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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: December 02, 2017 07:26AM

AKALib writes ...
======================




"After 37 years of deep sleep, a set of thrusters aboard the Voyager 1 spacecraft, were successfully fired up on Wednesday, Nov 29. They will help augment the primary thrusters which are getting old and weak. The thrusters are used periodically to reorient the spacecraft and re-point its antenna towards Earth, now 21 billion km away.

Voyager 1, launched in September 5, 1977, now flying in interstellar space, relies on thrusters that are fired for short millisecond periods to subtly rotate the spacecraft and point its communications antenna at Earth.

Since 2014, NASA engineers had noticed that Voyager’s "attitude control thrusters" have been degrading and losing efficiency.

The Voyager team assembled a group of propulsion experts to study the problem. The solution that came up with was to use the four Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM) thrusters, which were originally used for orientation control when Voyager flew by planets and moons during the first few years of its mission. The TCM thrusters are identical in size and functionality to the attitude control thrusters, and are located on the back side of the spacecraft. The TCM thrusters were last used on November 8, 1980, when Voyager 1 flew by Saturn. Back then, the TCM thrusters were used in a more continuous firing mode; they had never been used in the pulse mode necessary for its new role.

On Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, Voyager engineers sent instructions to fire up the four TCM thrusters. It took 19 hours and 35 minutes for the signal to reach Voyager 1 and another 19 hours and 35 minutes for the response to arrive. The received signals indicated that everything went according to plan — after 37 years of deep sleep in cold dark space, the thrusters worked perfectly!

Kudos to the designers of the spacecraft and the mission team, who pored through decades-old data and outdated assembler language software to figure out and implement the solution.

The plan going forward is to switch to the TCM thrusters in January. To make the change, Voyager has to turn on one heater per thruster, which requires power -- a limited resource for the aging mission. When there is no longer enough power to operate the heaters, the team will switch back to the attitude control thrusters.

The thruster test went so well, the team will likely do a similar test on the TCM thrusters for Voyager 2, the twin spacecraft of Voyager 1. The attitude control thrusters currently used for Voyager 2 are not yet as degraded as Voyager 1's."

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: December 02, 2017 08:19AM


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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: December 02, 2017 09:09AM

Wow. I was just telling my students about Voyager yesterday. I was teaching about land and water on the Earth and explaining why the Earth is sometimes called a "blue marble." I told them how Voyager took a photo of the Earth when it was very far out into our solar system and the Earth showed up as a tiny blue dot.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pale_Blue_Dot

Looking at Wiki, it seems that Carl Sagan was the astronomer who requested of NASA that Voyager take that photo.

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: December 02, 2017 09:24AM

Thanks, Dave.

And all our youthful hopes of peace and life elsewhere in the universe go with it :-/



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/02/2017 10:45AM by Soft Machine.

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Posted by: anon11 ( )
Date: December 02, 2017 12:19PM

I was a brand new eng at JPL in Pasadena, CA the day that it launched.

Although I'm not there anymore, it was one of the few times in my life that I felt like I was part of something much much bigger ......

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Posted by: Susan I/S ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 03:18AM

But I did get to see one of them being built. Damned if I can remember which one though! Many times I have thought how cool it is to have seen something that is going so very far.

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Posted by: ziller ( )
Date: December 02, 2017 12:42PM

IN ~ on flat earth thred !!! ~

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Posted by: danboyle ( )
Date: December 02, 2017 01:36PM

I love this stuff, thanks for the science update

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Posted by: Lethbridge Reprobate ( )
Date: December 02, 2017 02:35PM

The voyageur 1 is an engineering miracle...not to mention well built.

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: December 02, 2017 05:55PM

It's a miracle they can even get a signal to it.

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Posted by: SEcular Priest ( )
Date: December 02, 2017 07:46PM

When lift off occurred:

Church was starting construction on at least 2 or more church buildings a week

Church was making ward and branches all the time
Members were urged to asked the Golden Questions, "What do you know about Mormons? Do you want to know more?"

We were baptizing families. You know mum, dad and the kids

We were taught to lengthen out stride

We had regional Solemn Assemblies all over the place and LDS Churches and Church grounds were restricted to those that had a pass. I had on to attend. I had one.

We had regional conferences.

We were still taking our lives in the temple

We had semi nude washings in the temple

Talks at Church had lots of meat to them. You never knew what you were going to get.

I think they are having better luck with the space craft than the Church is having having now. The thrusters are not working.

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Posted by: Rubicon ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 03:56PM

I was told by a GA ten years ago that the only thing keeping the church going was members having children. He admitted the missionary program wasn't bringing in people who were useful to the church. Most new members leave and they are hard to retain. The church really just wants to retain the children of it's TBM members. They want them to be able to be good administrators and capable of making a good living. Basically the church has figured out if they can get the young men on missions at the age where people tend to leave the nest and then make them horny by not allowing them to date or have sex, they will fall easy to the LDS girls when they get back. Temple marriage is what the church is based on. If they can get you to marry another member in the temple they know a pretty good percentage will become life long members producing future members. I think the biggest challenge for the church is the high cost of living and the high cost of tuition. They already offer a better cost advantage at their BYU campuses. I expect to see the church to use their real estate companies to build affordable housing for young couples in areas where there is a high density of young Mormon couples in places like southern Idaho and northern Utah.

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Posted by: Phazer ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 03:32PM

Interesting comments by the GA.

Though, the business side of the church is all about profit.

I just don't see how affordable housing is beneficial for them and possibly another thing regulated by the Government.

I think the real finance folks at the church know that the tithing will continue to be reduced but it's not all bad because their for profit divisions are doing very well. The stocks and investments are the best they seen in 8 years.

Maybe even the church pension fund increased this year.

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Posted by: Bamboozled ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 03:48PM

"wasn't bringing in people who were useful to the church."

That right there sums up Mormonism.

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Posted by: elderpopejoy ( )
Date: December 02, 2017 11:32PM

Dave the truster in thrusters Atheist Wrote:

> AKALib writes ...

> after 37 years of deep sleep in cold
> dark space, the thrusters worked perfectly!
> Kudos to the designers of the spacecraft and the
> mission team.

Coming from NASA (National Academy of Space Actors) this AKALib pontificator is likely dumping kudos on the latest crop of bloviators releasing gas from that mason-ridden crowd of anal thrusters.

Worked perfectly! Believe that you space cadets.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: December 02, 2017 11:47PM

Thanks for the update. I'm a lifetime fan of space and space tech.

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Posted by: pilgrim ( )
Date: December 02, 2017 11:55PM

Does anyone else dread ANY contact with any alien entity who could comprehend the Voyager recording?? I mean, our world is completely nuts; people seem to be totally irrational most times....and the earth is just ripe for some other species to look at us and think: "Wow, what a gorgeous world, but it is infested by parasites. Looks like we could experiment on them?! No moral dilemma, there!"

I'd rather no one saw that little ship.

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Posted by: Chicken N. Backpacks ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 10:28AM

Well, if alien Mormons ever find Pioneer spacecraft they would look at the plaque and say "Porn shoulders! Where are their garments!?"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_plaque

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 11:09AM

pilgrim Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Does anyone else dread ANY contact with any alien
> entity who could comprehend the Voyager
> recording?? I mean, our world is completely nuts;
> people seem to be totally irrational most
> times....and the earth is just ripe for some other
> species to look at us and think: "Wow, what a
> gorgeous world, but it is infested by parasites.
> Looks like we could experiment on them?! No moral
> dilemma, there!"
>
> I'd rather no one saw that little ship.

The future came to me in a dream yesterday afternoon, when I was supposed to be fishing...

In the dream, a big, hairy spider, who when he straightened his legs, stood 7 feet tall, came at me out of a suddenly appearing space ship. Of course I was scared, and wiyh good reason! The spider grasped me and pulled me to his mouth, and two tube-like appendages punctured my gut and began sucking out the contents of my bowels!

As soon as the feeding tubes penetrated, I was in mental contact with the alien, and heard and understood what was in HER (whoops!) mind. She was getting high on my gut bacteria!

Fortunately, she and I now live in true (but often inconvenient) symbiosis.

So, see, it all might work out!

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Posted by: NYCGal ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 03:14PM

Pilgrim raises an interesting question that was recently contemplated in the NYTimes Magazine.

“Greetings, E.T. Please Don’t Murder Us” —

“The new initiative to beam messages into space may be our best shot yet at learning whether we are alone in the universe. There’s just one problem. What if we’re not?”

https://nyti.ms/2tjRt1n

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 12:55PM

Perhaps they will liberate America from Donald Trump. Who would you rather have running things, Trump or our space ant overlords? I choose the ants!

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Posted by: Babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 05:01AM

“Reverse primary thrusters, Marvin," that's what they say to me, "open airlock number three, Marvin. Marvin, can you pick up that piece of paper?" Can I pick up that piece of paper! Here I am, brain the size of a planet and they ask me to reorient the antenna.

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Posted by: SEcular Priest ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 12:03PM

When I first saw the picture I could never understand if it was inspired to be a Sign of the Priesthood. You know like in the temple when Adam and Eve gets visitors after they get kicked out of the garden. Note that in the picture the woman does nothing just like in the Temple. Any comments.

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Posted by: SL Cabbie ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 12:28PM

As a result of the "Temporal Cold War," the Voyager program was terminated before Voyager 6 was launched. Hence Voyager I must now take its place and help restore the space time continuum.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=US-DF12DpVk

Honest folks, this stuff is way better than the BOM...

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Posted by: cutekitty ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 09:46AM

Yes. This is very good news indeed! Earthlings created V'ger and somehow in deep space, out there, it is alive?!!! Fantastic!

"The Creator does not answer..." indeed it doesn't.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/06/2017 09:48AM by cutekitty.

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Posted by: Free Man ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 08:04PM

What is the end result of this hobby, and how much are we forced to pay for it?

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Posted by: Babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: December 03, 2017 08:33PM

Although it’s like the apes flicking a booger into space, as science goes it’s pretty cheap. The telemetry data has told us a lot about the solar system. Welfare for smart people?

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Posted by: ProvoX ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 03:14AM

Onward to KOLOB!

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Posted by: Phazer ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 03:38PM

I guess it wouldn't get a notice in earlier than 20 hours if Voyager collides into something as antenna would be damaged and signal goes dark.

I kind of wondered if an intelligent lifeform found voyager would it now how to pull down the sounds from a record?

I don't think they left instructions on how to listen to the material.

https://www.nasa.gov/content/mementos-of-earth

If they did, is an alien going to know how to read English?

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Posted by: Richard Foxe ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 04:52PM


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Posted by: Free Man ( )
Date: December 04, 2017 11:11PM

As they say, a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money.

"Although it’s like the apes flicking a booger into space, as science goes it’s pretty cheap. The telemetry data has told us a lot about the solar system. Welfare for smart people?"

So what practical value is that information?

A billion is considered cheap these days. Unfortunately, there are countless "cheap" billion dollar programs. The money has to come from somewhere - guess if you print enough of it, no problem, despite the inflation tax. And we wonder why cost of living keeps going up.

Wish I could opt out, but I'm forced to pay. If I don't, somebody from government with a gun will eventually show up to my door.

Fun.

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Posted by: NYCGal ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 07:01AM

I’d rather pay for more space exploration and stop paying for our totally overblown defense industry, which is filled with defense contractors getting rich off public funds while always shouting their belief in free enterprise and capitalism. Yeah. Right.

But, as you note. We don’t get to pick how our tax money is spent.

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Posted by: cutekitty ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 10:03AM

the cost of living goes up. Look around where your tax money is going?

I can tell you first hand where a HUGE chunk of tax money is going...People having babies in America. In my little neighborhood, the people have babies like stairsteps. Each little American born baby has too be cared for. This means food stamps, TANF, WIC, free medical care, free money to pay utilities, rent, non-food items... and this all PER CHILD.. They have a huge income base here and send some of the money OUT of the country. This is a huge drain on our economy. But who realizes this but me?

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 11:43AM

It's the "poor people should be killed" argument.

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Posted by: moehoward ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 12:37PM

I like to call it "Blaming the poor for being poor"

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 01:05PM

Having babies should be licensed and taxed!!!

Having an unlicensed baby should be a felony and the father serves the time. What a great TV program that would be!!!

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Posted by: cutekitty ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 01:39AM

In MY neighborhood, 99% of whom I am speaking about are from south of the border, of the USA. Many are here illegally, but if they have American born babies? Uncle Sam has to take care of new American citizens. Much of this money leaves our country everyday by Western Union. This does not contribute to our economy, but becomes a huge sinkhole in a financial abyss...

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 12:15PM

All spending on "science" (including NASA, CDC, etc.) takes up 1% of the federal budget.

All non-medicare and non-social security (which don't have anything to do with having babies) health, education, and "welfare" spending takes up 5% of the federal budget.

Interest on the federal debt takes up 6% of the federal budget.
Military spending takes up 16% of the federal budget.

"...huge drain on our economy..." ?
Hardly.

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Posted by: Babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 12:58PM

If it weren’t for babies, there would be no future. One great kid can change the world. Humans are the most undervalued investment.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 01:14PM

Babyloncansuckit Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If it weren’t for babies, there would be no
> future. One great kid can change the world. Humans
> are the most undervalued investment.


I certainly agree regarding "great kid(s)", but limiting who can be a parent doesn't change the odds in terms of creating great kids. It might even help y he odds! At least from my current perspective of snide know it all...

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Posted by: moehoward ( )
Date: December 06, 2017 11:12AM

Free Man,
You ask a fair question that has been debated since the first space program. I don't think there is an answer that would satisfy both sides. So my question is what activity provides practical information? The answer is different for everybody. The space program provides knowledge, creates jobs and is a world wide endeavor. Maybe, just maybe, the world would be better off if we concentrated on furthering knowledge instead of war.

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Posted by: Babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: December 07, 2017 01:11PM

Because rockets and space are fun! You don’t remember the fireworks stand scene in “Joe Dirt”? Fun science is a big win for STEM. Great PR.

Of course, the original reason was a Cold War publicity stunt (going to the moon), and then NASA had to find things for their people to do. They probably had hopes to militarize space, but that didn’t happen.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 12:03AM

And you don't remember the lesson in economics from the fireworks stand scene in “Joe Dirt”?

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Posted by: SL Cabbie ( )
Date: December 08, 2017 12:09PM

Was too damn busy studying scripture and reading about mythical Jaredites, Nephites, and Lamanites while growing up.

I recommend some remedial reading, learning how the development of integrated circuits, uses of lasers, satellite communication, and a whole host of other things happened, honest.

You wouldn't be reading this now if it wasn't for the Space Program.

/cabdriver philosopher voice off



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/08/2017 12:10PM by SL Cabbie.

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Posted by: tumwater ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 05:34PM

SL Cabbie, you make too much logic for the anti space program bunch.

Many of us that marveled at launches of the first satellites, humans in space, space walks, the anxiety of the first reentries, humans landing on the moon, info blackouts when the space capsules were on the far side of the moon, etc., are now still amazed that many of those missions were controlled by old 286 computers. All our current smart phones have 100's of times more computing power than the 286s.

For better or worse, the internet, cell phones etc. are all off shoots from the space program.

Too bad many of the social programs don't seem to generate any of the advancements that space has.

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: December 10, 2017 04:01AM

My father lived to see the missions of Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, and John Glenn. He died shortly after Glenn's amazing orbital flight, but passed along his love of the Space Program to me.

I would have loved to work in some capacity for NASA, but my mother, who was always critical of everything I did, (if I got an A on something, why wasn't it an A-PLUS??) pointed out, "If you want to work for THEM, you have to be good at MATH." Never mind that I had excellent grades at everything else, and would eventually receive a scholarship to university - I just didn't have The Right Stuff, according to Mother.

You can't please everybody, so you might as well pick and choose.

Looking back, I bet I could have found some little cranny at NASA to call my own, or write about it. One thing, though - if any of MY kids had shown interest in NASA, Mom would have been in the cheering section!

Sorry for wandering O/T. The material about Voyager was fascinating!!

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Posted by: Babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: December 09, 2017 11:15PM

The space program may have been the right thing for the wrong reason. The propaganda used to sell NASA was a smash hit. I’m sure there was some truth to it. If the intention was to develop better weapons, and it benefited civilians by accident, it’s not a total loss.

I credit most of the advancement to government-blessed monopolies like Ma Bell. They actually meant to help consumers.

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