New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 30, 1987, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 8A Herald-Ze/fung. New Braunfels. Texas Sunday, August 30 1987Voyager spacecraft on eternal mission
EDITOR’S NOTE - During the decade since they were launched on Aug. 20 and Sept. 5. 1977, Voyager 2 and then Voyager I have cruised the solar system on man s most productive effort to explore and photograph distant worlds. Scientists expect both unmanned spacecraft to continue sending information to Earth for 25 years after Voyager 2’s encounter with Neptune in 1989.
By LEE SIEGEL AP Science Writer
PASADENA. Calif. (AP) - Imagine. perhaps millions of years from now. alien space travelers cruising between stars in the vast Milky Way galaxy.
Their sophisticated spacecraft suddenly encounters a much smaller vessel, a spindly probe about the size of a compact car, long exhausted of fuel and power.
Aboard the one-ton probe, the aliens find a 12-inch copper disk Following instructions on diagrams, the aliens rotate the disk while touching its surface with a needle For two hours, the record spins out sounds from a civilization heretofore unknown to the aliens Human voices offer greetings in 60 languages. Whales sing There are sounds of steady rain and thunder, a hyena's cry. heartbeats, a train. Chuck Berry belts out the song “Johnny B Goode.”
A bit of Mozart s “Magic Flute” wafts into space A baby cries There is the soft noise of a kiss “This is a present from a small distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music and our feelings ...,” says a written message encoded onto the disk “This record represents our hope and our determination, and our good will in a vast and awesome universe.”
The message came from Jimmy Carter, who signed it June 16. 1977. as president of the United States, a nation on a small planet named Earth
Three months later, two identical records, each carrying Carter's message, were hurtling through space aboard vehicles named Voyager I and V oyager 2
The Voyagers haven't en countered aliens, not yet But they did explore three giant, gaseous outer planets — Jupiter. Saturn Uranus — and their orbiting moons and rings On Aug 20, 1977 a Titan-Centaur rocket launched Voyager 2 on its grand tour of the solar system Voyager I lifted off from Cape Canaveral. Fla . on Sept 5. soon avertaking its twin because of a shorter path Voyagers I and 2 swept past Jupiter on .March 5 and July 9. 1979. respectively They flew by Saturn on Nov. 12. 1980. and Aug 25. 1981 Voyager I then shot above the plane of the planets, speeding toward the solar system's edge Voyager 2 en countered Uranus on Jan 24 198»
It is now cruising toward an Aug 24, 1989. encounter with Neptune The trip is man s “greatest modern voyage in terms of the worlds discovered and explored, and total information returned ” says Bruce Murray, former director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena Apollo put men on the moon, but
Voyager “extended our eyes and brains billions of miles into the solar system.” Murray says.
“We all realized this was going to be an epic journey, but none of us realized how interesting.” says California Institute of Technology physicist Ed Stone, chief Voyager project scientist. “No matter how-hard we tried to anticipate what we were going to see. nature always surprised us. ”
Voyagers showed “there’s a lot more diversity on the worlds of our solar system than we imagined.” says astronomer Carl Sagan.
“We've discovered active volcanoes, oceans, organic matter, atmospheric circulation on these worlds. If we claim to really understand these processes on Earth, we had better understand them on other worlds ”
On lo. a moon of Jupiter. Voyager television cameras discovered the first active extraterrestrial volcanoes: eight or nine erupting sulfur up to 155 miles skyward, creating molten sulfur lakes and a doughnutshaped zone of gas orbiting Jupiter.
The probes revealed another kind of volcanism: glacier-like flows of icy slurry that oozed to the surface from within Saturn’s moons Tethvs and Dione. and Uranus’ Ariel The Voyagers found that two of Jupiter’s moons — Ganymede and Callisto — and most of Saturn’s moons were made half of ice One of them. Tethys. had a 1.550-mile long canyon, a giant crack probably created when the moon froze.
On Uranus' moons. Voyager 2 revealed incredibly complex geology, especially on Miranda, with an ice cliff twice the height of Mount Everest.
Scientists once thought volcanism and crustal movement occurred on ly on moons large enough to build up internal, radioactive heat Voyager showed gravity from a planet and other moons can cause tidal forces that make solid rock and ice move within a moon, or create heat to trigger icy volcanism or even make a moon's crust move Voyagers discovered at least 17 moons three at Jupiter, at least four and possibly seven at Saturn and IO at Uranus, boosting the count to 16 for Jupiter, at least 17 at Saturn, and lo at Uranus
The probes discovered a thin. previously unseen ring encircling Jupiter, and showed Saturn's seven known rings really were an almost continuous band of ice boulders pebbles and dust Voyager 2 found Uranus' nine known rings were merely part of a complex assortment of rings, partial rings and a halo of dust
Stone said the Voy agers reveia tions about rings are important because "rings of material are ubiquitous in the universe The galaxy is a disk of material The evolution of these disks causes the formation of stars The evolution of disks of material around stars forms planets The evolution of disks around planets forms moons and rings ”
Craters on many moons visited by the Voy agers provided more evidence that collisions between huge objects were common in the young solar system, as material orbiting the sun coalesced into planets and moons
Canyon Lake chamber plans busy September
Voyager l’s instruments probed the orange, smoggy skies of Saturn’s moon Titan, revealing a steady rain of ethane and methane It found Titan harbored the building blocks of life, but was too cold to let life start.
The spacecraft found dozens of giant hurricanes on Jupiter. The probes also revealed that helium rains out of Saturn's atmosphere, creating heat that drives 1.100 mph jet streams.
The Voyagers learned hundreds of times more about the outer planets than all previous studies combined says deputy project scientist Ellis Miner, who recalls the thrill of uat
ching Voyagers’ photographs ar rive.
“You realize that for the first time in the history of mankind you are seeing the surface of a foreign world,’ Miner says. “I felt like a little kid let loose in a candy store, be mg able to feast to his heart’s desire ”
From 1972 through mid 1987, the V oyager mission cost $766 million, including $223 million for the pro bes, says Voyager mission planning manager Charles Kohlhase
By 1995, when Voyager 2 is well past Neptune and both probes are seeking the solar system’s edge, the total will be $920 million, he says, referring to the continuing costs of
tracking and data processing After adjusting tor inflation, the cost of the voyager program is about 2 percent of the $24 billion Vpollo program, Murray says A space shuttle costs about $1 t billion.
When the Voyagers were launched, the United States already had landed men on the moon, put unmanned Viking landers on Mars, propelled ships past Venus and Mercury. explored Jupiter briefly with Pioneers IO and ll and sent Pioneer ll toward Saturn But the Pioneers had only simple cameras, not the Voyagers’ high quality television cameras Voyagers I and 2 w ill be 2 9 billion
and 2.1 billion miles from Earth, respectively, on the loth anniver sanes of their launches, having traveled curving paths totaling 3 9 billion and 3.7 billion miles
Voyager 2 is set to reach Neptune on Aug. 24 1989, flying within 3,100 miles of the planet’s cloudtops its closest planetary encpountei yet and 25,000 miles of the moon Triton. which may have oceans of liquid nitrogen
By about the year 2000. tin1 probes will tie too distant to transmit pie times to Earth But if their nuclear power supply and thruster fuel lasts as long as expected, they should keep sending information until at least 2015, Kohlhase says
The Canyon Lake Chamber of Commerce is working to help local business people keep their heads above water John Wilhelm president of the chamber of commerce has been surveying the lake area to determine the effects of the rain and high water that devastated the tourist business for much of the sum mer
According to information from the chamber office Comal County may qualify for economic disaster relief low-interest loans W ilhelm and other chamber members expect to know more about the qualifications later in September
The Canyon Lake area will play host to the Hill Country Triathlon for the second time in a few weeks This year the triathlon is expected to be highlighted on the CBS television special, “Best of American Race Challenge 87 ”
The event, which is the last major qualifying e\ent for the 1987 Hawaii Ironman Triathlon World Champion ships, will begin at 8 a rn Sept 12 with a I 2-nule swim at Comal Park A 48 mile bicycle race and a lo milt* run will follow the swim The annual event will be limited to 750 entrants Chamber of commerce members will serve as support volunteers to aid the athletes The chamber will kick off September w ith its general member ship meeting to tx? held at 7 p rn Thursday at the Open Air Chapel next to the dam Chamber members are asked to bring a covered dish The organiza lion will provide chicken keg beer and other refreshments Despite rain and high waters the Hot Dam Cold Water Festival was a success Plans for next year’s event are under w ay
KNOW YOUR LIMITS...
EFFECTIVE AUGUSTIN, 1987 ASSOCIATED AIR SYSTEMS AIR CONDITIONING &
WILL BE AT THEIR NEW LOCATION
925 LANDA STREET 625-0866
The Presbyterian Church in America will be beginning Sunday night worship services, with a view to establishing a congregation in the New Braunfels area. The PCA is a conservative evangelical body, committed to the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. lf you are looking for a church home where the Bible is honored and Jesus Christ is preached. you are invited to visit with us.
Laurel Plaza Community Room
300 Laurel Lane
Sunday, Sept. 6 7:00 PM
For info call 625-6326 or 629 4222
Maximum legal speed for cars, motorcycles * commercial buses and light trucks in rural zones of Interstate designated highways only.
Jens in r
Still the maximum legal speed permitted in* most highway zones.
...it’s to your safety advantage.
A courteous reminder from the OPS Troopers, t
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