Questions tagged [voyager]

The Voyager program is an American scientific program that launched two unmanned space missions, the probes Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. Although they were designated officially to study just the planetary systems of Jupiter and Saturn, the space probes were able to continue their mission into the outer solar system, and they are expected to push through the heliosheath in deep space.

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Why will Canberra be 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 ...
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Why does Voyager 1 lose speed after the sudden gain in speed from gravity assist?

The Voyager 1 loses speed gradually after gaining speed from gravity assist. Is the external thrust is applied in the opposite direction to move closer to the planet, or does the spacecraft lose its ...
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Where in the Pale Blue Dot image should the Earth's moon be?

In the description of this image it is claimed that Moon should be detectable in famous "Pale Blue Dot" image. Detailed analysis also suggests that Voyager detected the moon as well, but it is too ...
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Could New Horizons take a “Pale Blue Dot”-like image this year?

Answers to At what exact time was the Pale Blue Dot image taken? say that the famous image was taken by Voyager 1 on 14-Feb-1990 and it took until May of that year for all the data to be sent back to ...
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Do the Voyager probes transmit analogue or digital data?

When the Voyager probes take a picture or record other data, do they digitize it on board and send a digital signal to earth (i.e. zeros and ones) or do they transmit an analogue signal (like old-...
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How does the orbit of the Voyager and New Horizons probes manage to get into interstellar space?

I understand that every probe launched has been launched into an orbit. The further you want to go into the solar system, the faster it needs to be moving. And everything orbits the sun until it finds ...
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Were there any identified launch windows and gravity-assist trajectories that could put a probe on a “Grand Tour” trajectory around 1981?

For context, I am developing an alternate history that features a far more ambitious Voyager program than the one undertaken in real life. However, despite the increase in NASA funding provided in the ...
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Does the Voyager team use a wrapper (Fortran(77?) to Python) to transmit current commands?

I assume that the vast majority of the people who created the software for these missions are now retired (the "space pensioners" of the Voyager mission). Here's a very good summary of the current ...
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Which Voyager spacecraft “mutinied”, and what really happened?

The August 2017 BBC News Science in Action podcast The Algae that Changed the Earth includes other topics, including the following: In August and September 1977, Nasa's probes Voyager 2 and ...
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What does it mean when the Voyagers “switch thrusters”?

The Gizmodo article NASA fights to keep the Voyager probes running after four decades says: As another example of the probes' need to adapt to circumstances to keep going, Voyager 2 has fired up ...
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How quick was the solar wind particle decrease detected by Voyager 1?

In the graph below, does each dot represent the passage of six hours? If so, does that mean the last dramatic decrease in solar wind particles, from ≈24 particles/sec to ≈10 particles/sec occurred ...
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Could the Voyager spacecraft be spin-stabilized to keep their high gain antennas pointing towards the Sun (and therefore Earth)?

A suggestion has been made that the Voyagers may run out of propellant and so may not be able to maintain pointing near the Earth for communications. According to @BowlOfRed's answer: Although the ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Are the Voyager probes radio output power scalable?

We know the RTGs will fail one day. Assuming Voyager probes have a full transmitter output power of 22 watts can/will this be scaled down as the need arises?
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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 ...
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How long could we communicate with Voyager 1/2 if power wasn't a problem

We will be losing contact with Voyager 1 and 2 in a few years due to the decreasing power output from their RTGs. But if I could wave a magic wand so that the RTGs would maintain their current power ...
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Why not send Voyager 3 and 4 following up the paths taken by Voyager 1 and 2 to re-transmit signals of later as they fly away from Earth?

Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecrafts are on their journey out of solar system. They collected so much of important data that helped us understand our solar system. As these spacecrafts moving out of ...
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What kind of signal Voyager 1 is sending to us?

I was reading on wiki about Voyager 1 mission and I found very interesting! One thing I did not manage to find: what is the signal Voyager 1 is sending to us? Is it simply a sinewave or something more ...
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What is considered a good SNR for satellites?

When performing a link budget for satellite communications, a key component is defining an acceptable signal-to-noise-ratio in order to obtain the necessary bit-rate. How does one determine what the ...
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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 ...
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Why didn't Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 crash on into Jupiter or Uranus when they approached near to these massive planets?

I was reading about gravity assist and I read that both the Voyagers used gravitational force of these planets to speed up. But I wanted to know why weren't they completely attracted by their ...
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Could outer system probes detect lasers shone at them from earth (orbit)?

Does the Voyager spacecraft have instruments capable of detecting laser light if shone at them? New Horizons certainly does. Any other probes? Is there any laser capable of accuracy and power enough ...
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Why is the operating temperature for the Voyagers' receiver noise calculation about 1550K?

In line 10 of Table 5.2 of DESCANSO IV - Voyager Telecommunications it shows a value of the uplink receiver noise spectral density of -166.7 dBm/Hz, which is 196.7 dBW/Hz which is 2.1E-20 Watts/Hz = $...
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Why is Voyager/Pioneer so slow compared to Parker Solar Probe?

Deep space probes should be the fastest ones, due to incredible distances they are supposed to travel. AFAIK, Parker Solar (PS) will reach more than 600 000 km/h, incredible. On the other hand, ...
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Would the Voyager probes go backwards affected by the strong interstellar wind beyond Heliosphere?

The Heliosheath is the solar wind piles up as it presses outward against the approaching wind in interstellar space. It seems the balance in pressure between Heliopause and interstellar wind causes ...
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Satellites around outer planets that act like amplifier to signals from voyager like objects

One issue of deep space exploration is that once the object (like Voyager) is far out in the solar system the physical distance is so great that the signal reaching Earth is very weak. I was wondering ...
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If a Voyager crashes into something, would we know?

A recent question asked about the feasibility of using Voyager 2 to detect objects in the Oort cloud. The answers indicate, among other issues, the instruments on-board the Voyagers would likely be ...
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How long to surpass Voyager satellite distances using modern technology? [duplicate]

NASA's JPL just recently acknowledged that Voyager II has now joined Voyager I in entering interstellar space after 41 years of space travel. This got me to wondering: when will we ever get to Alpha ...
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Is Voyager 2 capable of proving the existence of Oort cloud?

Yesterday on Dec 10 2018, NASA announced that Voyager 2 probe has exited the heliosphere - the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by the Sun and entered the interstellar-medium;...
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How are Voyager's 16 thrusters oriented?

@RussellBorogove's excellent answer to the question How do Voyager 1's Trajectory Control Thrusters differ from its Attitude Control Thrusters? describes the locations and usage patterns of the 16 ...
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Why didn't the Pioneer probes maintain communications with Earth as long as the Voyagers have? [duplicate]

The Pioneer Missions. March 26, 2007 PIONEER 10 SPACECRAFT SENDS LAST SIGNAL - After more than 30 years, it appears the venerable Pioneer 10 spacecraft has sent its last signal to Earth. ...
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Why were the Voyager spacecraft numbered “out-of-order”?

Voyager 2 was launched on August 20, 1977. Sixteen days later, Voyager 1 was launched on September 5, 1977. Why was the first spacecraft numbered #2 and the second spacecraft numbered #1? ...
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Unknown Moons and Planetary Flybys

I’ve a question for any trajectory experts out there: The Pioneer and Voyager probes discovered new moons during their flybys of our four giant planets (and indeed rings). These didn’t come as much ...
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What will the condition of the Voyager craft be like far enough into the future so as to have “truly” exited the Solar System?

I am curious about this. I saw this article: https://www.popsci.com/voyager-2-interstellar-space?con=TrueAnthem&dom=tw&lnk=TATW&src=SOC&utm_campaign=&utm_content=...
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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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How often do we get information from the Voyager spacecrafts?

Checking the JPL website for the Voyager spacecrafts (https://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/status/) I can see a distance input from the sun and earth. The description for the distance claims that "...
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Did Voyager 1 and 2 record while not near any planets to get “ambient mechanical noise” for smoothing?

Background: I was looking at a lot of the voyager spectrograms and listening to their sounds and I was honestly starting to wonder whether or not they had any sort of ambient noise negation applied ...
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Did anyone suggest theories on the sounds voyager 1 captured from 2012-2013?

I was watching this on the JPL Youtube channel and it doesn't have much context other than 2 minutes of footage, and cuts to slides with some information, but not a lot of information. I'm wondering ...
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How does a space probe maintain its trajectory while passing through the extreme gravitational field of the gas giants of our solar system?

Space probes like Voyager 1, 2, New Horizons, etc, traveled beyond those gas giants, how did they cope up with their extreme gravity? How was the trajectory of these probes unhindered by the immense ...
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Could space probe Voyager 1 or 2 reach Alpha Centauri?

Is it possible for Voyager 1 or 2 to reach any other star? If yes, which one is it and how much time does it take to do that? And in which direction are they now, and could we still communicate with ...
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Why is New Horizons' data transmission speed so slow compared to Voyager?

New Horizons was said to be able to communicate at ~1kbit/s at Pluto and 38kbit/s at Jupiter. Communication with the spacecraft is via X band. The craft had a communication rate of 38 kbit/s at ...
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Have deep-space spacecraft always used some form of spread-spectrum for data downlink?

tl;dr: Question: Have deep-space spacecraft always use some form of spread-spectrum for data downlink? note: I'm looking for some insight into why, and any possible exceptions, not just a "yes" or "...
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What is the difference in resolution between the cameras in Voyager and Juno?

Both Voyager I and the Juno spacecraft photographed Jupiter (among other things). What is the difference in camera resolution between the two spacecraft? Did we receive larger photos from Juno?
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Are the Voyager spacecrafts ever coming back? [duplicate]

The Voyager spacecrafts were sent out over 40 years ago to conduct closeup studies of Jupiter and Saturn, Saturn's rings, and the larger moons of the two planets, but something went wrong and they ...
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At what exact time was the Pale Blue Dot image taken?

The date of the "Pale Blue Dot" photo is 14 February 1990, but is its exact time of capture (or at least hour) known? I was a school child back then, and I am trying to figure out what I was most ...
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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 ...
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How is Voyager 1 still operating?

I watched a documentary on Voyager 1 and 2 last night and wondered "how is the digital equipment on them still operating"? I work in IT, and decided to look up what the longest running servers were - ...
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Shortest time to place a probe further than Voyager 1?

Based on today's technology (requiring no new engineering hurdles to be solved), could a new interstellar space probe overtake Voyager 1's distance? It doesn't need to go in the same direction, but ...
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How does Voyager 1 keep track of its orientation?

With the Voyager 1 attitude correction all over the news (related: How do Voyager 1's Trajectory Control Thrusters differ from its Attitude Control Thrusters?), I wonder with what instrument such ...