Space

What does the future hold for the Voyager Spacecraft Golden Records?

Summary

Scientists have shed light on what they think will happen in the future as far as the Voyager Golden Records are concerned. Before diving into the details, it is essential to acknowledge a twin Voyager spacecraft launched by NASA, which […]

Scientists have shed light on what they think will happen in the future as far as the Voyager Golden Records are concerned. Before diving into the details, it is essential to acknowledge a twin Voyager spacecraft launched by NASA, which has two artifacts with Golden Records engravings. The pair have been in interstellar space. As usual, a time will come will the spacecraft will become defunct. However, the records will remain intact way after that.

Nick Oberg and his colleagues took the pleasure of calculating if the Voyager spacecraft was likely to come into contact with any star. If the answer were a resounding yes, they would go further and calculate the particular stars. Nick is a Netherland’s Kapteyn Astronomical Institute doctoral candidate. Interestingly, the model the two settled for offered them more forecast than they were looking for, no doubt. He presented the estimates of the Golden Records on the twin Voyagers during the American Astronomical Society. It was the 237th such meeting, and due to the coronavirus global pandemic, it was held virtually.

It is important to note that the two have traveled to many spaces. After all, they were launched in 1977, which is more than four decades ago. The initial mission was to study the solar system. Whereas that was the work of the spacecraft, the Golden Records’ role was to inform people who came across it what the Earth was all about. Their journey was similar at one point when they visited Saturn and Jupiter. However, that changed once Voyager 2 proceeded to Uranus and Neptune, whereas Voyager 1 stayed in Saturn to study its moon, Titan. Voyager 1 entered interstellar space in 2012. Little did it know that Voyager 2 was to join it later, about six years down the line, when it entered the interstellar space in 2018.

At the moment, they still send information to Earth on what they come across as they explore space. Nevertheless, that may change in the coming years because the two Voyager spacecraft will soon run out of power. As much as they will stop sending signals, their movement will not cease. According to Nick and his partner, they may not leave the solar system for the next 20,000 years. That’s approximately when it will pass through comets’ shell coupled with icy rubble, the Oort cloud. The gravitational pull at that time will be way stronger than the one experienced due to the sun. Then, 10,000 years after that, it will come across the Ross 248 alien star. After 500 million years, it will have orbited around the Milky Way galaxy fully.

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