# Voyager

hakima
Science 10 Apr '19 06:50
1. hakima
Illumination
10 Apr '19 06:50
I have a personal interest in Voyager as my father, who passed away last summer worked on it at Jet Propulsion Laboratory when he was a workstudy student in the mid 1970's. I was eleven or twelve years old at the time and knew very little of what my dad did there. I do know that he talked about etching his name somewhere on the spacecraft.

Now that he's gone, I think about how far away Voyager is and how long it is thought it will endure...
I have a question...looking at the mission stats from the link below, I notice that Voyager's distance from the sun seems to be increasing but the distance from earth is decreasing...can any one reading here tell me why that is so?

https://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/status/
2. chessturd
Trump 2020
10 Apr '19 11:18
Cool website.
Amazing something can go that fast.
To answer your question I imagine Earth's orbit right now is at a certain point where it is heading away from the sun/towards the V craft at about 50,000 miles and hour?
Sort of catching up to the V craft which is going away from the sun at 30,000 miles an hour?
Eventually in time the Earth's orbit will start to loop around and head away from the V craft.
I'm no scientist but I think I am right. ๐
3. chessturd
Trump 2020
10 Apr '19 11:20
sonhouse would know.
He worked on the fake moon landing way back in the Stone age. ๐
4. hakima
Illumination
10 Apr '19 13:37
@chessturd said
Cool website.
Amazing something can go that fast.
To answer your question I imagine Earth's orbit right now is at a certain point where it is heading away from the sun/towards the V craft at about 50,000 miles and hour?
Sort of catching up to the V craft which is going away from the sun at 30,000 miles an hour?
Eventually in time the Earth's orbit will start to loop around and head away from the V craft.
I'm no scientist but I think I am right. ๐
Thank you for answering my question in language I can understand. ๐
5. chessturd
Trump 2020
10 Apr '19 13:57
๐
6. sonhouse
Fast and Curious
10 Apr '19 14:321 edit
@hakima said
Thank you for answering my question in language I can understand. ๐
That variation just goes back and forth every 6 months. Earth swings around in its orbit sometimes going towards V and then it starts receding. Seems to happen like clockwork๐
What does happen though is doppler shift. Doppler shift is heard by people hearing a train approach and recede, it sound different coming and going. Same thing happens to radio waves, if you go towards the source, the frequency goes up and if you go away from the source the frequency goes down. That is the basis for cops highway radar. It has to be accounted for when you have tight frequency bands to deal with. At the rate of transmission from 4 billion miles away the data rate is only about a thousand bits per second and they are lucky to get that with the transmitter only being a few watts but helped out by huge radio telescopes tracking it.
There was one probe that was out near Jupiter and the ability to track frequency changes needed to compensate for doppler shift was lost so the brains at NASA had to come up with an exact number to change the TRANSMIT signal to make sure they still could communicate with that probe.
My little bit was Apollo tracking and timing. I also worked on early weather sats. One of my best times was in class using a student dish, maybe 12 feet in diameter at Goddard, the assignment was to find and lock signal with an orbiting Mars probe. So first I had to figure out exactly where Mars was ATT, get the proper co-ordinates to the antenna motors and then phase lock on the signal.
It all went perfectly, locked on to that sucker in record time๐ I was thinking at the time, Mars was about 100 million miles from Earth ATT and I was locked on to that signal being sent by a FIVE WATT transmitter, the power of a frigging CB set! It was awe inspiring. Another awesome moment was working at Goddard and got to talking to my next door neighbor and he said he worked at Goddard also. His job was geological technician, he cut the moon rocks into slices for the scientists to analyse. So he invited me into his lab and that turned out to be a fort Knox size vault the size of a whole room, and he took me in there and there were dozens of moon rocks waiting to be sliced and diced by him. He hands me a moon rock and I was like religious mode๐ Then I asked him, why can you put this rock right in my hand without me wearing gloves or something. He answered, just when the rocks come back from the moon, and we open the case they were brought in, they are already contaminated, but on the outside only. That is why he sliced of bits of the rocks for analysis, you do that in a pristine environment and you get uncontaminated insides of the rocks. It was like epiphany for me to see the results of all those astronauts coming back from the moon, a dozen men all told walked on the moon.
It must have been awesome for your dad you have worked on Voyager. One thing I though neat about the sat I worked on, they had lots of switching relays but the ones I deal with need power to hold them on in one state or the other, off or on.
But the sat relays were designed with little magnets on the moving reeds so that the only power needed was a 100 millisecond pulse to overcome the magnetic field of the magnets on the reeds so that when it switched, it stuck together without power. I thought that was genius. But then, I am a lifelong nerd๐