Voyager: at edge of our solar system

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Hawking, for one, was very uneasy that we gave directions for finding us emblazoned on Voyager.

I hope his concerns are unfounded.
 

Drakkith

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Hawking, for one, was very uneasy that we gave directions for finding us emblazoned on Voyager.

I hope his concerns are unfounded.
Meh, I'm not very concerned. That thing takes so long to get anywhere that it pretty much doesn't matter.
 
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That thing takes so long to get anywhere that it pretty much doesn't matter.
but it's signals travel at the speed of light.

Interesting note on Voyager computer memory:


Although it's traveled 11.6 billion miles to interstellar space, Voyager 1's software isn't as high-tech as you may think. In fact, it has less than 40 KB of memory. To put that in perspective, your 16 GB iPhone 5 has about 240,000 times the memory of a Voyager spacecraft.
http://mashable.com/2013/09/12/voyager-1-iphone-5/


Voyager has three interconnected computer systems: one to control the craft’s flight and altitude, another to control its instruments, and a third to manage the first two. The computers can process about 8,000 instructions per second -- a fraction of the capability of your smartphone, which handles upwards of 14 billion each second.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/09/12/voyager-1-just-left-the-solar-system-using-less-computing-power-than-your-iphone/

Any aliens that discover Voyager might think us retards!!
 
Any aliens that discover Voyager might think us retards!!
Any aliens capable of understanding what Voyager 1 is would know that this probe has been travelling for potentially hundreds of thousands of years and so one would expect dated technology. On the flip side our probe could be on it's way to a planet which hasn't even devloped life yet and once it arrives in say 100million years, life could have developed and suddenly 40kb of memory on a circuit board makes us seem like the smart dudes :P

Could you imagine if we ever receive an alien probe similar to voyager it could be extremely sophisticated, much beyond our current understanding and to us it would seem like crazy sci-fi technology who knows... and the aliens current technology has long surpassed that which their probe is carrying.
 

Drakkith

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but it's signals travel at the speed of light.
Yeah, but they are weak and are aimed back at us, not out into space in the direction it's heading. Plus it won't be transmitting for much longer. Another decade or so at the most.
 
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There are two reasons that the Voyagers' computers are so puny.
  • When they were designed and built - the mid 1970's.
  • The necessity of being hardened against ionizing radiation.

Rad-hard chips are always some years behind their civilian counterparts. Consider What Powers the Mars Curiosity Rover? | News & Opinion | PCMag.com
That rover has a 200-MHz CPU with 256-MB RAM, 256-MB EEPROM, and 2-GB flash memory.
Its CPU is a BAE RAD 750, a rad-hard version of the IBM 750 one (mid 1990's).

Its predecessors are the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, launched in 2003.
Each of them has a 20-MHz CPU with 128-MB RAM, 3-MB EEPROM, and 256-MB flash memory.
Their CPU's are an IBM RAD6000, a rad-hard version of the RISC Single Chip for IBM RS/6000 workstations (early 1990's).

RAD6000 chips have been used in numerous spacecraft, so these Mars rovers are not exceptional.
 

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