So today, as I write this, it is March 2nd. That is important, because when you write this what I say won’t be nessecarily true: Space exploration is freaking nuts! I say this because as Wikipedia so eloquently puts it
1972 – The Pioneer 10 space probe is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida with a mission to explore the outer planets
The reason that is insane, is because it is the prode that first gave us honest to goodness glimpses of our Solar System. Using digital technology we wouldn’t get our hands on as citizens for quite some time after. Photography, that is quite frankly brilliant in the sense that it was a first. Like Daugerre taking the first portrait. Artistic value, we find little, or cultural value, any deficiency is filled.
This led me to the Voyager article, which yielded a very sharp little nugget of trivia. As of November 28th 2008, Voyager 1 (which was launched AFTER Voyager 2) has traveled 108.27 AU. For those of you too lazy to read or listen to They Might Be Giants, that’s a unit roughly (read: exactly) the distance of the Sun to the Earth. generally accepted by the world at large as 140.60*10^6 Km. Or to us here in the states about 93 million miles.
about 1/10th of as far as this will take you.
So, from September 5th, 1977, when most of you were a twinkle in your daddy’s eye, to when many of you graduated from High School, this thing which looked like a cone of gold strapped to a junk heap, traveled 108.27 of those. I did the math. If, and trust me, it wasn’t, that was a straight line, this thing traveled roughly 16197192000 Kilometers. I dont really care what that is in miles. If you do math with it, it has to be in scientific notation, thats far.
So how do you make that relevant? How fast is that? Well…it was 11,604.75 days (don’t forget the leap years!) and 1.619*10^9 Km… or 1,419,965.547 Km a DAY. or, in terms that blow the mind, it would take over 10 hours for its light to reach us (which the Sun does in 7 minutes) and its moving so fast, that it could circle the Earth in 6 minutes
The worlds fastest plane, which travles at 3.4 times the speed of sound can’t do that in under an hour. It travels faster than anything else man has ever built. Faster than the fastest thing ever recorded. If you’ve seen something fast, odds are this is faster. When I say “odds are” those odds are 100%. Its so far away, Pluto is a footnote in its travels, as it has gone well over twice the distance Pluto has ever been from our Sun.
so long and thanks for all the momentum!
I just thought I’d bring this up, because it is sooooo cool. The Voyager program, the Pioneer program, and so much more are providing us with crazy amounts of data about somewhere we can never go without that data. It’s a Pioneer in data use, and sending! I love it because its a tremendous achievement in scientific methodology and engineering. In fact, day to day operations went 22 years for Pioneer 1, which means that for 22 years, someones job was to make sure that crazy piece of junk we flung into space, with the technology that was in fact the apex of its time, was still doing what it was supposed to. This is a time when I can download GIGABYTES of information in minutes, and the internet wasn’t even around when we got rid of it.
So learn to appreicate some crazy NASA awesomeness. Voyager is set to transmit, with its current power source, til the year 2025. 50 years after it was launched.
would you ride on that? I mean, what a piece of “crap”
Thats all I got for you, but man do I look forward to seeing what Adam has to say…