Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Go Go Voyager 1!
How many electronic devices do you have that still work after 32 years of hard use? For most of us the answer is not many if any. But NASA can point to their Voyager spacecraft. Launched back in 1977 the plucky probes are still providing valuable data. Observations taken this year by Voyager 1 indicate that it has gone beyond the influence of the solar wind and is about to enter interstellar space. Not bad for a spacecraft designed with late '60s-early '70s electronic technology. It's now so far away from Earth that a signal from it takes 16 hours to reach Earth at the speed of light. Hopefully it and its sister craft Voyager 2 will continue to operate for years to come.