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Pioneering NASA Spacecraft Mark 30 Years of Flight
jmjawors
post Aug 20 2007, 06:35 PM
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-Link-

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2007-092


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Del Palmer
post Aug 21 2007, 01:16 PM
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Here's a news snippet I wasn't aware of:

QUOTE
In a little-known footnote to space history, Voyager 1's Titan booster shut down prematurely after liftoff. The powerful Centaur upper stage was barely able to compensate, reaching escape velocity 3.4 seconds before running out of fuel. Luckily, Voyager 1 would still reach Jupiter and Saturn as planned.

However, had the underachieving Titan been used instead for Voyager 2, whose trajectory hinged on getting maximum performance from its booster, its eventual encounters with Uranus (in 1986) and Neptune (in 1989) would have been lost. By pure chance, Voyager 2 got the better rocket.


Seems like the Uranus and Neptune encounters hung by a thread in more ways than one...


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ugordan
post Aug 21 2007, 03:03 PM
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Is there a reference for the booster underperformance? Didn't Voyager 1 actually put a higher demand on the launch vehicle as it was launched on a faster trajectory?
This quote also seems inaccurate to me:

QUOTE
Voyager 1's launch took place 16 days later, on September 5th, when the planetary alignment was better for reaching Jupiter and Saturn — but by which time the Uranus-Neptune trajectory "window" had closed.
Is it not the case of Vgr 1 not being able to reach Uranus and Neptune solely because the Titan flyby would severely bend the trajectory out of the ecliptic, making any further planetary encounters impossible? In case of Voyager 1's failure, 2 would have been retargetted to Titan and would also have lost Uranus and Neptune.


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jmjawors
post Aug 22 2007, 02:46 AM
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Well, I don't know about any of these things, but since this is a birthday thread I'll give my thoughts along those lines.

Voyager occupies a really special place with me. I can remember back to what passed as NASA - TV back then, I think it was V2's flyby of Saturn. I had just become old enough to know what the Voyagers were and what they were doing and I sat for days in front of the TV... watching the images come in just as the mission scientists did back at JPL. It launched a deep interest in astronomy (and later spaceflight itself) that's lasted and defined me ever since.

Thank you Voyager.... here's to 30 MORE years!

*raises glass*


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Paolo
post Aug 22 2007, 07:58 AM
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QUOTE (ugordan @ Aug 21 2007, 05:03 PM) *
Is there a reference for the booster underperformance? Didn't Voyager 1 actually put a higher demand on the launch vehicle as it was launched on a faster trajectory?


A reference for this is Bruce Murray's "Journey into Space", page 147-148


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tedstryk
post Aug 30 2007, 01:04 AM
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QUOTE (ugordan @ Aug 21 2007, 03:03 PM) *
Is it not the case of Vgr 1 not being able to reach Uranus and Neptune solely because the Titan flyby would severely bend the trajectory out of the ecliptic, making any further planetary encounters impossible? In case of Voyager 1's failure, 2 would have been retargetted to Titan and would also have lost Uranus and Neptune.

Yes. Also, there were some funding battles (Voyager 2 nearly got turned off before Uranus).


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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Aug 30 2007, 01:12 AM
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QUOTE (ugordan @ Aug 21 2007, 05:03 AM) *
Is there a reference for the booster underperformance?

I believe it's also mentioned in Voyager Tales by David W. Swift. I mentioned this book and another interesting Voyager tidbit in this post.
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climber
post Aug 30 2007, 07:24 PM
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It can't be 30 years! My tee-shirt still shows 12 years.
I've got to ask TPS for replacement with an updated one.
Attached Image


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nprev
post Aug 30 2007, 11:13 PM
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QUOTE (tedstryk @ Aug 29 2007, 06:04 PM) *
Yes. Also, there were some funding battles (Voyager 2 nearly got turned off before Uranus).


One of the most egregiously stupid examples of 'penny-wise, pound foolish' in history...thank God reason prevailed. mad.gif


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Guest_PhilCo126_*
post Aug 31 2007, 06:28 PM
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Superb T-shirt... a real classic wink.gif
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John Flushing
post Sep 1 2007, 12:03 AM
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QUOTE (tedstryk @ August 29th, 2007, 09:04 PM) *
Yes. Also, there were some funding battles (Voyager 2 nearly got turned off before Uranus).

As many people may remember, there was also another shutdown proposal which came in 2005, before Voyager 1 passed the 100 Astronomical Unit mark in 2006.


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Tom Tamlyn
post Sep 1 2007, 01:08 AM
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While I don't claim any expertise in the politics of NASA's relationship with Congress, it's hard to believe that the proposal to shut down the Voyager program in 2005 was anything but an attention-getting gesture. For one thing, assuming that NASA actually had made an irrevocable commitment to shut off all government money from the program, private funding could probably been raised in several hours.

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John Flushing
post Sep 1 2007, 12:13 PM
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In my opinion, Voyager is of the most successful missions mankind has ever launched, no question.


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Del Palmer
post Sep 1 2007, 12:40 PM
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QUOTE (Tom Tamlyn @ Sep 1 2007, 02:08 AM) *
While I don't claim any expertise in the politics of NASA's relationship with Congress, it's hard to believe that the proposal to shut down the Voyager program in 2005 was anything but an attention-getting gesture.


The person who made the decision at NASA HQ never owned-up to it, so the true motivation was never revealed. It was a pretty slimy act to quietly remove funding from the forthcoming year's budget and not have the decency to tell the project that they were about to be canned.


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stevesliva
post Sep 1 2007, 03:03 PM
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These sort of games are not unique to NASA. In fact, they remind me of school budgets. Well, you all voted down the budget... the first thing we cancel is high school sports and all elementary school field trips. Oh look at that, the re-vote passed.
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