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Friday, December 8, 2017

Voyager Thruster Response after 37-Years


      The twin spacecraft Voyager-1 and Voyager-2 have been exploring outer deep space for 40-years. It fired its Thrusters after 37-Years without any problem issues for adjusting its orientation to point the antenna towards earth for communication. It was not expected to response like this, Voyager-1 spacecraft successfully fired on Wednesday 2017. 

About Voyager:

     NASA's old fastest and farthest spacecraft, the one and only man-made object flying in the interstellar deep space. It had been exploring outer solar system since 40-years. It contained a Golden disk, which carries the sounds of animals, humans.The disk is to indicate the presence of life on Earth to the creatures in outer space (Expected).
Thrusters Fire:

    Thrusters installed in the Voyager to adjust its orientation. After the successful orientation, the life can be expanded to three or more years as stated by Dr.Suzanne Dodd, voyager project manager at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California Institute of Technology.
It was noticed that the voyager-1 has been using the thrusters to orient itself and they are called "attitude control thrusters". The thrusters had been asleep for 37 years.

Earlier Voyager Mission:

     In earlier mission of Voyager, it flew around Jupiter, Saturn and some important moons. For the accurate flyby, engineers used Trajectory Correction Maneuver, its last visit was Saturn. After that, they never used TCM thrusters for trajectory corrections since 8th November 1980. All Voyager thrusters were developed by Aerojet Rocketdyne.

Thrusters Development:

     The Voyager's attitude thrusters were developed by Aerojet Rocketdyne in United States. Similar thrusters were used in NASA's other mission such as Cassini-Huygens and Dawn Spacecraft. The type of thruster is MR-103.

Orientation Event:

     On Tuesday, 28th November 2017, Voyager engineers fired up the four thrusters for the first time after 37 years for 10millisecond pulses. The data for the test results took 19 hours 35 minutes  to reach earth station antenna at Goldstone, California (A part of NASA's Deep Space Network). By 29th November 2017, engineers stated that the thrusters were working perfectly. The Voyager team were planning to conduct the same test in Voyager-2 also, they were excited after the successful test of Voyager-1 attitude thrusters.
About Voyager-2:

     Voyager-2 spacecraft also similar to Voyager-1 in exploring deep space. Voyager-2 is likely to enter the course of interstellar space in next few years. It will be the second farthest and fastest spacecraft. 


      Both the Voyager's were designed and developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a part of California Institute of Technology, Caltech, Pasadena.The Voyager's misison is a part of NASA's Heliophysics System Observatory which was sponsored by Heliophysics Division of Science Mission Directorate in Washington.In future we will have amazing technology for faster and deeper penetrators into deep space and also space-time travel.

More Information:
  2. NASA's Official Website


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