Check this page out: http://www.planetary.org/learn/spacepropulsion/
what power or fuel do they use to travel in space?
"In 1997, Pioneer 10 was about 6,000 million miles (nearly 10 billion km) from Earth. It left the solar system in 1986. Eventually it will be overtaken by Voyager 1, which is travelling faster. Both probes will take tens of thousands of years to reach other stars."
I believe that at this point both Pioneer 10 and Voyager 1 are powered solely by inertia, which means they have no onboard power source. My guess is that they both used solid fuel propulsion to escape Earth's gravity, but that is only a guess. Perhaps Red knows for sure.Originally Posted by Anonymous
[Edited for spelling.]
Don't they have solar panels?
I believe they do have solar panels, but they do not affect propulsion. What they do, I think, is provide power to instruments such as transmitters. Perhaps the rocket scientists on this board will have more to add.Originally Posted by tdol
I see- don't some also carry radioactive fuel? I honestly don't know, but thought I'd heard it.
Apparently, the RTG (radioisotope thermoelectric generator) converts the heat generated from the decay of its radioactive fuel into electricity. Apparently, it is carried aboard at least some satellites.Originally Posted by tdol
- Beyond all the planets in our solar system in a cold, dark, empty region of space, Voyager 1 continues its 25-year journey of exploration. It's headed for the heliopause, that boundary where the Sun's influence ends and the dark recesses of interstellar space begin. From where Voyager sits, the Sun is merely the brightest star in the sky--seven thousand times dimmer than we see it from Earth. Voyager doesn't have any solar panels; they wouldn't do any good so far from the Sun. The probe stays in touch by carrying its own power source, an early radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG), which converts the heat generated from the natural decay of its radioactive fuel into electricity. Its RTG will supply Voyager with electricity at least until 2020.
Thanks for the info.
Fascinating stuff, huh? From the same site:
- Relative to their size, humans have the biggest brains on the planet. Check out the guy sitting next to you on the bus: hunkered beneath a fringe of moussed hair and a few millimeters of skull are three crinkly pounds of brain -- the only substantive difference between you and species you regard as food or pets. But how did this happen? What special circumstance, what unperceived evolutionary force, nudged our hulking, hairy ancestors toward intelligence, and silently trebled the size of their brains in two million years or less..?
To read more, go to: http://www.space.com/searchforlife/s...ns_020926.html
- Space Power
Scientists ponder the question, "What advances in power technology are required to send human and robotic explorers throughout the solar system?"