What is NASA's Voyager?
NASA's Voyager is a space probe that was launched in 1977 to study the outer Solar System and beyond. It has provided us with invaluable data about the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn, as well as their moons. Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are the farthest human-made objects from Earth, and they continue to explore the interstellar space.
Why is Voyager's Power Strategy Important?
Voyager's power source comes from its radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs), which convert the heat produced by the natural decay of plutonium-238 into electricity. However, over time, the power output of the RTGs has been decreasing, limiting the spacecraft's ability to operate its scientific instruments.
What is the New Power Strategy?
To address this issue, NASA has developed a new power strategy for Voyager. The spacecraft will now switch to using a backup set of thrusters, which were originally intended for trajectory correction maneuvers. By using these thrusters instead of the primary ones, Voyager can conserve power and extend its scientific mission.
How Will the New Power Strategy Benefit Voyager's Science?
The new power strategy will allow Voyager to continue its scientific investigations for a longer period. With the extended power supply, the spacecraft will be able to keep its instruments operational, collecting valuable data about the interstellar medium and the boundary where the Sun's influence ends.
What Science Can We Expect from Voyager?
Voyager's extended mission will focus on studying the heliopause, which is the boundary where the solar wind from the Sun meets the interstellar medium. By analyzing the particles and magnetic fields in this region, scientists hope to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of our Solar System and its interaction with the surrounding space.
NASA's Voyager has been a remarkable scientific achievement, providing us with unprecedented insights into the outer reaches of our Solar System. With the new power strategy, Voyager will continue to push the boundaries of our knowledge and contribute to our understanding of the universe.