I thought that this story about the Voyager probes measurements of interstellar space was fascinating.

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SiGraybeard · November 16, 2019 at 5:12 pm

I've replayed the observation that the anniversary of Apollo 11 is "Peak of Human Civilization Day", but the Voyager probes are really the peak of human achievement.

Because the "Grand Tour" missions took advantage of a rare alignment of the outer planets that happens ever 175 years, the missions did in 12 years what would have taken 30 without that alignment. One of the two suffered a failure of the frequency generating system for its transmitter (Phase Locked Loop won't lock) forcing the redesign of how it would be tracked, but that was done successfully before the first flyby of Jupiter. The only advantage of missions that take years is that you have longer to come up with fixes for things that go wrong.

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