Home » Press Releases » Voyager 1 Fires Up Thrusters After 37 Years
Bookmark and Share
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features

Voyager 1 Fires Up Thrusters After 37 Years

1 Dec 2017, 20:03 UTC
Voyager 1 Fires Up Thrusters After 37 Years NASA/JPL

If you tried to start a car that's been sitting in a garage for decades, you might not expect the engine to respond. But a set of thrusters aboard the Voyager 1 spacecraft successfully fired up Wednesday after 37 years without use.

Voyager 1, NASA's farthest and fastest spacecraft, is the only human-made object in interstellar space, the environment between the stars. The spacecraft, which has been flying for 40 years, relies on small devices called thrusters to orient itself so it can communicate with Earth. These thrusters fire in tiny pulses, or "puffs," lasting mere milliseconds, to subtly rotate the spacecraft so that its antenna points at our planet. Now, the Voyager team is able to use a set of four backup thrusters, dormant since 1980.

Note: All formatting and links have been removed - click title or image to see full article.

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

astronomy_pod