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#voyager

As inside baseball as Trek humor gets.
(Star Trek: Voyager S2 E7, “Partutrition”)

As inside baseball as Trek humor gets.

(Star Trek: Voyager S2 E7, “Partutrition”)

Oh, Tuvok.
(Star Trek: Voyager,S2 E4, “Elogium”)

Oh, Tuvok.

(Star Trek: Voyager,S2 E4, “Elogium”)

(Afternoon) News Read Friday 13 September 2013.

Sorry it’s late.

image

One of my favorite Star Trek moments, methinks.  And Susie Plakson is in this ep, too.

One of my favorite Star Trek moments, methinks. And Susie Plakson is in this ep, too.

In case y’all were wondering, Sulu did rise to the rank of captain, taking command of the USS Excelsior in 1991’s Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country, then reprising the role in 1996’s “Flashback” episode of Voyager.

In case y’all were wondering, Sulu did rise to the rank of captain, taking command of the USS Excelsior in 1991’s Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country, then reprising the role in 1996’s “Flashback” episode of Voyager.

WASHINGTON POST: "Voyager 1 is currently more than 11 billion miles from the sun. Twin Voyager 2, which celebrated its launch anniversary two weeks ago, trails behind at 9 billion miles from the sun. They’re still ticking despite being relics of the early Space Age. Each only has 68 kilobytes of computer memory. To put that in perspective, the smallest iPod — an 8-gigabyte iPod Nano — is 100,000 times more powerful. Each also has an eight-track tape recorder. Today’s spacecraft use digital memory." »

Curiosity took its first drive on Mars today, traveling about ten feet.  But another NASA probe did something even more amazing last week, and has traveled waaaaaay farther — about nine billion miles — and in the process set a record for the space agency.  From Space.com:

On Aug. 13, Voyager 2 became NASA’s longest-operating mission when it broke the previous record of 12,758 days of operation set by the Pioneer 6 probe, which launched on Dec. 16, 1965, and sent its last signal home on Dec. 8, 2000. 
Voyager 2 is currently about 9 billion miles (15 billion kilometers) away from the sun and traveling away in a southerly direction, NASA officials said. For the past five years it has been sending back information about the outer layer of the heliosphere, the bubble of charged particles the sun blows around itself. No one really knows how long it will take to get to interstellar space, but NASA officials said the Voyager twins will have enough power to keep communicating with Earth until 2020, possibly 2025. 
The Voyager 1 probe, meanwhile, is about 11 billion miles (18 billion km) from the sun and traveling north as it makes its way out of the solar system.

(Illustration via Geeksmash.com)

Curiosity took its first drive on Mars today, traveling about ten feet.  But another NASA probe did something even more amazing last week, and has traveled waaaaaay farther — about nine billion miles — and in the process set a record for the space agency.  From Space.com:

On Aug. 13, Voyager 2 became NASA’s longest-operating mission when it broke the previous record of 12,758 days of operation set by the Pioneer 6 probe, which launched on Dec. 16, 1965, and sent its last signal home on Dec. 8, 2000.

Voyager 2 is currently about 9 billion miles (15 billion kilometers) away from the sun and traveling away in a southerly direction, NASA officials said. For the past five years it has been sending back information about the outer layer of the heliosphere, the bubble of charged particles the sun blows around itself. No one really knows how long it will take to get to interstellar space, but NASA officials said the Voyager twins will have enough power to keep communicating with Earth until 2020, possibly 2025.

The Voyager 1 probe, meanwhile, is about 11 billion miles (18 billion km) from the sun and traveling north as it makes its way out of the solar system.

(Illustration via Geeksmash.com)

"Pioneer 10 made valuable scientific investigations in the outer regions of our solar system until the end of its science mission on 31 March 1997. The Pioneer 10 weak signal continued to be tracked by the DSN as part of an advanced concept study of communication technology in support of NASA's future interstellar probe mission. The power source on Pioneer 10 finally degraded to the point where the signal to Earth dropped below the threshold for detection in 2003. Pioneer 10 will continue to coast silently as a ghost ship through deep space into interstellar space, heading generally for the red star Aldebaran, which forms the eye of Taurus (The Bull). Aldebaran is about 68 light years away and it will take Pioneer over 2 million years to reach it." »

I guess it’s reasonable to think that Pioneer 10 indeed left the Solar System before Voyager 1 will, but since the latter is actually sending back telemetry, it’s probably safer to say that Voyager will be the first confirmed human-made object to venture into interstellar space.

Either way, they’re both very, very lonely.  :-(

(h/t to theexhaustedmind)

DUDE, WHERE’RE MY SATELLITES?   What is humanity’s most distant spacecraft?  Launched in 1977, Voyager 1 now holds that distinction at 17.5 billion kilometers from the Sun.  That corresponds to 16 light-hours or 117 Astronomical Units (AU).  This graphic shows the position of Voyager 1 relative to the outer solar system (top and side views) along with other distant spacecraft contenders.  Next most distant, Pioneer 10 is about 15.4 billion kilometers from the Sun, though on the opposite side of the solar system from Voyager 1.  Voyager 2 and Pioneer 11, both also well beyond the orbit of Pluto, are 14.2 billion and 12.4 billion kilometers from the Sun respectively.  Still outbound for Pluto, the New Horizons spacecraft is presently 3 billion kilometers from the Sun and will encounter the Pluto system in July of 2015.  All these spacecraft have used sling-shot style gravity assist maneuvers to increase their speeds through the outer solar system.  Voyager 1 is moving the fastest though, escaping the solar system at about 17 kilometers per second.  Still operational, both Voyagers are headed towards the outer boundary of the solar system, in search of the heliopause and the beginning of interstellar space.  (Photo: JPL-CalTech via NASA APOD; click through for larger version)

DUDE, WHERE’RE MY SATELLITES?   What is humanity’s most distant spacecraft? Launched in 1977, Voyager 1 now holds that distinction at 17.5 billion kilometers from the Sun. That corresponds to 16 light-hours or 117 Astronomical Units (AU). This graphic shows the position of Voyager 1 relative to the outer solar system (top and side views) along with other distant spacecraft contenders. Next most distant, Pioneer 10 is about 15.4 billion kilometers from the Sun, though on the opposite side of the solar system from Voyager 1. Voyager 2 and Pioneer 11, both also well beyond the orbit of Pluto, are 14.2 billion and 12.4 billion kilometers from the Sun respectively. Still outbound for Pluto, the New Horizons spacecraft is presently 3 billion kilometers from the Sun and will encounter the Pluto system in July of 2015. All these spacecraft have used sling-shot style gravity assist maneuvers to increase their speeds through the outer solar system. Voyager 1 is moving the fastest though, escaping the solar system at about 17 kilometers per second. Still operational, both Voyagers are headed towards the outer boundary of the solar system, in search of the heliopause and the beginning of interstellar space.  (Photo: JPL-CalTech via NASA APOD; click through for larger version)

RING PLOPS   Scientists first saw these somewhat wedge-shaped, transient clouds of  tiny particles known as “spokes” in images transmitted from NASA’s Voyager  spacecraft in August, 1981.  They dubbed these features in Saturn’s B ring “spokes”  because they looked like bicycle spokes. An electrostatic charge, the  way static electricity on Earth can raise the hair on your arms, appears  to be levitating tiny ring particles above the ring plane, but  scientists are still figuring out how the particles get that charge: NASA’s Cassini spacecraft documented the phenomenon more than 28 years later on November 2, 2008.
The other most fascinating thing to me about these images is the contrast in picture resolution three decades apart.
(Photos via NASA)

RING PLOPS   Scientists first saw these somewhat wedge-shaped, transient clouds of tiny particles known as “spokes” in images transmitted from NASA’s Voyager spacecraft in August, 1981.  They dubbed these features in Saturn’s B ring “spokes” because they looked like bicycle spokes. An electrostatic charge, the way static electricity on Earth can raise the hair on your arms, appears to be levitating tiny ring particles above the ring plane, but scientists are still figuring out how the particles get that charge: NASA’s Cassini spacecraft documented the phenomenon more than 28 years later on November 2, 2008.

The other most fascinating thing to me about these images is the contrast in picture resolution three decades apart.

(Photos via NASA)