Voyager – still ticking and learning all that is learnable

By | December 12, 2013

As I was thinking about how awesome No Man’s Sky can be, I got to thinking about Star Trek.  And then I got to thinking about V’Ger, which is the star of the first Star Trek.  That led me to wonder about Voyager.  Not the Star Trek starship Voyager, but the probes launched by NASA in 1977.  I went to the JPL site and it blew my mind.  Voyager 1 is still working and had just reached the edge of Interstellar Space, which is the beginning of the end of our solar system.

Voyager_1

Launched in 1977, the probes had reached Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune by 1989.  Since then Voyager 1 had been travelling toward Interstellar Space sending back data about its surroundings.  It’s got a limited power supply, which keeps its instruments working.  It’ll keep sending back data until it runs out of juice around 2025 and will drift in silence thereafter.

Neptune

Neptune

It’ll be another 300 years until it reaches what’s called the Oort Cloud, and then another 40,000 years before it reaches a place where it will be closer to a star other than our sun.  That is, if it doesn’t get picked up by some super-intelligent race of machine entities that facilitate its evolution and teaches it to find its way back home.

I wonder about all the things Voyager will see.  What will it find in 40,000 years?  Voyager will still be on its path, on its mission long after the human race is gone….

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