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Voyager-2 back in action

Engineers announced yesterday that Voyager-2 has resumed science operations after going into safe mode in late January.

“Mission operators report that Voyager 2 continues to be stable and that communications between Earth and the spacecraft are good,” agency officials wrote in a mission update yesterday. “The spacecraft has resumed taking science data, and the science teams are now evaluating the health of the instruments following their brief shut-off.”

Still ticking after 42 years in space. Take that, Timex!

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.


He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.
 

4 comments

  • Joe

    Talk about quality control, I have no Idea how complex this machine is, but it is an amazing feat that there is still communication with it.

  • Max

    Put “Voyager” in the search engine, there is a Lotta good information on this website.

  • wayne

    Joe–
    Voyager factoids can be found here:
    https://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/did-you-know/

    –The total cost of the Voyager mission from May 1972 through the Neptune encounter (including launch vehicles, radioactive power source (RTGs), and DSN tracking support) is 865 million dollars.
    –Both Voyagers were specifically designed and protected to withstand the large radiation dosage during the Jupiter swing-by.This was accomplished by selecting radiation-hardened parts and by shielding very sensitive parts. An unprotected human passenger riding aboard Voyager 1 during its Jupiter encounter would have received a radiation dose equal to one thousand times the lethal level.
    –A total of five trillion bits of scientific data had been returned to Earth by both Voyager spacecraft at the completion of the Neptune encounter.
    —-Uplink communications is via S-band (16-bits/sec command rate) while an X-band transmitter provides downlink telemetry at 160 bits/sec normally and 1.4 kbps for playback of high-rate plasma wave data. All data are transmitted from and received at the spacecraft via the 3.7 meter high-gain antenna (HGA).
    –The Voyager gyroscopes can detect spacecraft angular motion as little as one ten-thousandth of a degree.
    –A set of small thrusters provides Voyager with the capability for attitude control and trajectory correction. Each of these tiny assemblies has a thrust of only three ounces.
    –Electrical power is supplied by three Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs). The current power levels are about 249 watts for each spacecraft.
    –The resolution of the Voyager narrow-angle television cameras is sharp enough to read a newspaper headline at a distance of 1 km (0.62 mi).
    –The tape recorder aboard each Voyager has been designed to record and playback a great deal of scientific data. The tape head should not begin to wear out until the tape has been moved back and forth through a distance comparable to that across the United States. Imagine playing a two-hour video cassette on your home VCR once a day for the next 33 years, without a failure.
    –Each Voyager spacecraft comprises 65,000 individual parts. Many of these parts have a large number of “equivalent” smaller parts such as transistors. One computer memory alone contains over one million equivalent electronic parts, with each spacecraft containing some five million equivalent parts.

  • Joe

    Thank you Wayne, great link

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