Linked Questions

22
votes
3answers
17k views

Can Voyager 1 or 2, theoretically, return to earth if given instructions before their electronic instruments shut down in 2025?

According to the NASA Website, the Voyager probes will begin powering down electrical components soon with all electronic functions ceasing some time around 2025. With no ability to transmit back to ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

How to calculate data rate of Voyager 1?

I've read the following passage in the answer to the Quora question How can Voyager send a signal strong enough for us to receive, in spite of its enormous distance from us? And how can it have the ...
22
votes
1answer
3k views

Why was Canberra able to listen to Voyager 2 but not talk to it?

The New York Times's When Voyager 2 Calls Home, Earth Soon Won’t Be Able to Answer explains that because Voyager 2's trajectory has taken it way below the ecliptic, of the three 70 meter dishes in the ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How cold are the Voyagers now? Colder than LOX? Colder than SOX?

The MHW-RTG model Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators on the two Voyager spacecraft started out at about 1000C and 300C on the hot and cold sides, but will have dropped somewhat due to slow decay ...
4
votes
1answer
445 views

How will the Voyager 1 manage to generate electricity in the future or even now?

Voyager 1 has gone far enough probing the interstellar spaces outside the Solar System, after its Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators would completely decay the radioactive material inside, the ...
7
votes
3answers
298 views

What if the Voyagers had remained within the plane of the ecliptic?

On their last big-planet flybys, both Voyager 1 and 2 were given substantial kicks out of the plane of the ecliptic. If this wasn't so, and their flyby's were adjusted to stay within the plane of the ...
12
votes
1answer
856 views

Has DSS-43 ever been used in high power mode (>>20 kW) for an emergency situation?

This answer notes that while most Deep Space Network transmitters are 20 kW of power or less, one dish (DSS-43 in Canberra) is equipped with a transmitter capable of 400 kW. As described in 101, 70-m ...
2
votes
2answers
623 views

When was the last normal electron tube (valve) for electrical circuitry launched into space?

The answer to my question The first transistors in space: Germanium or Silicon? What about LEO? actually addressed both the first Germanium and Silicon transistor. So now I've gotta ask about ...
1
vote
1answer
324 views

Why did Voyager have to shunt unused electrical power and radiate as heat?

Reading about Voyager in The oldest computer (not) on Earth I saw the image below, where is shown a science instrument calibration panel and shunt radiator. According to the November 1980 NASA News ...
2
votes
1answer
511 views

Why does DSN sometimes uses two dishes at the same time to receive Voyager-1?

I just looked at the Deep Space Network site DSN Now at https://eyes.nasa.gov/dsn/dsn.html and I saw that both dish numbers 25 and 26 are receiving a 8.42 GHz downlink signal from Voyager 1. Both ...
6
votes
2answers
443 views

How would the Voyagers finally die if allowed to transmit to the bitter end?

According to this answer and this question the Voyagers will run out of power to "operate a single instrument" in 2025 for Voyager 2 and a little longer for Voyager 1. It is purported to be the end of ...
1
vote
1answer
206 views

When was the idea behind the DESCANSO Book Series first conceived, by whom, and what is its “mission”?

When was the idea behind the DESCANSO Book Series first conceived, by whom, and what is its "mission"? When I'm looking for information on deep space issues including communications and ...
5
votes
0answers
311 views

Frequency responses of Voyager's S-band high gain antenna's feed-horn and receiver front end & IF?

I'm working on this question. This is the farthest (known) communications link humans have ever engineered - an one node is running in deep space on 40 year old technology. Pretty amazing! In the ...
0
votes
1answer
202 views

Are the Voyager spacecrafts' X-band TWTAs currently set to high or low transmit power? How often were they changed?

In this answer I discuss that the Voyager spacecraft can be commanded to use either high or low power to transmit to Earth on X-band. Question: Are the Voyager spacecrafts' X-band Traveling Wave Tube ...
2
votes
0answers
229 views

Did any of Voyagers' receivers' front ends take advantage of the “cold of space” to lower noise?

Most of the Voyagers' electronics are kept warm by electrical heaters powered by their RTG's, and presumably protected by some amount of insulation from the "cold of space" which means loss of heat ...

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