10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About NASA’s Voyager 1

Eons after humans have gone extinct, NASA's Voyager 1 will still be travelling through the universe, quietly charting unexplored and undiscovered territories.

Various organizations from all over the globe send numerous research shuttles into space every year. Some manage to function correctly, while others don’t. NASA’s Voyager spaceships are an exception as both are still trying to solve the mysteries of space.

Voyager 1's last picture
Voyager 1’s last picture of our solar system. Source: NASA

NASA‘s Voyager 1 and 2 have helped numerous scientists and experts all around the world. Voyager 1 was originally launched in the 1970s by NASA so it could explore Saturn along with a few other planets. However, scientists had no idea that it’d benefit them for approximately 35 years.

The golden record's cover
The golden record’s cover. Source: NASA

Voyager 1 has accumulated precious data for the humankind. It is still advancing towards the deepest parts of our solar system. It regularly sends data to the NASA headquarters even though its tech is quite ancient. Voyager’s mission was quite simple, but it proved to be the best invention.

Following are ten interesting facts regarding NASA’s voyager 1. Let’s have a look at them, shall we?

1) Voyager 1 has been travelling for over 35 years:

Launched in 1977, Voyager 1 is one of the oldest pieces of space tech that is still in contact with Earth. It sends data from different parts of the space. The scientists at NASA were quite shocked when they noticed the regularity of data transmission. Moreover, experts have no idea how this technology is still functioning.

2) Voyager 1 has crossed over 11 billion miles:

NASA’s Voyager 1 is still making the waves, but it will take approximately 40,000 years for it to reach only two light-years’ distance from the sun. Space is infinite and cannot be completely covered.

3) Voyager 1 carries the Golden Record:

NASA placed a golden disk aboard Voyager 1. The Golden Record is designed by a group of scientists to deliver a tale of our world to extraterrestrials. The disk bears the sounds and pictures of our home planet.

4) No one truly knows Voyager 1’s actual location:

Voyager’s current mission is to investigate and study the interstellar space, which requires exiting the solar system. Various scientists and experts from other organizations believe that Voyager 1 is about to cross the boundary of our solar system.

5) Voyager 1 was initially designed to visit Jupiter:

The primary aim of Voyager 1 was to study Jupiter and Saturn up-close. The mission was a massive success as Voyager 1 and 2 provided sufficient information to the scientists. However, Voyager 1 didn’t stop once it completed its survey of Saturn. It moved ahead to examine the rest of the planets and space.

6) Voyager 1 and 2 are still functioning due to Plutonium batteries:

NASA has incorporated long-lasting plutonium batteries in Voyager 1 and 2. Both shuttles turn off their features while travelling in space. As per various reports, the plutonium batteries will probably die out in 2021.

7) Voyager 1 can communicate through radio waves:

Voyager 1’s satellites were supposed to last for five years, but NASA is still maintaining contact with the help of radio waves. It generally takes 16 hours for the radio waves to reach us.

8) Voyager 1 will survive for eons:

Eons after humans have gone extinct, NASA’s Voyager 1 will still be travelling through the universe, quietly charting unexplored and undiscovered territories.

9) The scientists at NASA estimated more than 10,000 possible courses for the Voyager mission:

Scientists had to maneuver Voyager 1 from Jupiter to Saturn and then toward the interstellar space. Hence, the engineers at NASA considered thousands of potential courses for the probe.

10) Voyager 1 clicked the only existing portrait of our solar system and turned off for a decade:

NASA engineers turned off the shuttle’s cameras to save energy in the 1980s. The probe quietly moved toward deep space for about a decade. However, NASA’s engineers on February 14, 1990, directed Voyager to turn its cameras on and take a last look at the planets. In a series of over 60 images, Voyager 1 took the existing picture of our solar system.

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