Anyone with a tiny bit of interest in space technology and current development knows that the question that all the human efforts in space direct to single most critical question, which of course is “Are we alone in Universe?”. Right from the beginning space scientists have seek answer to this very question.
Voyager 1 was and is the part of same effort. It is a space rover which is out there deep into the space from more than 37 years and 2 months as per date of today. As it was launched from earth on September 5, 1977. 37 Years is humungous amount of time it spent in space. All they time it have been getting away from earth deeper and deeper into the earth. And is constantly sending data back to earth which is collected through different kind of equipments scientists have fixed on it. One of equipments as a camera, so the rover have sent back some stunning pics far away from earth.
Currently Voyager 1 is approximately 12 billions miles away from earth which is about 20 billion Kilometers. Rover is traveling away from earth even right now on speed of staggering 520 million kilometers per year. Interesting thing is it is still sending data back to earth. Not all but some of equipments fitted on it are still working and few of them had to be powered off by scientists to deal with low power issues. The Voyager 1 had completed its original mission in 1980 exactly on November 2oth. Which is about 34 years earlier and this rover provided mankind more than it was originally intended for.
Generators on it as still working and powering some of equipment which is collecting sending data back to mother earth. That however is not expected to hold up long. According to Space Scientists the generators on this rover called Voyager 1 will only last until 2025 and are expected to fail in same year. Means still rover have 11 years to send back data. However, to deal with power issues scientists have plans to power off some more equipment on rover so some critical ones or important ones still keep sending the data back to earth.
Voyager 1 was originally called Mariner 11 and was part of Mariner space program but after its original mission was completed in 1980 and voyaged further into space it was named Voyager 1. There is another Voyager out there called Voyager 2. It was actually launched two weeks earlier than Voyager 1 but as the Voyager 1 had soon passed or overtook it, so it was named as the first Voyager. Voyager 2 is about 16 Billion Kilometers away from earth which is about 10 Billion Miles.
Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 both weigh about 722 Kilograms each, which is about the weight of a car. Though the Voyager 1 will have all of its equipment used to send data back shutdown in 2025 but it was still keep traveling away, carrying the message from mankind to any aliens it may encounter through the course of its journey.
Speaking of a message, like other Voyager aircraft, Voyager 1 also caries a Golden Record with data from earth. The data is intended for any intelligent life forms which may happen to spot and reach to the Voyager. The data which is written on record includes Photos of earth and more information about earth and its inhabitants. Which includes collection of sounds like waves hitting the shore, sound of baby crying, messages in different languages and different people which include UN Secretary general and President of United States, as the space rover Voyager 1 was launched by NASA, the space agency of United States. Sounds also include music from some legends.
Most important part is Gold Disc/Record holds the info about earth, how to find it and about ourselves as intelligent life form. Some people however disagree with the idea of sending information about us out there. They think it could be call to a more advanced civilization out there, so that they come here, consume our resources and if ever they rage a war on us, we will be at disadvantage.
Setting aside the alien aspect the Voyager 1 have served us well, giving pictures of planets and their moons as it approached them and then passed them to go further. On the way Voyager 1 given atmospheric readings, information about particles in atmosphere it was going through, thermal, infrared and normal photographs and lots more.
We could now only hope and pray that the journey of Voyager 1 continues, we should feel lucky that an air craft as old as 1977 survived 37 years in space and more importantly still is in contact with earth.
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