September 13, 2013 |
You can't spot Voyager 1 as it leaves the solar system's heliosphere, but the National Radio Astronomy Observatory can, and did it just for kicks. Well maybe not for kicks, but scientists were interested in how well their array of 10 radio telescopes, stretching from Hawaii to St. Croix, Virgin Islands, could plot the spacecraft, which is more than 11 billion miles from Earth. Usually, those instruments home in on the faint radio signals from quasars, black holes and the like. They also routinely track NASA's Cassini spacecraft, out around Saturn.
September 12, 2013 |
Now that Voyager 1 has safely reached interstellar space, scientists who have spent decades working on the mission at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory can finally breathe a sigh of relief. "We've had 30 years of fear that something could go wrong," said Torrence Johnson, a senior research scientist at JPL who worked on Voyager camera equipment. "There were white-knuckle moments. " Those fears are gone now. The Voyager 1 probe, first conceived in 1972 and launched in 1977, has exited the sun's heliosphere , considered by many to be the informal boundary of the solar system.
September 12, 2013 |
After 36 years of space travel and months of heated debate among scientists, NASA confirmed Thursday that Voyager 1 has indeed left our solar system and had entered interstellar space more than a year ago. "Voyager has boldly gone where no probe has gone before, marking one of the most significant technological achievements in the annals of the history of science," said John Grunsfeld, NASA's associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate....
March 20, 2013 |
It's rare for scientists to include personal sentiments in peer-reviewed journals. For the most part, scientific studies are dry, clinical affairs. Yet there are moments when a paper will end on a poignant or sentimental note, and it usually involves the passing of one of the authors. Such was the case in a study appearing online Wednesday in Geophysical Research Letters about Voyager 1 nearing the threshold of interstellar space. While study authors interpreted data taken from Voyager's sensors to mean that the spacecraft had, on Aug. 25, 2012, "exited the main solar modulation region" and entered "the local interstellar medium," NASA officials responded quickly on Wednesday by saying they don't believe the probe has yet escaped our solar system.
February 18, 2014 |
The Voyager 1 spacecraft is the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. Even if defined only by distance, the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory twin Voyagers are America's greatest space adventure. They've been flying successfully for more than 36 years and are billions of miles from home. What isn't widely known is that they almost never made it out there. The first proposed mission in the late 1960s was for four spacecraft to take advantage of a rare alignment of the four outer planets of the solar system; Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune would all be on the same side of the sun. However, in December 1971, NASA decided it couldn't afford the $1-billion price tag for a 12-year "grand tour" mission with four spacecraft.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 29, 1986
In a sidebar to the coverage of the epic flight of Voyager (Dec. 24), you identified the builders of the second and third aircraft to circle the earth. Your readers might like to know that the first aircraft to circumnavigate the globe were a pair of Douglas World Cruisers, designed and built in Santa Monica. The average flying speed of that journey was 78 m.p.h., just 37 m.p.h. slower than Voyager's 115 m.p.h. NISSEN DAVIS Rancho Palos Verdes