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Voyager One

Working alone in the vastness of the universe

By Karen GillanahPublished 2 years ago 4 min read

Launched in 1977, Voyager 1 has been in operation for more than 40 years and is presumed to be the longest-running spacecraft in history.

Although it is already 23.3 billion kilometers away from Earth, it has always maintained information transmission and communication with Earth, working alone in the vast universe, what equipment does it rely on to maintain communication with Earth at all times?

Voyager 1

Voyager 1 is an unmanned space probe in the outer solar system launched by NASA in 1977 with the important task of exploring the universe in outer space on its shoulders.

Voyager 1 was built and launched as part of a planetary journey program that wanted to launch unmanned probes to study various objects in the universe, and the late 1970s coincided with a rare linear alignment cycle of the five planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

With the use of five planets in a linear cycle, you can use the force of flight, using the "gravitational boost" technology, saving the energy required for flight, that is, with a minimum amount of propellant and flight time to complete the task of carrying the probe, Voyager 1 is equipped with the latest technology to start its journey through the universe.

NASA originally arranged for Voyager I plan to explore the three planets Venus, Mars, and Mercury, and the original name was Mariner plan Jupiter Mars probe, but later due to budgetary constraints, the original plan can only be changed to fly swept Jupiter and Saturn, the probe was also renamed, Voyager.

Although far from the original vision of exploring the three planets, Voyager 1 also accomplished a better mission within its capabilities, providing us with the first detailed photographs of Jupiter, Saturn, and their moons in human possession, which brought a visual feast to mankind and laid a landmark foundation for understanding the planets of the universe.

A powerful communication system

The mission for Voyager was completed in 1990, and scientists turned off its camera to save energy, and from the last photo it took, it was presumed to have flown out of the top layer of the heliosphere and to be more than 20 billion kilometers away from Earth.

The answer is no, at a distance of 23.3 billion kilometers away from Earth, it can still maintain intermittent contact with us, in the end, rely on what means of communication?

This stable contact between the universe to maintain can only rely on radio communication means, which has to mention the Voyager I body equipped with high-tech communication equipment.

To make Voyager One in a long flight can also maintain communication stability, technical personnel in its body equipped with a parabolic dish antenna about 3.7 meters in diameter, this antenna uses s-band and x-band frequencies, and the radio signal sent from the Earth to modulate, not only to ensure that the information received and sent, and interference is also controlled to a minimum.

For Voyager I to provide power for a long time is equipped with three radioisotope generators, these three generators produce enough power to make Voyager I run for decades, which is also an important reason why it can always maintain communications.

However, Voyager 1 itself is equipped with high-tech equipment is not enough, the Earth also needs to have a strong enough measurement and control network to be able to receive its signal.

Voyager probe and the ground distance of 23.3 billion kilometers, so its radio transmission power and data transmission rate are therefore limited, so NASA on the ground must be set up as clairvoyant and smooth-ear equipment to maintain their contact.

As early as ten years before the launch of Voyager, NASA has been prepared for contact with the probe, they built a huge area of measurement and control network, which is similar to the radio telescope cauldron composed of wireless network arrangement system, its maximum diameter of 70 meters, to ensure that the Earth's rotation at the same time there will be no communication blind spot, ready to receive news from the probe.

But it is worth noting that even with the best equipment to assist Voyager 1 and the ground communication between the two, 23.3 billion kilometers is still an unreachable distance, which also led to the communication signal between the two strong and weak.

Where does the future of Voyager go?

As mentioned earlier, Voyager 1's mission has actually been completed since 1990, but its exploration value is not over, in the subsequent flight journey, it can still transmit some interstellar space data, such as the return of information about the top layer of the heliosphere, which still has important significance for scientists to study the universe.

But according to scientists' speculation, Voyager 1 and the Earth's contact has been time is not much, to 2025 may have to be completely disconnected from humans, which is also due to give it the original design of nuclear-powered batteries can only support until 2025, and Voyager will also continue to travel in the remaining time, with the wishes of mankind to outer space.

Although we may lose contact with Voyager, Voyager 1 has always carried important information from Earth, and in its initial design, humans gave it a gold-plated audio-visual disc containing greetings and various music and images recorded in human languages.

This data is also intended to be able to express human greetings and deliver messages about the possible existence of "aliens" in outer space, but whether it works we do not know yet, but it always carries good hope and friendly greetings of human beings for alien civilizations and expects to find the company of another kind of life in the vast universe.

Perhaps the best ending for Voyager 1 is to wait for humans to have enough power to take it home, and it will also take its legendary journey into the universe into the human museum to end its "wandering road".

We also hope that mankind can make more advanced air probes to continue its cosmic exploration journey, to reach those unattainable planets for mankind, and to see the beautiful appearance of the entire universe.


About the Creator

Karen Gillanah

The aggravation that can be told is not aggravation; the lover that can be snatched away is not a lover.

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    Karen GillanahWritten by Karen Gillanah

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