He's just not going to be paid for his work now. I hope he enjoys it more!
The Voyager mission's project scientist has retired after 50 years in the job. Ed Stone signed on for the gig when the two Voyager spacecraft were still on the drawing board in 1972. He's had the job ever since. As NASA explained, Stone rose to become director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California and, as …
Well, this is NASA, not IBM. It was also fortuitous that the project was transferred along with him, though maybe that was on purpose. It was a side gig for a while.
Great work, NASA never ceases to amaze me. (and I'll hand out a pint on your behalf as well)
It’s amazing how long these nasa space systems have survived past their expected life.
Building these things with durability in mind has undoubtedly saved billions in additional launches and spacecraft.
That said the observations returned have undoubtedly spawned additional missions.
Many NASA missions have lived long past their expected duty cycles.
I wonder if future missions will have the same Durability especially as we all know that costs extra.
Well done NASA for having the temerity to succeed.
Back in the 1970's and 1980's all the components used in those spacecraft would have been mil-spec. And given the very high radiation environments the spacecraft had to work in (not near earth) this meant the components used would have been the same as the ones used in the rockets that went bang. After traveling 8,000 miles. So given the exceptionally high tolerances those components were built to, you really did not want the rockets that go bang going bang too early, its not that surprising that the spacecraft lasted decades.
Saying that, the on the fly updating of the onboard software to work around stuck bits in memory is still the most impressive pieces of bit-twiddling I have heard of. As someone who has been bit twiddling since the decade the first probe was launched.
> all the components used in those spacecraft would have been mil-spec
Now I find myself trying to picture a mil-spec 8-Track.
That recorder would have been based on technology used by the recorders used on the early generation of NRO spy satellites. Before they had down-link capability. So had to be very long life (relatively speaking) in a high radiation environment.
Saying that most car 8 track players were pretty indestructible. Very different from the early fragile car cassette players.
What makes you think that these projects were "expected" to fail earlier? These objects were designed to fly past planets and then exit the solar system The lifetime of the power source was known and easily calculated when it was chosen. The path and the gold plate have design lifetimes in the multi-millennium.
For the Physics prize, there have only been individual recipients to date, although in many years the prize has been split been multiple persons; e.g. in 1903, Becquerel and the Curies split the prize, but I don’t know if Becquerel and the Curies ever worked as a unified team (the Curies themselves did, of course).
Edward Carroll Stone was inspired to enter the fields of planetary science and space exploration by the launch of Sputnik in 1957 - wow, what a career!
...and it's a whopping 16bps for the uplink!
You can see which the Deep Space Network is talking to in real time. At the time of writing Canberra is talking to Voyager 2, with a round trip time of 1.52days!
When I was a student, and secretary of the Uni Maths Society, I stole an official sheet of paper and envelope and wrote to Ed Stone at JPL asking him for some information and photographs from the mission as it passed Jupiter. He sent me about a dozen pictures.
Thanks, Prof Stone, I hope you have an excellent retirement.
"Voyager 1 is now nearly 22 light hours from Earth, and Voyager 2 is eighteen hours and fifteen minutes away by radio."
22h - 97,200 seconds - 0.9167 days - 0.0208 Truss
18h 15' - 65,700 seconds - 0.7604 days - 0.0173 Truss
Edward Stone Retires After 50 Years as NASA Voyager's Project Scientist. Ed Stone in 2019, in front of a scale-model of the Voyager spacecraft at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Stone's remarkable tenure on NASA's longest-operating mission spans decades of historic discoveries and firsts.
And don't worry about the space probes. I have it on good authority they will be back.