Voyager's End

Beside the demise of the Hubble Space Telescope, you can add the end of the Voyager probe, the 28-year mission that has sent a spacecraft farther from Earth than any object ever made by humans. Both are casualties of Bush’s…

Apr 5, 2005

Beside the demise of the Hubble Space Telescope, you can add the end of the Voyager probe, the 28-year mission that has sent a spacecraft farther from Earth than any object ever made by humans. Both are casualties of Bush’s misguided effort to colonize the Moon and Mars, and both sacrifice good, here-and-now science for the potential of maybes and might-be’s.

Voyager, which costs only $4.2 million a year, is the only plan we have to reach the edge of our solar system. Its photographs are also “all over astronomy textbooks”, said Louis J. Lanzerotti, who last year led a Hubble study for the National Academies of Science. Both Voyagers are expected to provide usable data until 2020, when their plutonium power sources are used up.

Isn’t 4.2M/yr worth a great nation’s scientific literacy?