If you tried to start a auto that's been sitting in a garage for decades, you might not expect the engine to respond.
Humanity's most distant spacecraft surprised its operators by answering the call to fire up rockets that have not been used in nearly 40 years.
Voyager 1, NASA's farthest and fastest spacecraft, is the only human-made object in interstellar space, the environment between the stars.
The spacecraft had been relying on its primary thrusters to keep it oriented, but these have degraded over time. These thrusters fire in small pulses, lasting mere milliseconds, to subtly rotate the spacecraft so that its antenna points at our planet.
Suzanne Dodd, Voyager's project manager at JPL, said that the ability to use those thrusters will extend the spacecraft's life "by two to three years".
The JPL's engineers began to look into alternatives, and found a new way to steer the spacecraft: the probe's trajectory correction maneuver (TCM) thrusters.
On top of the the backups sitting idle for so long, while being 13 billion miles from Earth, there was a third problem: the backups weren't used for "attitude control". The Voyager team assembled a group of propulsion experts at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, for the job.
"The Voyager flight team dug up decades-old data and examined the software that was coded in an outdated assembler language, to make sure we could safely test the thrusters".
The Voyager missions discovered the first active volcanoes beyond Earth, at Jupiter's moon Io, and hints of a subsurface ocean on Jupiter's moon Europa. They are located on the back side of the spacecraft in this orientation. The last time they were needed was when Voyager 1 passed Saturn on November 8, 1980.
Aerojet Rocketdyne developed all of the Voyager's thrusters. The same kind of thruster, called the MR-103, flew on other NASA spacecraft as well, such as Cassini and Dawn.
After 37 years of disuse, a set of thrusters aboard Voyager 1 activated on Wednesday, firing up humanity's farthest-flung spacecraft and hopefully giving it a longer life than it had before. However, almost 20 hours after firing up the backup thrusters, engineers received a signal from the Voyager back on Earth, which meant their test was successful.
The team will switch over to the TCM thrusters in January, but there is a drawback: they require heaters to operate, which will draw on the probe's limited power.
Turns out the thrusters worked just fine. With this example before them, NASA laid a more ambitious message aboard Voyager 1 and 2, a kind of time capsule, meant to relate a story of our world to aliens.
Voyager 2 lags behind, but according to NASA, the spacecraft is following the lead of the first Voyager and is on course to enter interstellar space in the coming years.
The PEG for Coca-Cola European Partners plc is gauging a 1.54, signposting the future growth of the company's earnings. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 320,013 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,749,399.17.
Liverpool have infamously struggled defensively for a number of years and this season has been no different for Klopp's side. With Pascal Gross looking risky as well, Knockaert's upsurge in form could just be what Brighton need on Saturday afternoon.
This Sunday's supermoon will appear a little tiresome in comparison, only appearing seven percent larger and 16 percent brighter. CT residents will have their eyes peeled to the sky Sunday night as the "supermoon" makes its only appearance in 2017.
European stock markets headed south, despite stronger than expected PMI readings out of the Eurozone and the U.K. The findings add to evidence that a recovery in Asia's third-largest economy is on track.
The stock has a market capitalization of $61,205.38, a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.96, a P/E/G ratio of 0.75 and a beta of 1.55. The figure allows investors to understand how effectively Ford Motor Company is able to convert its money into net income.
Ken Rosenthal of TheAthletic.com reports that Ohtani is expected to begin meeting with major-league teams as early as next week. Additionally, he has plus-plus raw power and has been clocked as an 80-grade runner, so there is seemingly nothing he can't do.
For both Saturday and Sunday we should continue to see a mix of sun and clouds with highs generally in the upper 60s to lower 70s. With this pattern setting up, the colder than normal air will give us better chances for snowflakes out through Christmas.
It's also important to note that while the courts overturned some of Praljak's convictions, they refused to reduce his sentence. Judge Agius declared the courtroom to be a crime scene as he restarted the hearing, though gave no further details.