Space Exploration/space exploration - Voyager 1 and 2
Hi! I have been reading about the Voyager spacecraft, because Voyager one was sent in 1977, I am wondering if we could, why have we not sent another craft like Voyager with updated exploration equipment and information about us? We have much better technology now that could be sent in the same direction, perhaps with a camera or sensing device/analysis tools that could help us to know more about what's at that edge and if it has crossed the heliosphere? I realize it has taken 35 years to get there, but why have we not sent a more intelligent vehicle to do this since then? Could a more advanced craft get there faster due to our greater knowledge now or are we still limited by the physics of space?
Thank you so much for your time :) Heather
Hi, Heather, thanks for writing. Yes, we do have much more advanced technology that would be great to send out there. In fact, the somewhat out-of-date computer I am typing this on has about 4 MILLION times as much memory as the Apollo astronauts took to the moon!! Unfortunately, the main problem is politics and money. We can get there faster, but that requires a more massive spacecraft (more fuel)-the main limitation is again, money. NASA has focused more on individual planets (Cassini to Saturn, New Horizon to Pluto, etc.), rather than a grand tour of several and the heliosphere that Voyager was, and earth orbit. Hopefully, something will be sent before long, to explore this unknown frontier, the solar/interstellar boundary. Write anytime!