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NASA Space Science

Voyager 1 Beyond Solar Wind 245

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the merging-with-the-infinite dept.
healeyb noted that Voyager 1 has now reached a distance from the sun where it is no longer able to detect solar wind. Launched in 1977 to get up close and personal with our solar system's gas giants, scientists estimate that in another 4 years it will cross the heliosphere.
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Voyager 1 Beyond Solar Wind

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  • by oldspewey (1303305) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @10:24AM (#34546424)

    17.5 billion kilometres and counting, over 3 decades spent hurtling away from from the sun, and still less than 0.05% of the way to the nearest star [wikipedia.org]

    We humans are really really really small.

  • by Colourspace (563895) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @10:25AM (#34546436)
    The fact we are still able to communicate with a piece of 33 year old technology (I'm only a few years older myself, and possibly not in as good a shape either) further away than any man made object ever launched, and are still getting useful science from it is nothing short of remarkable - matched only Spirits extended mission time so far, IMHO. And then, sometimes we can't even launch a satellite or two properly..
  • by arcite (661011) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @10:36AM (#34546548)
    but we think big.
  • Re:Sentience (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @12:03PM (#34547760)

    Humans are genetically programmed to be selfish - capitalism is the system most closely aligned with human nature

    No, capitalism is the system most closely aligned with maximizing selfish values given the premise of scarce resources. If you violate that premise as Star Trek technology does, with its limitless fusion and anti-matter power, transporters, matter replicators, faster-than-light travel, etc then participating in capitalism may no longer be the solution that best maximizes selfish gain.

    Case in point, look at the communist systems of USSR and China

    Pre-22nd century societies aren't a case in point for anything in a fictional 22nd century society.

    If you can sit on your ass, not make the slightest effort, and still end up choking to death on your own wealth unless you exercise some self restraint, as a character on Star Trek would, then you need not do anything, in order to make sure you're taken care of and have whatever you want.

    This is the promise (almost certainly never to be fulfilled, but nevertheless a promise) of technology.

  • by Xyrus (755017) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @01:47PM (#34549772) Journal

    Has it ever occurred to you that one of the reasons why NASA missions are so expensive is because you can't just yank shit of a shelf, stuff it in a box, and hope that it works in space? Did it cross your mind that the people with the know how to correctly engineer something that can last in space for extended periods of time aren't exactly cheap?

    There are no economies of scale here. Highly specialized = expensive. Highly specialized + rugged = very expensive.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

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