ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com October 20, 2018


NASA fires up Voyager 1 backup thrusters after 37 years

03 December 2017, 02:22 | Justin Tyler

NASA fires up Voyager 1 backup thrusters after 37 years

NASA fires up Voyager 1 backup thrusters after 37 years

Voyager 1, NASA's far away and active spacecraft, is the only human-made object in interstellar space, the environment between the stars. The probe now uses its attitude control thrusters to make tiny corrections - firing for only milliseconds at a time - to rotate it to point its antenna towards Earth.

Experts at the agency's jet propulsion laboratory (JPL) in California made a decision to turn to four backup thrusters that were last used on 8 November 1980.

All of Voyager's thrusters were developed by Aerojet Rocketdyne.

Nasa's Voyager 1 spacecraft-cruising interstellar space billions of miles from earth - was back on the right track on Friday thanks to thrusters that were fired up for the first time in 37 years. According to Voyager project manager Suzanne Dodd, the reactivated thrusters should help extend the life of the probe for another "two to three years". They are located on the back side of the spacecraft in this orientation.


The probe began its epic journey on September 5, 1977, sending us back a wealth of information, including some stunning photos of Saturn and Jupiter and their many moons.

The thrusts lasted a mere 10-milliseconds, but due to the colossal distance between the probe and its home planet the commands took 19 hours and 35 minutes to reach Voyager. The same kind of thruster, called the MR-103, flew on other NASA spacecraft as well, such as Cassini and Dawn.

But the probe had a series of four backup trajectory correction manoeuvre thrusters which hadn't been used since 1980, and through a series of tests NASA discovered that they remained functional and worked just as well as the main set. "The mood was one of relief, joy, and incredulity after witnessing these well-rested thrusters pick up the baton as if no time had passed at all", said Todd Barber, a propulsion engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. To make the change, Voyager has to turn on one heater per thruster, which requires power - a limited resource for the aging mission. The attitude control thrusters now used for Voyager 2 are not yet as degraded as Voyager 1's, however.

The engineers plan to use a similar test on Voyager 2, which was launched earlier than its twin, but is still within the realm of our solar system. A gramophone record carries the Voyager report, a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk moving sounds and images chosen to represent the diversity of life and culture on Earth.



Other News

Trending Now

Beijing urges global community to pool efforts to resolve North Korea issue
North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un said this test showed that North Korea had become a full nuclear power. Lavrov suggested recent USA behavior indicated it wanted to push North Korea into a war.

NFL Minute: Eli Manning's situation as related to Ben Roethlisberger
Instead, Smith will try to propel the Giants to a win Sunday when he starts his first game since October 23, 2016. But, if you thought Eli Manning was feeling bad, take a look at this note from NFL Media's research department.

Quentin Tarantino to release Charles Manson movie on 50th anniversary of murders
Sony is distributing the film after outbidding competing studios like Warner Brothers and Paramount. The " Pulp Fiction " director's latest will hit theaters on August 9, 2019, Variety has learned.

Top Democrats Interested In Bipartisan Meeting Without Trump
The Democratic leaders instead encouraged their Republican counterparts to work out a deal without the president's involvement. By staying away, Schumer and Pelosi have handed President Trump a potential win as this shutdown battle looms ever closer.

Is your Christmas tree a fire hazard? Tips from FDNY
So it's geopolitical and you're looking at what's shipping elsewhere in the world and who that impact the christmas tree market. Visitors can expect a visit from Santa (6:15 pm to 8:00 pm), as well as the lighting of the tree, and a fireworks display.

Production Halts on Bryan Singer's Queen Biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody'
According to the studio, "health matter" is the reason behind this which involves the director of the film Bryan Singer . Filming has been taking place in the United Kingdom , with Mr Robot actor Rami Malek in the lead role.

Goldman Sachs Hits Marathon Petro (NYSE:MPC) Hard With Today's Downgrade
If we look at the Volatility of Marathon Oil Corporation ( MRO ), Week Volatility is 2.78%, whereas Month Volatility is at 2.91%. The oil and gas company reported $1.77 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.48 by $0.29.