NASA will shoot the iconic Voyager 1, Voyager 2 into space where no man has gone before?

NASA will shoot the iconic Voyager 1, Voyager 2 into space where no man has gone before?

NASA’s Voyager 1, Voyager 2 spacecraft may soon shut down after 44 years of service. They are deep in space, where no man-made object has ever reached.

NASA is planning to shut down its Voyager spacecraft after 44 years of long service. Both Voyager 1, Voyager 2 spacecraft have traveled more than any man-made object ever before and are remarkably still tasked with sending back precious data to NASA from their positions in deep space billions of kilometers from Earth. are. But now, it may be entering its final stage. However, far from being killed, the spacecraft will be decommissioned gradually and the intention is to maintain them until at least 2030.

Launched in 1977 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, Voyager 2 took advantage of the rare alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune for interstellar travel. It was launched before Voyager 1. Both spacecraft were launched to study the outer planets in our solar system as well as travel into uncharted space.

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The Voyager spacecraft were designed to last 5 years but have withstood the test of time and withstood the impacts of space and remains in service. Both Voyager spacecraft are operating well enough to escape the heliopause, a hot plasma bubble at the edge of our solar system.

“We’re 44-and-a-half years old, so we put a 10-fold warranty on the darn things,” said NASA physicist Ralph McNutt. He was talking to Scientific American.

The Voyager spacecraft is powered by radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) that use heat from decaying plutonium fields to power the spacecraft. According to NASA, electricity generation is declining at the rate of four watts per year.

This means systems aboard the Voyager spacecraft are shutting down. Voyager 1 has only four instruments left which are currently operational while Voyager 2 has five instruments left. Soon, both spacecraft will shut down and be lost in space forever.

NASA estimates that plutonium will pass the decay limit by 2025 and the spacecraft will stop working permanently. Both Voyager spacecraft are doing much more work than scientists expected for as long as they have.

Speaking to Scientific American, Linda Spilker, a NASA JPL scientist who worked on the Voyager mission, said, “If all goes well, maybe we can extend the mission to 2030. It just depends on power.” It does. That’s the limiting point.”