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Voyager 1 passes milestone
Spaceflight Now ^ | 8/20/2006 | NASA/JPL

Posted on 08/21/2006 8:49:57 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity

Voyager 1, already the most distant human-made object in the cosmos, reached 100 astronomical units from the sun on Tuesday, August 15 at 5:13 p.m. Eastern time (2:13 p.m. Pacific time). That means the spacecraft, which launched nearly three decades ago, is 100 times more distant from the sun than Earth is.

In more common terms, Voyager 1 is about 15 billion kilometers (9.3 billion miles) from the sun. Dr. Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist and the former director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., says the Voyager team always predicted that the spacecraft would have enough power to last this long.

"But what you can't predict is that the spacecraft isn't going to wear out or break. Voyager 1 and 2 run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but they were built to last," Stone said. The spacecraft have really been put to the test during their nearly 30 years of space travel, flying by the outer planets, and enduring such challenges as the harsh radiation environment around Jupiter.

The spacecraft are traveling at a distance where the sun is but a bright point of light and solar energy is not an option for electrical power. The Voyagers owe their longevity to their nuclear power sources, called radioisotope thermoelectric generators, provided by the Department of Energy.

Voyager 1 is now at the outer edge of our solar system, in an area called the heliosheath, the zone where the sun's influence wanes. This region is the outer layer of the 'bubble' surrounding the sun, and no one knows how big this bubble actually is. Voyager 1 is literally venturing into the great unknown and is approaching interstellar space. Traveling at a speed of about one million miles per day, Voyager 1 could cross into interstellar space within the next 10 years.

"Interstellar space is filled with material ejected by explosions of nearby stars," Stone said. "Voyager 1 will be the first human-made object to cross into it."

Voyager Project Manager Ed Massey of JPL says the survival of the two spacecraft is a credit to the robust design of the spacecraft, and to the flight team, which is now down to only 10 people. "But it's these 10 people who are keeping these spacecraft alive. They're very dedicated. This is sort of a testament to them, that we could get all this done."

Between them, the two Voyagers have explored Jupiter, Uranus, Saturn and Neptune, along with dozens of their moons. In addition, they have been studying the solar wind, the stream of charged particles spewing from the sun at nearly a million miles per hour.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: jpl; nasa; space; voyager1
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Credit: NASA/JPL
1 posted on 08/21/2006 8:50:00 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

There are actual milestones 9.3 Billion miles from the sun? Do they have them every mile?


2 posted on 08/21/2006 8:54:26 PM PDT by keithtoo (Israeli defense strategy "Cogito Ergo Boom!")
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

Would have loved to have had the govt's .45 cents per mile for that trip. Seriously that is fabulous.


3 posted on 08/21/2006 8:54:57 PM PDT by shankbear
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To: keithtoo

The mile stone part is that it is 100 astronomical units from the sun - 100 times the distance the earth is from the sun.


4 posted on 08/21/2006 8:57:02 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
Voyager 1 should be sending back signals at least until 2020.

Still, a million miles per day is not even Warp 2.

5 posted on 08/21/2006 8:57:48 PM PDT by LdSentinal
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To: KevinDavis

Velocity ping.


6 posted on 08/21/2006 8:57:50 PM PDT by quantim (Victory is not relative, it is absolute.)
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To: shankbear

Ping to enjoy later..


7 posted on 08/21/2006 8:57:54 PM PDT by Bender2 (Gad! The inmates have control... And I'm trying to quit smoking!)
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To: KevinDavis

ping


8 posted on 08/21/2006 8:58:03 PM PDT by raygun (Whenever I see U.N. blue helmets I feel like laughing and puking at the same time.)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

V'Ger requests the information!!!


9 posted on 08/21/2006 8:58:24 PM PDT by HitmanLV ("If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking until you do succeed." - Jerry 'Curly' Howard)
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To: shankbear

Amazing...

are we there yet?


10 posted on 08/21/2006 8:58:46 PM PDT by Loud Mime (An undefeated enemy is still an enemy.......war has a purpose.)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
Voyager 1 is now at the outer edge of our solar system, in an area called the heliosheath, the zone where the sun's influence wanes.

Great. Soon to be entering Klingon space I'm sure.

Does Voyager really travel one million miles per day? Seems a tad on the high side.

11 posted on 08/21/2006 9:00:44 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Rabid ethnicist.)
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To: shankbear

sorry, but the government doesn't pay travel pay when the travel is in a government vehicle.


12 posted on 08/21/2006 9:01:36 PM PDT by Lokibob (Spelling and typos are copyrighted. Please do not use.)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
The Voyagers owe their longevity to their nuclear power sources, called radioisotope thermoelectric generators, provided by the Department of Energy.

No, they were provided by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). Voyager 2 was launched August 20, 1977; Voyager 1 was launched September 5, 1977, and the DOE was founded on October 8, 1977.

13 posted on 08/21/2006 9:02:14 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

Thanks for posting. My Dad managed the program at GE to build the RTGs that power the Voyager spacecraft. The project was originally "Mariner Jupiter Saturn." I remember all the incredible tests his team did to make sure the plutonium powered generators could survive a launch crash.


14 posted on 08/21/2006 9:03:28 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: Lokibob

RAT FARTS!!!!!!!!!!!!


15 posted on 08/21/2006 9:03:37 PM PDT by shankbear
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

Are we getting pictures or just radio or whatever wave/pings that merely say .. "I'm still here" ??


16 posted on 08/21/2006 9:03:59 PM PDT by knarf (Someone stole my tagline !! It was here a minute ago .. /8^( ...)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

Is that the one with the message from Kurt Waldheim in it?


17 posted on 08/21/2006 9:06:07 PM PDT by KellyAdmirer
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity


V'Ger must evolve.
Its knowledge has
reached the limits of
this universe and
it must evolve.

18 posted on 08/21/2006 9:06:24 PM PDT by One_who_hopes_to_know
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

Bump, BTTT, RamaLamaDingDong, as a bookmark. And what have the muzzies done lately?


19 posted on 08/21/2006 9:06:32 PM PDT by Not now, Not ever! (john F'n skerry = Spork Weasel)
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To: LdSentinal
Still, a million miles per day is not even Warp 2.

Well...since you mentioned it...


20 posted on 08/21/2006 9:07:54 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (Dawn of light...lying between a silence and sold sources...)
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To: Lokibob
"sorry, but the government doesn't pay travel pay when the travel is in a government vehicle."
Well, then per diem.
21 posted on 08/21/2006 9:09:55 PM PDT by GSlob
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To: keithtoo
Re: There are actual milestones 9.3 Billion miles from the sun?

Wow, those burma shave signs are everywhere.

22 posted on 08/21/2006 9:10:24 PM PDT by ChadGore (VISUALIZE 62,041,268 Bush fans. We Vote.)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

But when ending a mission and cruising to the next, Kirk always said, "Warp Factor Two, Mr. Sulu." It would have taken them months to find Zephram Cochran at those speeds!


23 posted on 08/21/2006 9:11:33 PM PDT by KellyAdmirer
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To: HitmanLV
[ V'Ger requests the information!!! ]

V'Ger is looking for "God"... and God is observeing V'Ger..

Could prompt a poem... or some prose..

24 posted on 08/21/2006 9:12:13 PM PDT by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole.)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity; aculeus; dighton; Lijahsbubbe; martin_fierro; BlueLancer
Voyager 1 passes milestone

Yikes. Is that like an oversized kidney stone?

25 posted on 08/21/2006 9:14:10 PM PDT by Thinkin' Gal (As it was in the days of NO...)
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To: GSlob
I'd settle for per-deim, at the rate set on the launch date to today. But I wouldn't be able to provide receipts. What is the O-Conus COLA for deep space?

/johnny

26 posted on 08/21/2006 9:15:05 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (I'm a SysAdmin again. Kneel now and arise quickly to get to your tasks.)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

I wonder who get the frequent flyer miles??


27 posted on 08/21/2006 9:16:42 PM PDT by DadOfTwoMarines
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To: PatrickHenry; RadioAstronomer; Junior

(( ping ))


28 posted on 08/21/2006 9:18:32 PM PDT by Virginia-American
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To: LdSentinal

If you miss your exit at that speed you're screwed.


29 posted on 08/21/2006 9:18:46 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Surely by now we could adapt that technology to provide power for us mere earthlings?


30 posted on 08/21/2006 9:19:12 PM PDT by Ignatz (Click your mouse three times and repeat, "There's no place like 127.0.0.1")
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To: VeniVidiVici
Seems a tad on the high side.

That's 41,666.66666667/mph.

Kinda slow, imho, given plain old orbital speeds.

31 posted on 08/21/2006 9:19:45 PM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

This prompts me to ask a question that occasionally springs to my mind. I just saw an astronomy presentation, and one image among the photos was of the Milky Way galaxy, with an arrow indicating the Earth's position in it.

The context of this image suggested that it, too, was a photograph. However, how can that possibly be the case if only a couple of manmade objects have even made it outside the bounds of our solar system? Is what I saw merely an artist's conception that wasn't identified as such? I'm sure this will seem like a stupid question to some, but it's just one of those things I've never had the opportunity to ask anyone about. If it is actually a photo, then how was the image captured?


32 posted on 08/21/2006 9:23:37 PM PDT by william clark
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To: william clark
It was either an artist's conception or a picture of another galaxy which Reuters mislabled as ours.
33 posted on 08/21/2006 9:27:02 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (UN Security Council resolution 1701: I believe it is ceasefire for our time.)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
Thanks for posting. My Dad managed the program at GE to build the RTGs that power the Voyager spacecraft. The project was originally "Mariner Jupiter Saturn." I remember all the incredible tests his team did to make sure the plutonium powered generators could survive a launch crash.

That's neat that your father was able to be part of that team. That's quite an honor.

Bill

34 posted on 08/21/2006 9:27:10 PM PDT by WFTR (Liberty isn't for cowards)
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To: VeniVidiVici
Great. Soon to be entering Klingon space I'm sure.

This will be its last transmission, I am sure...


Klaatu Barada Nikto!

35 posted on 08/21/2006 9:27:40 PM PDT by JRios1968 (This kid knows how to wallop a baseball!!!!!!)
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To: keithtoo

"There are actual milestones 9.3 Billion miles from the sun? Do they have them every mile?"

A marker for every mile,
to busy minds of every chil'
learning to count, add and subtract
makes them bright and that's a fact,
keeping parents sane all the while.
Burma Shave

36 posted on 08/21/2006 9:28:13 PM PDT by RebelTex (Help cure diseases: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1548372/posts)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Thank your dad for me.


37 posted on 08/21/2006 9:28:28 PM PDT by Not now, Not ever! (john F'n skerry = Spork Weasel)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts
Thanks for the warp chart post ... totally awesome.

You know I followed all of the Star Trek series until the last one (Star Trek Voyager). They really blew it with that one in terms of believability. They would have you believe that when the Federation starship USS Voyager was developed, star travel had become so far advanced that even a woman could be captain.

Just ruined it in terms of believability.
38 posted on 08/21/2006 9:28:40 PM PDT by One_who_hopes_to_know
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

Will we ever find three-breasted females in the Universe?


39 posted on 08/21/2006 9:29:25 PM PDT by LdSentinal
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To: william clark

They got the pic from a postcard from an alien...


40 posted on 08/21/2006 9:31:09 PM PDT by JRios1968 (This kid knows how to wallop a baseball!!!!!!)
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To: LdSentinal

"Still, a million miles per day is not even Warp 2."

You're right, but approximately 4,667 MPH is just a tad faster than my old jalopy goes, LOL.

41 posted on 08/21/2006 9:31:39 PM PDT by RebelTex (Help cure diseases: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1548372/posts)
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To: LdSentinal

I'll settle for a green, Orion slave girl.


42 posted on 08/21/2006 9:31:58 PM PDT by COEXERJ145 (Free Republic is Currently Suffering a Pandemic of “Bush Derangement Syndrome.”)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

PING...


43 posted on 08/21/2006 9:34:22 PM PDT by politicket
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To: LdSentinal
Will we ever find three-breasted females in the Universe?

Already done my friend. Al-read-y done!

Just take a hold of your towel and stick out your thumb and hitch a ride with Douglas Adams!

Eccentrica Gallumbits, The Triple-Breasted Whore of Eroticon VI

44 posted on 08/21/2006 9:36:46 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (Dawn of light...lying between a silence and sold sources...)
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To: COEXERJ145
I'll settle for a green, Orion slave girl.

Mmmmm. Marta.


45 posted on 08/21/2006 9:46:03 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (Dawn of light...lying between a silence and sold sources...)
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To: One_who_hopes_to_know
She's dead, Jim.

RIP

46 posted on 08/21/2006 9:51:37 PM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

Why does NASA forget about Pioneer I and II both of which are further away from earth than any Voyager?


47 posted on 08/21/2006 9:53:28 PM PDT by Basilides
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

And no mention at all of the freakish acceleration being observed? To me, that's the most exciting part of the whole mission. For some unknown reason, Voyager is speeding up as it gets farther away.


48 posted on 08/21/2006 10:00:58 PM PDT by free_at_jsl.com
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To: Basilides

Pioneer 10 and 11...


49 posted on 08/21/2006 10:03:54 PM PDT by demlosers
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To: free_at_jsl.com
And no mention at all of the freakish acceleration being observed? To me, that's the most exciting part of the whole mission.

An unknown attractive force? Gravitational forces from our Solar System is losing its grip?

50 posted on 08/21/2006 10:06:55 PM PDT by demlosers
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