Voyager team working to keep 42-year-old probes operational

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To keep NASA’s Voyager probes, launched 42 years ago to study the solar system’s gas giant planets, operational in interstellar space for as long as possible, mission scientists are making tough decisions to propel the spacecraft even further.

To achieve this however is no easy feat. It’s one that has required mission managers to turn off some of the probes’ instruments and thrusters in an effort to preserve power.

Publisher: SpaceFlight Insider
Date: 2019-07-10T02:51:53+00:00
Author: Laurel Kornfeld
Twitter: @SpaceflightIns
Reference: Visit Source

Not to change the topic here:

How NASA Will Prolong the Lives of the Voyager Probes, 11 Billion Miles From Earth

Launched 42 years ago, the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 space probes are now exploring the outer realms of our solar system. Sadly, the end of the mission is now firmly in sight, but NASA has a plan to keep the probes operational for as long as possible before their power finally runs out.

Voyager 1 and 2 were launched in 1977 within 16 days of one another. Both probes visited Jupiter and Saturn, but Voyager 2 was sent on a trajectory that saw it zip past Uranus and Neptune. Since then, the probes have journeyed increasingly farther into deep space, traveling at speeds approaching 56,000 kilometers per hour (35,000 miles per hour). The probes are now more than 18 billion kilometers (11 billion miles) away from Earth. Voyager 1, the farthest of the two, is so far away that a radio signal from Earth traveling at the speed of light requires 20 minutes to reach the probe.

Publisher: Gizmodo
Author: George Dvorsky
Twitter: @gizmodo
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At Solar System’s Edge, NASA’s Voyager 2 Probe Copes with Reduced Power

It’s a tiny bit colder in the outer reaches of the solar system, beyond the bubble of the sun’s influence, where NASA’s Voyager probes are in their fifth decade of speeding away from Earth.

NASA engineers have turned off a heater on Voyager 2 because of the continually shrinking power supply facing each of the spacecraft on their odysseys. The heater in question is paired with an instrument called the cosmic-ray subsystem instrument, which is still sending data back to Earth even at its new ambient temperature of minus 74 Fahrenheit (minus 59 Celsius). Engineers have also fired up a long-dormant thruster system on the aging spacecraft.

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Greetings Earthlings: There was a bright light and zap. The data presented above may one day be zapped to another dimension. Just thought you should be aware. Alert, alert. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.