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View Diary: Breaking News: Mankind leaves the solar system Update w/ pics (202 comments)

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  •  The sad fact is (3+ / 0-)
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    auron renouille, bythesea, Rashaverak

    The probability is high that the first populated star system (other than Sol of course) that Voyager finally drifts into, (assuming it ever does reach one - the probability is higher that it won't), will be a system already populated BY humans from Earth.   The point is that this likelihood, as low as it may be, is still a lot higher than the probability of alien life finding it.

    "Already populated by humans from Earth?  What do you mean?  How is that possible?  It was the first object Earthlings sent out of the Solar System?"

    It may be the first object humans sent into deep space, but it's really really SLOOOOW compared to something with an engine technology of the sort we're proposing these days.  If we don't stupidly kill ourselves off, and we don't let the Tea Party sorts of people kill the human race's science knowledge and let it atrophy in a giant collapse of all civilization, then  anything else we launch in the future after Voyager will end up quickly overtaking Voyager.

    Even if we don't launch it for another few thousand years.

    It's going to take Voyager THAT long to get anywhere.

    If we do find the Voyager message our ancestors sent out to the stars... to ourselves... our historians will have to explain to us what the historical significance of this weird object is.  Because remembering that we sent it will be like a person today trying to remember the invention of the first chariot.  The knowledge will be THAT old.

    •  That's what I was wondering. (2+ / 0-)
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      bythesea, Rashaverak

      It's certainly fascinating to hear about us getting readings from deep space, but I know that the distance to any adjacent solar system is massive.  I was guessing a century or so, given decades just to get out that far, and given that perhaps NASA developed a trajectory that might allow for steady increases in speed.  But thousands of years?  Damn, wow.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:53:12 PM PDT

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      •  Well, it isn't aimed at any (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rashaverak, auron renouille

        nearby system, and won't even pass near one for many thousands of years.  Sorry if you felt I was unresponsive.

        •  Nope, not unresponsive at all. :) (1+ / 0-)
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          bythesea

          Sorry, sometimes I kind of stand in dumb[struck] awe at things :).  This may have been one of those times.

          "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

          by auron renouille on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 02:12:21 PM PDT

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      •  The voyagers' trajectories were not based on (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        auron renouille, bythesea

        the goal of escaping the solar system.  The primary goal of their missions was to make observations of our local gas giants here in the solar system.  The fact that while we were at it we also had an opportunity, if we aimed the probes just right, to use those gas giants as gravity slingshots to fling the probes out of the sun's gravity well was just a nice added bonus to the primary mission.  So Carl Sagan pushed NASA to tack on a "hello we're humans and we look like this" plaque on the side... you know... just in case.

        But the trajectory doesn't really take it near any of our "local" neighboring stars.

        •  Voyager 1's final trajectory in particular (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          auron renouille

          Was determined by a desire to have one of the two probes take a close look at Saturn's moon Titan - that wasn't possible and have it slingshot to Uranus at the same time, the latter journey being left to its sister ship.

          Carl Sagan also pushed NASA to switch Voyager 1's cameras back on again for the last time and take the Family Portrait (which included the Pale Blue Dot image).

          Fake candidates nominated by the GOP for the recalls: 6 out of 7. Fake signatures on the recall petitions: 4 out of 1,860,283.

          by GeoffT on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 12:12:53 AM PDT

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