Way, way out there

It’s official — Voyager 1 has left the solar system and is in interstellar space. Actually, data indicate that it left on August 25 of last year; I would keep this date with October 4, April 12, May 5, July 20, October 15, and June 21.

Let’s think about the distances involved: it’s now 17 light-hours away, and it’s taken 36 years to get there. In another 12 years give or take, it should reach a light-day out… unfortunately at about the same time it’s expected to run out of power. Still, one may hope.

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2 comments so far

  1. thattallguy201 on

    What, they didn’t put enough solar panels on it? :D
    Puts me in mind of this classic facepalm from Usenet:
    http://www.science-bbs.com/191-space-tech/c783da8b66432fdd.htm#.UjMiiMbkvg8

    • The Rev Dr Sherwood Forrester on

      *snrk!* Well, the suction cup is a perfectly simple solution, except for that one little drawback… :D

      Actually, I shouldn’t be surprised if someone seriously considered it (for maybe a minute or two) before dispensing with the idea after remembering Space Is Different. Despite the rigorous mission training (I recommend to you Gene Kranz’s personal history, ‘Failure Is Not An Option’), a lot of 60s spaceflight had to just be made up as they went along.


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