Voyager 1 Gets Help from Thrusters Dormant for 37 Years
Voyager 1 Gets Help from Thrusters Dormant for 37 Years
After 37 years, Voyager 1 has fired up its trajectory thrusters
04 December, 2017, 01:27
In order to keep the spacecraft running, its thrusters have to function properly, but engineers weren't sure if the small devices were going to work considering they hadn't been used since November 1980.
However, over the past three years, scientists at Nasa noticed that the main "attitude control thrusters" of the spacecraft, which reorient its antennas towards our planet and help with communication, had been wearing out with time.
The only human-made object in interstellar space - the environment between the stars - Voyager 1 has been flying for 40 years. This, as Nasa described, should "be able to extend the life of the Voyager 1 spacecraft by two to three years". Over the next few years it completed fly-bys of Jupiter, Saturn, and Titan-Saturn's largest moon. The JPL will also test out the TCM thrusters on Voyager 1's twin, Voyager 2, although NASA says that that spacecraft's attitude control thrusters are in better shape.
And even after Voyager 1 dies - or if we lose contact with it - the spacecraft is ready to achieve great things. Back then, the TCM thrusters were utilized in a more constant firing mode; they had never been used in the brief explosions necessary to orient the spacecraft.
They commanded the spacecraft to fire a set of four trajectory thrusters for the first time in 37 years to determine their ability to orient the spacecraft using 10-millisecond pulses. The four Aerojet Rocketdyne MR-103 trajectory correction maneuver (TCM) engines were last fired in 1980 when the spacecraft was passing Saturn.
Humanity's most distant spacecraft surprised its operators by answering the call to fire up rockets that have not been used in nearly 40 years.
This week, the scientists and engineers on the Voyager team did something very special. "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 Barber, a JPL propulsion engineer.
The MR-103 thrusters, provided by Aerojet Rocketdyne, are created to fire in pulses to rotate the spacecraft and keep its 12-foot (3.7-metre) antenna pointed at Earth, but engineers have noticed more firings were needed recently, indicating the jets were losing some of their performance. They will do so by switching over to backup TCM thrusters in early January of next year. Voyager 1 was already operating on its backup branch of attitude control thrusters.
The thruster test went so well; the team will likely do a similar analysis on the TCM thrusters for Voyager 2, the counterpart spacecraft of Voyager 1.
Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were launched 16 days apart in 1977.
The North says the Hwasong-15 missile can be tipped with a "super-large heavy warhead" capable of striking the whole USA mainland. Graham expressed confidence in the Trump administration's ability to manage the growing conflict with North Korea.
Freeze resigned over off-field issues - including allegations that he repeatedly made phone calls to escort services - in July. Most debilitating in that regard is an additional bowl-ban season and the loss of 13 scholarships over the next three years.
He further said that the two structural reforms - GST and demonetisation - will benefit the economy in the medium and long-term. Mining also posted a sharp uptick in growth to 5.5 per cent from a decline of 0.7 per cent in the previous quarter.
The area where the incident occurred is a hub for educational institutions in the city including the University of Peshawar . According to Hayatabad Medical Complex Director Shahzad Akbar, six dead and 18 injured were brought to the hospital.
Instead, Woods shot 40 on the front nine, didn't make a birdie until the 14th hole and wound up with a 75. Fowler began the day with seven consecutive birdies and shot 11-under 61 to win by four strokes.
The country has since fallen into chaos and Mr Saleh later joined the Houthis to drive Mr Hadi out of the capital in 2014. He added: "We will deal with them in a positive way and what happened to Yemen is enough".
In particular, Qualcomm points to the iPhone X's multitasking interface and its similarities to the interface webOS used to use. Qualcomm has now pulled out some old Palm patents in an attempt to get the ITC to ban Apple's fresh iPhone 8 and iPhone X .
Alex Smith isn't the problem in Chiefs' latest loss
That's when Peters lost his cool, grabbing the flag thrown by side judge Keith Washington and tossing it into the stands. Less than two minutes later, Smith and Kelce hooked up again for a 36-yard score to build an early two-possession lead.
Israeli missile targets military base near Damascus
The "blatant assault" led to material losses at the site in the countryside around the capital, the Syrian state media reported. The incident reportedly occurred Friday night, with IDF planes attacking the Iranian base at al-Kiswah, south of Damascus.
Yankees will reportedly name Aaron Boone their new manager
Boone, who starred at Villa Park High before a 12-year career in the major leagues, has been an ESPN baseball analyst since 2010. That's a good thing, because Aaron Boone doesn't have any. "I understand what it is to be a Yankee", he said.
Look east! 2017 supermoon rises tonight
This will mean that the on the night of the December 3 the moon will be seven per cent larger and 16 per cent brighter than usual. If you want to celebrate the year's most super supermoon as a holiday for moongazers, I don't see anything wrong with that.
Currie out as UT AD
Currie flew back earlier Friday to Knoxville after interviewing Washington State coach Mike Leach on Thursday in Los Angeles. Butch Jones was sacked as coach after a blowout loss to Missouri; Tennessee finished its season 4-8 (0-8 in SEC play).