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Thread: How long will it take voyager 1 to decay?

  1. #1 How long will it take voyager 1 to decay? 
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    I'm wondering if Voyager 1 will be able to reach the edge of the known universe before it decays.


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    Please define "decay". If you refer to operational life of onboard radioisotope generator, about 9 more years, far from edge of known universe, though it may transmit longer as certain Mars rovers have exceeded performance expectations.

    Voyager - The Interstellar Mission

    Voyagers are off course for mysterious reasons. Prince is thinking that dark masses of some type are responsible and welcomes other suggestions.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantime View Post
    I'm wondering if Voyager 1 will be able to reach the edge of the known universe before it decays.
    I'll assume you meant solar system. It's passing the other edge now and might survive long enough to reach interstellar space before we lose contact in a few years.
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    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    I quite literally mean 'decay' as in the chemical bonds that keep the craft together, then followed by the atoms that form it itself. I'm talking in a very long time.
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    Collision with microscopic particles will eventually destroy the spacecraft if it does not smack into something bigger, pobably before departure from home galaxy. Both outcomes are more likely than aliens intercepting craft so they can dance to Chuck Berry.
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    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    I don't think it has more than the terminal velocity needed to leave the galaxy, does it?
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    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    I don't think it has more than the terminal velocity needed to leave the galaxy, does it?
    I didn't think of that.
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    Quagma SpeedFreek's Avatar
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    In any case, whatever velocity Voyager had, it would not be enough to escape the known universe. Voyager would have to have a speed that was many multiples of the speed of light in order to do that, which is impossible.

    The edge of the known universe is currently 46 billion light-years away, and the expansion of the universe is increasing that distance at over three times the speed of light.

    Anything on the edge of our observable universe "right now", will be over 3 light-years more distant, this time next year!
    Last edited by SpeedFreek; August 1st, 2011 at 03:18 PM.
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