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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 ...

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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 ...
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How do Voyager 1's Trajectory Control Thrusters differ from its Attitude Control Thrusters?

There are several popular news items about the recent test of Voyager 1's Trajectory Control Thrusters to see if they can be used for attitude control to facilitate communication with Earth. The ...
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Is there a planet walk with the positions of Voyager 1 and 2?

There are a lot of walks like the Sagan Planet Walk (see the list on Wikipedia). But are there any of these walks that include the position of the Voyager space probes? Some days ago I was ...
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Would we be able to detect an extraterrestrial “Voyager” if it came near us?

Attached to the Voyager probes are the golden records, which are essentially messages-in-a-bottle sent out into the vast sea of interstellar space, containing of course the "message of humanity". ...
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How does Voyager take pictures in space?

Voyager launched in the 70s. At that time, modern CCD or CMOS image sensor may not have been available. So how does Voyager take pictures in space, digitize the image and send it back to us? The ...
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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 ...
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Can aliens use Voyager to communicate with us? [closed]

An alien intelligence, after observing Voyagers trajectory to work out where it came from, would know that there is intelligent life on Earth. How could they use that information to start ...
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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 ...
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Why is Voyager 1 faster than all other space probes?

From the Wikipedia article, List of artificial objects leaving the Solar System: Although other probes were launched first, Voyager 1 was able to achieve a higher speed and has overtaken all ...
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Isn't the escape velocity for the solar system at the Earth 42.1 km/s? Then why does the graph show 36 km/s for the same value? Is the plot wrong? [duplicate]

The graph shows that 36 km/s is the escape velocity of the solar system at the Earth. But if we do some calculations, we will get 42.1 km/s as the right answer. I have been checking all other escape ...
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Satellite Position

The Voyager 1 took one last photograph in 1990 and after that, the camera equipment was shut off for power saving. However, the estimates of where the photo was taken in space vary by many hundreds of ...
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Voyager Earth to Jupiter journey time

Voyager 1 was launched on Sept 5, 1977 and encountered Jupiter March 5, 1979, a journey of less than 2 years. When I try to calculate the trajectory of the probe I assume a Hohmann transfer from ...
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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 ...
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What is the brown band in which we find the pale blue dot that is Earth?

In the famous "pale blue dot" picture: we see Earth in a brown band. What is that band? Is it an artifact of the camera? Is it a ring of dust orbiting around the Sun akin to the rings of Saturn and ...
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How did Voyager 1 avoid crashing into Jupiter?

Consider the following video (taken from here): To me it looks like Voyager 1 will crash into Jupiter. Obviously Voyager 1 didn't crash into Jupiter, but at a glance it looks like it will. What ...
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How are the Voyagers' thrusters configured in a novel way to minimize accelerations along Earth-spacecraft axis?

I've just read in Eshleman et al 1977 Radio Science Investigations with Voyager that the voyagers have: a novel attitude-control thruster configuration that minimizes accelerations along the Earth-...
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Do the Voyager probes experience time moving faster due to relativity?

Time goes faster the weaker the gravitational field you are in as long as your velocity is constant. The Voyager probes have moved a long way from the sun and its planets so I presume time must be ...
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Do electronics and mechanical components work in a vacuum or require a sealed controlled atmosphere?

I'm curious about the electronics and other instruments on Voyager and similar spacecraft. Are the electronic components kept in open vacuum or in a sealed atmosphere? I imagine cooling gets tricky ...
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Voyager 1 tape recorder

I followed the string of notes regarding the disturbances caused by the Voyager tape-recorder. It sounds like the recorder has a net angular momentum when the tape is running and that the hydrazine ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Most distant photo of the sun?

What is the most distant photo taken of our sun? I am guessing it may be from Voyager 1, but can't find an actual photo anywhere.
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Does the tape recorder on Voyager-1 still work?

I'm preparing a talk on data storage for an ASME meeting. Given that it's 20 billion km away, I want to quote Voyager I as the "largest control loop" in existence. I'm guessing the tape recording ...
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How are precision trajectory measurements made of trans-Neptunian spacecraft?

This question asks if Voyager suddenly encountered unexpected gravity from an unseen object, how would it be detected, and there are several answers. For the farthest probes - those now farther from ...
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Would a Voyager spacecraft trajectory change be recognized?

Consider the following hypothetical event: a Voyager spacecraft (1 or 2) changes its planned interstellar trajectory quite suddenly (I'm well aware of motion and gravity laws and I know that this ...
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Why was radio contact with Pioneer lost earlier than with Voyager?

Why was radio contact lost with the Pioneer probes much earlier than with the Voyager probes? The Voyagers were launched only 4 years after the Pioneers, yet the Voyagers are projected to last into ...
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How well can Voyager 1 separate Earth signals from Solar noise these days?

This is a follow-up question to this question and this and this answer. UPDATED: see additional information and discussion below. As it continues to move farther from the Sun, the angular separation ...
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Can Voyager 1 receive signals from Earth?

There are answers about Voyager 1 sending messages to Earth, but can Earth still send signals to Voyager 1? I am just wondering if the signal of the Sun will eventually overcome the signal from Earth ...
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Is the speed of the Voyager probes accurately described by Newton's or Einstein's theories?

I have read a book claiming that the speed of the Voyager probes do not fit neither the Newton's laws of motion nor Einstein's relativity theory. Is it a recognized scientific fact? Where can I find ...
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Why aren't deep-space probes launched from space?

This (amateur) question has always been on my mind. We send probes to leave the solar system, but when we reach there, their battery is almost empty, so when finally after ~30 years we reach there, we ...
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Efficiency of communications between spacecraft and control center

In space vehicle control and fault recovery, how it works is that a big brother copy is on the ground and being fed with most recent data from spacecraft, the little brother. This ground one is an ...
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Is interstellar plasma a danger for future probes and astronauts?

As Voyager 1 continues its trek across interstellar space it has been reporting increased amounts of CME Plasma and Interstellar Plasma. When these two types of plasma interact a shock wave is ...
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Why did Voyager 2's velocity drop far below escape velocity before the first gravity assist?

As per @kasperd's comment on another question. Looking at the graph below, it appears that Voyager 2 started at just over escape velocity of the solar system. Just before the Jupiter flyby, it was ...
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Did the designers of Voyager neglect the angular momentum of the tape recorders?

I have heard many times that the designers of the Voyager spacecraft neglected to account for the angular momentum of the tape recorders (on which data was stored). To compensate for it after launch, ...