Skip to main content

In just another example of how BIG GUBMINT  can't get anything right we have this update on Voyager I (yeah, remember that one?):

Since last summer, the long-running spacecraft has been exploring uncharted territory where the effects of interstellar space, or the space between stars, can be felt. Scientists don't know how thick this newfound region in the solar system is or how much farther Voyager 1 has to travel to break to the other side.
You see, I'm 51 years old, and this space-thingy was launched by the US of A gubmint when I was 15 years old.

Voyager 1 and its twin, Voyager 2, were launched in 1977 to visit the giant gas planets, beaming back dazzling postcards of Jupiter, Saturn and their moons. Voyager 2 went on to tour Uranus and Neptune. After planet-hopping, they were sent on a trajectory toward interstellar space.

Voyager 1 is about 11 ½ billion miles from the sun. Voyager 2 is about 9½ billion miles from the sun. The nuclear-powered spacecraft have enough fuel to operate their instruments until around 2020.

No corporation had a motivation or wherewithal to launch  a deepspace probe in 1977 anymore than they would in 2077.  The fact is some aspirations are only attainable with full on national support:   WWII comes to mind but peaceful pursuits don't suck either.
Given the time it takes to process the data, mission scientist Leonard Burlaga said there will be a lag between when Voyager 1 finally sails into interstellar space and when the team can confirm the act. Then there's always the possibility of surprises beyond the solar system.

"Crossing may not be an instantaneous thing," Burlaga said. "It may be complicated."

It's the "complications" that make it worth the trip.  

To bad Big Gubmint can't get shit done... 36 years and 11.5 BILLION MILES LATER.

6:57 AM PT: I am struck by the wonderful comments relating the iconography of Voyager and the space program.   Funny, but all these decades later we have a 36 year old point guard leading the way into the final frontier.   It reminds me of a short story I wrote years ago about an astronaut who is recruited to go into deep space.   After decades in suspended animation, he comes out only to find that humanity has long since reached his destination.   He then becomes a living time capsule.   Will we ever have the determination to catch up to V-Ger?  Yes, and I hope very soon.   Elon Musk will figure it out.


Originally posted to Reinvented Daddy on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 09:09 PM PDT.

Also republished by SciTech and Astro Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

skybluewater, Chris Bowers, a gilas girl, Ed in Montana, Alma, dwellscho, murphy, Trendar, Geenius at Wrok, Gooserock, freedom fried, Pandora, Powered Grace, Aspe4, eeff, elfling, red moon dog, gjohnsit, lotusmaglite, alain2112, missLotus, 88kathy, BlackSheep1, whenwego, mrblifil, roses, splashy, admiralh, sidnora, k9disc, pat bunny, ranger995, MA Liberal, Noodles, LordMike, DSC on the Plateau, liberte, lcrp, dkmich, OneCharmingBastard, zerelda, ybruti, jcrit, Josiah Bartlett, pat208, environmentalist, Gowrie Gal, rogue5, kbman, radarlady, escapee, Tinfoil Hat, greycat, LakeSuperior, jiffypop, subtropolis, SherwoodB, terrypinder, ChemBob, Kevskos, Gary Norton, SaraBeth, Sun Tzu, Gordon20024, quaoar, CompaniaHill, Steve in Urbana, Tunk, littlewren, martini, BachFan, ruleoflaw, praenomen, Rosaura, funluvn1, Crashing Vor, sceptical observer, ER Doc, Quicklund, Cronesense, jessical, Habitat Vic, jhecht, linkage, nookular, davehouck, OIL GUY, Assaf, Captain C, Sixty Something, Youffraita, bythesea, triplepoint, glendaw271, petulans, Troubadour, Karl Rover, palantir, rhutcheson, JBL55, OHeyeO, Neon Vincent, nchristine, Partisan Progressive, Ohiodem1, rbird, stevenwag, Tortmaster, jpmassar, Leftcandid, Just Bob, CalGal47, serendipityisabitch, kjoftherock, eb23, Aramis Wyler, pixxer, Goingallout, anonevent, Yasuragi, rja, kenwards, ericlewis0, Onomastic, recrum, bgblcklab1, jm214, mrsgoo, marleycat, sethtriggs, cyberpuggy, KVoimakas, MRA NY, PhilJD, VTCC73, Jim H, Miggles, blackjackal, leftykook, Kanscott, Monsieur Georges, anodnhajo, IndieGuy, Joieau, Deep Texan, congenitalefty, belinda ridgewood, nikilibrarian, Murphoney, howarddream, sexgenderbody, tytalus, avsp, FrY10cK, RonK, Hammerhand, Most Awesome Nana, Chaddiwicker, koosah, Lurker in the Dark, unfangus, Aunt Pat, tampaedski, LilithGardener, moredamnpolitics, NeverThere, FrankRose, TheDuckManCometh, dannyboy1, Tony Situ, lehman scott

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site