Thursday, September 28, 2023

Voyager 1, the first interstellar ship, celebrates 46 years of mission

This September 5 marks the 46th anniversary of NASA’s launch of Voyager 1 from Cape Canaveral in 1977 In 2012, it became the first spacecraft to reach interstellar space.

This 722-pound robotic probe is the first spacecraft capable of diagnosing and solving onboard problems. still in operation today and continues its expanded mission, which consists of locating and probing the boundaries of the Solar System, including the Kuiper Belt and beyond, as well as exploring immediate interstellar space by the end of the mission.

On August 25, 2012, at 122 astronomical units, the probe exited the heliopause.who was the first to reach interstellar space.

Its original mission was to visit Jupiter and Saturn. It was the first probe to provide detailed satellite images of these planets.

With a current distance of 161 astronomical units from the sun (about 24.1 billion kilometers), it is the furthest spacecraft from Earth and the first to leave the solar system, according to NASA. In December 2018, it was joined by its twin, Voyager 2.

Voyager 1 has about 17,700 years to leave the Oort Cloud. a globular structure of trans-Neptunian objects that is nearly a light-year from the Sun and will be penetrating it in about 300 years.

Voyager 1 is currently the furthest human-made object from Earth and is moving at a faster speed relative to the Earth and the Sun than any other spacecraft. Despite the fact that its sister, Voyager 2, was launched 16 days earlier, Voyager 2 will never overtake Voyager 1.

Neither did the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. Although launched from Earth at a higher speed than the two Voyagers, Voyager 1’s speed was increased by assisted gravity tugs throughout its journey. The current speed of New Horizons is faster than that of Voyager 1, but when New Horizons reaches the same distance from the sun as Voyager 1, the speed will be 13 km/s, in contrast to Voyager 1, which is 17 km/s, according to Wikipedia.

Voyager 1 is on a hyperbolic trajectory and has reached escape velocity, meaning its orbit will not return to the inner solar system.

Both Voyager probes have exceeded their originally calculated lifetimes. Each probe draws its electrical energy from three RTGs (Radioisotope Thermoelectric generators). They are expected to generate enough energy for the probes to communicate with Earth at least until 2025.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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