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Re: Ultimate DX

>> I can't remember if it was Voyager 1 or 2, which shows how well my
>> memory is working these days, but IIRC, Voyager 2 was the one
>> that got
>> gravity boosts from Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, got
>> full-color
>> photos of Uranus' ring system and Neptune's dark spot, and after
>> slingshot passes by the four gas giants became the fastest
>> moving object
>> ever launched from Earth, and by now I think it's the most distant
>> manmade object in existence -- I think it passed the
>> heliopause not too
>> long ago and is now considered to be in interstellar space.
> I think Voyager 1 is the furthest out.  It passed (in terms of distance 
> from
> Earth) Pioneer 10 a couple of years ago.

You're right.  Just verified this on the JPL page.  Voyager 2 had more 
planetary passes, but Voyager 1 got more of a kick from the two passes 
it had.  I must have remembered this wrong.

> From what I've read, Voyager 1 was
> approaching the heliopause, but still a few years off interstellar 
> space.
> There is a page at NASA with the latest updates.

Well, I recall reading on slashdot.org some time ago that *something* 
just passed the heliopause.  Not sure what it was, but I would suspect 
it was Voyager 1 given the above information.  I may well be wrong, 

> Now, why didn't they put up a transponder for those of us with 34m 
> dishes,
> helium cooled receivers and a spare few days to wait for replies? ;-)

Don't forget power.  Lots and lots of power on the uplink.  Even with a 
dish that has a beam like a laser and no sidelobes, your signal is still 
going almost 8 billion miles, and 1/r^2 gets to be a real small number 
at those distances.  Helium cooled LNA is right, though -- that is an 
amazingly weak signal to have to pick out of the noise.  Then again, DSN 
operations always did impress me .. slightly more difficult than 
uplinking to GEO on Ku-band .. ;-)

"Oh yeah? Well, I speak LOOOOOOOUD, and I carry a BEEEEEEEger stick -- 
and I use it too!"  **whop!**   -- Yosemite Sam

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