(ORDO NEWS) — The service life of the legendary spacecraft Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 is gradually coming to an end.
Although the probes are still receiving and sending signals, NASA notes that by 2025, the probes’ batteries will be completely exhausted and they will not be able to “communicate” with the Earth.
Every year, the energy in the probe systems decreases by about 4 watts. This means that as the power supply depletes, more components and devices need to be turned off.
“If things go really well, maybe we can extend the missions into the 2030s,” said Linda Spilker, a Jet Propulsion Laboratory planetary scientist who worked at the dawn of the Voyager missions in 1977.
However, these are the most optimistic forecasts. It is more likely that the probes will be switched off earlier, around the middle of this decade.
In order to conserve energy and prolong the life of the probes, NASA is turning off the onboard systems of the space vehicles. Now Voyager 2 has five working instruments left, while Voyager 1 has four.
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