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Voyager Probe 'leaves Solar System'

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24026153

The Voyager-1 spacecraft has become the first manmade object to leave the Solar System.

Scientists say the probe's instruments indicate it has moved beyond the bubble of hot gas from our Sun and is now moving in the space between the stars.

Launched in 1977, Voyager was sent initially to study the outer planets, but then just kept on going.

Today, the veteran Nasa mission is almost 19 billion km (12 billion miles) from home.

This distance is so vast that it takes 17 hours now for a radio signal sent from Voyager to reach receivers here on Earth.

So we only have to wait several hundred years for it's return when it tries to destroy the earth.

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It is amazing to think that even at such a vast distance it has up until recently still be affected by the Sun in so many ways.

I do hope it contains pieces of Earth culture from 1977! A Lava lamp, a giant concrete Ronson table cigarette lighter, and a series of the Sweeney on VHS! Let's confuse aliens! :(:(

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And Dusty Bin.

Very much an artifact of its time! I liked "Bullseye" with Mr Jim Bowen! Two blokes liking in a 5th floor flat in Wolverhampton, would win a powerboat, and they weren't gay at all! :blink:

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I do hope it contains pieces of Earth culture from 1977! A Lava lamp, a giant concrete Ronson table cigarette lighter, and a series of the Sweeney on VHS! Let's confuse aliens! :(:(

Why bother? They'll have seen it all long before they make physical contact.

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Can't say I blame it myself. Things are going downhill around here and I expect house prices fall as you move further out anyway.

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I should imagine there are a number of companies and individuals registered to it for tax purposes...Richard Branson?

Yes I hear spends most Christmases there with Cliff Richard.

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I noted it's plutonium powered. Does that mean if the take-off had failed and the voyager exploded, it would have gone nuclear?

Voyager-1 will not approach another star for nearly 40,000 years, even though it is moving at 45km/s (100,000mph).

Mind boggling stuff.....

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I noted it's plutonium powered. Does that mean if the take-off had failed and the voyager exploded, it would have gone nuclear?

Mind boggling stuff.....

No, it would not result in a nuclear explosion.

Plutonium is also chemically very toxic.

From Wiki:

To minimize the risk of the radioactive material being released, the fuel is stored in individual modular units with their own heat shielding. They are surrounded by a layer of iridium metal and encased in high-strength graphite blocks. These two materials are corrosion- and heat-resistant. Surrounding the graphite blocks is an aeroshell, designed to protect the entire assembly against the heat of reentering the Earth's atmosphere. The plutonium fuel is also stored in a ceramic form that is heat-resistant, minimising the risk of vaporization and aerosolization. The ceramic is also highly insoluble.

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Nice have to hope Alien children don't pick it up! And the idiots have put a map on it telling everyone where we are.

By the time it gets far enough away from is that it isn't blatently obvious where it comes from (and anything capable of finding it would find it even easier to detect Earth anyway) I'd have hoped that we'd have advanced technologically enough to deal with anything. If we haven't it'll be because we've wiped ourselves out.

As for the plutonium, it's not going to be particularly radioactive by then, having mostly decayed to something else (the really long-lived isotopes not being radioactive enough to be any use for a power source).

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If we were launching it today, what would go in?

My nominations would be;

A giro (i.e. benefit cheque, not a gyroscope)

A DVD of 'Friends' on endless repeat

A bag of cocaine

A random piece of chinese 'tat'

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So now, Voyager enters deep space, towards other stars, carrying a message from the children of this world. And TV programmes hosted by Jimmy Savile will have reached Alpha Centauri now....

I hope the green men don't get the wrong idea.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutonium

Nice have to hope Alien children don't pick it up! And the idiots have put a map on it telling everyone where we are.

There was an episode, conincidentally, of Star Trek Voyager where they found a planet that had been reduced to radioactive rubble by a deep space probe from Earth crashing into it.

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