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 Posted:   Dec 2, 2017 - 9:18 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

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

NASA's far-flung Voyager 1 spacecraft has taken its backup thrusters out of mothballs.
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 mission team didn’t do this out of idle curiosity. Voyager 1 — which in August 2012 became the first human-made object ever to enter interstellar space — has long been using its standard attitude-control thrusters to orient itself into the proper position to communicate with Earth. But the performance of these thrusters has been flagging for at least three years, so mission team members wanted to find an alternative option.

The little engines passed the test with flying colors, NASA officials said."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."

Source: https://www.space.com/38967-voyager-1-fires-backup-thrusters-after-37-years.html

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 2, 2017 - 9:49 PM   
 By:   The Wanderer   (Member)

This is pretty amazing.

 
 Posted:   Dec 2, 2017 - 11:59 PM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

Pioneer 10 would have been the first spacecraft to leave the solar system, but Voyager 1 is traveling a great deal faster.

 
 Posted:   Dec 3, 2017 - 6:29 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Yes, it is quite amazing! I wonder how long it takes for a signal to reach the spacecraft considering it's distance from Earth? I also wonder if it's really in interstellar space. Cosmologists seem to be extending the reach of the Milky Way galaxy to the point it's almost touching the Andromeda galaxy. (Which is heading our way anyway) Though I think Voyager made a "left turn" and not heading towards Andromeda.

 
 Posted:   Dec 3, 2017 - 7:22 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

They are all so far away it makes you think about how far does something have to be to exist in our 'present' time. The interesting thing is you can think about Voyager, and what it might be doing right 'now', but to communicate with it in 'real time' is out of the question - it may as well be in a parallel universe.

What is the status of defunct man-made objects once they are so far from earth they no longer preside in concurrent reality? They are then essentially emissaries from the planet earth. New Horizons was not in real-time contact with earth when it passed by its mission objective, Pluto and its cohort of satellites. But it still holds a 'live wire' connection to earth because it has an operational mission objective yet to fulfill. It too, will eventually become a 'time machine' legend.

 
 Posted:   Dec 3, 2017 - 12:02 PM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

...This should make a big difference for the mission, team members said. "With these thrusters that are still functional after 37 years without use, we will be able to extend the life of the Voyager 1 spacecraft by two to three years," Voyager project manager Suzanne Dodd, also of JPL, said in the same statement."

So what exactly is "the mission"? Is it beaming back info at all? And dont bring up sex and ST:TMP.
There's also it's twin....

Voyager 2 is expected to join its sibling in interstellar space in the next few years, NASA officials said.
The mission team will probably do a similar TCM test on Voyager 2 at some point, but that spacecraft's attitude-control thrusters are in better shape than those of Voyager 1, NASA officials said.

 
 Posted:   Dec 3, 2017 - 12:15 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

...This should make a big difference for the mission, team members said. "With these thrusters that are still functional after 37 years without use, we will be able to extend the life of the Voyager 1 spacecraft by two to three years," Voyager project manager Suzanne Dodd, also of JPL, said in the same statement."

So what exactly is "the mission"? Is it beaming back info at all? And dont bring up sex and ST:TMP.
There's also it's twin....

Voyager 2 is expected to join its sibling in interstellar space in the next few years, NASA officials said.
The mission team will probably do a similar TCM test on Voyager 2 at some point, but that spacecraft's attitude-control thrusters are in better shape than those of Voyager 1, NASA officials said.


That was my first though!

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 3, 2017 - 1:21 PM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

This brings back the old Timex watch slogan: "Takes a licking and keeps on ticking."

 
 Posted:   Dec 3, 2017 - 2:35 PM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

If they had thought ahead, or equipped it with AI, it would be singing back to us "Baby it's cold out here..."

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 3, 2017 - 5:58 PM   
 By:   Joe 1956   (Member)

....I wonder how long it takes for a signal to reach the spacecraft considering it's distance from Earth?...

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/voyager-1-fires-up-thrusters-after-37

"On Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, Voyager engineers fired up the four TCM thrusters for the first time in 37 years and tested their ability to orient the spacecraft using 10-millisecond pulses. The team waited eagerly as the test results traveled through space, taking 19 hours and 35 minutes to reach an antenna in Goldstone, California, that is part of NASA's Deep Space Network.

Lo and behold, on Wednesday, Nov. 29, they learned the TCM thrusters worked perfectly -- and just as well as the attitude control thrusters."

 
 Posted:   Dec 4, 2017 - 12:03 AM   
 By:   Warlok   (Member)

"Now we know, you've been at this firm for a long time... "

"... But, Thrusters... YOU'RE F I R E D!"

 
 Posted:   Dec 4, 2017 - 3:37 AM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

"Now we know, you've been at this firm for a long time... "

"... But, Thrusters... YOU'RE F I R E D!"


"But I have such a good working attitude..." embarrassment

 
 Posted:   Dec 4, 2017 - 8:48 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

It seems they are testing the environment with a plastic dumping feasibility study.

 
 Posted:   Dec 4, 2017 - 8:55 AM   
 By:   Warlok   (Member)

smile

Had to do that. I think it's become an involuntary reaction now.

But seriously... you're fired.

Okay, no - that *is* amazing. I would have to say the engineers of the probe must be awfully proud.

 
 Posted:   Dec 4, 2017 - 9:03 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Oh yes. They sure know how to make puff pastry!

 
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