William Shatner Beams a Message to NASA Voyager Probes for 40th Anniversary

In respect of NASA’s Voyager 1 probe’s 40th anniversary today (Aug. 5), William Shatner helped send a special summary to a apart spacecraft, comparison by renouned vote.


During a news discussion on a goal from a Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., a movement switched for a impulse to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in California, where Shatner assimilated a JPL staff to send a one message, out of 30,000 submitted, selected by renouned opinion to broadcast to a Voyager booster some-more than 13 billion miles from Earth.

Shatner, famous for personification Captain Kirk in a strange “Star Trek” array and movies, non-stop a pouch to review a message, that was creatively submitted on Twitter by Oliver Jenkins: “We offer loyalty opposite a stars. You are not alone.” While a summary will not be stored in a same approach as the probes’ famous Golden Record, it will be beamed toward a booster along with a normal instructions and communications.[The Golden Record in Pictures: Voyager’s Message to Space Explained]

Shatner afterwards destined JPL operative Annabel Kennedy to send a message.

“Are a hailing frequencies opened?” Shatner asked.

“They are prepared and set to go,” Kennedy replied.

Over a march of 28 seconds, a summary — no some-more than 60 characters — was issued from Deep Space Network receiver DSS63 usually external of Madrid, whose plate stretches three-quarters of a length of a football field. The summary will strech a booster after about 19 hours.


Since their launches in 1977, Voyager 1 and 2 have transmitted strange views of a solar complement behind to Earth, giving researchers a initial close-up looks of Jupiter and Saturn’s heavenly systems, and Uranus and Neptune.

“Four decades ago, in 1977, NASA launched a Voyager 1 spacecraft, usually a small over 8 years after a launching to Apollo 11 in 1969,” Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s emissary administrator, pronounced from a Smithsonian during a news conference. “In scrutiny terms, Voyager was and still is, to me and to so many, a Apollo 11 of space science. It’s a goal that altered everything.

“It not usually altered what we know, though how we think,” Zurbuchen added. “It’s about scrutiny of a unknown, and redefining what we can and can't do as humans.”

“From many points of view, Voyager unequivocally represents humanity’s many desirous debate of discovery,” Voyager principal questioner Ed Stone added. “Voyager began when Gary Flandro detected that there was a [window] nearby 1997, and or reduction a year, where a singular booster could be launched and could fly by all 4 hulk planets — it was called a ‘Grand Tour.’ That was in 1965. By 1972, they had been arrange of downsized to MJS77, that is Mariner, Jupiter, Saturn, a 4 year goal usually to those dual planets and their moons and rings. That, fortunately, was to be launched in 1977, however, so that if they continued to work, they could go on to Uranus and afterwards finally Neptune, that is what Voyager 2 did, completing a grand debate of a outdoor planets … in 12 years rather than 30 years.”

The unmanned Voyager 1 and 2 probes were launched in 1977 on a goal to revisit all a outdoor planets of a solar system. a href=http://www.space.com/17458-voyager-spacecraft-explained-solar-system-infographic.htmlSee how a Voyager booster worked in this SPACE.com infographic here/a.
Credit: Karl Tate, SPACE.com

While Voyager 1 gave rare views of a outdoor gas planets, Voyager 1 veered ceiling after Jupiter and Saturn and headed for a outdoor range of a solar system. [Voyager during 40: 40 Epic Photos from a ‘Grand Tour’]

Each has surplus systems that has let a booster continue to news behind information as they cranky by a threshold of interstellar space — Voyager 1 has already gone, and Voyager 2 should strech it soon.

“I’m a vast ray physicist, so getting Voyager 1 into interstellar space was a Holy Grail in my area of research,” Alan Cummings, a researcher during Caltech who worked on Voyager from a 1970s, pronounced during a conference. Suddenly, a vast rays vaporous by a sun’s solid tide of particles becomes probable to measure.

And researchers are energetically watchful for Voyager 2 to strech that boundary, too.

“I like to contend that a fun of carrying two, as Alan was saying, we have to have a indication that fits both information points,” Suzanne Dodd, Voyager plan manager during JPL, pronounced during a conference. The researchers pronounced they expect Voyager 2 reaching that range within a subsequent few years.

Today, Voyager 1 and 2 are “as healthy as comparison adults can be,” Dodd said. “Each of them has had opposite ailments over a years. For example, Voyager 2 is tone-deaf: each time we send a authority to a booster we have to put it in dual opposite frequencies in sequence for a booster to hear it. Voyager 1 does not have an handling plasma scholarship instrument, and what that means is Voyager 1 can't unequivocally directly feel a solar breeze and a high-energy charged particles entrance from a sun.” [Celebrate Voyager Probes’ 40th Anniversary with Scientist Stories, Free Posters]

Soon, Dodd said, a researchers will have to confirm that instruments to spin off to preserve energy from a spacecraft’s chief generators — some instruments should be using until during slightest 2025, and maybe longer. “I wish that we can lay here 10 years from now with all these folks and speak about a 50th anniversary of Voyager launch and still have them flying,” she added.

Of course, even after NASA loses hit with a Voyager spacecraft, they will continue out into a opposite — and a Golden Records merged to them are set to final for billions of years, a researchers said. So as NASA sent a summary to Voyager, Voyager continues to transport outward, carrying a summary to a stars.

“What an honor; we am so gratified to be here,” Shatner combined from JPL. “It’s a enchanting place, JPL, and this is a enchanting moment. To send a summary to Voyager. And once it reaches Voyager, it keeps going, so it’s like an allege man: Voyager coming! Voyager coming! To all a small immature people out there.”

Email Sarah Lewin during slewin@space.com or follow her @SarahExplains. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original essay on Space.com


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