Friday, January 20, 2012

NASA Shuts Down Heaters on Voyager 1 to Conserve Power

In an effort to conserve diminishing power, NASA controllers turned of the heater to the ultraviolet spectrometer instrument aboard the Voyager 1 spacecraft. The temperature dropped to minus 110 degrees Fahrenheit which is the coldest temperature the instrument has ever experienced. The shut-down is an effort to make sure that the craft will be able to continue to collect and transmit data for another decade at the very least.

The ultraviolet spectrometer was designed to operate at temperatures as low as minus 31 degrees Fahrenheit but continues to operate at temperatures much lower than that.

This latest shut down was part of the shutdowns of heaters of the nearby infrared spectrometer. This detector has not worked since 1998.

Science Digest article

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