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Old 4th December 2017, 07:41 PM
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Default SPACE: Voyager One Thrusters Work.

(First time they've been tried since 1980)

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NASA's announced that Voyager 1's already-amazingly-long mission will probably be extended for an extra two or three years, thanks to a successful attempt to use thrusters that haven't fired up since the year 1980.

As NASA announced last Friday, Voyager 1's been using its “attitude control thrusters” (ACMs) for decades, to nudge the probe so that its antenna points at Earth and it can stay in touch.

While the ACMs work, since 2014 they've use more fuel than in the past. As Voyager 1 carries a finite quantity of fuel, thirsty thrusters are not welcome.

The probe does, however, have other thrusters – its "trajectory correction maneuver” (TCM) thrusters were last used as it passed Saturn, to help point Voyager 1's instruments at the ringed gas giant. As the TCMs are mounted on the craft's rear and Voyager doesn't need a speed boost – it's already doing 17.46 km/hour - they've been left alone since 1980.

But Voyager's masters felt the ailing ACMs meant it was worth trying to see if the TCMs could pick up the slack.
Read the rest at the Reg.
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Old 4th December 2017, 07:54 PM
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Default Re: SPACE: Voyager One Thrusters Work.

"it's already doing 17.46 km/hour" 17.46 km/second surely?
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Old 4th December 2017, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: SPACE: Voyager One Thrusters Work.

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bruce1937 said View Post
"it's already doing 17.46 km/hour" 17.46 km/second surely?
Yes

Wikipedia

Quote:
On February 17, 1998, Voyager 1 reached a distance of 69 AU from the Sun and overtook Pioneer 10 as the most distant spacecraft from Earth. Travelling at about 17 kilometers per second (11 mi/s) it has the fastest heliocentric recession speed of any spacecraft.
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Old 4th December 2017, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: SPACE: Voyager One Thrusters Work.

So with this momentum it is expected to escape the Sun's gravity and head out into the galaxy with 'the golden records attempting to explain humanity until something nasty stops them.'

Please come quick and save us from ourselves.
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Old 5th December 2017, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: SPACE: Voyager One Thrusters Work.

I knew B'Elanna Torres would get them working again!
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