last updated December 17th, 2004 and is permanently morphing...
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1.A long journey, as:. a.
A journey by sea to a foreign or distant land. b. A journey by land to
distant parts. c. A journey through outer space.
2.Often voyages . a. The
events of a journey of exploration or discovery considered as material
for a narrative. b. Such a narrative.
voyaged, voyaging, voyages
To make a voyage.
To sail across; traverse:
voyaged the western ocean.
[Middle English, from Old
French veyage, from Late Latin viâticum, a journey, from Latin, provisions
for a journey, from neuter of viâticus, of a journey, from via, road.]
- voy´ager noun
traveler: explorer, adventurer,
VOYAGER’S GREETINGS TO THE
The Voyager spacecraft will be the
third and fourth human artifacts to escape entirely from the solar system. Pioneers
10 and 11, which preceded Voyager in outstripping the gravitational
attraction of the Sun,
both carried small metal plaques identifying their time
and place of origin for the benefit of any other spacefarers that might find
them in the distant future.
With this example before
placed a more ambitious message aboard Voyager 1 and 2-a kind of time capsule, intended
to communicate a story of our world to extraterrestrials. The Voyager message
is carried by a phonograph record-a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing
sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture
on Earth. The contents of the record were selected for NASA by a committee
chaired by Carl
Sagan of Cornell University. Dr. Sagan and his associates assembled
115 images and a variety of natural sounds, such as those made by surf,
wind and thunder, birds, whales,
and other animals. To this they added musical selections from different
cultures and eras, and spoken greetings from Earth-people in fifty-five languages,
and printed messages from President Carter and U.N. Secretary General Waldheim.
Each record is encased in a protective aluminum jacket, together with a
cartridge and a needle.
Instructions, in symbolic
language, explain the origin of the spacecraft and indicate how the record
is to be played. The 115 images are encoded in analog form. The remainder
of the record is in audio, designed to be played at 16-2/3 revolutions
per second. It contains the spoken greetings, beginning with Akkadian,
which was spoken in Sumer
about six thousand years ago, and ending with Wu, a modern Chinese dialect.
Following the section on the sounds
of Earth, there is an eclectic 90-minute selection of music, including
both Eastern and Western classics and a variety of ethnic music. Once the
Voyager spacecraft leave the solar system (by 1990, both will be beyond
the orbit of Pluto), they will find themselves in empty space.
It will be forty thousand years
before they make a close approach to any other planetary system. As Carl Sagan
has noted, “The spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if
there are advanced spacefaring civilizations in interstellar space. But the
launching of this bottle into the cosmic ocean says something very hopeful about
life on this planet.”
The total cost of the Voyager
mission from May 1972 through the Neptune encounter (including launch vehicles,
nuclear-power-source RTGs, and DSN tracking support) is 865 million dollars.
At first, this may sound very expensive, but the fantastic returns are
a bargain when we place the costs in the proper perspective. It is important
to realize that:
1.on a per-capita basis, this
is only 20 cents per U.S. resident per year, or roughly half the cost of
one candy bar each year since project inception.
2.the daily interest on the
U.S. national debt is a major fraction of the entire cost of Voyager.
A total of 11,000 workyears
will have been devoted to the Voyager project through the Neptune encounter.
This is equivalent to one-third the amount of effort estimated to complete
Pyramid at Giza to (supposedly) King Cheops.
A total of five trillion bits
of scientific data will have been returned to Earth by both Voyager spacecraft
at the completion of the Neptune encounter. This represents enough bits
to encode over 6000 complete sets of the Encyclopedia Britannica, and is
equivalent to about 1000 bits of information
provided to each person on Earth.
The sensitivity of our deep-space
located around the world is truly amazing. The antennas must capture Voyager
information from a signal so weak that the power striking the antenna is
only 10 exponent -16 watts (1 part in 10 quadrillion). A modern-day electronic digital
watch operates at a power level 20 billion times greater than this
Each Voyager spacecraft comprises
65,000 individual parts. Many of these parts have a large number of "equivalent"
smaller parts such as transistors. One computer memory
alone contains over one million equivalent electronic parts, with each
spacecraft containing some five million equivalent parts. Since a color
TV set contains about 2500 equivalent parts, each Voyager has the equivalent
electronic circuit complexity of some 2000 color TV sets.
Like the HAL computer aboard
the ship Discovery from the famous science
fiction story _2001:
A Space Odyssey_,
each Voyager is equipped with computer programming for autonomous fault
protection. The Voyager system is one of the most sophisticated ever designed
for a deep-space probe. There are seven top-level fault protection routines,
each capable of covering a multitude of possible failures. The spacecraft
can place itself in a safe state in a matter of only seconds or minutes,
an ability that is critical for its survival when round-trip communication
times for Earth stretch to several hours as the spacecraft journeys to
the remote outer solar system.
Both Voyagers were specifically
designed and protected to withstand the large radiation dosage during the Jupiter
swing-by. This was accomplished by selecting radiation-hardened parts
and by shielding very sensitive parts. An unprotected human passenger riding
aboard Voyager 1 during its Jupiter encounter would have received a radiation
dose equal to one thousand times the lethal level.
The Voyager spacecraft can point
its scientific instruments on the scan
platform to an accuracy of better than one-tenth of a degree. This is comparable
to bowling strike-after-strike ad infinitum,
assuming that you must hit within one inch of the strike pocket every time.
Such precision is necessary to properly center the narrow-angle picture
whose square field-of-view would be equivalent to the width of a bowling
To avoid smearing in Voyager's
television pictures, spacecraft angular rates must be extremely small to
hold the cameras as steady as possible during the exposure time. Each spacecraft
is so steady that angular rates are typically 15 times slower than the
motion of a clock's hour hand. But even this will not be quite steady enough
at Neptune, where light
levels are 900 times fainter than those on Earth. Spacecraft engineers
have already devised ways to make Voyager 30 times steadier than the hour
hand on a clock.
The electronics and heaters
aboard each nearly one-ton Voyager spacecraft can operate on only 400 watts
of power, or roughly one-fourth that used by an average residential home
in the western United States.
A set of small thrusters provides
Voyager with the capability for attitude control and trajectory correction.
Each of these tiny assemblies has a thrust of only three ounces. In the
absence of friction, on a level road, it would take nearly six hours to
accelerate a large car up to a speed of 48 km/h (30 mph) using one of the
The Voyager scan platform can
be moved about two axes of rotation. A thumb-sized motor in the gear train
drive assembly (which turns 9000 revolutions for each single revolution
of the scan platform) will have rotated five million revolutions from launch
through the Neptune encounter. This is equivalent to the number of automobile
crankshaft revolutions during a trip of 2725 km (1700 mi).
The Voyager gyroscopes can detect
spacecraft angular motion as little as one ten-thousandth of a degree.
apparent motion in our sky moves over 40 times that amount in just one
The tape recorder aboard each
Voyager has been designed to record and playback a great deal of scientific
data. The tape head should not begin to wear out until the tape has been
moved back and forth through a distance comparable to that across the United
playing a two-hour video cassette on your home VCR once a day for the next
22 years, without a failure.
Each Voyager used the enormous gravity
field of Jupiter to be hurled on to Saturn, experiencing a Sun-relative
speed increase of roughly 35,700 mph. As total energy within the solar
system must be conserved, Jupiter was initially slowed in its solar orbit---but
by only one foot per trillion years. Additional gravity-assist swing-bys
of Saturn and Uranus were necessary for Voyager 2 to complete its Grand
Tour flight to Neptune, reducing the trip time by nearly twenty years when
compared to the unassisted Earth-to-Neptune route.
Voyager's fuel efficiency (in
terms of mpg) is quite impressive.
Even though most of the launch vehicle's 700 ton weight is due to rocket
fuel, Voyager 2's great travel distance of 7.1 billion km (4.4 billion
mi) from launch to Neptune results in a fuel economy of about 13,000 km
per liter (30,000 mi per gallon). As Voyager 2 streaks by Neptune and coasts
out of the solar system, this economy will get better and better!
The resolution of the Voyager
narrow-angle television cameras is sharp enough to read a newspaper headline
at a distance of 1 km (0.62 mi).
video footage (quicktime)
- Voyager Jupiter
- Star Trek: The Motion Picture
(1979) - "V-ger"
- electro track _V-Ger_ MP3
by Il.ek.tro off of 12" on Klang Elektronik (1998)
- tech-house track _V-Ger_ MP3
by Funk d'Void off of _Technoir_ CDx2 on Soma (1997)
- 604 track _Acid
Rain Over Bombay_ MP3
by V-ger and Soma
Sounds Of Earth_ copper 12"
- track _Astral
Dream off of _Green
- progressive trance
track _Voyager_ MP3 (vK)
by Arte Bionico off of _Arte Bionico ep_ 12" on Superstition (1994)
- track _Voyage To India_ MP3
by Stevie Wonder off of _A Journey Through The
Secret Life Of Plants_ 12" on Motown (1976)
- release _Voyager ep_ 12" by X-Funk
- breaks track _Voyager (mixed)_
by Chris Carter off of _Modernizm_ MixCD mixed by B.L.I.M.
- track _Vulvic Voyager_ MP3 (320k)by
Vulva off of _From The Cockpit_ CD on Rephlex (1995)
- crossover track _Voyage Into Infinity_
by Bad Brains
off of _Quickness_ on Caroline (1989)
- art rock track _Fantastic Voyage_ MP3
by David Bowie off of _Lodger_ 12" (1979)
- synthesizer & production by
Eno, guitar by Adrian
techno track _Mothership
Earth_ MP3 (160k)
by Voyager 8
off of _Rings, Moons
& Clouds_ 12"x2 on Synewave #013
- ambient house track _5:23 (Maiden Voyage)_ MP3 (160k)
by Global Communication off of _76:14_ on Dedicated (1994)
- 604 track _Drifting On Forever
Through Space_ MP3 (192k)
by Psyburbia off of _Groove
on Creative Vibes
(Voyage 2)_ by Transwave off of _Distance To Goa 3 - The Gates of Goa Trance_compilation
track _The Trip:_The
Beginning Of The Voyage (Heart Chakra)_
Leary off of _Turn On
Tune In Drop
Out_ 12" on Mercury
- short story _Voyage Of The Space Beagle_ by A.E. Van
Vogt. the entire plot is identical, and precedes the plot of the film _Alien_ (vhs/ntsc)
(1979) directed by Ridley