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Voyager 1 Beyond Solar Wind

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the merging-with-the-infinite dept.

NASA 245

healeyb noted that Voyager 1 has now reached a distance from the sun where it is no longer able to detect solar wind. Launched in 1977 to get up close and personal with our solar system's gas giants, scientists estimate that in another 4 years it will cross the heliosphere.

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First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34546358)

wind

Re:First (0)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546386)

Denied!

We don't get good ping times out here in the Oort cloud.

Re:First (2)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546466)

I would say that the ping time is probably at par with the ping time of the protocol described in RFC 1149 [ietf.org] , a.k.a. IPoAC [wikipedia.org] .

Re:First (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34547350)

The oort cloud is speculation with absolutely nothing to back it up.

It would be better yet... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34546382)

if Obama's entire Justice Department were on board.

Sentience (2, Funny)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546392)

At what point does it become sentient, call itself V-ger, and return to destroy earth?

Re:Sentience (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546442)

About the same time as Captain Kirk has completed his five year mission.

But mind - it's the wrong Voyager probe, this one isn't scheduled to become sentient.

Re:Sentience (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546502)

But mind - it's the wrong Voyager probe, this one isn't scheduled to become sentient.

And, more to the point ... now that I've looked a a little closer to a link [wikipedia.org] I've already cited ... it's Voyager 6.

We only ever sent 1 and 2, so we're OK. We must be in the alternate timeline from the recent Trek where Vulcan gets destroyed or something. ;-)

Re:Sentience (3, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546574)

Maybe this is the timeline where Cochrane decides it's easier to make money with a Ponzi scheme than a warp engine.

Re:Sentience (2)

gorzek (647352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546950)

We narrowly missed the Eugenics Wars and got George W. Bush instead of Khan Noonien Singh. I'll leave it up to the reader to decide whether we're the lucky ones.

Re:Sentience (3, Funny)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546982)

well, it looks like we're heading for a moneyless society quicker than trek did

Re:Sentience (1)

gorzek (647352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547036)

How do you figure? We might be moving to a cashless society but there will still be plenty of money moving around--just electronically.

The economy of the Federation could best be described as a technate: an economy based on energy accounting rather than capitalism.

Re:Sentience (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547112)

I'm not sure, but I think GP was referring to the fact that the world economy is screwed beyond any hope of recovery.

Re:Sentience (1)

gorzek (647352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547166)

I guess that's one way to look at it.

Re:Sentience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34547140)

Whoosh? I'm pretty sure the GP meant to be funny - as in: "We will all soon be broke (moneyless) due to our bad economy".

Re:Sentience (1)

gorzek (647352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547222)

I guess I didn't "get it" because we (on a global scale) never really run out of money, so the joke doesn't make any sense.

Re:Sentience (1)

prefec2 (875483) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547312)

They have also a different work motivation. The work to improve them selves and to better society. This is a very altruistic approach and it is totally anti-capitalistic. And I personally do not see any development in that direction. Even more it looks like that there is no lesson learned from the last economic disaster as we did not add any real regulation on the finance market.

Re:Sentience (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547526)

They have also a different work motivation. The work to improve them selves and to better society. This is a very altruistic approach and it is totally anti-capitalistic. And I personally do not see any development in that direction. Even more it looks like that there is no lesson learned from the last economic disaster as we did not add any real regulation on the finance market.

Humans are genetically programmed to be selfish - capitalism is the system most closely aligned with human nature. Case in point, look at the communist systems of the USSR and China. What's the first thing the people in power do? Make sure they are taken care of and have whatever they want. Human nature. Good luck "correcting" that issue.

Re:Sentience (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34547760)

Humans are genetically programmed to be selfish - capitalism is the system most closely aligned with human nature

No, capitalism is the system most closely aligned with maximizing selfish values given the premise of scarce resources. If you violate that premise as Star Trek technology does, with its limitless fusion and anti-matter power, transporters, matter replicators, faster-than-light travel, etc then participating in capitalism may no longer be the solution that best maximizes selfish gain.

Case in point, look at the communist systems of USSR and China

Pre-22nd century societies aren't a case in point for anything in a fictional 22nd century society.

If you can sit on your ass, not make the slightest effort, and still end up choking to death on your own wealth unless you exercise some self restraint, as a character on Star Trek would, then you need not do anything, in order to make sure you're taken care of and have whatever you want.

This is the promise (almost certainly never to be fulfilled, but nevertheless a promise) of technology.

Re:Sentience (1)

prefec2 (875483) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547894)

The human is not a purely egoistic machine. This has long be proven. However, he or she can act selfish. States like the USSR or China were not communistic societies even if they proclaimed it. They are communists just like North Korea is a democratic society, but their state is called Democratic People's Republic of Korea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_korea). However, the term communism is so widely used for different theories that it is not save to use it to identify one system.

In most communistic theories the political system is controlled by the people and is some sort of basis democracy or parliamentarian democracy. And the economic system is not based on ownership/titles (which does not necessary mean that you cannot have seizin). For example you may life in a house and can call this you house, however you cannot play landlord.

However, Leninists would disagree with the democracy thing in this concept. As Lenin thought people are too stupid to accept the concept and have to be trained first.

It is however, save to say, that such money less and democratic system is not applicable in the near future and so all of our ST fans will be depressed.

I think we have to fix capitalism (and we just missed that opportunity) so it cannot harm people and destroy the environment. Good ideas in that direction are a basic income, public health care, education for everyone and regulation for the financial sector.

The first three things already exist in EU states (to some extend) and work very well with market economies.

Re:Sentience (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547186)

trek never had a "moneyless" society. it always had money and wealth. They just never focused on it.

Re:Sentience (1)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547362)

Except the Ferengi, they were all about the latinum.

Re:Sentience (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34548016)

This post might be too geeky even by Slashdot standards, however in Squire of Gothos Kirk clearly stated that humans were beyond such things.

Re:Sentience (1)

prefec2 (875483) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547226)

Depends where you live. In Irak you might think that there is no difference. Even though GWB is not a super strong and hyper brilliant being with too much ego. He is mostly the opposite.

Re:Sentience (2)

prefec2 (875483) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547190)

It is the time line where we didn't blow us up. So Cochrane does not develop the warp drive and we all die out because we use an un-desinfected phone. Oh wait ... wrong book. Anyway this reality is the one which hasn't been produced so far. It will be named:

Star Trek @home

and the story is, that the crew stays in San Fransisco in a bar going nowhere. And in the end the leave the convention and go home in a rusty taxi and are hit by a meteor containing Braxton or Dr. Who (but I am not totally sure).

Re:Sentience (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547252)

We only ever sent 1 and 2, so we're OK. We must be in the alternate timeline from the recent Trek where Vulcan gets destroyed or something. ;-)

Well, considering that they launched Khan and his crew in 1996 after the Eugenics war, I'd say that's a pretty safe bet.

BUT then that relaity dont happen (1)

chronoss2010 (1825454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547194)

cause some dude with pointy ears changes history and allows his race to gt popped by some green rays....

Re:Sentience (2)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546448)

Shortly after William Shatner returns to "A list" celebrity status.

Re:Sentience (1)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546728)

Returns?

Re:Sentience (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547148)

Returns?

"Has been was
Has been might again"

-William Shatner, "Has Been" [amazon.com]

Re:Sentience (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547224)

Already there bud.

Boston Legal relaunched him there and poo-poo-caa-caa my dad says has kept him there.

Yes, I know, it makes me weep as well.. but this is the planet where we have "Americas got talent", "dancing wit the stars", and other inane drivel that enthralls the population...

Re:Sentience (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547492)

TJ Hooker pre-re-launched him

Re:Sentience (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546450)

At what point does it become sentient, call itself V-ger, and return to destroy earth?

I believe you'd be talking a couple of hundred years in the future ... according to this [wikipedia.org] , it will happen in 2271. :-P

There's time yet.

Re:Sentience (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546590)

that was voyager 6, not voyager 1

you have failed to show adequate mastery of geek trivia, major subsection: star trek arcana

bow your head in shame and leave the website

Re:Sentience (1)

vgerclover (1186893) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546746)

Sometime in the '80s. The problem is that I'm looking for a way to go back. Do you know how hard it is to come by a space gas station?

Re:Sentience (1)

schlachter (862210) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547304)

and we made the damn thing nuclear!

Re:Sentience (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547420)

At what point does it become sentient, call itself V-ger, and return to destroy earth?

Not soon enough

No more farts! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34546394)

The little men on board will never need to smell another solar fart again!

Edge (4, Funny)

Metabolife (961249) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546416)

It's going to fall off the edge of the universe. I just know it.

Re:Edge (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546468)

what will be interesting is when it gets into interstellar space - too see how its trajectory changes and why. will there be a strong wind to take it else where or will it no longer per part of our solar system momentum through the universe - or will it just keep going as if everything i sitting still..

Re:Edge (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546658)

It's going to fall off the edge of the universe. I just know it.

No problem. It will land on a turtle. It's them all the way down.

Re:Edge (3, Funny)

ATestR (1060586) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546780)

Nonsense. Any day it will splat against the solid glass wall on which all the stars are painted in florescent paint.

17.5 billion kilometers (5, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546424)

17.5 billion kilometres and counting, over 3 decades spent hurtling away from from the sun, and still less than 0.05% of the way to the nearest star [wikipedia.org]

We humans are really really really small.

We humans may be small (5, Insightful)

arcite (661011) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546548)

but we think big.

Re:We humans may be small (1)

jovius (974690) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547188)

The universe is too small for two us!

We may thing big (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34547430)

but we fund poorly!*

*only on projects that progress humanity

Re:We humans may be small (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34547536)

But don't budget for it.

Re:17.5 billion kilometers (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546596)

Nah, just short-lived. Three decades is nothing.

Re:17.5 billion kilometers (2)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546766)

Well at this rate, it would take around half a billion years to colonize the entire galaxy, which over cosmic timescales isn't too bad I suppose. As for visiting other galaxies, I'd be inclined to say it could never happen, but then it seems that our nearby galaxies are going to visit us [wikipedia.org] so that saves us the trouble.

Re:17.5 billion kilometers (1)

MouseR (3264) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546620)

Shows how much american vehicles fair over Toyotas.

Re:17.5 billion kilometers (1)

dogsbreath (730413) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546654)

I think I can I think I can I think I can.....

Re:17.5 billion kilometers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34546760)

It would have been much further if they had used miles instead of kilometers...

Re:17.5 billion kilometers (1)

joeboomer628 (869162) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546826)

Far out, man

Re:17.5 billion kilometers (1)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546866)

We humans are really really really small.

Pfff. Our ego makes up for our size.

Re:17.5 billion kilometers (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546904)

I don't care about how our size, or our reach into space, compares with galactic distances. Probably most if not all intelligent life in the universe are falling into the same category of small, if our understanding of physics is basically right.

But i would be worried if our small reach is in time, both in the survival sense or in the thinking one. As species we are more worried about getting a fast profit than the effects of our behaviour for what will become the world in 50, 100 or more years (and that, without even touching odds of global catastrophes like asteroid hit or runaway climate change, just social changes could be as destructive for us)

Re:17.5 billion kilometers (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547004)

But i would be worried if our small reach is in time, both in the survival sense or in the thinking one. As species we are more worried about getting a fast profit than the effects of our behaviour for what will become the world in 50, 100 or more years (and that, without even touching odds of global catastrophes like asteroid hit or runaway climate change, just social changes could be as destructive for us)

Easy way to fix that. Live longer.

Re:17.5 billion kilometers (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547232)

Yes, yes we are. [wikipedia.org]

Re:17.5 billion kilometers (5, Interesting)

crunchygranola (1954152) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547684)

True, Voyager 1 has only travelled a short way between stars within our galaxy -- but here is a cool fact (I think).The Milky Way Galaxy is moving relative to the rest of the Universe (as defined by the Cosmic Microwave Background frame of reference) at 279 ± 68 km/sec, just under 0.1% the speed of light. This is the speed with which we are moving through the Universe. Thus if you live to be 80 years old (a typical lifespan today) you will die in a region of the Universe 0.074 light years from where you were born, and the first pyramids were built in Egypt in a region of the Universe more distant than Alpha Centauri.

Re:17.5 billion kilometers (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547814)

They also shot those things out at a rather slow--relatively speaking--pace of just 16.8 km/s and 12.9 km/s for V1 and V2 respectively. Our present, flight proven electric drive technologies are a order of magnitude faster. Get to the nearest star fast, no, but we could certainly play out in the Kupiter belt and only have to wait a few years rather than a few decades like with did with these. Make no mistake I'm glad we got them out there. They've sent back some really awesome stuff but I also think it's time to start sending their successors, and preferably a bit more mass produced.

Re:17.5 billion kilometers (1)

dogsbreath (730413) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547878)

We humans are really really really small.

Puny humans. Space toy make Hulk angry.

An amazing achievement (4, Insightful)

Colourspace (563895) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546436)

The fact we are still able to communicate with a piece of 33 year old technology (I'm only a few years older myself, and possibly not in as good a shape either) further away than any man made object ever launched, and are still getting useful science from it is nothing short of remarkable - matched only Spirits extended mission time so far, IMHO. And then, sometimes we can't even launch a satellite or two properly..

Re:An amazing achievement (4, Informative)

troon (724114) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546480)

ITYM "Opportunity". Spirit's been silent, and I'm guessing dead, since March.

Re:An amazing achievement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34546854)

Regardless Spirit and Opportunity have had super extended missions. I believe it was intended for only a few months and now we're years later and just one of them has died... bravo.

Obligatory (2)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547610)

http://xkcd.com/695/ [xkcd.com]

Warning: may make some readers cry.

Re:An amazing achievement (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547748)

It seems quite likely now, yes. They lost communication in late March, the winter solstice was in late May so you'd expect it back around late July the way I'm thinking. It's 5 months past that now with 4 months left to peak production. If it survived the winter at all you'd think that would be long enough to get back in touch, of course it did get stuck in a less than ideal position so it might have trouble recharging enough. Worth listening to, but I would be surprised if it recovers and if it does it'll probably be just to say hi before the next winter kills it. The money is pretty solidly on Opportunity lasting the longest now.

Data transfers (5, Funny)

Picardo85 (1408929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546444)

are still probably cheaper per kB than sending an SMS ...

Re:Data transfers (5, Interesting)

john83 (923470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546562)

From here [nasa.gov] ,

The total cost of the Voyager mission from May 1972 through the Neptune encounter (including launch vehicles, radioactive power source (RTGs), and DSN tracking support) is 865 million dollars.

and

A total of five trillion bits of scientific data had been returned to Earth by both Voyager spacecraft at the completion of the Neptune encounter.

That's $0.001384 per bit. There are 1120 bits in an SMS message. That's about $1.55 per SMS. Not exactly cheap, but then Vodafone don't have coverage beyond Pluto.

Re:Data transfers (1)

Dakman (824764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546762)

Kind of interesting to think, get ~500,000 people to shell out $1.55. Micro donations could fund the future of science.

Re:Data transfers (2)

cycleflight (1811074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546846)

We've left all but the most broad definitions of the solar system behind on $865 million, and yet we spend nearly that amount per unit to enable the annihilation of millions of our fellow beings without them ever knowing [wikipedia.org] .

What a world.

Re:Data transfers (1)

prefec2 (875483) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547658)

Well yes. Western countries are totally over militarized. And especially the USA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures [wikipedia.org] if I read this correctly than the US alone contributes with 43 % to the world's military budget. And the other NATO states add up to 19-20% of the budget. So in total NATO spends 62% of the world's military budget. Looks like we are a little over prepared when it comes to self-defense.

8 bits to the byte silly (1)

chronoss2010 (1825454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547282)

8 bits to the byte silly....

Whom ever is telling you 1120 needs there head examined.

Re:8 bits to the byte silly (4, Informative)

john83 (923470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547742)

Yes, there are, but SMS uses a reduced character set and so seven bits per character. It's 140 bytes to represent 160 characters. That's my understanding at least, backed up by a cursory google. I could of course be wrong.

Vger going where no man has gone before (0)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546460)

Anyone seen Voyager 1?

Last I saw he was heading out of the solar system with some bald chick. I really didn't think too much about it at the time, but it did look a little weird.

I feel a kinship with voyager (4, Interesting)

arcite (661011) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546510)

Since it is almost the same age as me, I feel a kinship with the little guy. It's amazing that it's still sending back readings after all theses years and millions of miles travelled in the deep dark infinite space. Onward to interstellar space! Godspeed!

Last psot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34546526)

Last psot!!1!!1!ONE!!!ELEVEN

NASA Craftsmanship (3, Interesting)

Goboxer (1821502) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546542)

With how well NASA's gear works long after their mission is complete perhaps they should start selling toys and cars to fill in all those budget holes that they have.

Re:NASA Craftsmanship (3, Informative)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546712)

That's a great idea. Going by typical NASA costs for things, the toys would only run 10-50k, and you could get yourself into a nice efficient compact for a cool $15M

Re:NASA Craftsmanship (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547672)

Which is cheap, considering your going to get your self a 1 off that will run forever, be reliable, and can be changed to meat new goals.

The reason tows and cars are cheaper is because they are mass produced. We could be making voyagers of 5K if we where making 1 a year, every year.

Go Voyager 1! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34546546)

It's fascinating to think that in just about four years the first man-made object will leave our solar system. And to think that only a little over 100 years ago we were still trying to get ourselves airborne. We've come a long way. I wish I knew what we'd be doing 100 years from today.

Re:Go Voyager 1! (4, Funny)

dogsbreath (730413) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546708)

It's fascinating to think that in just about four years the first man-made object will leave our solar system. And to think that only a little over 100 years ago we were still trying to get ourselves airborne. We've come a long way. I wish I knew what we'd be doing 100 years from today.

er... picking through radioctive rubble and looking for a scrap to eat? ... avoiding Triffids?

Re:Go Voyager 1! (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546878)

"Oh man is it 2110 already? I really need to get off slashdot and get some work done."

Insert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34546634)

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome joke here in 3....2....1....

Politicians are standing by (0)

sir_eccles (1235902) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546644)

Ready to cut funding so they can pay for their tax breaks.

It sure is cold out here. (1)

vgerclover (1186893) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546680)

Four more years!? This trip is taking me forever!

Re:It sure is cold out here. (1)

Dakman (824764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546796)

I'd really like to see a short story written in the point of view from Voyager 1...

Re:It sure is cold out here. (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546902)

Been done [xkcd.com]

You FAIL it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34546786)

rival distribuTion,

Time to say this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34546882)

Bon voyage, Voyager 1

I'm jealous.... (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 3 years ago | (#34546948)

It's going places I dream about while I'm stuck back here on this rock. Granted its traveling really slow but still it's getting there.

Must-see TV! (1)

ISurfTooMuch (1010305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547152)

Does anyone else remember with wonder those extended TV broadcasts where they spent all night on prime-time network TV to show off the latest incoming photos? And they even interviewed actual scientists about what the data meant.

It's amazing and truly sad how far we've fallen since then.

Why cant we have more science like this? (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547288)

Voyager probes are frigging HUGE. why cant we launch the same thing twice, but have them assemble in orbit and give it a chemical kick in the ass to get the slingshotting down and then when it get's it's last slingshot around juipeter kick in the Ion engines to do a long hard burn for a few years to get the thing really hauling ass.

I'll bet with current tech we can get past Voyager 1 within 10 years AND have better instruments, a stronger transmitter, far more sensitive receiver, etc.... Seriously. NASA could do this right now and we might see a flyby of another star within a 200 year window.

Re:Why cant we have more science like this? (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547898)

Voyager costs billions.

Voyager has taken since 1977 to get where it is and is currently hitting 14km/s. At those speeds, dusts rips you apart let alone anything else (it's 50400 km/h or 31317 mph). It takes YEARS to accelerate to that speed even with a constant acceleration from a nuclear powered engine that has had to work, unattended, since before I was born.

If you *do* somehow manage to fund a mission (impossible) to do the exact same thing as an existing successful mission (extremely dubious given the "why bother?" factor), manage to overcome the several MILLION risks to getting a craft near to that sort of state (even launching to Earth orbit isn't better than an 80% chance on an unmanned rocket), manage to do it in, say, half the time (so only 17 years), and then somehow manage to cross several planets on perfectly projected orbits (that you have to wait for *decades* to align nicely so you *CAN* slingshot), and manage to get anywhere near where Voyager 1 is (incredibly unlikely - probably less than 1% if you consider the mission as a whole) and make some *useful* measurements (unlikely) and return the signal to Earth. Then yeah, you could do it. Or for the same price you could send 50 men to Mars to build a shelter. Or 100 men to the moon.

And you won't see a flyby of another star for several centuries, certainly not KNOW about it until at least 8 years AFTER we do it (information cannot travel faster than the speed of light), and that's assuming we through ALL our efforts into doing something just that expensive at the moment (as a planet). Let's get back to the Moon, first, eh? Something we haven't done in 40 years either but that's achievable in a handful of years and may actually return some decent science and have a practical purpose other than saying "Yeah. We sent a probe there once. We'll find out what colour it is close-up in another decade."

Can it be hacked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34547302)

What I want to know is, what frequencies are the S-band uplink and X-band downlink? My neighbor has one of those giant old-ass DirecTV dishes in his yard... Wouldn't it be cruel to command it to shutdown or veer off course? Mwah hah ha...

Re:Can it be hacked? (1)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547450)

The frequency is 401MHz.

Re:Can it be hacked? (1)

linuxpyro (680927) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547936)

It's not hacking, but this [southgatearc.org] is interesting, apparently some amateur radio operators were able to track it.

You can say (1)

illumastorm (172101) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547342)

That Voyager 1 broke wind.

Solar wind decline, not beyond solar wind (3, Interesting)

chebucto (992517) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547392)

I am not an astrophysicist, so I don't understand the subtelties of this, but it should be noted that NASA press release says the probe has measured a solar wind decline, not that the probe is beyond the solar wind. Specifically, it says the solar wind has 'no outward motion'. The probe's environment is still dominated by the solar wind because it is still in the heliosphere, or, as NASA says, 'Crossing into interstellar space would mean a sudden drop in the density of hot particles and an increase in the density of cold particles.'

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/voyager/voyager20101213.html [nasa.gov]

Now hurtling toward interstellar space some 17.4 billion kilometers (10.8 billion miles) from the sun, Voyager 1 has crossed into an area where the velocity of the hot ionized gas, or plasma, emanating directly outward from the sun has slowed to zero. Scientists suspect the solar wind has been turned sideways by the pressure from the interstellar wind in the region between stars.

...

Scientists believe Voyager 1 has not crossed the heliosheath into interstellar space. Crossing into interstellar space would mean a sudden drop in the density of hot particles and an increase in the density of cold particles. Scientists are putting the data into their models of the heliosphere's structure and should be able to better estimate when Voyager 1 will reach interstellar space. Researchers currently estimate Voyager 1 will cross that frontier in about four years.

I smell B.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34547418)

How exactly do they know that Voyager can no longer detect solar wind? Let me guess, since they turned off the entire scan platform [nasa.gov] on Voyager 2 and all of Voyager 1 except for the UVS, they haven't gotten that data since the year 2000?

The Solar Wind is not Zero mph (2)

hAckz0r (989977) | more than 3 years ago | (#34547870)

Voyager is travelling 38,000 mph, directly away from the Sun. If its sensors no longer feel the push of the Solar Wind its because the wind is now going slower, say 37,999 mph, but not yet zero mph as the article title might imply. The wind is most likely still there, we just can not sense it anymore with the technology aboard the spacecraft.
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