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(Reuters)   After 35 years, Voyager 1 is 11 billion miles away and has reached the end of the solar system. Boy, don't you wish NASA made cars?   (reuters.com) divider line 167
    More: Followup, Voyager, NASA, Ed Stone, Supernova, American Geophysical Union  
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9820 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Dec 2012 at 11:48 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-04 01:18:57 PM  
It seems that they've been saying Voyager has reached the end of the solar system for twenty years, Could it be they don't know where the end of the solar system is?
 
2012-12-04 01:18:58 PM  

croesius: The article mentions how long radio signals at the speed of light reach earth, but is it transmitting in light? Or radio? Not sure if I am missing something. But how long does a radio signal take to make it to earth from there?


hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu
 
2012-12-04 01:19:58 PM  

doczoidberg: Why don't they send out another one of these probes with the ability to continue functioning and sending back data for, like, 100 years?

What? Is that a dumb question?


It'd be expensive and require a lot of plutonium. Probably do-able though.
 
2012-12-04 01:21:20 PM  
subby: "Boy, don't you wish NASA made cars?"

Considering the percentage of NASA missions that have ended in explosive fireballs, not really.
 
2012-12-04 01:22:28 PM  
All a satellite has to do is go initially with a force and Newton's laws. Basically push it once and it goes forever goes there's no friction in the vacuum of space. What makes you think Newton's 2nd law would transfer over to cars.
 
2012-12-04 01:23:21 PM  

ktybear: My car has over 449,000 kms on the clock and still going strong.

I'm on the way back from the moon Alice!

/Subaru ftw
//go Voyager!!1!


What's that? Like 100 miles or something?

/We still doing this here?
 
2012-12-04 01:24:08 PM  

WhoGAS: ktybear: My car has over 449,000 kms on the clock and still going strong.

I'm on the way back from the moon Alice!

/Subaru ftw
//go Voyager!!1!

What's that? Like 100 miles or something?

/We still doing this here?


278,996 miles.
 
2012-12-04 01:26:58 PM  
I dont get the hate for Voyager and especially for Capt Janeway. My pet theory on the later is that nerds don't understand strong willed older female characters. The only thing they can relate to are females who belong in some comic book (e.g. big tits and skin suit). Hence the hate for Janeway. Voyager was interesting because they encountered new planets and races in most every episode so its like the premise of the original series and it made it interesting AND unlike original star trek, TNG - there was an underlying theme of an actual specific mission (we're lost, we need to get home).

DS9, which I tried to watch this summer on netflix (saw only maybe a quarter of the episodes during its original run), was so boring outside of the Dominion war stuff and maybe some of the episodes involving the Ferenghi (like Quark). They're on a space station so its not like they encounter new planets/races each episode, and there are all those long drawn out boring stuff with Sisko and his kid or his family. Zzzzzzzzz.....
 
2012-12-04 01:27:42 PM  
I'm an OTR driver (yes, chicken fingers and cigarettes are my diet in between having sex with HIV positive hookers) and came here to say this: There's a huge difference in the kinds of miles traveled. Most semi tractors spend their time out on the highway at constant speed. That's much kinder to the equipment than constant acceleration, braking, and turning that one finds in more urbanized areas. Diesel engines also tend to be longer lived than their gasoline powered counterparts. Furthermore, a vehicle maintained with great interest by the user (when it earns your paycheck, you pay close attention to problems) is always going to last longer than one where the user pays no attention to the trouble light that looks like a little oil lamp.
 
2012-12-04 01:29:18 PM  

Biness: Headso: j__z: I'd like to see a few more deep space probes sent out. Seeing that those probes are 35 years old and weren't meant for interstellar studies, It be interesting to see what type of info new ones could send back

/I said probe...giggity.

Also, could we send one out these days with better propulsion technology that would move it out that far in less time? Does NASA have any stuff like that they are testing right now? what's the deal...

i think New Horizons was designed for the Kuiper belt and beyond, once pluto is passed.


Voyager and Voyager 2 were rushed into space because NASA engineers found a rare alignment was happening to allow for some huge gravitational boosts from Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, then Uranus. Even New Horizons, which had a higher initial velocity than the Voyager probes when leaving Earth, will end up slower than them because of those boosts.
 
2012-12-04 01:36:01 PM  

MadMattressMack: Biness: Headso: j__z: I'd like to see a few more deep space probes sent out. Seeing that those probes are 35 years old and weren't meant for interstellar studies, It be interesting to see what type of info new ones could send back

/I said probe...giggity.

Also, could we send one out these days with better propulsion technology that would move it out that far in less time? Does NASA have any stuff like that they are testing right now? what's the deal...

i think New Horizons was designed for the Kuiper belt and beyond, once pluto is passed.

Voyager and Voyager 2 were rushed into space because NASA engineers found a rare alignment was happening to allow for some huge gravitational boosts from Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, then Uranus. Even New Horizons, which had a higher initial velocity than the Voyager probes when leaving Earth, will end up slower than them because of those boosts.


i knew something about the boosts, but not that part of it. thanks

i do wish new horizons would hurry the eff up already
 
2012-12-04 01:37:54 PM  

Bit'O'Gristle: funny how we make cars to last only about 1ook miles, but a semi can last over a million.


Cars are fashion accessories. Trucks are capital investments.
 
2012-12-04 01:41:26 PM  

SirEattonHogg: I dont get the hate for Voyager and especially for Capt Janeway. My pet theory on the later is that nerds don't understand strong willed older female characters.


Her character would probably have done better in a less "lost in space" scenario that was Voyager. Instead she's stuck in a show where ill explained technobabble and one deus ex after another save the day. How many times did Harry Kim die, only to be replaced by one from an alternate dimension? Voyager also stripped the Borg of whatever threatening presence they had.

Voyager was interesting because they encountered new planets and races in most every episode so its like the premise of the original series and it made it interesting AND unlike original star trek, TNG - there was an underlying theme of an actual specific mission (we're lost, we need to get home).

Or they have utter nonsense like "alliances" with the Borg and the "Omega molecule," which involves the single worst line to ever be uttered by a Star Trek captain I've ever heard.

They're on a space station so its not like they encounter new planets/races each episode, and there are all those long drawn out boring stuff with Sisko and his kid or his family. Zzzzzzzzz.....
DS9 was great, and if anything had far more developed characters than any of the other series. The Dominion War was just the cherry on top.

Now back to your Actual Fark Topic.
 
2012-12-04 01:42:33 PM  

doczoidberg: Why don't they send out another one of these probes with the ability to continue functioning and sending back data for, like, 100 years?

What? Is that a dumb question?


$$$.

/actually, more like $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$.
 
2012-12-04 01:45:20 PM  

JackieRabbit: croesius: The article mentions how long radio signals at the speed of light reach earth, but is it transmitting in light? Or radio? Not sure if I am missing something. But how long does a radio signal take to make it to earth from there?

It is transmitting radio signals. Radio signals and visible light are both regions on the electromagnetic spectrum. Both travel at the same velocity in a vacuum: 186,000 mi/sec.


JackieRabbit: croesius: The article mentions how long radio signals at the speed of light reach earth, but is it transmitting in light? Or radio? Not sure if I am missing something. But how long does a radio signal take to make it to earth from there?

It is transmitting radio signals. Radio signals and visible light are both regions on the electromagnetic spectrum. Both travel at the same velocity in a vacuum: 186,000 mi/sec.


Well, I definitely should have known that, but since I didn't, explodinghead.gif
 
2012-12-04 01:54:47 PM  

Mark Ratner: SnarfVader: [i212.photobucket.com image 368x500]

So, the caption in the picture is wrong and it didn't really exit the solar system back in 1990?


As stated by Doug Adams -"Space," it says, "is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space, listen..." Even the exit is light-years wide.
 
2012-12-04 01:57:30 PM  
What, again?
 
2012-12-04 01:58:20 PM  

oryx: It seems that they've been saying Voyager has reached the end of the solar system for twenty years, Could it be they don't know where the end of the solar system is?


That is correct. This is all new information as nothing has ever gone this far out of our Solar System to take measurements.

MadMattressMack: Biness: Headso: j__z: I'd like to see a few more deep space probes sent out. Seeing that those probes are 35 years old and weren't meant for interstellar studies, It be interesting to see what type of info new ones could send back

/I said probe...giggity.

Also, could we send one out these days with better propulsion technology that would move it out that far in less time? Does NASA have any stuff like that they are testing right now? what's the deal...

i think New Horizons was designed for the Kuiper belt and beyond, once pluto is passed.

Voyager and Voyager 2 were rushed into space because NASA engineers found a rare alignment was happening to allow for some huge gravitational boosts from Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, then Uranus. Even New Horizons, which had a higher initial velocity than the Voyager probes when leaving Earth, will end up slower than them because of those boosts.


Correct. Neither of the Voyager satellites had any propulsion aside from gravity. Is Dawn going to go out of this Solar System with its Ion Drive?
 
2012-12-04 02:11:32 PM  

SnarfVader: aka Read the rest of the thread where I acknowledge the caption is incorrect, but the picture is cool.


I love when I see something like that picture that I have a question about and then everyone answers it right away without me even having to ask, so when I get around to the thread I just get all the info I want on it immediately. It rarely ever happens this cleanly
 
2012-12-04 02:27:10 PM  

DeathCipris: oryx: It seems that they've been saying Voyager has reached the end of the solar system for twenty years, Could it be they don't know where the end of the solar system is?

That is correct. This is all new information as nothing has ever gone this far out of our Solar System to take measurements.

MadMattressMack: Biness: Headso: j__z: I'd like to see a few more deep space probes sent out. Seeing that those probes are 35 years old and weren't meant for interstellar studies, It be interesting to see what type of info new ones could send back

/I said probe...giggity.

Also, could we send one out these days with better propulsion technology that would move it out that far in less time? Does NASA have any stuff like that they are testing right now? what's the deal...

i think New Horizons was designed for the Kuiper belt and beyond, once pluto is passed.

Voyager and Voyager 2 were rushed into space because NASA engineers found a rare alignment was happening to allow for some huge gravitational boosts from Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, then Uranus. Even New Horizons, which had a higher initial velocity than the Voyager probes when leaving Earth, will end up slower than them because of those boosts.

Correct. Neither of the Voyager satellites had any propulsion aside from gravity. Is Dawn going to go out of this Solar System with its Ion Drive?


I doubt it. It was built with the idea of going to, slowing down, and orbiting Ceres and Vesta. When it reaches it's orbit of Ceres it is expected to have used up 385 kg of the total 425 kg of xenon propellant on board (source wiki). At that point it'll still be in solar orbit and in orbit of Ceres. I doubt it'll have enough for a Delta V to get it out of the system. Hopefully it'll have enough to look at 1 more thing before it's stuck in a solar orbit.
 
2012-12-04 02:30:13 PM  

Mad Scientist: I think the most amazing thing is that its transmitter has enough power to get a readable signal all the way back to Earth.


I recall reading many years ago, when Voyager wasn't nearly as far out, that a communication from the probe struck the Earth communications dish with less energy than a single snowflake hitting the ground.
 
2012-12-04 03:26:37 PM  

microlith: SirEattonHogg: I dont get the hate for Voyager and especially for Capt Janeway. My pet theory on the later is that nerds don't understand strong willed older female characters.

Her character would probably have done better in a less "lost in space" scenario that was Voyager. Instead she's stuck in a show where ill explained technobabble and one deus ex after another save the day. How many times did Harry Kim die, only to be replaced by one from an alternate dimension? Voyager also stripped the Borg of whatever threatening presence they had.

Voyager was interesting because they encountered new planets and races in most every episode so its like the premise of the original series and it made it interesting AND unlike original star trek, TNG - there was an underlying theme of an actual specific mission (we're lost, we need to get home).

Or they have utter nonsense like "alliances" with the Borg and the "Omega molecule," which involves the single worst line to ever be uttered by a Star Trek captain I've ever heard.

They're on a space station so its not like they encounter new planets/races each episode, and there are all those long drawn out boring stuff with Sisko and his kid or his family. Zzzzzzzzz.....
DS9 was great, and if anything had far more developed characters than any of the other series. The Dominion War was just the cherry on top.

Now back to your Actual Fark Topic.


I really had a problem with the ending of Voyager, I mean if you were the Borg and one enemy ship just kicked the shiat you of you and seems to have acquired future tech weapons that render you vulnerable what would your reaction be?

If I was the Borg I'd send everything I had right at the Federation and kick the crap out of them while I still had a chance. I'd love to see a new series based on that, call Star Trek Resistance.
 
2012-12-04 04:21:38 PM  

t3knomanser: If NASA made cars, they'd cost $1Bn. When something breaks, you won't be able to fix or replace it, instead an engineer will write ten-thousand new lines of code to program some other part on your car to do the job instead. It'll be solar powered, and the body will have the same sexy curves you might see on a brick.


But it would run for 6 years on a single tank of gas.
 
2012-12-04 04:29:09 PM  

jshine: doczoidberg: Why don't they send out another one of these probes with the ability to continue functioning and sending back data for, like, 100 years?

What? Is that a dumb question?

It'd be expensive and require a lot of plutonium. Probably do-able though.


I think you'd run into issues with the lifespan of the thermocouples on current RTGs well before the century mark. The new Stirling engine RTGs might be able to make the trip though.
 
2012-12-04 04:37:36 PM  

Slaves2Darkness:
I really had a problem with the ending of Voyager, I mean if you were the Borg and one enemy ship just kicked the shiat you of you and seems to have acquired future tech weapons that render you vulnerable what would your reaction be?

If I was the Borg I'd send everything I had right at the Federation and kick the crap out of them while I still had a chance. I'd love to see a new series based on that, call Star Trek Resistance.


Janeway defeated the Borg once and for all. And don't throw any EU crap at me, nobody gives a shiat about any of that crap. The only thing that matters is what happens in the movies and tv series. The same goes for Star Wars.

And if you hated the ending to Voyager, you must have really hated the ending to DS9. All the nonsense about the wormhole aliens (prophets) was unbelievably stu-pid. The best thing about DS9 was the relationship between Quark and Odo, the Klingons, the Dominion war stuff, the hotties on the station and Trials and Tribble-ations.
 
2012-12-04 04:40:50 PM  

theresnothinglft: t3knomanser: If NASA made cars, they'd cost $1Bn. When something breaks, you won't be able to fix or replace it, instead an engineer will write ten-thousand new lines of code to program some other part on your car to do the job instead. It'll be solar powered, and the body will have the same sexy curves you might see on a brick.

But it would run for 6 years on a single tank of gas.


Conservation of momentum, how does it work?
 
2012-12-04 04:46:02 PM  
So how long until Megatron finds it?
 
2012-12-04 04:53:24 PM  

JackieRabbit: It is transmitting radio signals. Radio signals and visible light are both regions on the electromagnetic spectrum. Both travel at the same velocity in a vacuum: 186,000 mi/sec.


What about a non-vacuum? Major difference in speed?
 
2012-12-04 04:55:41 PM  

pastorkius: I think you'd run into issues with the lifespan of the thermocouples on current RTGs well before the century mark. The new Stirling engine RTGs might be able to make the trip though.


Thermocouples should be pretty durable since they're just two metals pressed together. ...and even if they did fail at a certain rate, you could just over-engineer the RTGs with extra thermocouples at t=0 to account for the failures over time.

Basically you'd be launching a huge batch of over-engineered RTGs with the expectation that they would still produce a usable amount of power after 100 years. Given how much experience we have building these things, there shouldn't be too many unknown variables.
 
2012-12-04 04:57:14 PM  

saturn badger: JackieRabbit: It is transmitting radio signals. Radio signals and visible light are both regions on the electromagnetic spectrum. Both travel at the same velocity in a vacuum: 186,000 mi/sec.

What about a non-vacuum? Major difference in speed?


Yes, that's what the refractive index of a substance indicates.
 
2012-12-04 04:57:50 PM  

pastorkius: jshine: doczoidberg: Why don't they send out another one of these probes with the ability to continue functioning and sending back data for, like, 100 years?

What? Is that a dumb question?

It'd be expensive and require a lot of plutonium. Probably do-able though.

I think you'd run into issues with the lifespan of the thermocouples on current RTGs well before the century mark. The new Stirling engine RTGs might be able to make the trip though.


Make some RTGs that are empty of radioactive material, and "load them" when needed. The thermocouples won't degrade if they aren't being used. You might even work out a mechanism the shift the radioactive material from one RTG to another.

The real problem, though, is the radioactive material is going to decay whether you are extracting useful energy from it or not.

/TANSTAAFL.
 
2012-12-04 05:33:48 PM  
What's the mpg on that thing?
 
2012-12-04 05:38:20 PM  
Then some farking Klingons come by and use it for target practice!
 
2012-12-04 05:45:02 PM  

pastorkius: jshine: doczoidberg: Why don't they send out another one of these probes with the ability to continue functioning and sending back data for, like, 100 years?

What? Is that a dumb question?

It'd be expensive and require a lot of plutonium. Probably do-able though.

I think you'd run into issues with the lifespan of the thermocouples on current RTGs well before the century mark. The new Stirling engine RTGs might be able to make the trip though.


I'd trust a thermionic converter to last 100 years without maintainence before a Stirling engine.
 
2012-12-04 05:59:12 PM  
It's the equivalent of being shot out of a cannon. So no, I don't wish they made cars. That thing doesn't have brakes.
 
2012-12-04 06:02:38 PM  
Since we're referencing Carl Sagan, I believe he proposed in his book Broca's Brain (in the 70's no less) that we had then the technology to develop a spacecraft to be able to propel itself at 1/10th the speed of light -- using Ion drive which was all the rage at the time.

He suggested we could build that spacecraft, get to Alpha Proxima or Centuri in 40+ years, and then send a radio message back - all within 50+ years or in our lifetime. Using existing technologies.

If that was truly doable and we had done that, we could be almost there already and be waiting for the response right now.
 
2012-12-04 06:08:34 PM  

ChipNASA: Biness: Apparently they're in the very early stages of developing a warp drive.


NASA is working on a faster than Light Warp Drive.
/rly?? Ya Rly!
//Clickypops


Oh yeah, the Alcubierre Drive.
According the estimates I've read on its energy requirements:
If you could convert matter to energy at 100% efficiency...
And you converted the entire rest mass of the known universe to energy...
You would still fall short of the required energy to run this drive...
By several orders of magnitude.

So a good idea, although impractical.
Basically it is a way to go FTL without breaking the laws of physics.
But at that level of energy, you can pretty much do as you damn well please.
Including rewriting the laws of physics and spawning new universes.
 
2012-12-04 06:51:48 PM  

Sweeve: using Ion drive which was all the rage at the time


Still is
 
2012-12-04 07:09:39 PM  
The NASA car would have faulty parts that engineers saw, but didn't correct because it wasn't their area and they didn't want to step on any toes. That car would also explode killing everyone 2 times out of every 135 trips...or 1.4% of the time

so 62 million cars in the US that have a 1.4% chance of exploding anytime they make a trip, and let's just say everyone takes their car on 1 trip a day. So 868,000 deaths a day, at least. Sounds like a great car.


imgs.xkcd.com
 
2012-12-04 07:21:48 PM  

t3knomanser: If NASA made cars, they'd cost $1Bn. When something breaks, you won't be able to fix or replace it, instead an engineer will write ten-thousand new lines of code to program some other part on your car to do the job instead. It'll be solar powered, and the body will have the same sexy curves you might see on a brick.


The rover on Mars recently put there by a rocket powered skycrane is telling you to shut the hell up. NASA does way more with far less money than any other government agency, despite having to suffer being "led" by political appointees who learned their science from the back of boxed cereals. NASA is something to be proud of, and generally the people who mock their successes either suffer from tiny rocket syndrome, or mental midgets who think the reason space is black is because it isn't directly illuminated by the light of Jesus.

In short, go choke on twelve cocks.
 
2012-12-04 08:32:10 PM  
Cpl.D - a bit harsh if done simultaneously but otherwise ok.

when confronted with the fundie types (as opposed to the de-funding types) i use an argument i once read (can't remember from who). "what is the first activity set for man by your God in your bible? it was go forth and name everything. what is the first thing we do when a probe or astronaut sees something new? we name it!"

for the de-fundies: the tiny NASA budget has been repaid any times over by spinoffs. the sales taxes alone on products spun-off would probably cover most of their budget. remember it only totals about $800B since inception and that includes a few moon and mars landings and hundreds of satellite shots.

to think what they could do with real leadership and a guaranteed annual budget.
 
2012-12-04 08:39:01 PM  

thedad: when confronted with the fundie types (as opposed to the de-funding types) i use an argument i once read (can't remember from who). "what is the first activity set for man by your God in your bible? it was go forth and name everything. what is the first thing we do when a probe or astronaut sees something new? we name it!"


I really like that and fully intend to steal it for soon if not immediate use.
 
2012-12-04 08:40:50 PM  

dittybopper: basemetal: Wake me up when it hits the ort cloud.

If you know what it is, they you Oort to know how it's spelled.


"they you Oort"?

Paging Mr. Rotsky. Mr. Rotsky to thread #7466816.
 
2012-12-04 08:52:25 PM  
As someone who was at JPL today, I'm getting a kick...
 
2012-12-04 08:57:49 PM  

Raven Darke: ChipNASA: Biness: Apparently they're in the very early stages of developing a warp drive.


NASA is working on a faster than Light Warp Drive.
/rly?? Ya Rly!
//Clickypops

Oh yeah, the Alcubierre Drive.
According the estimates I've read on its energy requirements:
If you could convert matter to energy at 100% efficiency...
And you converted the entire rest mass of the known universe to energy...
You would still fall short of the required energy to run this drive...
By several orders of magnitude.

So a good idea, although impractical.
Basically it is a way to go FTL without breaking the laws of physics.
But at that level of energy, you can pretty much do as you damn well please.
Including rewriting the laws of physics and spawning new universes.



Your information is out of date.

Try as much mass-energy as Jupiter, not the universe.
 
2012-12-04 09:45:37 PM  

KangTheMad: Try as much mass-energy as Jupiter, not the universe.


I do believe they've narrowed it down to a metric ton at this point, but that requires exotic materials.
 
2012-12-04 09:52:11 PM  

basemetal: Wake me up when it hits the ort cloud.


Voyager is at 122 AU, the Oort Cloud is 50,000 AU. You might be waiting a while.
 
2012-12-04 10:01:51 PM  

scalpod: dittybopper: basemetal: Wake me up when it hits the ort cloud.

If you know what it is, they you Oort to know how it's spelled.

"they you Oort"?

Paging Mr. Rotsky. Mr. Rotsky to thread #7466816.


Nah, I think that was an autocomplete failure.
 
2012-12-04 10:03:56 PM  

jshine: saturn badger: JackieRabbit: It is transmitting radio signals. Radio signals and visible light are both regions on the electromagnetic spectrum. Both travel at the same velocity in a vacuum: 186,000 mi/sec.

What about a non-vacuum? Major difference in speed?

Yes, that's what the refractive index of a substance indicates.


Thanks. I don't fathom the math but the concept is fairly clear.
 
2012-12-04 10:28:07 PM  

RicosRoughnecks: KangTheMad: Try as much mass-energy as Jupiter, not the universe.

I do believe they've narrowed it down to a metric ton at this point, but that requires exotic materials.


considering the massive leap in mass requirements, in another 12 years that might not be a challenge at all.
 
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