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Voyager 2’s Path to Interstellar Space

9 Oct 2018, 15:24 UTC
Voyager 2’s Path to Interstellar Space NASA

Let’s turn now to the Voyagers, and the question of how long they will stay alive. I often see 2025 cited as a possible terminus, with each spacecraft capable of communication with Earth and the operation of at least one instrument until then. If we make it to 2025, then Voyager 1 would be 160 AU out, and Voyager 2 will have reached 135 AU or thereabouts. In his book The Interstellar Age, Jim Bell — who worked as an intern on the Voyager science support team at JPL starting in 1980, with Voyager at Saturn — notes that cycling off some of the remaining instruments after 2020 could push the date further, maybe to the late 2020s.

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