AUG 15, 2017 5:58 AM PDT

NASA Wants to Know What They Should Tell Voyager 1 on its 40th Launch Anniversary

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

NASA is asking for your help in determining what we should say to the Voyager 1 spacecraft on its 40th launch anniversary in just three more weeks.

NASA wants to send a message to the Voyager 1 spacecraft on its 40th launch anniversary. What should they say?

Image Credit: NASA

Using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other forms of social media, NASA will collect message suggestions until the end of August 15h and choose the best ones. Afterward, the public will vote on what message gets beamed to Voyager 1 on September 5th.

Voyager 1 was launched into space to study the solar system back in 1977, but it surprised everyone when it lasted much longer than initially anticipated. It now resides almost 13 billion miles away from Earth in a region known as interstellar space.

Related: Here's what interstellar space sounds like, according to Voyager 1

Just to give you an idea of how far away this is, Pluto, which was visited by New Horizons in 2015, resides about 4.67 billion miles away from Earth.

At the far reaches of space where Voyager 1 exists today, solar-powered spacecraft wouldn’t get the power necessary to stay operational. Instead, a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (nuclear power) powers the Voyager 1 spacecraft and should last until around 2025, give or take a few years.

The probe continues to send signals back to Earth, hinting to scientists what it’s like at these far reaches of space. On the other hand, the equipment is limited in capacity compared to modern space equipment because it’s four decades old, so it can only do so much.

But don’t let its limitations fool you; the reason the spacecraft remains functional today is that Voyager 1 was intentionally over-engineered to withstand the harsh environment around Jupiter; and that it did while doing so much more.

Voyager 1 has taught us a lot about our solar system throughout its journey. For example, it discovered lightning on Jupiter, active volcanoes on Io, and a potential sub-surface ocean of Europa, among other things

Once Voyager 1 reached the outskirts of the solar system and transitioned into interstellar space, scientists learned how a protective bubble known as the heliosphere protects our solar system from cosmic radiation.

Voyager 1 may still teach us even more before its final instruments are turned off in 2030 or so, but even afterward, Voyager 1 will continue its journey through interstellar space in silence, breaking more records along the way.

What would you like NASA to say to Voyager 1 on its 40th launch anniversary? You might want to let them know as soon as possible!

Source: Phys.org

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
MAR 01, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 01, 2020
Utilizing the Moon's Resources for Lunar Missions
Plans for future space exploration are taking shape, and many of those are expected to be crewed. One such example invol ...
MAR 15, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 15, 2020
ExoMars Rover Launch Delayed Until 2022
2020 was expected to play host to a plethora of Martian missions, including the United States’ Mars 2020 rover, wh ...
MAR 29, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 29, 2020
NASA is Sending This Golden Box to Mars to Make Oxygen
NASA’s Perseverance rover, formerly known as just the Mars 2020 rover, will do quite a bit more than merely drive ...
APR 10, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
APR 10, 2020
Discovery on solar interstellar magnetic field
New information on the solar neighborhood has allowed researchers from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Un ...
APR 27, 2020
Space & Astronomy
APR 27, 2020
Hubble Snaps Gorgeous Photo for 30th Anniversary
The Hubble Space Telescope surpassed its 30th year in space on Friday, April 24th. Being that it’s one of the most ...
MAY 24, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAY 24, 2020
NASA Gives Green Light for Historic Crewed SpaceX Launch
It’s no secret that NASA is working closely with private contractors like Boeing and SpaceX as a part of its Comme ...
Loading Comments...