Where Is Voyager 1 Now?
Voyager 1 space probe was launched in 1977 on September 5, by NASA. It was included in a Voyager program and Solar System interstellar space program that went beyond the Sun’s heliosphere. This spacecraft was launched 16 days after Voyager 2. The first probe was in operation for 44 years, 10 months, and 17 days as of July 22, 2022. Ensuring Deep Space Network communication, it receives commands so that it can transmit data to our planet. JPL and NASA provide velocity and real-time distance data. If you want to know where is Voyager 1 now, read on to discover just that.
Voyager 1 communication time from Earth is about 19 hours. Spacecraft sends messages to Voyager 2 in about 16 hours. Voyager 1 distance from Earth is around 14.5 billion miles (23.3 billion km) from the planet Earth. Real-time velocity and distance data are provided by JPL and NASA. Back in 2021, it transmitted data on space matter density and identification of interstellar sounds. Space engineers continue working on data sending information from this spacecraft’s vantage point. For now, energy sources of Voyager are continuously being depleted, so the hardware’s static temperature can no longer be maintained.
Voyager 1 Current Position
Voyager 1 current position is now in the Ophiucus constellation. Its current Right Ascension is 17 hours 13 minutes and 23 seconds, whereas its declination is +12 degrees 23 minutes and 21 seconds. There are computerized topocentric coordinates for the Greenwich location. Since January 2022, Voyager has moved 14.5 billion miles farther from our planet Earth. What’s most impressive about this spacecraft is that it has sent information back to scientists for 45 years already.
According to a JPL report from the NASA California base, which developed this probe, the interstellar explorer operates under normal conditions. It receives and executes Earth commands, gathering information on science data that are returning. This probe’s AACS, which stands for Attitude Articulation and Control System, what’s happening onboard is not being reflected anywhere. While it might seem that these data are being generated randomly, the AACS state is not being reflected.
When Will Voyager 1 Die?
About 20,000 years in the future, both Voyagers are going to be in the Oort cloud, and there will be comets shells and icy rubbles orbiting the Sun at the 100,000 astronomical units distance. While the evidence of the Oort cloud has never been noticed, the space probe won’t reveal it either. This probe is already on borrowed time. Plutonium-238 will be the radioisotope powering the probe’s generator. Its half-life is predicted to be around 88 years. Scientists are calculating what they must do to keep this probe functional.
Has Voyager 1 Left the Milky Way?
This spacecraft was launched back in 1977, being conducted to take its flight by Saturn and Jupiter. Orbital Today recently published a neat timeline starting with the launch and covering all important developments of this mission. In August 2012, it crossed into interstellar space and was continuing to gather data. It’s very unlikely that this space probe will attain 1,000 km/second velocity. The velocity boost must be too huge and received from an unexpected force. If not, Voyagers might end up rotating Milky Way forever.
In August 2012, the space probe crossed interstellar space. However, if the solar system is defined as only the Sun and the planets orbiting it, the probe will remain confined in our solar system until it gets out of the Oort cloud in about 14,000 – 28,000 years. Currently, it is moving at 38,000 miles per hour, being 14.1 billion miles from our planet.
Voyager 1 Computer Specs
Voyager 1 is equipped with probes of 69.63 kilobytes of memory each. All scientific data gathered by this probe gets to be encoded on 8-track tape machines and not SSDs of high-end laptops. There are three systems at the operations heart of Voyager 1. Each has dual-redundancy and enables both probes to go to Saturn, Jupiter, and beyond. There are also Flight Data Subsystems (FDS) and Computer Command Systems (CCS).
For now, know that it features 2 CCSs, 2 FDSs, and 2 AACSs. CCSs are on almost all the time, while FDSs and AACSs don’t operate together. Developing and managing computer software and hardware might not be the most exciting part of the process, but it’s definitely very important for the result.
What is Voyager 1 seeing right now?
Now, Voyager 1 is in interstellar space. In 2012, it already passed the solar wind’s dominion border known as heliopause. However, the spacecraft still happens to be within the gravitational grasp of the Sun. Since it’s no longer in our Solar System but at the edge of it, it sees what’s farther in outer space. So, sadly, we may not hear back to know about the upcoming Voyager 1 timeline.