Scientific American: NASA plans to turn off some instruments on Voyager probes
Launched in 1977 to explore Jupiter and Saturn, the Voyager-1 and Voyager-2 space probes are going to shut down some systems to extend their performance until 2030. About it told employees NASA Scientific American magazine.
At the moment, Voyager-1 is at a distance of 23.3 billion kilometers from Earth (20 light hours and 33 minutes), and the second device moved away at a distance of about 19 billion kilometers (18 light hours). It takes scientists about two days to send and receive messages from devices.
Both probes were originally designed for five years of operation. However, thanks to the high-quality work of engineers, the devices are working up to the present day, although Voyager-1 currently has only four devices, and Voyager-2 has five. Some experts estimate that the devices could end their useful life as early as 2025 because plutonium, which is used as fuel, decomposes too quickly. NASA officials plan to turn off some of the instruments of the probes in order to extend their work for the maximum possible period.
In April 2021, it became known that the United States and European countries are planning in the early 2030s, launch the Interstellar spacecraft, which will partially duplicate the goals of the Voyager-1 and Voyager-2 missions.