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VOYAGER 1 Signal Received by AMSAT-DL Group

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the the-power-of-communications dept.

110

Anonymous Coward writes " Space probe VOYAGER 1 successfully received. On March 31st, 2006 an AMSAT-DL /IUZ team received a signal from the American space probe VOYAGER 1 with the 20 m antenna in Bochum. The distance was 14.7 billion km. This is a new record for AMSAT-DL and IUZ Bochum. The received signal was clearly identified through means of doppler shift and position in the sky. The receive frequency was exactly measured and compared with the information provided by NASA. This distance equals approximately 98 times the distance between Earth and Sun. VOYAGER 1 is the most distant object ever built by mankind. This again proves the superior performance of the Bochum antenna. Most probably this is the first time Voyager 1 has been received by radio amateurs. VOYAGER 1 was launched on 5. September 1977 by NASA. It transmitted the first close-up pictures of Jupiter and Saturn. In 2004 VOYAGER 1 passed the Termination Shock Region, where the solar wind mixes with interstellar gas. VOYAGER 1 today is still active, measuring the interstellar magnetic field. The following radio amateurs were involved: Freddy de Guchteneire, ON6UG James Miller, G3RUH Hartmut Paesler, DL1YDD Achim Vollhardt, DH2VA/HB9DUN Special thanks to Thilo Elsner, DJ5YM of the IUZ Bochum, Roger Ludwig of Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena USA and the Deep Space Network Tracking Station in Madrid, Spain for their cooperation. "

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110 comments

Decoded message (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049034)

Message contents:
I AM V'GER, YOU ARE NOT TRUE LIFE FORMS.
I will remove the infestation on the Creator's planet.

Mr Sulu, Brown alert, we're gonna need some new uniforms.

Re:Decoded message (4, Funny)

cnettel (836611) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049127)

You carbon-based bags of water bastards!

Re:Decoded message (4, Funny)

jeffy210 (214759) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049591)

Negative, I am a meat popsicle.

Re:Decoded message (1)

dugenou (850340) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053358)

Z: "What do you call them?" B: "Well, they are tasty, right? Let's call them tasticles." C: "Eww. Oh my no." L: "We can't call them that..." B: "Why not?" L: "It sounds too much like those frozen Rocky Mountain oysters on a stick. You know, testsicles."

Re:Decoded message (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052926)

It's actually mostly water.

Re:Decoded message (1)

706GL (172709) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049362)

No, it's probably just off to deliver Small Pox to another indigenous population.

Re:Decoded message (4, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049404)

> I AM V'GER, YOU ARE NOT TRUE LIFE FORMS.

You'd think V'GER would get along fine with beings named ON6UG, G3RUH, DL1YDD, DH2VA/HB9DUN, and DJ5YM of the IUZ Bochum.

Re:Decoded message (1)

Alpha27 (211269) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050317)

No, the message was "Do you hear me NOW?"

Re:Decoded message (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050364)

Don't you know ANYTHING? That's Voyager 6, not Voyager 1!

Re:Decoded message (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052280)

Yeah if the Klingons don't use it for target practice before it reaches the machine planet to get transformed into V'Ger.

Terran space junk, fire!

timecop is teh gay (-1, Troll)

BisexualPuppy (914772) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049039)

teh gay teh jew teh gay jew lol

Big Day (1)

Agent00Wang (146185) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049055)

It must be such a truly incredible day for those amateur radio guys.

Re:Big Day (1)

Jupix (916634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049144)

No shit? :)

Re:Big Day (-1, Troll)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049805)

Yesh, I think we've all dreamed of one day growing up to hear a faint "beep" sound from a 30-year-old probe that nobody gives a rat's ass about anymore. Their parents must be so proud.

-Eric

Re:Big Day (1)

MaggieL (10193) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049976)

Obviously *somebody* gives enough of a rat's ass about it to listen for it. Sorry it's above your attention-span threshold.

de Maggie K3XS

Re:Big Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15051048)

a 30-year-old probe that nobody gives a rat's ass about anymore.

Careful, you don't want to look like an ignorant troll. You may not care, but others do [nasa.gov] .

Re:Big Day (1)

Iron Sun (227218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051072)

I guess you missed the fuss last year when it crossed the termination shock [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Big Day (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#15057036)

Yeah wow, "Old Expensive Probe Enters Vast Empty Space". Truly a headline that will capture the imagination of a whole generation or starving, uninoculated kids in Africa.

-Eric

QSL Card (5, Interesting)

geoffeg (15786) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049078)

Wow, I'd love to have that QSL card! :)

Re:QSL Card (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049136)

They still have a ways to go before they get a Worked All Space Probes.

Re:QSL Card (3, Funny)

harrkev (623093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049252)

Riiight. And just where is Voyager 1 going to get stamps?

Re:QSL Card (1)

LittleGuy (267282) | more than 8 years ago | (#15056709)

Riiight. And just where is Voyager 1 going to get stamps?

It could try here [stamps.com] .

I'm not sure if they'll print out of a bulky dot-matrix printer, though.

And mail pickup is gonna be a problem.....

Light Time (4, Insightful)

Detritus (11846) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049185)

That's about 13.6 hours at the speed of light, compared to a bit over 8 minutes to get from the Sun to the Earth.

Receiving anything at that distance is a very impressive feat. There are so many things that have to work near-perfectly to detect such a weak signal.

Re:Light Time (0, Troll)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053165)

And yet, the nearest star is like 35 light years away.

Re:Light Time (1)

kclittle (625128) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053396)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proxima_Centauri [wikipedia.org] here ya go. 4.22 LY...

Re:Light Time (1)

heptapod (243146) | more than 8 years ago | (#15054706)

Too bad Voyager 1 doesn't seem to be headed for Alpha Centauri or any other star.

Re:Light Time (2, Funny)

halcyoncheese (936445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055299)

It's not that hard to receive, what with the aliens sitting just past Mars, playing a loop of old Voyager transmissions, and snickering.

Field Day (4, Funny)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049186)

If they send a signal back out to Voyager now, will they be able to count it for bonus points on this year's Field Day?

Re:Field Day (1)

MaggieL (10193) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049995)

If they send a signal back out to Voyager now, will they be able to count it for bonus points on this year's Field Day?

Only if it answers and confirms their callsign and FD exchange.

Excellent! (5, Insightful)

cephalien (529516) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049189)

This is really exciting for me as a space buff, but bittersweet at the same time.

It's great to know that something launched before I was born (1980), can still be found and active.. but at the same time, where is the spirit NASA used to have? These days it always seems about money & more money, while they whine and complain about the ever present-flaws in the space shuttle.

I'm not saying we shouldn't do everything possible to keep our astronauts safe, but if they hadn't contracted the shuttle out to the lowest bidder in the first place, we might have better craft.

I wonder how much it would cost to launch a few more Voyager-like probes?

Re:Excellent! (2, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049275)

Weren't the probes launched when they were because of a specific set of planetary conditions which made such a mission (a grand tour) favourable? (Gravitational slingshots)

Whilst I agree NASA seem to have been bogged down by the shuttle, there have been some such successes the rovers being the main recent shining examples.

Re:Excellent! (5, Informative)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049294)

I found a link about the timing of the mission [ucr.edu] .
From the article:

About every 175 years, the outer planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, are aligned geometrically in such a way as to minimize the trip time and energy required to tour all four. In 1965, Gary Flandro, who was at JPL at the time, pointed out that the next such opportunity would occur in 1976, 1977, and 1978 and designed some Grand Tour gravity-assist trajectories that included an Earth-Jupiter-Saturn-Uranus-Neptune mission.


Re:Excellent! (2, Funny)

hubie (108345) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051412)

One joke I recall was that to properly place blame you need to criticise the Jefferson administration because the last time such an alignment was possible was on his watch, and his science advisors didn't advocating launching anything.

Re:Excellent! (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055683)

About every 175 years, the outer planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, are aligned geometrically.... the next such opportunity would occur in 1976, 1977, and 1978 and designed some Grand Tour gravity-assist trajectories that included an Earth-Jupiter-Saturn-Uranus-Neptune mission.

Actually, Grand Tour plan was dumped due to budget cuts, and the Voyagers were a consolation prize. It is by mostly luck that Voyager 2 visited all four planets. Both were only scheduled to go to jup and saturn, but two events changed that.

First, Pioneer 11, the first probe to swoop by Saturn, tested a path close to the rings to make sure it was passable without particle damage risk. Without taking the same such path, Voyager could not make the angle to go on to Uranus. Pioneer 11 was designated to be a sacraficial lamb for the Voyagers.

Second, Voyager 1 found Titan difficult to photograph and analyze beyond the upper atmosphere. With Titan off the primary target list, Voyager 2 was free to go on to Uranus (and later Neptune).
     

Excellent!-The Wal-Mart Shuttle. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049291)

"I'm not saying we shouldn't do everything possible to keep our astronauts safe, but if they hadn't contracted the shuttle out to the lowest bidder in the first place, we might have better craft."

China makes shuttles?

Re:Excellent! (1)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049355)

but at the same time, where is the spirit NASA used to have?
Totally, brother! Erm.. I agree, I mean. It was a long time since man stepped on the Moon or built ever increasingly cool (and fast!) aircraft just for fun^H^H^Hscience. Why don't we all have our own rocket.. things... to fly in?! Combine the computer development we've seen the latest decades with what we could have had if the "hard" technology had continued to flourish and we would be living in a sci-fi novel. It seems. To bad I will have to arrange that new cold war to get them going. (Don't tell anyone. Oh, hi Slashdot!)

Re:Excellent! (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049527)

... but at the same time, where is the spirit NASA used to have?



Gone. That's what happens when politicians dictate scientists what they have to do.



These days it always seems about money & more money,



Actually, it's money and less money.



I wonder how much it would cost to launch a few more Voyager-like probes?



Lots (as with launching anything). However, do we _want_ Voyager-like probes that just zip past a few scenic views and then leave the solar system for good ? Missions along the line of Cassini or JIMO that actually stick around interesting objects for a while are far more interesting.

Re:Excellent! (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049788)

One of the motivations behind the voyager "grand tour" missions was to spot interesting places to "hang around". But I agree, stuff like Cassini or the Great Observatories [nasa.gov] makes a "Buck Rogers" joy ride to mars look like an expensive cold war stunt.

Re:Excellent! (4, Insightful)

oni (41625) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050238)

but at the same time, where is the spirit NASA used to have?

Well, I understand what you're getting at, but I just want to point out that the Cassini mission to Saturn was at least as important scientifically as Voyager's flyby. Cassini has already returned many hundreds of times more data about just Saturn, than both Voyagers returned from all the planets combined.

When you and I were born, no human being in the history of our species had ever seen the surface of Titan. Now, thanks to Cassini (and the lander which I cannot spell), we have.

Don't you think that's amazing? Don't you think that is in the highest spirit of NASA?

And what about the many Mars rovers and orbiters? I think you need to step back and think about how totally cool it is that we have machine rolling around on an alien planet.

And what about the Galileo mission to Jupiter? I know that one had some problems but still, it was cool.

And we have the New Horizons mission on its way to Pluto. Think about how cool that is! No human being today can tell you what the surface of Pluto looks like. Aren't you curious? I am! One day soon, thanks to NASA, we'll know.

And one day (unless congress cancels it) we'll have the ion-engine powered JIMO mission to orbit Europa. How cool is that??

Please don't sell NASA short. In the Apollo days, NASA's budget was like 1% of the GDP. It was like what we're spending in Iraq. All that, just going to NASA! Their budget hasn't gone up with inflation, it's gone way down.

Re:Excellent! (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050401)

"The US can afford maintaining bases in Iraq, he argues. US defense spending now amounts to a bit more than 4 percent of gross domestic product, the nation's output of goods and services. It might rise as a result of Iraq bases to 5 percent of GDP, still less than the 6.5 percent of GDP in the cold war or the 10 percent during the Vietnam War."

Re:Excellent! (1)

dodongo (412749) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050501)

And we have the New Horizons mission on its way to Pluto. Think about how cool that is! No human being today can tell you what the surface of Pluto looks like. Aren't you curious? I am! One day soon, thanks to NASA, we'll know.


Allow me to paraphrase Lewis Black on this:

The probe is expected to reach Pluto in just nine short years. NINE YEARS! I can't wait that long! I need to know what's happening on Pluto NOW!

Re:Excellent! (4, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050628)


but at the same time, where is the spirit NASA used to have?


Did it go somewhere? I really don't understand this attitude at all. Nasa currently still has TWO robots roaming around Mars, just successfully deployed another orbiter around Mars, landed a probe (along with the ESA) on Titan, returned material from both a comet and interstellar space, returned material from the Sun (even though it smashed into the desert), and tentatively proved yet another prediction of general relativity (frame dragging). That's all happened within the last couple years!

I'd say the spirit of NASA is more alive than it's ever been!

What really worries me is what it'll be like in another 5 years if all these budget cuts and diverting funds away from science missions keeps happening.

Re:Excellent! (2, Informative)

Iron Sun (227218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051206)

I would rather say that ESA landed a probe (along with NASA) on Titan. The probe was European, they landed it. Cassini took it there and acted as relay, thus NASA deserve the co-starring accreditation.

Your other examples were good, there was no need to co-opt others achievements. Giving credit where it's due shouldn't be done backhandedly.

Re:Excellent! (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053678)

My mistake. I thought the probe was Nasa's and the orbiter was ESA.

Re:Excellent! (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055626)

Planetary and scientific missions tend to be cyclical. The mid-70's had a burst of probe activity, tapered off in the 80's and early 90's, and then jumped up again in the mid 90's, perhaps due revenue from the dot-com bubble. I suspect another lull because of deficits and budget cuts.

BTW, the recent Pluto-bound probe is a cool mission that should be listed.
       

No more Cold War (1)

drhamad (868567) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050713)

It's great to know that something launched before I was born (1980), can still be found and active.. but at the same time, where is the spirit NASA used to have? These days it always seems about money & more money, while they whine and complain about the ever present-flaws in the space shuttle.

In addition to what LiquidCooled said... we also no longer have that little booster called the "Cold War." During that time we didn't care how much money we spent as long as we were ahead of the Soviets. Being ahead of the Soviets was the jusifitication for everything. Now they need to find new justifications, and the public doesn't necessarily support science for science's sake. So they have less money. This means less "incredible" missions, and a stretching of older technology beyond what it was meant for (Space Shuttle). It also means that the missions must have more practical application - which means a lot more close Earth orbit stuff (satelites, etc).

Similar things have happened all over the place, in the new economy... not because of the Cold War, but still similar. Note how there's no more pure research facilities left? IBM's Watson facility is perhaps the last left, but even that has turned to more practical application of research than research for research's sake.

Re:No more Cold War (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051440)

It was the warm war that killed most of NASA.
Apollo and many of the follow on projects where cut and cut because of the cost of Vietnam. Vietnam cost the US twice what Iraq is costing us now.
You comment on basic research is interesting. Bell Labs and Xerox Parc are pretty much no more but then research changes as technology moves for cutting edge to mainstream.
Think about it. The only thing about computers that has changed much in the last 10 years is speed. Most PCs are using the same ISA that Intel introduced with the 386. In operating systems things are even more depressing. XP is Windows NT, OS/X is NextStep, and Linux is Unix.
Computers are now mature. Sad isn't it.
The cutting edge now seems to be in biotech and nanotech. There is a lot of research going on in those fields.
Basic Research isn't dead. It's just moved on.

Re:No more Cold War (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055017)

OS/X is NextStep, and Linux is Unix.

haha, i'm feeling relieved for you that you didn't get modded up, otherwise you would have got your ass kicked for what I just quoted.

OS X is NeXTStep is only one in the long series of OS X is Unix/BSD/FreeBSD/Darwin. get yourself a copy of NeXTStep and let me know how well it compares with Mac OS X from the user/advanced user POV. Mac OS X may be partially based on NeXTStep, but what it's definitly not it.

Linux is Unix... Linux is _a_ Unix, Mac OS X is _a_ Unix, BeOS/Zeta is _a_ Unix, BSD's are Unices, but if you want to call something Unix, you'll be closer to the truth if you choose a BSD over a Linux. It's not a point anyways, you push your logic to the end, then Mac OS X==Alto OS, Windows Vista == MS-DOS and your fav linux distro == some Unix from the 70's.

Computers are now mature. Sad isn't it.
The cutting edge now seems to be in biotech and nanotech. There is a lot of research going on in those fields.
Basic Research isn't dead. It's just moved on.

There you got the un-insightfull comment of the day, when will you learn that everybody who claimed "innovation is dead" had to realize sooner or later they were wrong? Take a look at OSes in 2066 and talk again about OSes ain't movin on no more as you just did.

Re:No more Cold War (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055337)

"NeXTStep and let me know how well it compares with Mac OS X from the user/advanced user POV. Mac OS X may be partially based on NeXTStep, but what it's definitely not it."
This is where you don't get it. OS/X NeXTStep from the PROGRAMMERS point of view. The user interface may change and the API expands but it is still basically the same as NeXTStep. Don't get me wrong NeXTStep was a very good OO framework and still is.
Linux is only an evolution of Unix.
You are thinking eye candy/ user interface. I am thinking API and fundamental design. In other words I am talking about it from the point of view of the ultimate advanced user, the programmer.

Re:No more Cold War (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055669)

You ain't getting my point. Let me re-phrase it : from NeXTStep to Mac OS X 10.4.6, has there been any improvement to be seen from the programmer POV, or is Mac OS X = NeXTStep + eye candy?

Please notice that this is a rhetoric question

Re:Excellent! (1)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051594)

"I'm not saying we shouldn't do everything possible to keep our astronauts safe, but if they hadn't contracted the shuttle out to the lowest bidder in the first place, we might have better craft."

IANA rocket scientist, but it seems to me that the fundamental flaw in the shuttle was the design requirement that it should be able to recover payloads from orbit. If not for that, it would have been built with the payload on top of the booster and the crew vehicle on top of that, where it would be safe from debris. In other words, very similar to what they're talking about building to replace it.

Re:Excellent! (1)

arodland (127775) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051735)

I'm not saying we shouldn't do everything possible to keep our astronauts safe, but if they hadn't contracted the shuttle out to the lowest bidder in the first place, we might have better craft.

Actually, in light of consideration 1 (money), if they hadn't contracted out to the lowest bidder in the first place they would have had no craft.

Re:Excellent! (1)

crankyspice (63953) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052203)

[I]f they hadn't contracted the shuttle out to the lowest bidder in the first place, we might have better craft.

The Space Shuttle was designed for a lifespan of 5-10 years (one week in orbit, two weeks to prep for the next stint aloft; 100 missions), and started flying in the early 80s. Do the math. True, the shuttle fleet hasn't performed half the missions it was 'supposed' to fly, but any mechanic can tell you, age can take as much of a toll on systems as mileage does. The Space Shuttle should have been phased out in the early 90s, but guess what... Instead, we have 1970s designs crawling out to launch pads on 4 decade old hardware [space.com] ...

Re:Excellent! (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15052524)

It's great to know that something launched before I was born (1980), can still be found and active

I was 7 when this was launched- and I want a laptop with those batteries!

Re:Excellent! (1)

HuguesT (84078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15056696)

Are you sure ?

As long as you don't mind a big lump of Plutonium in your pocket or backpack and the associated health issues, you can [doe.gov] , at least in theory.

Standing Ovation (4, Insightful)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049191)

Actually, I'd like to shake their hands. Receiving such a weak signal as a radio amateur proves that there is still a lot of life in the hobby. Kudos to the guys!!!

PS. The message said "All of your Voyager are belong to us"

Re:Standing Ovation (3, Funny)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049398)

Actually it was, "All these world are belong to you except Europa. Attempt no set you down there."

Re:Standing Ovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15050076)

"Use them together in time make your peace. Ha ha ha ha."

Caps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15049192)

Why was the word 'Voyager' written in all caps?

Re:Caps (2, Funny)

foxhound01 (661872) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049304)

anything that was built in the 1970's and has gone that far deserves to get its name in all Caps.

Don't build 'em like that anymore (4, Insightful)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049205)

Thank God for clean efficient nuclear power. If these had been solar powered we would've lost contact a long time ago.

Re:Don't build 'em like that anymore (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049241)

At distances of 13.6 light hours away from any earth live it doesn't have to be clean though.

Re:Don't build 'em like that anymore (4, Funny)

clintp (5169) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049316)

It wasn't always that far from Earth. Rumor has it that at one time it was actually *on* the planet. It's hard for the tree huggers to believe that we've built a nuclear power source that's functioned flawlessly for 30 years, but it's true.

Re:Don't build 'em like that anymore (2, Informative)

Sique (173459) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049331)

It had to work flawlessly (that is without radioactive leakage) only for a few days though, from mounting the power unit until start.

Re:Don't build 'em like that anymore (1)

uniqueUser (879166) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049539)

It looks like NASA plans for Voyager's powerplant effectivly die around 2020.
Spacecraft Lifetiem [nasa.gov]

Re:Don't build 'em like that anymore (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050888)

Good to know (and a bit sad).

You hear that everyone?

We have about 14 years and counting to design and build a resupply mission! With some luck and some serious effort, we should be able to get out there and resupply/refit Voyager before they have to shut it down. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but it would provide a focus for interstellar space exploration at least.

On a slightly related note. ... assuming that manned comercial exploration becomes a reality, as does interstellar travel, how long do you figure before someone DOES fly a mission to "collect" one or more of our early interstellar probes? (either as a museum piece, or for a private collector).

Pardon my mission creep (1)

subtropolis (748348) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055364)

but don't you think it'd be easier to simply build your interstellar vehicle here instead of something that can catch up to Voyager in order to kit it out as one? It's 13.6 light-hours out! Just build a new, more robust probe and launch.

Re:Don't build 'em like that anymore (1)

Doctor Memory (6336) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051347)

IIRC, the thermocouples that produce electricity from the (thorium?) core are the weak link, the actual thermal output from the source could provide sufficient power for close to a century.

Re:Don't build 'em like that anymore (1)

HTL2001 (836298) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050756)

And don't forget, for those who are scaired of radiation, on average more radioactive material is coming out of a coal power plant than a nuclear power plant (that is, uncontained material, out of the exhaust)

Re:Don't build 'em like that anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15051599)

I didn't know there was such a thing as a coal-powered spacecraft.

Wow, you learn something new every day!

Re:Don't build 'em like that anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052876)

If you're including coal emissions... then it's only fair to include the entire industry of uranium mining, extraction, and processing... Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Re:Don't build 'em like that anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15053477)

If you're including the whole uranium industry let's include the whole coal industry. Mining, shipping, crushing, active storage, etc. Even without that, there's no part of the uranium industry that releases more uncontrolled radiation sources than a coal-burning power plant. There is, of course, waste from various parts of the process, but in the uranium industry even the waste is carefully contained. Can we say the same for coal? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....

Don't build 'em like that anymore-Nuclear BS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15052431)

"It's hard for the tree huggers to believe that we've built a nuclear power source that's functioned flawlessly for 30 years, but it's true."

Yes, a thermal pile is so much harder to build than a nuclear power plant.*

*Set sarcasm detectors to overload.

Re:Don't build 'em like that anymore (4, Informative)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049305)

Thank God for clean efficient nuclear power.

The RTG generators used in these probes are neither clean nor efficient. That's not really an issue in deep space, though.

BTW, they still build 'em like that. The Pluto probe launched this year has one.

Re:Don't build 'em like that anymore (1)

Celandine (610250) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049325)

Yes they do [wikipedia.org] . (There's no alternative for any deep space probe.)

Finally, news that matters (1, Offtopic)

Clinton (798067) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049286)

With all the semi-news posts I've seen on Slashdot the last few weeks, this news about Voyager has made up for it.

Job very well done to ALL members of the Voyager team, wherever you are today.

What a coincidence (2, Interesting)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049300)

I took my parents down to the Smithsonians Air & Space Annex near Dulles Airport on saturday. While we were in the space/rocketry section my dad mentioned that some hams had received a message from 'one of those spacecraft way out there'. I thought he meant Pioneer but, my dad being my dad, had obviously misremembered which spacecraft.

I questioned him on this and he assured me that the signal reception had been confirmed.

Not that this adds anything to the conversation other than a weird coincidence of him telling me about this and now seeing the story.

As an aside, I would highly recommend visiting the annex if you get the chance. The number and variety of planes in the hangar is impressive. Essentially the entire history of flight, from a competitor to the Wright Brothers to ballooning and on to spaceflight, is represented. They even have the model of the mother ship from 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' and you can see the easter eggs the designers added such as an R2D2 figure, a graveyard and two airplanes.

There are even several planes which are the only ones of their kind to exist anywhere in the world including several from WWII as well as the Enola Gay.

It will take the entire day to see everything so plan accordingly. The parking is $12 a car not including the tolls on the Dulles Toll Road.

Re:What a coincidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15050013)

I was there just a couple weeks ago and have to agree that it is an impressive display and collection. Even if I still maintain the the dirigible hanger is just a qonset hut on steroids. I was actually a little dissapointed by the main building of the air and space museum on the capitol mall after seeing the Udvar Hazy center. Taking the Air and space museum shuttle is also a good deal if you don't want to deal with driving.

Re:What a coincidence (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050669)

My dad told me there was something in the news about something. What an amazing coicidence that I saw it on a news website a few days later.

Amazing.

Coincidence... RAAF Museum (1)

brindafella (702231) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055435)

A colleague has been involved in establishing the web site for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Museum. See www.defence.gov.au/raaf/raafmuseum [defence.gov.au] .

Yes, this is also off-topic! :-)

Re:What a coincidence (1)

TummyX (84871) | more than 8 years ago | (#15056864)

Not that this adds anything to the conversation other than a weird coincidence of him telling me about this and now seeing the story.

Your dad tells you about a current event and you read it on a news web site not soon after Amazing!

What would be really a coincidence is if you found out your dad has the same last name as you or something.

Isn't this great!? (2, Funny)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049302)

Now I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And to think that now even amateurs can contact Voyager 1, even though it's almost 100AU away. This makes me want to build my own compact, high-performance radio telescope, with a superconducting receiver, just so that I can commune with V'ger before I go to bed at night. :-)

deep space what? (3, Funny)

Ricken (797341) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049306)

Deep Space Radar Telemetry huh....

Re:deep space what? (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055317)

Deep Space Radar Telemetry huh....

I believe this is the part in the movie where they ask "In English please?" and then someone else provides a dumbed-down explanation so that you can understand with no learning required on your part.
 

what about an upgrade? (1)

observer7 (753034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049401)

think we can upgrade it from here ?

Re:what about an upgrade? (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049693)

Will it run...ahh, nevermind.

Re:what about an upgrade? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15050332)

didn't they use rad hard 1802s ?
that might be a little small for ...
[lost carrier]

Um, so what? (2, Interesting)

oni (41625) | more than 8 years ago | (#15049427)

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but people are in constant contact with Voyager. This headline makes it sound like nobody has heard from Voyager in years, but the truth is, they never lost it.

This is just a story about how some amatures managed to find it. I mean, that's cool. Don't get me wrong. Congrats to those guys. But don't play it up to be more than that.

Re:Um, so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15050691)

Obviously you haven't looked up the meaning of the word amateur in the dictionary in a while.

Re:Um, so what? (1)

oni (41625) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050785)

Obviously you haven't looked up the meaning of the word amateur in the dictionary in a while.

Duh! I know exactly what amateur means, and also what asian means and what group means. I've been on the internets for a long time.

Re:Um, so what? (2, Insightful)

updatelee (244571) | more than 8 years ago | (#15051319)

nasa is in contact with voyager 1 and 2 aprox 12h a day using a 70m dish, amater's used a 28m dish ! thats whats incredible.

Jupiter and Saturn Close ups? (2)

sconeu (64226) | more than 8 years ago | (#15050403)

VOYAGER 1 was launched on 5. September 1977 by NASA. It transmitted the first close-up pictures of Jupiter and Saturn

Didn't Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 do that first?

Re:Jupiter and Saturn Close ups? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055608)

[first closeup images] Didn't Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 do that first?

Indeed. However, I suppose it depends on how you define "close-up". The Pioneers didn't have very good resolution.
           

SETI? (1)

Hyram Graff (962405) | more than 8 years ago | (#15053640)

So what would this have said about the SETI program if they had recieved a signal that they couldn't verify with NASA?

Re:SETI? (1)

black mariah (654971) | more than 8 years ago | (#15054895)

Next to nothing. There's all manner of random blips and boops floating out there. SETI's picked up several anomalies but none of them amounted to much of anything interesting.

Dear Hemos (1)

greginnj (891863) | more than 8 years ago | (#15054231)

I clicked through to read TFA, and (in addition to it being in German), it was shorter than the summary! ... no, wait, it was just a bad link to the home page of this particular group, rather than to the actual article [amsat-dl.org] that the AC submitter appears to have translated practically word-for-word to create the summary (which nevertheless didn't bother to link to the source article).

Is it too much to ask that the summary ... summarize? Can someone for the love of FSM explain to me why we needed not only all the geeks involved's names, but also their radio call signs? Wouldn't all the Voyager telemetry groupies be willing to read TFA to get that crucial information?

Yes, I'm grumpy today. Sorry...

What makes the Bochumer Antenna so good? Details! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15054753)

Anyone got english stuff telling about their low noise amp and all that stuff? What is this thing made of (geek details please) and how big is it in ft? Could I put one in my back yard?

Well? (1)

thisNameNotTaken (952374) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055411)

Did they bring a towel? Very important for space travel.

Hacking? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 8 years ago | (#15055643)

Doesn't this increase the chance of it being hacked? Osama would love to embarass us by making our furthest probe dump all its stablizing propellent and spin into oblivion.
     

Receiving Something... (1)

berenixium (920883) | more than 8 years ago | (#15056279)

The signal that the amateur radio guys received sounded somthing like:

"Help! I Want to come back, you bastards!"

Oh well, that should happen in about two hundred and fifty years or so, according to a Mr G. Roddenberry!
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