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Voyager Status, What is it?
Guest_PhilCo126_*
post Feb 14 2007, 08:31 PM
Post #31





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Indeed, both voyagers will overtake the Pioneer 10 and 11 as the Voayager 1 & 2 have a significant speed advantage. I didn’t calculate when they will out-distance the Pioneers but here are the formulas for the distances traveled by both Voyagers:

Voyager 1: 76.34 + 3.50 ( future year – 2000 ) = distance in AU
Voyager 2: 59.75 + 3.13 ( future year – 2000 ) = distance in AU

( 1 AU = Astronomical Unit is the average distance between Sun & Earth : approx 150 million kilometers )
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remcook
post Feb 14 2007, 09:08 PM
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ehm...I thought they already did??
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Guest_Analyst_*
post Feb 15 2007, 01:16 PM
Post #33





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Voyager 1 already did in 1998, Voyager 2 will in about 2022.

Link

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Guest_Analyst_*
post Mar 5 2007, 08:12 PM
Post #34





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The tracking schedules on the Voyager homepage from February/March 2007 don’t show the permanent HYBIC switch as planned in November last year. Maybe some unexpected results from the short test swap in early December.

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PhilHorzempa
post Mar 9 2007, 07:51 PM
Post #35


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Has anyone tried to determine if Voyager 1 or 2 will fly
anywhere near a Kuiper Blet Object?
Is there enough fuel on the Voyagers to conduct
a Mid-Course Maneuver to enable a close flyby of a KBO?
Assuming all of that, what is the status of each camera
on the Voyagers? When were they last used?

I bring this up because the Voyagers are now in the Kuiper
Belt, whose components were discovered after the launches
of the Voyagers, and because "new" KBO's are being detected
all the time. Perhaps one of those ice balls will be in the right
place at the right time.


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djellison
post Mar 9 2007, 08:09 PM
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The scan platforms have been switched off for many years, and there would not be the power to operate enough systems to make this a feasable exercise.

Doug
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Guest_Analyst_*
post Mar 9 2007, 08:30 PM
Post #37





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Aren't the majority of the Kuiper belt objects more or less (+/- 10 or so degrees) in the plane of the ecliptic? The Voyagers are going north and south by 25 or 30 degrees and are therefore in a region with not so many Kuiper belt objects, if I am correct with my assumption. The last time a Voyager camera was used was in February 1990. The heaters on the scan platforms are turned off and even if there is power to spare it is doubtful the cameras would work again.

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edstrick
post Mar 10 2007, 09:50 AM
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Not only have the scan platform instruments been switched off.. the scan platform HEATERS have been switched off. Hardware on the platforms is probably at pretty seriously cryogenic temperatures.

And while the majority of KB objects are near the ecliptic, that is increasingly seeming to be an artifact of where we're searching. a *LOT* of them have higher inclinations and spend much of their time outside the near-ecliptic search zones and have been found by accident as they crossed the zone.

Isn't Eris, the biggest KB Planet/Dward-whatever in a 45 deg orbit?
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Gsnorgathon
post Mar 11 2007, 12:40 AM
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Eris's orbit is indeed inclined nearly 45 degrees, though that doesn't necessarily mean it was 45 degrees away from the ecliptic when it was discovered. Your point about the artifact of where astronomers look for objects is a very good one. The Minor Planet Center's outer solar system plot is a great illustration of this. There's a big hole! And - surprise! - it's in the direction of the center of galaxy, where finding really dim objects is not so easy. (I suppose the fact that New Horizons is flying right into that big hole is great reason for optimism that some nice juicy targets will be found for post-Pluto encounters.)

I'd guess we should expect large numbers of TNOs at high inclinations, based on what I've read about planetary migration driving up TNO inclinations.

As always, this kind of discussion reminds me of the joke about the drunk who's looking for his car keys under the streetlight, not because that's where he thought he lost them, but because it's easier to look for them there. tongue.gif
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Guest_Analyst_*
post Mar 11 2007, 08:58 AM
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QUOTE
Voyager Mission Operations Status Report # 2006-12-01, Week Ending December 01, 2006

Voyager 2 performance was nominal during this report period. Activity consisted of the Attitude Control System Hybrid Buffer Interface Circuit swap test on 11/30 (DOY 335). The test executed as planned; however, extraneous commands were issued to turn on the out-board Magnetometer flipper and the IRIS instrument. Spacecraft operations have been returned to normal and the investigation into the anomaly continues.


There we have the reason why the permanent HYBIC switch has not occured yet. The MAG flipper (A mechanical device to reorientate the MAG sensor, it did put some torque on the spacecraft.) and the IRIS instrument (Unsued for years, on the scan platform.) turned on during the swap test. So the permanent HYBIC switch won't come before this is understood. Meanwhile, normal operation goes on.

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John Flushing
post Mar 22 2007, 09:48 PM
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http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/daily/local/43056.php

I noticed some false information in this article.

QUOTE
Voyager 2 was turned off in 1998 and is presumably coasting through space without a power source. Before the spacecraft was abandoned, it became the only spacecraft to have flown by the sun's most distant planet, Neptune, and its moons, Holberg said. (Pluto once was thought to be the planet farthest from the sun, but most scientists no longer consider it a planet.)


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brellis
post Apr 30 2007, 06:17 AM
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Regarding KBO's, which were undiscovered prior to Voyagers' launch: do the spacecraft have any way to scan ahead to see if they might run into or near anything, as unlikely as it would be? Even if they couldn't image anything, it would be a great feather in the cap of the Voyager team to detect a new object more than 30 years into the mission!
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Paolo
post Apr 30 2007, 08:41 AM
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QUOTE (brellis @ Apr 30 2007, 08:17 AM) *
Regarding KBO's, which were undiscovered prior to Voyagers' launch: do the spacecraft have any way to scan ahead to see if they might run into or near anything, as unlikely as it would be? Even if they couldn't image anything, it would be a great feather in the cap of the Voyager team to detect a new object more than 30 years into the mission!


The cameras have long since been powered off. They were last used in 1990. Their software has been erased, and the imaging team has dispersed.
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Dominik
post Apr 30 2007, 11:42 PM
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May be, it's a little bit off topic but would it be possible to power on the voyager camera again with the remaining power? Unnecessarily to say that they couldn't see much, because it's distance to the sun.


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brellis
post May 1 2007, 12:50 AM
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My earlier question pertained to whether any of Voyagers' operating instruments might pick up an indication of a distant KBO or even some wandering interstellar object of significant proportions. Pioneer may have already captured the prize, having possibly been deflected by an undiscovered KBO at around 8Bn km. It was affected by the object in 1992, and it took 7 years to figure out what might have happened.

I realize my original question is just a speculative exercise in a fantastic "what if", but here's what I've found in a quick search:

I read through the VIM proposal for the 2005 NASA funding review. As mentioned above and in other Voyager threads, the only devices left on are for measuring helioshperic and extraheliospheric features.

"The entire Voyager 2 scan platform, including all
of the platform instruments, was powered down in
1998. All platform instruments on Voyager 1, except
UVS, have been powered down. The Voyager 1 scan
platform was scheduled to go off-line in late 2000, but
has been left on at the request of the UVS investigator
(with the concurrence of the Science Steering Group)
to investigate excess in UV from the upwind direction.
The PLS experiment on Voyager 1 which had been
turned off in 2000 to provide power to extend UVS
lifetime, was turned on again in 2004 when there was
evidence that the spacecraft was in the vicinity of the
26
termination shock. UVS data are still captured, but
scans are no longer possible."


While it seems unlikely for the Voyagers at 100 AU to closely encounter any KBO's, they'll be in the KBO neighborhood for a long time -- Sedna's 10,000 year orbit takes it out to 900AU!

As to whether either Voyager craft could maneuver towards a newly-discovered object:

"The thrusters currently in use are expected to
last the rest of any mission projection. Nearly 1/3 of the
original propellant remains available."


While they're only using thrusters to keep the craft in optimal contact with earth, it is kind of amazing how much fuel is left. They sure saved a lot of juice using the "Grand Alignment" of the outer planets for gravity-assists to sling-shot the Voyagers out of the solar system!

Real world note: One of the many compelling reasons to keep the program alive is that the Voyager craft are making the first beyond-the-shock measurements of Radio Wave events generated during the declining phases of solar cycles. I have the mental image of the Voyager craft being the first to measure waves lapping at the shore of the "lake" that is the solar system.
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