Interstellar missions, after Voyager’s challenge to discover undiscovered space for the United States and China

The Voyager sensors They raised disturbing scientific questions as they moved away from the solar system. Now, scholars Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) has come up with a concept for the interstellar probe (IP), $3.1 billion is important To capture the scientific challenge launched by the Voyager probe a decade ago after leaving the Sun’s atmosphere, the Sun’s influence zone. Few of the Voyager probes expected them to survive for so long, and yet their remarkable observations continued to emerge, they overturned many beliefs about the outer limits of the solar system. The Voyager data are so perplexing that some prominent researchers have said that the probes may not have reached interstellar space yet, possibly because the heliosphere extends farther than previously thought.

He said, “The only way to see what our aquarium looks like is to stand outside and look inside.” Ralph McNutWho worked on the plasma detector for the Voyager mission, NASA’s epic mission on the outer planets It started in 1977. Now, McNutt needs to convince a jury of his colleagues to get the funding needed to start the business. His team presented the Interstellar Probe Concept Study for the Decadal Survey of Sun and Space Physics, a community exercise led by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that will prioritize the field over the next 10 years. The committee is expected to begin deliberations next month and deliver its verdict in 2024. Admiring intellectual property will go a long way in securing it. NASA support For the probe, ideally, it would take off in 2036.

In 2007, Voyager 2 provided a big surprise when it dived below the plane of the ecliptic, the plane around which the planets of the solar system orbit. Go through the so-calledTermination shock‘, where the solar wind begins to falter when it is hit by gases and interstellar dust through which the solar system passes on its journey inside the galaxy. Voyager 1 went through ‘termination shock’ 3 years ago, about 94 astronomical units (AUs) from Earth, where there is 1 astronomical unit The average distance between the Earth and the SunThat is about 150 million km. However, his plasma detector failed by 1980 during his visit to SaturnSo he could not measure the deceleration of the solar wind. Models expected wind speeds to slow from 1.2 million kilometers per hour to about 300,000 kilometers per hour, but Voyager 2 recorded wind speeds of 540 thousand kilometers per hour. A symbol of how much has been explored and understood about space outside the solar system. Chinese scientists are planning a similar mission called Interstellar Express, which can be launched at approximately the same time. Jim Bell, a planetary scientist at Arizona State University, Tempe, and former president of the Planetary Society encouraged, “buckle up.” “It’s a space race to the edge of the solar system!”

Alessandro Berlingeri