Could Voyager 1's camera be turned back on?

Originally published at: Could Voyager 1's camera be turned back on? | Boing Boing


The craft has a decaying power system and is only operating at around 57% of its original power.

Over 45 years adrift in space, and still more than 50% functional. That’s some impressive engineering.


Unless the data capture itself isn’t possible any more – believable, considering when the Voyagers were designed – “download and save for future crowdsourced analysis” seems like it would be an easy solution to that problem. I’m sure there’s nerds aplenty (disclaimer: am a professional nerd) who would love to decipher a raw data dump like this, given whatever specs NASA still has around.

Let V’ger bump into a few hyper-intelligent species and that niddling power issue will sort itself out.

star trek evolution GIF


So it’s like the secret of Roman cement or Damascus steel, eh? The knowledge of the ancients, lost forever.


“See, I told you it was overengineered!”
— Bob from accounting


I suspect also the transmit stream of an image would be so abysmal at its current distance it might take literally months, even years, to receive all the bits and reassemble a single image. New Horizons is many generations advanced over Voyager 1 with far better transmitters, and it’s bit rate from Pluto was 2,000 bits per second and it took 15 months to receive all 50 gbs of data.


Worth the wait. If at all possible.


Honestly, turning it on would be pointless. All we’d get is blackness. That camera wasn’t designed to capture star fields or anything equally dramatic. Have you actually looked at the pale blue dot photo? There’s nothing really visible in it except earth because of how bright and close earth still was at that moment. Where Voyager is now, there’s nothing that could be picked up by that lens.

Also, I assume this is common knowledge now, but in case it isn’t- that photo (one of the most striking in astronomy history) only exists because Carl Sagan convinced them to turn Voyager around at the last moment and take it. That was not in the mission plan at all.


Probably. But it would be worth it just to piss off Joey Anish Kapoor alone.


Just watched that video and realised that although I knew about Carl Sagan’s message about the pale blue dot, I had never actually heard it.
Powerful and humbling.

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Literally solved a week ago.

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Until now

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If their concrete was so cool how come they never built a henge?


ok, i can understand a henge, but…
why a duck?

There is no Sanity Claus!

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