrob6
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To: poindexter

Have we outsourced warranty repairs to the Venusians yet?


11 posted on 05/08/2010 6:45:47 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (?)
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To: Dallas59
The culprit:


12 posted on 05/08/2010 6:47:30 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic (Never trust anyone who points their ass at God while praying.)
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To: mad_as_he$$

Non-politically correct space cowboys who got ‘er done are likely all retired now.


13 posted on 05/08/2010 6:48:33 AM PDT by Paladin2 (to satisfy the social justice requirement)
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To: Paladin2
Many years ago. Even the Mars rovers were outsourced because NASA knew they couldn't pull it off.
14 posted on 05/08/2010 6:50:21 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (If you can read this you are the resistance.)
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To: Dallas59

Truly amazing - I only hope we can get our educational system re-structured so that all children will be able to access the best of math and science curriculum’s before the great teachers, without a political agenda, disappear.


15 posted on 05/08/2010 6:50:55 AM PDT by demkicker (Helping Democrats Become Extinct)
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To: Dallas59

"The planet Jupiter has a system of rings, known as the rings of Jupiter or the Jovian ring system. It was the third ring system to be discovered in the Solar System, after those of Saturn and Uranus. It was first observed in 1979 by the Voyager 1 space probe[1] and thoroughly investigated in the 1990s by the Galileo orbiter.[2] It has also been observed by the Hubble Space Telescope and from Earth for the past 25 years.[3] Ground-based observations of the rings require the largest available telescopes.[4]

The Jovian ring system is faint and consists mainly of dust.[1][5]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rings_of_Jupiter

16 posted on 05/08/2010 6:52:31 AM PDT by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: Dallas59

How cold do you think it gets out there?


17 posted on 05/08/2010 6:58:51 AM PDT by Thebaddog (Shakey Jake said, " The hippies will never survive!")
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To: ETL

33 years and still a heart beat.
We build em good in the USA, eh ?


18 posted on 05/08/2010 6:59:40 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Impeachment !)
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To: Dallas59
The sun is just a bright star in it's "sky"


19 posted on 05/08/2010 7:01:02 AM PDT by Dallas59 (President Robert Gibbs 2009-2013)
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To: traderrob6

Or Nomad?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjMEFK8FM0E


20 posted on 05/08/2010 7:05:53 AM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners)
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To: Mmogamer

My 1972 Wheelhorse lawn tractor still runs. They don’t make them like they used to.


21 posted on 05/08/2010 7:06:17 AM PDT by Freds2nd
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To: Dallas59
Solid-state chips I helped make are on that space ship.
Presumably, they'll be out there 'zooming' around a million years after I'm gone.
22 posted on 05/08/2010 7:08:39 AM PDT by blam
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To: mad_as_he$$
25 years old NASA. NASA now cannot hardly launch a kids rocket.

This was NASA, 25 years ago.

23 posted on 05/08/2010 7:12:10 AM PDT by Doe Eyes
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To: Thebaddog

-455 Fahrenheit...average


24 posted on 05/08/2010 7:13:12 AM PDT by Dallas59 (President Robert Gibbs 2009-2013)
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To: Dallas59
"Because of that pattern change, mission managers can no longer decode the science data beamed to Earth from Voyager 2."

It's pretty obvious what happened. Voyager 2 saw something that the government doesn't want us to know about, so they commanded Voyager to encrypt its transmissions. It's quite possible that NASA indeed can not decrypt the transmissions, but certain other agencies within the government sure as hell can. I wonder what they saw?

25 posted on 05/08/2010 7:15:21 AM PDT by Batrachian (America electing Barack Obama is the moral equivalent of Palestinians electing Hamas.)
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To: Batrachian

Obama’s spaceship....


26 posted on 05/08/2010 7:16:09 AM PDT by Dallas59 (President Robert Gibbs 2009-2013)
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To: Doe Eyes

NASA 1967:

“Apollo 1 (official designation Apollo/Saturn-204) was planned to be the first manned mission of the Apollo manned lunar landing program to launch in February 1967. Its flight was precluded by a fatal fire on January 27, which killed all three crew members (Command Pilot Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Senior Pilot Edward H. White, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee), and destroyed the Command Module cabin. This occurred during a pre-launch test of the spacecraft on Launch Pad 34 at Cape Canaveral. The name Apollo 1 chosen by the crew, was officially assigned retroactively in commemoration of them.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_1#Incident


27 posted on 05/08/2010 7:16:48 AM PDT by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: Dallas59

>>>Voyager 2 spacecraft, which is currently 8.6 billion miles (13.8 billion km) from Earth

If I did the math correctly

0.0014629270371999592 Light Years in 33 years.

And the next closest star is Alpha Centauri, at about 4.37 light-years distant.


28 posted on 05/08/2010 7:17:53 AM PDT by tlb
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To: Dallas59; Thebaddog
Re: How cold do you think it gets out there?

-455 Fahrenheit...average

"Absolute zero is the theoretical temperature at which entropy would reach its minimum value. The laws of thermodynamics state that absolute zero cannot be reached because this would require a thermodynamic system to be fully removed from the rest of the universe. A system at absolute zero would still possess quantum mechanical zero-point energy. While molecular motion would not cease entirely at absolute zero, the system would not have enough energy for transference to other systems. It is therefore correct to say that molecular kinetic energy is minimal at absolute zero.

By international agreement, absolute zero is defined as 0(K) on the Kelvin scale and as −273.15°C on the Celsius scale.[1] This equates to about −459.67°F on the Fahrenheit scale. Scientists have achieved temperatures very close to absolute zero, where matter exhibits quantum effects such as superconductivity and superfluidity."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absolute_zero

29 posted on 05/08/2010 7:31:30 AM PDT by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: Dallas59
From Earth to 92 AU
30 posted on 05/08/2010 7:38:58 AM PDT by Dallas59 (President Robert Gibbs 2009-2013)
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To: tlb
0.0014629270371999592 Light Years in 33 years. And the next closest star is Alpha Centauri, at about 4.37 light-years distant.

So it would take Voyager... um, carry the one... a little less than a hundred thousand years to reach Alpha Centauri? If it were even going that direction...

31 posted on 05/08/2010 7:42:14 AM PDT by Sloth (Civil disobedience? I'm afraid only the uncivil kind is going to cut it this time.)
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To: tlb
Re: Voyager 2 spacecraft, which is currently 8.6 billion miles from Earth

If I did the math correctly:
[8.6 billion miles = ] 0.0014629270371999592 Light Years (in 33 years).

Well, one light year, the distance light travels in a year at its constant speed of 186,000 miles per second, works out to about 5.9 trillion miles.

And so,

8.6 divided by 5,900 = 0.0014

So you are correct.

32 posted on 05/08/2010 7:45:00 AM PDT by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: Dallas59
now bad for something prolly running what, a 8088 or 286 wi 64k or 128K ram???
33 posted on 05/08/2010 7:45:29 AM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Doe Eyes
Yup. When rocketry was still relatively new and they got more done with half the people.
34 posted on 05/08/2010 7:46:09 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (If you can read this you are the resistance.)
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To: Doe Eyes
Actually upon reflection, Challenger was probably the break point where NASA went from cando to F’ed up.
35 posted on 05/08/2010 8:03:15 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (If you can read this you are the resistance.)
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To: Doe Eyes
Actually upon reflection, Challenger was probably the break point where NASA went from cando to F’ed up.
36 posted on 05/08/2010 8:03:15 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (If you can read this you are the resistance.)
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To: Dallas59
Could be ominous.


37 posted on 05/08/2010 8:07:19 AM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Sloth
Re: 0.0014629270371999592 Light Years in 33 years. And the next closest star is Alpha Centauri, at about 4.37 light-years distant.

So it would take Voyager... um, carry the one... a little less than a hundred thousand years to reach Alpha Centauri? If it were even going that direction...

Correct.

33 years/0.0014629 LYs x 4.37 LYs = 98,500 years

38 posted on 05/08/2010 8:15:00 AM PDT by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Absolutely. Despite a few flaws along the way.


39 posted on 05/08/2010 8:17:36 AM PDT by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: Dallas59

Can you imagine the mileage charge on the service call?


40 posted on 05/08/2010 9:03:40 AM PDT by SouthTexas (Congress is out of order!)
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To: mad_as_he$$

“25 years old NASA. NASA now cannot hardly launch a kids rocket....”

And The United States cannot build a FENCE!!


41 posted on 05/08/2010 9:38:11 AM PDT by Don@VB (Power Corrupts)
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To: Don@VB
We are screwed.......BTW if given the chance I could build 10 miles of fence a day for the first six month and then 30 a day for the next six - ultimately doing 100 miles a day until it was done. The major problem is the ramp up for materials.
42 posted on 05/08/2010 10:39:49 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (If you can read this you are the resistance.)
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To: Don@VB
We are screwed.......BTW if given the chance I could build 10 miles of fence a day for the first six month and then 30 a day for the next six - ultimately doing 100 miles a day until it was done. The major problem is the ramp up for materials.
43 posted on 05/08/2010 10:39:49 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (If you can read this you are the resistance.)
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To: Dallas59
When NASA does good it beats all odds....

The big question is 'can the politically correct NASA of today match the capabilities of the NASA of 30 years ago?'.

44 posted on 05/08/2010 10:55:18 AM PDT by meyer
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To: Chode
not bad for something prolly running what, a 8088 or 286 wi 64k or 128K ram???

The 8086 hit the market in the summer of 1978. The 8088 in 1978. The computer used by NASA at this time was earlier than these processors. Probably a big mainframe like the Sigma 5 that we used to operate the electric power system in Cleveland, Ohio, up until around 1993 or so.

45 posted on 05/08/2010 11:13:57 AM PDT by meyer
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To: meyer
the processor onboard Voyager?
46 posted on 05/08/2010 12:02:56 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Chode

Oh - slapping self on head - I don’t think it’s a mainframe. :-)

But the Voyager does predate the 8086/8088 a bit. I suspect something a generation or two newer. With carefully-written programming, there’s a lot that can be done with a less powerful processor.


47 posted on 05/08/2010 12:11:46 PM PDT by meyer
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To: meyer
"I suspect something a generation or two newer."

OOps - I mean a generation or two older!

48 posted on 05/08/2010 12:16:30 PM PDT by meyer
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To: meyer
amazing how much can be done with so little...
49 posted on 05/08/2010 12:31:37 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: tlb
Because Voyager 2 is so far from Earth, it takes 13 hours for a message

As a message travel at the speed of light it a "Light 13 hours" out...

50 posted on 05/08/2010 12:33:04 PM PDT by tophat9000 (It ain't about Black... It ain't about White...It's about a Red...Trying to take our rights!)
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