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Old 12-21-2010, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
Makes me wonder what data we could get if we built one today...
Well, New Horizons has 2 8GB SSDs for recording data, a 1024x1024 color radiator-chlled CCD for a camera, and a Mongoose-V (12MHz MIPS R3000) for the main flight computer. It can uplink with earth at almost 38kbps right now (possibly double that if they can successfully operate the 2 traveling wave amplifiers in tandem), which will slow to 1000baud (or 2000baud) when it gets to Pluto.

It's a major upgrade to the Voyagers, but they're doing all this just to go to one lonely rock. It needs to be done, but why not build another one specifically to measure interstellar space? Now that would be interesting. The main reason Voyager won't work for measuring the termination shock is Voyager 2's magnetometer was heated to death by a wrongly interpreted command, and Voyager 1 won't have enough power to do gyroscopic maneuvers to calibrate its working magnetometer when it gets there. But New Horizons has a good possibility of working that far, and since it has the most stable radio transmitter vs voyager 1 or 2, there's a good possibility that it may be able to measure the heliopause, heliosheath, and termination shock accurately. Nothing man-made has ever made it to interstellar space still functional enough to measure its properties. What will we find?

Last edited by Sight Unseen; 12-21-2010 at 05:31 AM.
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