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The Voyager space probe continues

The Voyager space probe continues

In 1977, the two probes “Voyager 1” and “Voyager 2” were launched into space within 16 days. Then they carried out the tasks assigned to them. For example, Voyager 1 visited Jupiter and Saturn. In February 1990, the famous “pale blue dot” image of Earth was taken, about six billion kilometers from the sun.

As reported by the newspaper “Frankfurter Rundschau”, “Voyager 1” was the first probe to cross the heliosphere in 2012 and enter interstellar space. In 2018, after many missions, Voyager 2 moved into interstellar space. More than 45 years after its inception, there is still no end in sight for this journey.

NASA experts estimate that Voyager 1 will reach the Oort cloud within 300 years at the earliest. This is a hypothetical group of previously undiscovered astronomical objects located at the edge of the solar system. If the probe travels further at a speed of about 61,000 kilometers per hour, it will cross the cloud in about 30,000 years.

Meanwhile, the two space probes no longer have enough power to keep all of the hardware running. Many instruments, such as cameras, have already been decommissioned by NASA.

“The most optimistic thing is that we will come out around 2038 or 2040. I have a good feeling about 2030, but 2035 is scary and 2040 is going to be a miracle.” This is how Voyager mission chief Bruce Wagner reports on the transit times of the two probes. After that, the twin probes will run out of power and will not be able to communicate with or control Earth.