TIL the Voyager 1 spacecraft, currently more than 20 billion km from earth, is powered by a radioisotope with a half-life of 87.7 years. It has been slowly shutting down systems since 2007 to conserve energy, and by 2025 will go completely dark as it loses the ability to power a single instrument.

TIL the Voyager 1 spacecraft, currently more than 20 billion km from earth, is powered by a radio...

Why does this make me sad? It's a hunk of metal.


Because it's an everlasting piece of mankind hurdling through space by its lonesome self

This is just as sad as Curiosity singing the happy birthday song to itself on Mars.



I don't think track and field events can be performed in space.

Fishing line is roughly 0.25 g/m or 250 grams a km.

It is currently 17.3 billion kilometers from earth.

Travelling at about 17 kilometers per second.

And has about 8 years left.

In 8 years it will travel another 4,291,833,600 km.(17×60×60×24×365.25×8)

For a total distance of 21,591,833,600 km from earth. At a quarter kilo per km the fishing line needed to rig it back would roughly weigh only 5,397,958,400 kilograms.

Lets fucking do it.

I wish we had a fishing line attached to it to pull it back towards earth


I plan on hosting a memorial party when this happens. Also when/if Curiosity dies or evolves into sentient hardware.

That's why we have to use Diamondium™

Because there will probably be hipsters in space who love retro stuff

Your lucky day

How many bricks will be shat if it suddenly started transmitting telemetry again in 2028?

Was gonna say this too. The fact that something is on Mars singing itself happy birthday boggles my mind

Timely. This headline echoes Chuck Berry's death yesterday. I'm sure most of you know that 27 songs were sent into space with Voyager, including Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode.

I dunno, climate change deniers are pretty out there.

It's going to crash on some distant planet one day and the aliens are going to judge our technology so hard

it might snap

Can you imagine one day we'll have space exploration vehicles that could travel so fast that it'll catch up to Voyager 1 and return him to earth for a full upgrade and relaunch at the point of collection to expand it's journey once again? Like a Voyager 1 mkii

Because it's part of us, as humans it's the furthest thing out there we have to call our own.


Oh phooey diamondillium is stronger then that diamondium garbage.

"In about 40,000 years, Voyager 1 will drift within 1.6 light-years (9.3 trillion miles) of AC+79 3888, a star in the constellation of Camelopardalis which is heading toward the constellation Ophiuchus."

They didn't give it a more specific heading?

Why would they? The main purpose of Voyager 1 and 2 were to observe the gas giant planets. Anything past that was incidental. Why waste limited electricity to try to redirect yourself to a closer approach of a random solar system dozens of millennia away?

Billions of metric fucktons, I think.

But my questions are: if it does transmit, when are we gonna get the message here, and what would it say?

Possible yes, but who is gonna waste the time and energy collecting something so obsolete when they can clearly just build something better and send it on it's way

Because the Voyager I has performed all assigned tasks for mankind in a completely selfless manner and is resigned to a cold, lonely, quiet death in the depths of space.

It's the First Annual Micro-Gravity Hurdling event folks, this is gonna be great!

... 3m passes

Well, we're done here folks. All the contestants are on a ballistic trajectory to the next Moon-Town. See ya next year!

Nope, only an RTG. The rovers Spirit and Opportunity are solar powered. Spirit broke down and failed but Opportunity is still going. It was designed for something like a 90 day mission. That was back in 2003. But many decades in the future, systems will start to shut down, then one day Curiosity will die.

Curiosity will die at some point but my guess is that it's RTG is better and it's equipment uses energy more efficiently. So it may last a lot longer

It was the post about Carl Sagan's letter to Chuck Berry that inspired me to read about Voyager 1 (again.) So yes, you nailed it.

Yeah, it's primary mission was to flyby Jupiter and Saturn. The fact it is still functional so long after it completed it primary mission, is a bonus.


It's the motherfucking space Olympics!!!

I want to see an extra frame where an a man in a spacesuit gently pats him and says "It's ok bud, sorry it took so long"

Who's a good boy!?

Curiosity self-identifies as otherkin.


Currently: 19 hours later. In 2028: probably 24 hours later.


Retro space hipsters.

Lime and limpid green, a second scene

Voyager 1 is travelling at a speed of 30 Americas per hour (38,000 mph)

It will be 5.7 million Americas away in a little under 8 years (12.4 billion miles)

A ship would need to travel at a speed of 742 Americas per hour to catch it in less than a year (1.55 million mph)

Hope that helps, Patriot.

I wonder if AI would feel bad for robots of the past? I mean, they weren't sentient. The key is to not commit the cardinal sin that every sci-fi society that has ever made AI ever has, which is to treat the early sentient or semi-sentient lifeforms like shit.

I, for instance, often say thank you to my Amazon Echo. So while you suckers are out getting beaten by our new AI overlords, I will be living the high life.

Her generators use material with a 14 year half life, so Curiosity will die sometime after 2025 herself. Whether we make it to Mars by then or not, we may not land anywhere near the rover.

Onward into the unknown, little buddy

Technically both Voyager 1 and 2 were originally designed to go to all 4 gas giants. NASA made a decision to have Voyager 1 investigate Titan closer and as a result they knew it could never go to Uranus or Neptune.

Because the power cord would get tangled in the propeller.

Humans: personifies objects, objectifies people.

I think once you get out to the fringe of the solar system the sun is basically looks like all the other starts out in the sky. The power would be nil.

The aliens are going to interpret it as a sign from the gods.

Thank you for this.

Then they're gonna come to Earth and abduct all the adults to feed to Poultra.

Voyager 1 completed its extended missions in 1980, meaning it had enough power to complete its primary mission, plus extended missions, and then operate for an additional 45 years.

Now that it's exited the solar system, solar panels would have no effect because there's no sun to draw on.

(Yes, I realise people are probably fucking with me, but the answers only reinforce my awe in what was accomplished by the Voyager programme, so I'm replying anyway.)

It also has solar panels doesn't it?

Hail Sagan!

That's sort of the point. We want it discovered. We not sure if it ever will. And that is sad.

Why waste limited electricity to try to redirect yourself to a closer approach of a random solar system dozens of millennia away?

The same reason we do anything: For the babes.

Who knows, maybe something will find it out there and it won't be alone anymore

By the time it goes dark in 2025, it is hoped that the probe will have attained the distance of 26 billion km from Earth, otherwise known as the minimum distance required to get a full-frame photograph of OP's Mom!...

Never before has she been captured in a single image.

In 120,000 years, by shear miracle it's going to find its way to an earth like planet inhabited by intelligent life. And when it arrives it's going to burn up into a million pieces upon entry into the atmosphere.

What a shame :(

What if their Voyager IS Earth?

If AI is ever to come to fruition like we fantasize and don the bodies of machines, I hope we hide stuff like this.

"Look what you did to my great-grandpa!"

Oh the feels

Oh the feels

Mr. Scott, an alien object of unbelievable destructive power is less than two days away from this planet. The only starship in interception range is the Enterprise. Ready or not, she launches in twelve hours.

while Voyager II was able to flyby Neptune and Uranus in addition to Saturn and Jupiter. Visiting 4 planets in one mission, now thats what i call Space Olympics!

Voyager 1 doesn't get the spotlight that Voyager II usually does. Voyager 1 only visited Saturn and Jupiter,

Then it will continue on towards binary star system Altarf, which is the brightest star of the constellation Cancer.

Which is fitting, because that's what your comment gave me.

One day, our future brethren will travel through space, exploring the great, dark expanse. They will come across a relic, from a bygone era, using ancient technology, much like how ancient Egypt is currently for us. They will unlock this space relic from a forgotten time and discover the sounds, language, scientific formulae and location in space of an ancient civilization, asking to be discovered. It will lead these space travelers to embark on a journey to this unknown World. Only to make our greatest discovery.

This made me happier than I expected :)

I don't care how you decide! Just decide!

We also need to shoot this tether 21,591,833,600 km within 8 years to catch it. We're gonna need a bigger rocket.

"Beep... Beeep... Booop.... Boooooooop......." Translated: "I've done as much as I could my human friends, today is the day I leave you. Maybe a day will come when we can meet again, but until then I will continue my endless journey alone... Farewell"

Curiosity has always struck me as a dude.

I've been waiting for this comic since I saw the original. Thank you.

Cast it downstream


Except that "Johnny B. Goode" is legitimately the greatest Rock n Roll song of all time.

Completely pointless but if ftl is real and it becomes as easy and routine as flying then somebody will probably go get them if for anything to put them into a museum. They would be valuable for materials testing if anything. We've never studied something that's been in space that long that far away. Could have some cool insights.

At the time of launch that song was 19 years old. That would be like if we put Chumbawamba's "Tubthumping" on a probe launched today.

I don't think track and field events can be performed in space.

Well, not with that attitude.

It'll be lonely, but as long as one robot still exists it will be eternal proof that Mankind ever existed.


But in the future the AI overlord will read your post an decide whether you did that out of genuine gratitude or fear.

Our generous overlord would be too smart to fall for your obvious pandering.

I must have missed this... Nooo? Does it?! That's so sad.

I hope one day we will catch up to her. Give her new life and let her continue her journey.

This makes me so happy. Bless those retro space hipsters.

That's so sad. Poor Woosh.

Why don't they just plug it into an outlet?


Any bets on whether we get to Mars before that happens?

A fight between the blue you once knew


You mean diamondillium right?

Generally ships have always been referred to as female, an old custom dating back millennia, even when the ship is named after a man. This same custom continues with space probes.

That sounds a bit like the ancient human civilization from Halo.

Apparently, the aliens removed the record so that they could listen to Chuck Berry. Poor aliens. I wonder how they'll take the news?

In a Saturday Night Live segment ("Next Week in Review") in episode 64 of the show's third [15]season (originally aired 1978), Steve Martin's character, a psychic named Cocuwa, announced that extraterrestrials had responded to the record with the four words "Send more Chuck Berry".[16]


Wouldn't it be funny to think that another alien race has done the same and theirs just happened to land on earth in some prehistoric era. The only reasons we haven't found it yet are just the size of it and the sheer improbability that we'd find it, or because it was made of some biodegradable material that decomposed in our soil.

Man, if JPL only made cars

Am I the only one that thinks this would make for a really good music video? Sad little space robot singing itself to sleep :'(

Sometimes I wonder : is it possible there was an advanced humanoid type species on earth which lived about 2 million years ago and had a very advanced existence that spanned about 500 years like us before they died out due to automation or polluting the Earth or other reasons and their own records now are satellites like our Voyager and several trillion miles from Earth

20 billion kilometers or 0.002 light years. Let's face it, we're never getting away from this solar system.

Nice, however nothing gets the Feels like this one


Maybe they'll figure out how old it is and assume we live for hundreds of thousands of years and that probe missions this long are normal for us.

Someone would have to fly out to meet it to attach the fishing line.

Voyager 1 is travelling at 62,136 kph away from Earth and has been doing so for 40 years. I figure you would want to catch it in less than 40 more years before it gets twice its current distance away.

So, we would need to build a craft, within the next 8 years so we can catch it right around the time the "battery dies", that can travel 20 billion km in a year.

Which means the craft carrying the fishing line would need to travel 2.5 million kph. No biggie.

Edit: As I thought about it, the ship sent to attach the fishing line could just hook up some tow chains and haul that bitch back to Earth instead.