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Saw an article on Voyagers 1 and 2, both of which are still functional and still sending data to Earth. Launched in 1977, the two are approaching the edge of the heliosphere. That was defined in the article as the volume of space containing particles thrown off by the Sun. Once beyond that area the Voyagers will truly be in interstellar space.

After 34 years and a journey of 14 billion kilometres (9 billion miles for those of us who still measure the old-fashioned way) both devices still work. I know a lot of us have connections to technology of one form or another in our real life occupations. I thought this would be a good time to reflect on just how good those people that built the Voyagers were. That's pretty good stuff, I think.

Raise a toast to V'ger today. Live long and prosper.

 

The article can be found here if you're interested. Voyager

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I'm not a 'techie' person at all - but that sounds pretty remarkable to me. In truth it does bring the concept of 'space' into reality a bit more (for the likes of me anyway).

34 years, 9 billion miles - 'tis the stuff of fantasy, and it's real - awesome.

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Yeah, it's totally cool. It's amazing to think that many of the people who worked on this are probably retired by now...talk about a long-term project. I suspect, unfortunately, that projects of this kind won't be persued much in the future -- it's hard to get congressional budgetary approval for things like this in this day and age...too bad, really.

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Mags Indigo wrote:

34 years, 9 billion miles - 'tis the stuff of fantasy, and it's real - awesome.

Mags, that was what struck me the most about the article. It really is the stuff of fantasy. I called Voyager V'ger because of that Star Trek movie, but now I'm not so sure that movie's premise was all that far-fetched. If the craft can survive this long and go this far, who knows where the limit is? Maybe there really is some yet to be born Captain Kirk to wait out there in the future for our old-fashioned girl.

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Drongle McMahon wrote:

What I find mind-boggling is that they can still communicate with them over ten billion miles. Still that is only 1/600 of the distance to the neartest star.

 

Well, it does take 16 hours for a message to or from to get through. Most people would not wait on hold for that length of time :smileyhappy:

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@ Jacki and Kolby and LoveAngeL—I'm glad you were as impressed with that accomplishment as I was. I have worked in manufacturing; I can NOT imagine being responsible for manufacturing something that would outlive me, and maybe my descendants. It is awesome.

 

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Nuclear Slingshot wrote:

Yeah, it's totally cool. It's amazing to think that many of the people who worked on this are probably retired by now...talk about a long-term project. I suspect, unfortunately, that projects of this kind won't be persued much in the future -- it's hard to get congressional budgetary approval for things like this in this day and age...too bad, really.

Retired or gone. I hope the ones still with us know their work is an inspiration.

As for congress, yeah. I always loved that argument against funding NASA—"We could do better spending that money right here on Earth!". Where the F did they think the money was going? Mars?

Damn now I'm being all cynical.  Shame on you, Nuke, for mentioning the problems. I shall return to the positive side.

About 34 years ago a whole bunch of people watched the news to see if the thing they'd worked on, or written code for, or designed parts for, or conceived, or thought about, made it into space. It did. It's stll there.

 

 

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LOL. You've just totally derailed my thread and I don't care, because those images were so great! I personally with my very own eyes have seen the rings of Saturn. I have a telescope with a 90 mm objective (I just realized that someone who is not a current Forurm poster could not only rain all over my measly 90 millimeters but probably post pictures to prove it) but that was enough to let me get a view. The whole assembly was in my 'scope a gold color, planet and rings both. It looked to me like a construct. It was difficult to believe that it was a naturally occuring object and not man-made.

Thanks :-)

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Dillon Levenque wrote:

I called Voyager V'ger because of that Star Trek movie, but now I'm not so sure that movie's premise was all that far-fetched. If the craft can survive this long and go this far, who knows where the limit is? Maybe there really is some yet to be born Captain Kirk to wait out there in the future for our old-fashioned girl.


I saw that movie. Voyager returns in the hull of an alien spacecraft looking for humpback whales. Evidently human speech is far too complex for these adanced aliens to understand, so the alien craft destroys everything in its path because the whales cannot be found - the whales went extinct. That's what happens when you employ an environmentalist as a script writer - everything is always about the whales.

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It is my belief that all things are possible - some we just haven't figured out yet. It may not be exactly like any of the TV/Film?Scifi folk have envisioned it - but I do believe that some day space, the universe and everything will be much 'smaller' and more accessible than we can ever truly imagine. Pity I won't be around to see that.

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Mags Indigo wrote:

It is my belief that all things are possible - some we just haven't figured out yet. It may not be exactly like any of the TV/Film?Scifi folk have envisioned it - but I do believe that some day space, the universe and everything will be much 'smaller' and more accessible than we can ever truly imagine. Pity I won't be around to see that.

Indeed, and we are learning every day.

A new type of supernova was recently discovered, for example:

http://smithsonianscience.org/2011/04/new-type-of-exploding-star-discovered/

It's fascinating stuff and I've always kinda wished I was smart enough to be an astrophysicist! One day, it is them who will bring humanity to a true understanding of our place in the universe. I wish I could be around to see that momentous day too, because it should finally bring to an end some of the more ... fanatstical ... beliefs people hold about our place in the universe. Beliefs that are, generally speaking, at the root of much that is wrong with humanity and holds it back. (I tried to say that as uncontroversially as I could ... did I suceed?!) :smileywink:

 

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Suella Ember wrote:


Mags Indigo wrote:

It is my belief that all things are possible - some we just haven't figured out yet. It may not be exactly like any of the TV/Film?Scifi folk have envisioned it - but I do believe that some day space, the universe and everything will be much 'smaller' and more accessible than we can ever truly imagine. Pity I won't be around to see that.

Indeed, and we are learning every day.

A new type of supernova was recently discovered, for example:



It's fascinating stuff and I've always kinda wished I was smart enough to be an astrophysicist! One day, it is them who will bring humanity to a true understanding of our place in the universe. I wish I could be around to see that momentous day too, because it should finally bring to an end some of the more ... fanatstical ... beliefs people hold about our place in the universe. Beliefs that are, generally speaking, at the root of much that is wrong with humanity and holds it back. (I tired to say that as uncontroversially as I could ... did I suceed?!) :smileywink:

 

*Signs up for lessons in how to be non-controversal.

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Mags Indigo wrote:

*Signs up for lessons in how to be non-controversal.

The first lesson is free:

- Don't ever mention religion, politics, race, gender, age, sexual orientation or, most importantly, Linden Lab policies!

:smileytongue:

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Suella Ember wrote:


Mags Indigo wrote:

*Signs up for lessons in how to be non-controversal.

The first lesson is free:

- Don't
ever
mention religion, politics, race, gender, age, sexual orientation or, most importantly, Linden Lab policies!

:smileytongue:

Erm... what is there to talk about then... ???

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Suella Ember wrote:


Mags Indigo wrote:

Erm... what is there to talk about then... ???


Cheese

 

FIFY (my first, by the way)

I had just gotten on the the PC and thus the Forums for the first time today; saw there were some new posts here. Was Reading Mags' comment, then your non-controversial response, then the rest of the interchange (while thinking if we followed your suggestions that would pretty much spell the end of the Forums, among other things). Then Mags asked the question, and since hers was the last on the page I had to click to find your answer. It was perfect.

I like this place. Get here, look around, and five minutes later I'm laughing.

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Melita Magic wrote:

Cool! thanks for the info.

What did you think of that (apparently) man made structure found by some hobbyist, on Mars?

I hadn't heard; just googled it and looked at some pictures and rather a lot of IMO wildly speculative commentary. Could the thing be articficial? Yeah, I suppose. Could it be natural? Yes, clearly.

This could be a once carefully constructed object that has eroded into the roughened shape we think we see now.  It could also be a completely natural object. I always go with the explanation that seems most likely. In the so far complete absence of anything else that can be considered artificial, natural seems most likely to me.

I hope that last comment doesn't draw the 'Face on Mars' and Canal fans out of the woodwork.

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