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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Shuttle Nears End, But Voyagers Live On

By Douglas V. Gibbs

We are but a couple of missions away from the final Space Shuttle flight, but Voyager 1 and 2 keep on going, and going, and going. . . to the edge of the Solar System.

The discoveries by the Voyager Project has provided us with information beyond our imaginations. Visits to the outer planets have taught us about the volcanoes on Jupiter’s moon Io, discovered an ocean beneath the icy surface of Europa, shown us hints of methane rain on Saturn’s moon Titan, and revealed icy geysers on Neptune’s moon Triton.

Both vessels have since used the gravity of planets to slingshot out of the plane of the solar system, and towards interstellar space.

The two ships are presently in the heliosheath on the outer reaches of the solar system. The heliosheath is nothing like the scientists expected (hmmmmmm).

It is unknown how long it will take to get beyond the heliosheath, but since the Voyagers are energized by the radioactive decay of a Plutonium 238 heat source. their critical subsystems will continue running through at least 2020.

After that, they will continue on silently, to the far reaches of the universe.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Voyager Spaceship to Enter Interstellar Space - Fox News

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