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
JUN 15, 2020
Space & Astronomy
This Drop Tower Simulates Near-Zero Gravity On Earth
JUN 15, 2020
This Drop Tower Simulates Near-Zero Gravity On Earth
It’s almost impossible to replicate the effects of zero gravity here on Earth, and that’s one of the reasons ...
JUN 16, 2020
Space & Astronomy
What Will it Take to Photograph a Black Hole's Photon Ring?
JUN 16, 2020
What Will it Take to Photograph a Black Hole's Photon Ring?
Just over a year ago, astronomers tapped into the power of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a network of eight radio t ...
JUL 23, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Was There a Magnetic Network of Cosmic Scale?
JUL 23, 2020
Was There a Magnetic Network of Cosmic Scale?
William Gilbert, the British physicist and physician who experimentally verified the magnetic nature of our planet, cont ...
AUG 09, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Human Spaceflight Returns to the US with SpaceX's Success
AUG 09, 2020
Human Spaceflight Returns to the US with SpaceX's Success
On August 7, A SpaceX recovery vessel called GO Navigator brought the Crew Dragon capsule back to its home port.
OCT 10, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Are There Planets Better for Life than Earth?
OCT 10, 2020
Are There Planets Better for Life than Earth?
Researchers have found at least 24 planets outside of our solar system may be better for life than Earth. Each a little ...
OCT 23, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Astronomers Merge AI and Photonics to Find New Earths
OCT 23, 2020
Astronomers Merge AI and Photonics to Find New Earths
Researchers from the University of Sydney have developed a new type of sensor capable of measuring and correcting starli ...
Loading Comments...