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Jul 18, 2019

NASA’s Voyager twins refuse to die

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space travel

It’s been almost 42 years since NASA sent its two Voyager spacecraft on record-breaking missions, and both of the decades-old robots are still alive. Voyager 1 and 2 are 13.5 billion and 11.1 billion miles from Earth, respectively, and it’s up to NASA engineers to ensure they remain up and running for as long as possible.

As the agency reveals in a new update, mission managers recently decided to shut down one of the heaters on Voyager 2 which is designed to keep its cosmic ray subsystem (CRS) instrument at a comfortable temperature. This was done to conserve energy, but the CRS itself miraculously still works, despite dipping well below the temperatures it was tested at over four decades ago.

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