Voyager Spacecraft Celebrate 30th Anniversary

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by syscom3, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    NASA's two Voyager spacecraft are celebrating three decades of flight as they careen toward interstellar space billions of miles from the solar system's edge.

    Voyager 2 launched on Aug. 20, 1977, and Voyager 1 launched on Sept. 5, 1977. Both spacecraft continue to return information from distances more than three times farther away than Pluto, where the sun's outer heliosphere meets the boundary of interstellar space.

    "The Voyager mission is a legend in the annals of space exploration. It opened our eyes to the scientific richness of the outer solar system, and it has pioneered the deepest exploration of the sun's domain ever conducted," said Alan Stern, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. "It's a testament to Voyager's designers, builders and operators that both spacecraft continue to deliver important findings more than 25 years after their primary mission to Jupiter and Saturn concluded."

    Voyager 1 currently is the farthest human-made object at a distance from the sun of about 9.7 billion miles (15.6 billion kilometers). Voyager 2 is about 7.8 billion miles (12.6 billion kilometers).

    Originally designed as a four-year mission to Jupiter and Saturn, the Voyager tours were extended because of their successful achievements and a rare planetary alignment. The two-planet mission eventually became a four-planet grand tour. After completing that extended mission, the two spacecraft began the task of exploring the outer heliosphere.

    During their first dozen years of flight, the spacecraft explored Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and their moons. These planets were previously unknown worlds. The Voyagers returned never-before-seen images and scientific data and helped make fundamental discoveries about the outer planets and their moons.

    The spacecraft revealed Jupiter's turbulent atmosphere, which includes dozens of interacting hurricane-like storm systems, and erupting volcanoes on Jupiter's moon Io. They also showed waves and fine structure in Saturn's icy rings from the tugs of nearby moons.

    "The Voyager mission has opened up our solar system in a way not possible before the Space Age," said Edward Stone, Voyager project scientist at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. "It revealed our neighbors in the outer solar system and showed us how much there is to learn and how diverse the bodies are that share the solar system with our own planet Earth."

    In December 2004, Voyager 1 began crossing the solar system's final frontier. Called the heliosheath, this turbulent area, approximately 8.7 billion miles from the sun, is where the solar wind slows as it crashes into the thin gas that fills the space between stars. Voyager 2 could reach this boundary later this year, putting both Voyagers on their final leg toward interstellar space.

    Each spacecraft carries five fully functioning science instruments that study the solar wind, energetic particles, magnetic fields and radio waves as they cruise through this unexplored region of deep space. The spacecraft are too far from the sun to use solar power, and instead run on radioactive generators that produce less than 300 watts of power, the amount of power needed to light up a bright light bulb..

    "The continued operation of these spacecraft and the flow of data to the scientists is a testament to the skills and dedication of the small operations team," said Ed Massey, Voyager project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

    The Voyagers call home via NASA's Deep Space Network, a system of antennas around the world. The spacecraft are so distant that commands from Earth, traveling at light speed, take 14 hours one-way to reach Voyager 1 and 12 hours to reach Voyager 2. Each Voyager logs approximately 1 million miles per day.

    Each of the Voyagers carries a golden record that is a time capsule with greetings, images and sounds from Earth. The records also have directions on how to find Earth if the spacecraft is recovered by something or someone.

    NASA's next outer planet exploration mission is New Horizons, which is now well past Jupiter and headed for a historic exploration of the Pluto system in July 2015.

    SPACE.com -- Voyager Spacecraft Celebrate 30th Anniversary
     

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  2. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    I think the voyagers were incredible and re fired many peoples interest in space at a time when it was very much in decline this on top of expanding our planatery knowledge by unimaginable amount.
     
  3. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    The sound recordings were from around the world and the sample for rock-n-roll is by Chuck Berry.

    Heres a list:
    Music On Voyager Record

    Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F. First Movement, Munich Bach Orchestra, Karl Richter, conductor. 4:40
    Java, court gamelan, "Kinds of Flowers," recorded by Robert Brown. 4:43
    Senegal, percussion, recorded by Charles Duvelle. 2:08
    Zaire, Pygmy girls' initiation song, recorded by Colin Turnbull. 0:56
    Australia, Aborigine songs, "Morning Star" and "Devil Bird," recorded by Sandra LeBrun Holmes. 1:26
    Mexico, "El Cascabel," performed by Lorenzo Barcelata and the Mariachi México. 3:14
    "Johnny B. Goode," written and performed by Chuck Berry. 2:38
    New Guinea, men's house song, recorded by Robert MacLennan. 1:20
    Japan, shakuhachi, "Tsuru No Sugomori" ("Crane's Nest,") performed by Goro Yamaguchi. 4:51
    Bach, "Gavotte en rondeaux" from the Partita No. 3 in E major for Violin, performed by Arthur Grumiaux. 2:55
    Mozart, The Magic Flute, Queen of the Night aria, no. 14. Edda Moser, soprano. Bavarian State Opera, Munich, Wolfgang Sawallisch, conductor. 2:55
    Georgian S.S.R., chorus, "Tchakrulo," collected by Radio Moscow. 2:18
    Peru, panpipes and drum, collected by Casa de la Cultura, Lima. 0:52
    "Melancholy Blues," performed by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven. 3:05
    Azerbaijan S.S.R., bagpipes, recorded by Radio Moscow. 2:30
    Stravinsky, Rite of Spring, Sacrificial Dance, Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Igor Stravinsky, conductor. 4:35
    Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, Prelude and Fugue in C, No.1. Glenn Gould, piano. 4:48
    Beethoven, Fifth Symphony, First Movement, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer, conductor. 7:20
    Bulgaria, "Izlel je Delyo Hagdutin," sung by Valya Balkanska. 4:59
    Navajo Indians, Night Chant, recorded by Willard Rhodes. 0:57
    Holborne, Paueans, Galliards, Almains and Other Short Aeirs, "The Fairie Round," performed by David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London. 1:17
    Solomon Islands, panpipes, collected by the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Service. 1:12
    Peru, wedding song, recorded by John Cohen. 0:38
    China, ch'in, "Flowing Streams," performed by Kuan P'ing-hu. 7:37
    India, raga, "Jaat Kahan Ho," sung by Surshri Kesar Bai Kerkar. 3:30
    "Dark Was the Night," written and performed by Blind Willie Johnson. 3:15
    Beethoven, String Quartet No. 13 in B flat, Opus 130, Cavatina, performed by Budapest String Quartet. 6:37
     
  4. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Good think no rap or hip-hop music was around during spacecraft assembly.

    Theres a bunch of photo's of earth included on that "record" on the spacecraft.
     
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