Voyager 1

Presented by polkingbeal67 & smolin9

Earthwatch presenters – polkingbeal67 & smolin9
“Join us to watch human life unfold on the Pale Blue Dot.”

MMBC Earthwatch
Highlights, interviews and analysis from Earth’s media (Oct 2012)
35 years after leaving Earth, Voyager 1 is about to cross the heliosphere, the protective shield of energy surrounding the solar system, and will venture into interstellar space. Ed Stone, Voyager’s chief scientist and a professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology, told reporters: “We’re anxious to get outside and find what’s out there. Time after time, Voyager revealed unexpected, kind of counterintuitive, results, which means we have a lot to learn.” Identical gold-covered phonograph records are attached to the side of both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. The mission became possible when mathematician Michael Minovitch solved a problem that had baffled astronomers on Earth for centuries – the “three body problem”, i.e. predicting exactly how the gravities of a sun and a planet influence a third object’s trajectory.

smolin9: Oh dear. Those poor hapless Earthlings have no idea what happened to Voyager 1, do they?
polkingbeal67: No idea at all. I wonder what they’d think if they knew their precious spacecraft is now decorating the ponds and fountains in our revered leader’s palace gardens. The dish antenna is now home to a shoal of bugtrap pontus fish munching on each other over a bed of permanganate seaweed.
smolin9: They should be pleased. Voyager 1 was designed to make contact with extraterrestrial life. You and I wouldn’t be here doing this show if it weren’t for the golden record.
polkingbeal67: True. By our calculations, Voyager 1 actually entered the heliosphere about ten Earth years ago, at which point it was towed through interstellar space by goopmutt bandits travelling at superluminal speed. They’d left the Digital Tape Recorder behind, after manipulating the data to conceal their crime. Eventually, they abandoned the craft where you and I found it drifting around aimlessly in the Centaurus galaxy.
smolin9: Yeh, if those Earthlings only knew.
polkingbeal67: They wouldn’t understand any of it. We’re dealing with primitive creatures who’ve only just cracked the three body problem! They haven’t grasped the mathematical concepts for elementary quantum theory yet!
smolin9: No, no. Their maths is coming along well. They’re good at multiplying, anyway! Ha ha. Still, something came out of this that I didn’t know.
polkingbeal67: What’s that?
smolin9: There’s a Voyager 2!
polkingbeal67: You crazy bubblehead! Of course there’s a Voyager 2. They wouldn’t have called it Voyager 1 if there wasn’t going to be a Voyager 2.
smolin9: Okay, but the thing is, there’s another golden record! We’ve got to find it, p. I loved some of the stuff on the first record – Blind Willie Johnson and the Navajo tribe, for example. And I want to hear the follow up to the horse and cart.
polkingbeal67: Hate to tell you this, but they’re identical records.
smolin9: You’re kidding! What a waste. Just typical.
polkingbeal67: You shouldn’t expect too much from Earthlings. Do you remember when we first found Voyager 1 and discovered the problem they had with the Photopolarimeter System?
smolin9: Oh yeh. There was a message on the console saying “Press any key to continue”! They shouldn’t be allowed to dabble in space exploration.


© MMBC (Morys Minor Broadcasting Corporation)



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See also:
Through The Wormhole, Literally
Smolin9’s Snapshots

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