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What's Next For Voyager One?

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Wade Hampton III

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Re: What's Next For Voyager One?

PostThu Dec 20, 2018 11:16 pm

What about the discs?

Voyager 1 is going at 38,600 MPH relative to us. It isn’t meant to be retrieved
by us. If anybody reads it at all, it will be tens of thousands of years from now,
by some other species on some other planet. I have no idea how fast it will be
moving relative to that planet, but if they notice it and decide to reach it,
it won’t be any harder than it is for us to reach Mars, which is orbiting at
50,000 miles per hour: you plot an orbit designed to reach the same location
at the same speed, which means that its relative velocity is zero. For all I
know, they may find it easier: if they’ve got better technology than we do,
they may be able to pack more energy into a ship and thus change speeds to
match course. As for reading the discs… well, we provided instructions,
though they’re coded in a way I doubt I’d be able to figure out. Assume
that if they’re smart enough to detect and reach the ship, they’ll be able
to puzzle out what this means...
Good Classical Music Out There
58756.JPG (38.9 KiB) Viewed 188 times

Wade says...
Stravinsky, Rite of Spring, Sacrificial Dance, Columbia Symphony Orchestra,
Igor Stravinsky, conductor. 4:35
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Wade Hampton III

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Re: What's Next For Voyager One?

PostTue Dec 25, 2018 4:58 am

What are present conditions aboard Voyager II?

Bitter, numbing, crushing, cold. So cold air turns to liquid, then
solid. The only warmth is coming from the few watts of heat radiating
from the plutonium of the radioisotope thermoelectric generator. The
forces of physics suck the heat from your very soul. The Universe
desires to spread all heat evenly throughout the universe - so it
rips yours away.

Many of the instruments are switched off, dark, and frozen. The few
still functioning are used in rotation.
58817.JPG (64.51 KiB) Viewed 151 times

It’s dark. It’s darker than the darkest night on earth. The stars shine
without the warm and friendly twinkle of atmosphere. The brightest one
in the sky, hardly distinguishable from other stars in the sky is our
Sun, Sol. Invisible around it are the planets. There is no sound. There
is no air. There is almost no light. There is no heat but the meager and
diminishing waste heat of the plutonium decay.

Voyager feels like it’s standing still in an endless cold, dark, airless
void - no matter how fast it’s going, there is nothing to see around you
to get a sense of speed. Your lifetime is too short to see the stars change
perceptible to your brain.

Voyager 2 speeds off into the dark. It may well be the last vestige of
humanity, a billion years from now, still not having exited our galaxy
- utterly alone in the void.
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Wade Hampton III

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Re: What's Next For Voyager One?

PostThu Dec 27, 2018 3:00 am

Voyager 1 after 40 years of travel, has reached the light distance of only 20 hours.
In evaluating this result, it tends to place a large damper on the ultimate ability to
reach anywhere that is significantly outside the solar system.
Alone In The Void
58827.JPG (36.23 KiB) Viewed 112 times

This graphic (which represents a logarithmic scale, based on AU) was created in 2013,
and so Voyager is ever so slightly more to the right. Voyager is estimated to reach the
Oort cloud in about 300 more years. It will be many generations of Caucasians to come
and go, before Voyager, then dark and cold, reaches the Proxima Centauri or Alpha
Centauri neighborhood.

Wade says, "And perhaps after eons have come and gone, Donya of Hervar will look up
at the night sky just aft of Vega the Pole Star...and wonder..."



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Wade Hampton III

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Re: What's Next For Voyager One?

PostThu Jan 17, 2019 10:13 pm

Why is Voyager 1 travelling at 17 kms?

In movies and on TV, science fiction spacecraft are often shown
firing their engines all of the time and travelling in whatever
direction they please. They can do this because science fiction
spacecraft get to ignore things like fuel mass. In real life, a
spacecraft sent out of Earth’s orbit has very little capability
and capacity to create thrust. The spacecraft is too small to
carry large propellant tanks. So, in order to ensure the spacecraft
can reach its destination, we have to have the upper stage of the
rocket that launched the spacecraft propel the spacecraft to such
a velocity that even with the constant depleting force of gravity,
the spacecraft will still keep moving outwards until it reaches
its target.

When Voyager left Earth’s orbit, it entered solar orbit with a
total heliocentric velocity (sun centered speed) of the orbital
velocity of Earth (about 30 km/s) plus an additional velocity
(about 6 km/s) provided by the Centaur upper stage of the launch
vehicle. So, Voyager began its journey, traveling in a curved path
about the Sun, constantly moving outwards, climbing out of the
Sun’s gravity well. That gravitational acceleration from the Sun
constantly decelerated Voyager by a small amount every second.
By the time its path intersected the orbit of Jupiter, Voyager
had lost about 26 km/s of that speed, and was traveling at
around 10 km/s.

The smart guys at NASA designed the trajectory such that as they
passed Jupiter, they gained some speed by being dragged along
by Jupiter. This is called a gravity assist. Voyager 2 picked
up about 18 km/s of velocity from that Jupiter gravity assist.
By the time it reached Saturn, Voyager 2 has dropped back down
to a little over 16 km/s. It received another gravity assist
from Saturn, climbing back up to around 34 km/s. It did this
again at Uranus and at Neptune. When it left Neptune, it was
traveling at just shy of 29 km/s. Voyager 1 had a different
trajectory and did not rendezvous with Uranus or Neptune, it
moved outwards at a faster pace.
59160.JPG (28.94 KiB) Viewed 27 times

That was 29 years ago. Every day, since then, the Voyagers have
continued traveling in curved paths that takes them ever farther
from the Sun and every day, since then, they have lost a little
energy and slowed, as the Sun continues to pull on them. But, as
they get farther away, that pull from the Sun gets a little weaker
and weaker, reducing the deceleration experienced by the Voyagers.
Today, Voyager 2 is traveling at about 15.4 km/s and Voyager 1 is
traveling at about 17 km/s. Here’s a diagram showing the velocity
change of Voyager 2, since launch. Imagine the Voyager one as
similar, but without the Uranus and Neptune diversions.
59162.JPG (32.44 KiB) Viewed 27 times

The yellow line shows the velocity of Voyager. The green line
shows the solar system escape velocity at that distance. Since
Voyager is traveling faster than escape velocity, the Sun will
never cause Voyager to drop to zero and fall back into the
solar system.

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